We’ve all heard that “90% of success is just showing up”, however that adage doesn’t always hold true when it comes to the gym. While fitting gym time into your hectic schedule is often a tiny miracle in itself, you need to make sure that you are spending your time wisely while you’re there.
We asked fitness professionals about the top mistakes made at the gym, and according to them, there are many. Some are fairly obvious, but other mistakes you may be committing without even realizing. Read on to find out the top 20 gym no-no’s that could be holding you back from your fitness goals!
Lack of focus on movement quality: Sometimes it is easy to want to speed through all of your reps or quickly perform a move; however, this kind of sloppiness won’t help you. According to Darrick Truong, head trainer at Fitwall La Jolla, movement quality can be more important than movement quantity. So remember to take your time and focus on correct form and execution for each move.
Forgetting to stretch: Just like it can take a cup of coffee for you to get moving in the morning, your muscles need to be woken up before you start working out! Marcie Fyock, assistant professor at George Mason University, points out that forgetting to stretch before exercise is a big no-no that can lead to stress on the muscles as well as injuries.
Lack of resistance training: Workouts should always be varied, so don’t forget to add in some resistance training! According to Matt Fellows, director at Iron Works Elite Fitness, resistance training is a crucial element in any routine. Plus, there is much more variety with resistance training, so you won’t be stuck with the same moves over and over.
Using teeny, tiny weights: Those tiny pink weights are undeniably cute and girly, but they are simply a waste of time. Fellows suggests that less reps using larger weights is actually more effective than doing a ton of reps with your poweder-puff dumbbells. Many women shy away from weights out of fear of turning into Arnold Schwarzenegger, but in truth, heavier weight builds muscle faster, toning your body and raising your metabolism!
Not using full range of motion: Once again, it is important to remember that form and accuracy are crucial. According to Michael Spitzer, author of, “Fitness After 40,50,60 and Beyond”, doing a move half way will not lead to the results you’re after, and is in fact, a total waste of time.
Too much emphasis on machines: According to Kusha Kawandi, author of, “Nutriscribe” and creator of the Exerscribe app, women often spend too much time on machines such as treadmills or ellipticals. While they can serve a purpose, they can also be unchallenging, leading to frequent plateaus.
Doing too much too soon: So you’ve decided to start working out again, and you dive in head first, signing up for the, ‘Advanced CrossFit’ class. Bad Idea. Hooman Melamed, spine surgeon and director of scoliosis at Marine Del Ray Hospital, says that doing too much too soon can actually lead to injuries. While some soreness is normal after a good workout, if there is excessive pain, you may have pushed it too far.
Not treating existing injuries: So you did too much too soon, and scored an injury. Don’t make it worse by ignoring it! According to Fyock, treating injuries is crucial to your wellness and overall fitness, so get better before you begin working out again, or you could just make matters worse.
Stopping before you’ve done all of the reps: If you feel the burn, you’re doing something right! Mike Clancy, lifestyle coach and personal trainer, states that many women stop a move before all of the reps are complete. While we know that it’s tempting to skip those last couple of reps, unless there is extreme pain, keep going hard and finish strong.
Too much intensity: Sometimes you may feel like Superwoman who can take on any workout, but even then you need to proceed with caution. Truong suggests that you always be aware of your physical limits, and avoid barreling past them.