Top 10 common gym mistakes to avoid
I think that most people would agree that working out is one of the best ways to stay in shape. The unfortunate part about working out however, is sometimes it can be hard to know what you should do and what you should not do. Below are some common mistakes to avoid when working out like which exercise regimen is right for you, etc.
1. Not knowing your form
One of the most common mistakes people make in the gym is poor form, especially in core exercises. When lifting weights, you need to use the perfect form to get the most out of each exercise and improve strength. You should always start with a lighter weight when using the lousy form so that you build up strength gradually with proper technique rather than hurting yourself by trying to lift too much weight early on. Using improper body mechanics during core exercises also causes injury, resulting in not being able to do any workouts at all for a while.
2. Not Eating Before Workout
Another mistake that frequently happens in the gym is failing to fuel appropriately before training sessions. Workout nutrition consists of easily digestible foods that will give you quick fuel for a high-intensity session, such as fruit juice, bananas, oatmeal, or energy bars. Working out without food first sends your body a signal to shut down and use your muscles as energy rather than carbohydrates, thus limiting how much you can accomplish during your workout.
3. Too Much Cardio and Not Enough Weight Training
While cardio is an essential part of any fitness routine, it's easy to get carried away and spend all your time on the treadmill or exercise bike, only to be disappointed when you don't lose weight or gain muscle mass. It's best to prioritize weight training by working out with weights for 30-40 minutes three times per week at least so that you build up muscle strength and definition.
4. Not Stretching Before or After Workout
Staying flexible is vital for both physical and mental health, helping to prevent injury and reduce stress levels, especially after a high-intensity workout. The best way to stretch out after your workout is by spending at least 10 minutes doing light cardio work, like walking on the treadmill before stretching so that your muscles are warm enough to be stretched safely. Stretching should also be done before and after any weight training sessions to improve flexibility for each type of exercise you do.
5. Using Poor Form When Lifting Weights
It's tempting to try lifting weights until failure, but it can lead to injury if you use poor form while working out with heavyweights. It's a good idea to limit your sets to between four and six with a weight you can lift 12 - 15 times, keeping the last two reps of each set in reserve. If you get tired before, then take a break or switch to lighter weights. There is no benefit from lifting until muscle failure if it means that you have to sacrifice form.
6. Poor Hydration
Another common mistake people make when working out is failing to drink enough water throughout the day, leading to poor hydration during exercise sessions. You mustn't start your workout session dehydrated as this will affect performance; however, drinking too much right before exercising doesn't give your body time to process it and slows down how quickly it absorbs the water. Aim to drink about half your body weight in ounces each day, cutting back if you are urinating more than usual.
7. Underutilizing Equipment
It's common to see people standing around during their rest time between sets or working out on a machine for a couple of minutes before moving on because they don't know what else to do, but this is a wasted opportunity for getting a better workout. Try using the available equipment so that you use your time efficiently and get fitter, stronger and leaner muscles in less time.
8. No Structure
When starting at the gym, it can be hard to know where to begin or simply not sure how long you should spend performing each exercise with which weights, so it's easy to wander around aimlessly between machines and weight stacks. This is a mistake because your workout will lack any fundamental structure or goal, which means you aren't progressing as you should be and could lead to a plateau in your results. Start by picking a specific muscle group you want to work on for each session. Pick three different exercises that target that muscle from different angles, then perform one set of each with lighter weights followed by one set of each with heavier weights. Then choose another trio of exercises based around the same muscle but working it from a different angle, repeating this process until all six sets have been completed.
9. Not Listening To Your Body
It's common for people starting at the gym to push themselves too hard, either because they don't know their limits or try to set an excellent example for others around them. However, if you're in pain while working out, it means that your body is telling you that you've pushed yourself too far and need to rest. This is especially important when performing high-intensity workouts like HIIT cardio, where stopping early can mean the difference between pushing through muscle fatigue instead of burning out your muscles completely.
10. Not Cooling Down
Many people think that a good workout ends with a shower. Still, you should always finish with a cool-down period to give your heart rate time to return to normal and prevent injuries from occurring due to your muscles being stiffer than usual. This is also an optimal time for increasing flexibility which can help prevent injury when working out in the future since warm blood causes the muscles around your joints to increase their range of motion, making them more susceptible to damage if cold blood starts pumping through your veins afterward. Try taking at least five minutes after exercising for some light stretches before going home; this will ease any tension built up in muscles and ensure you avoid cramps or pulled muscles down the road.
The last thing you want to do is work out incorrectly. One of our goals as a company is to help each person reach their fitness goals and live healthier lives. We've compiled this list of noteworthy errors to guide those who need it most. Have you made any of these mistakes? If so, we hope this article helps. It can be difficult to maintain motivation when your goal becomes more challenging than anticipated or progress slows down after initial success.