Top 5 Gym Mistakes to Avoid
Saturday, August 25, 2018
We’ve all had to begin somewhere in our fitness journeys, some of us even starting all on our own not knowing anything about the gym. Exercising without having the knowledge of what you’re doing, could lead to some serious damage to your body and never mind that, you’d take FOREVER to reach your goal. This is why I’m writing this article for you, to help eliminate those rookie mistakes and save you MONTHS of trial and error! It took me about a year to figure out what was best for the body regarding exercise and nutrition, but I don’t want you to struggle like I did. So I’m here to give you all the info you need to be successful and to bust all of those myths.
Repeating the Same Workout Over and Over
Doing the same sets and reps with the same exercises and the same weights every week won’t get you very far. If you don’t know much about training and all the different exercises, then it would be great to invest in a personal trainer for a few sessions. However, doing the same thing month after month is not beneficial for muscle growth and quite frankly it’s rather painful to watch others do it after knowing this information.
After a while your body will start to plateau. This means it gets so used to the way you train that you stop seeing results and making progress, your body just stays the same. When you switch up your exercise routine every month or so, it gives your body a major shock and gives you better results in all aspects.
Starving or Depriving Yourself
I’ve seen this mistake with so many people who try to follow all these crazy diets. Some people think that eating less will benefit them and keep them looking fit and slim. What they don’t know is that this is doing tremendous damage to their bodies and actually increasing their body fat. Its so crazy because who knew that eating LESS could increase your body fat. Here’s how it works:
Skipping meals will slow down your metabolism and make your body go into “survival mode”. This means that the next time you eat, your body will store your food as fat for reserves because it’s not sure when it’s next meal will be. It also causes your cells and body to crave more food, so you might even end up overeating the next time you decide to have a meal.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the term “hangry”.. Yep, this is where it comes from. When you deprive your body of food, your blood sugar drops which causes a rise in cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone so an increase of it will leave you irritable and stressed. If you think about it, you’re just harming yourself more by not eating.
Even if you’re short on time, you should always be throwing in a quick warmup. By not warming up you’re guaranteed to injure yourself. If you have a heavy workout ahead, try some bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges and push ups just to get the blood pumping and the heart rate elevated. If you’re very short on time then try cutting your workout short by taking out a few sets just so that you can get a good warmup in. I know you’re probably moaning and groaning because who likes to cut their workout short?! But trust me, you’ll be saving yourself a great deal of pain and hospital bills.
Exercising with Poor Form
This is probably the biggest mistake that I see in the gym EVERY SINGLE TIME I train. There are so many beginners who want to go straight to the big heavy weights and they totally neglect their form. By lifting a slightly lighter weight, you’ll have a much better form which will essentially enable your muscles to grow bigger and faster. Here’s how it works:
Our muscles grow and get stronger by being stretched, this is why its so important to warm up and cool down by using dynamic and static stretching. Nevertheless, when you use a full range of motion you’ll be stretching your muscles further, allowing for more growth in the number of muscle fibres (more muscle fibers mean more strength).
Exercising with poor form can also cause more serious issues such as a common back or joint injury and muscular imbalances. How this happens is when you over train a certain muscle, it causes wear and tear on your joints and cartilage which is why so many sportsmen/sportswomen commonly suffer from knee and elbow injuries. You’ll also be strengthening one muscle and neglecting the others, causing weaker muscles in some areas and pulling in other areas, leaving you quite stiff and in pain most of the time.
No Rest Days
The thought that training everyday will result in bigger or more muscle mass is totally FALSE! When you train everyday, you put your muscles under tremendous stress and they don’t get any time to repair themselves. You’re also harming your central nervous system by doing so. This is why rest days are so essential! They allow your muscles to repair which will actually make them grow even bigger and faster. So don’t be afraid to rest guys, do it for the gains!
What We’ve Learnt:
- Try some new workouts that are different to your usual routine.
- Eat a variety of good foods.
- Remember to always throw in a quick warmup.
- Try to keep your form as accurate as possible.
- REST REST REST!
At the end of the day, you definitely don’t want to be following everyone else in the gym because most of them don’t really know what they’re doing anyway. You should always follow your own path and rather seek the help of experts whether it be in person through a trainer or even online like you’re doing right now! By doing this you’ll be sure to avoid many future complications and have a successful journey ahead.