Do you feel at home in the gym? Whether you’re a newbie to a fitness environment or an exercise expert, there are some classic mistakes that many gym goers make. Often these issues arise out of bad habits, becoming too comfortable, and also from misinformation. The problem is not one of etiquette but of exercise efficiency and making sure that you’re getting the most out of your gym sessions. To do this you need to make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes as so many others.
You’ve found the right gym, with the latest exercise equipment and a supportive, welcoming community. You’ve got your training attire and an action plan, so what could go wrong? As with anything anyone does, you need to stand back from time to time and make sure that you’ve not veered off track. Being new to the gym and aware of classic mistakes gives you the heads up so you can look out for the danger signs too.
As well as getting a good workout, watching out for gym mistakes can guard against injury too:
Same workout different day? When was the last time you changed your circuit and your training session? If you’ve been working the same exercise equipment in the same way and in the same order more than a month or so then it might be time to shake it up. Aside from reaching beyond a plateau, there’s no doubt areas of your body you’re simply not giving any attention to. It’s easy to slip into a routine and there’s a lot to be said for practice makes perfect and repetition gets results but cap it time wise!
Some people are measured and methodical in their general life approach. However, many others fall into the all-or-nothing category which, when it comes to fitness, means you might end up working out every day and going flat out with cardio, strength and endurance training that leave your body not so much buffed as totally beat. You need days off and you need a focused exercise plan. Giving 100% is not the same as burning yourself out or not having a balanced life.
You’re ill! Go home!
There are some experts who say that a little exercise can work wonders if you’re a feeling a little under the weather. After all, exercise boosts your immune system right? Well, yes but when it comes to aching muscles, a throbbing head and a streaming cold, the best thing to do is go home. Not only are you passing on all your germs as your sweaty hands grab hold of gym equipment but you risk exhausting yourself and making recovery even harder. There’s a big difference between tiredness from mental stress which might benefit from a workout and you’re body begging you to take a rest.
It’s understandable that you might be drawn to the wizardry that is the latest gyy machines. They are expertly manufactured to work your body with precision and deliver results. However, it’s good to remind yourself that a gym is about more than fancy equipment. Try and give your gym sessions a more balanced feel by using free weights and working on the mats too. By doing this you can stretch and build strength in muscles that are supporting core muscles, allowing you to build your strength and fitness levels in a balanced and safe way.
Beefcake buddy & gym bunny!
Having a workout buddy is great, especially if it is someone that helps your motivation and spurs you on to go that extra distance. Obviously, someone who is as fit or fitter than you is great inspiration and this is one reason why the one-on-one personal trainer setup works so well in the gym. The mistake you don’t want to make though is to compare yourself too directly with the main gym beefcakes or gym bunnies – every gym has them! – as you might put yourself at risk or injury and will certainly make a fool out of yourself in the process.
Finding the right fitness environment is about the people, as well as the place and the instructors. When it feels right, the gym can become about more than simply working out. It can be a place you really see as a social focus, where you meet friends and feel a sense of camaraderie. Be careful not to take this too far though. If you find yourself chit-chatting more than run-running on the treadmill, then you might want to take the social scene factor down a notch or two. Keep up the gym but include some other social events in your calendar so that it doesn’t become your only outlet.
The best way not to make the same gym mistakes as so many others is to take an appraisal of where you are at fitness-wise and become involved in creating an exercise plan that works, with the help of our expert instructors of course!