5 MISTAKES YOU MAY BE MAKING IN THE GYM
Are you holding yourself back from achieving true progress? While just showing up is half the battle, little things can add up over time, and hopefully this article will help you move further in your fitness journey. Make sure your time at the gym is being spent wisely, so read on to ensure you’re not part of these 5 mistakes you may be making in the gym.
USING POOR OR BAD FORM/TECHNIQUE
Quality > Quantity! When exercising, emphasis on the correct form will get you towards your goals faster and safer. You will get a more efficient workout when doing the exercises properly, and improper form may mean you are targeting unintended muscles or muscle groups. The practice of good mechanics establishes a solid base and will reduce the likelihood of overcompensation and injury. The better your form the better your results – poor form can trigger the unintended muscles, tendons and ligaments leading to muscle imbalance, strains and sprains.
Reaching out to a personal trainer can help you learn correct form and establish muscle memory, so you’ll feel confident when doing the exercises on your own. Avoid this mistake you may be making in the gym. Doing exercises in front of the mirror or recording yourself can also help you see what is happening during the movements, and allow you to make corrections.
NOT RESTING LONG ENOUGH BETWEEN SETS
Not resting long enough (or resting too long) between sets can adversely affect your progress. The proper amount of rest between sets will allow you to go back in with the right intensity for the next set. With adequate rest you will be able to perform the next set with better form and the right force production than you would have if you didn’t rest enough.
A general guide for what you’re training for and how long to rest for:
POWER 3-5 mins
MAX STRENGTH 3-5 mins
HYPERTROPHY 30 seconds – 2 mins
ENDURANCE 20 seconds – 60 seconds
Everyone has different goals when it comes to working out, but for people looking to develop their muscular fitness it’s recommended to rest for 30 to 90 seconds between sets. You should be at a point where you feel ready to get after the next set, but not so recovered that your body cools down or your heart rate drops.
FOCUSING ON CALORIES BURNED
The base of weight loss or weight gain is calories/energy in vs energy burned, so many people use the data given to them via their smartwatches or fitness trackers to get to their fitness goals. However, even the most current fitness trackers are inaccurate with their calorie estimations.
Overall, the researchers found that most fitness trackers were able to measure heart rate fairly accurately, but poorly estimated the number of calories burned by up to 30%.
While tracking your workouts has many benefits, you should not focus on exercise for the sake of calories burned, but for the purpose of overall activity, feel good moving your body, get stronger, and see yourself improve with a progressive overload. Continue to use your fitness tracker if you feel it benefits you, such as tracking your heart rate or recording workouts, but bear in mind the likely inaccuracy of calorie estimations.
DOING RANDOM WORKOUTS EVERY WEEK
You may like the variety of not doing the same workout twice and the feeling of continuously trying new things. This pattern may feel fun and challenging, however it is not going to produce the results you want.
If you are not revisiting the same exercises, how will you know you are improving? Having a structured training plan allows you to compare your progress to your past workouts. Hitting the same movements and muscle groups allows them to grow and get to where you want them to be. You cannot get stronger if you do not put strain and recovery on the same muscles over and over again. Contrary to what you may have heard, your body doesn’t need to be confused. If you are using a progressive program with increasing weights, your body will respond appropriately.
Having an all-around workout program is important, one that is balanced, using your entire body and not over training certain muscle groups. (Don’t skip leg day! – another common mistake you may be making in the gym.)
NOT LIFTING HEAVIER
If you want to build muscle, change your body composition, lose fat, or get “toned” you will need to challenge yourself. If you stick to the same weights week after week, month after month, your body will adapt and it will not change.
Track your workouts and record your weights to make sure you are improving. Do not rush to heavy weights too fast, make sure you can perform the exercises with proper form before increasing weight. As a general rule, do not increase the weight more than 10% at a time.
Common Mistakes You May be Making in the Gym
Thanks for reading! Hopefully you have learned something, or at least it has affirmed for you that you are not making these common mistakes. Happy training!