Archive for the tag - learning experiences

Top 12 Gym Mistakes.

Ogling this (and ignoring your workout) could be a big - albeit delicious - mistake

I’ve been going to a gym regularly for more than a decade – which has given me plenty of time to make mistakes (or as I like to call them, learning experiences). Here are my top 12 “mistakes”:

  1. Sticking to the same old shit. You have to mix things up if you want to make progress. As I’ve said before, more of the same produces more of the same. Try new routines. Work with a trainer. Step up your weight levels. Change your base of stability. Do whatever it takes to change things up every four to six weeks – or else your results will likely plateau.
  2. Eating a heavy meal right before exercising. You only make this mistake once. Save your larger meals for after the workout.
  3. Doing the same workout every day. You have to give your various muscle groups sufficient rest. If you do exercise frequently, do different muscle groups on different days.
  4. Ogling the eye candy. I know, sometimes it’s hard not to take a look. Or two. Or three…. But do your best to keep your mind – and your eyes – to the task at hand and not the hot daddy on the stair master. Woof.
  5. Not doing cardio. Or not doing strength training. Regardless of your goals, you should have a balance of both. Even if you’re looking to release weight, you should strength train (muscle incinerates calories). And even if you’re looking to build muscle, you should exercise your heart with cardio.
  6. Rests become nap time. It’s helpful to time the resting period in between sets so that you don’t end up wandering around endlessly or watching half of a program on TV. Hold yourself to it. On the flip side, don’t cut your rests short; your muscles won’t have sufficient time to recover.
  7. Not warming up specific muscle groups. I’ve very guilty of this one. Spending a few minutes on the elliptical, for example, doesn’t warm you up for curls. Warming up with cardio is helpful – for cardio (I like to warm up at 60% of my actual running pace, FYI). But if you are curling, do a set or two at a light weight to get your muscles moving. Then, move to the heavier weight. Target your warm ups to the specific muscle that you’ll be working.
  8. Working out when you’re sick. Again, guilty as charged. According to experts like Dr. Rick Kellerman of the American Academy of Family Physicians, “I tell people to listen to their bodies. If they are sick, their body is telling them something is wrong. Even though it may be tempting to not break an exercise routine, working out may actually prolong the illness.” Moreover, you could be infecting fellow gym-goers. Bottom line: Stay home.
  9. Thinking that a tired mind is a tired body. We’ve all had draining days at work – whether it’s answering phones, typing e-mails or staring at the computer screen. If you exercise after work, it’s tempting to use excuses like, “I’m too tired to work out today.” But a tired mind is not a tired body! In fact, hitting the gym will help to wake you up and boost your energy. Ditch the “I’m too tired” excuse.
  10. Spending more time gossiping than exercising. Yes, we’ve all been there. Unless you are hitting the gym to make new friends, flapping your gums won’t bring you results. Remember the task at hand.
  11. Not adding strategy to your workout. Working out for the sake of working out won’t necessarily bring you the results that you want. If you want a stronger core, there may not be an app (yet) but there sure is a strategy for that. If you want bigger arms, there’s a strategy for that too. It’s absolutely necessary to figure out what is going to bring you the results you want.
  12. Being a total copy cat. I support being a partial copy cat; I steal some of my best exercises from the people that I see around me at the gym. Copying an exercise is one thing. But copying an entire routine is another – unless you know that the routine is in alignment with the results you’re looking to achieve.

Did I miss anything? What mistakes have you made at the gym. Share in the comments below!