If you’ve been exercising for a while you’re probably savy to most of these. But it’s often hard to remember everything we know.
So, in today’s post I’d like to share 7 of the most common gym mistakes. If you’re looking to maximise your gym time be wary of these!
No programme means no focus. Unless the gym’s a hobby then we want to make sure you get the most out of the time you spend working out.
Provided it has been designed with your goal in mind then a structured programme gives focus to each and every workout. Each workout then leads you one step closer to your goals.
Fitness spontaneity is great from time to time. But for workouts to be effective over time they need to follow a plan.
A guy at one of the gyms I worked at was going flat out on a rowing machine. It was his first week in the gym. And he was determined to make it worth his while.
After the 10 minute all out effort (plus 10 minutes sat on the rower recovering) he got up, walked past me, bright red and drenched with sweat and said “I’m never doing that again”.
I never saw him again. And if training had to be like that then I don’t think I’d last long either.
A simple solution? Start easier, and build up overtime
While the guy above was an extreme example of jumping in at the deep end, another mistake would be to stick with the same exercises, for the same duration and use the same weights week after week.
Instead of staying at the same intensity at your next workout try increasing the weight you use. If you normally lift the 10kg dumbbells try out the 11’s. The new stress will keep your body adapting and give you a sense of achievement!
Your body gets used to whatever exercises you do. Sticking with the same routine month after month makes the routine progressively less effective. Plus the boredom of doing the same old thing makes it less motivating to go to the gym.
There are plenty of fun, varied pieces of equipment to use. We like TRX suspension training, kettlebells, free weights and battling ropes to mix it up.
Few people have a straight path to fitness success. Injuries, holidays,birthdays, meals out, illness and 101 other things are going to test your gym going resolve.
If you expect a straight path you’ll feel like you’re failing when these things come up.
But if you know there are going to be at least 10 challenges along the way, you can simply grin to yourself, and say “one down, nine more to go!”
When you record what you’ve done you can relate this back to your progress. If you haven’t made as much progress as you’d like you can look back over your diary, which gives you a clear picture of what is and isn’t working for you.
If you’ve hit a plateau with your workouts I’d suggest looking at #3 or #4 above to get things progressing again. Or if you’re struggling to get to the gym on a regular basis perhaps try the 10 minute home, holiday and hotel workout.
We use a simple question at Diligent Fitness to evaluate progress. Is what you’re doing working for you? If yes, good job! Keep doing what you’re doing. If no then we’ve got two options.
1. accept that while you’d like things to be different, you’ve decided you’re not willing to do what’s needed to move forward.
2. accept that the plan isn’t working for you, and change the plan
As a general rule we evaluate progress every 6 weeks or so.
While there are probably a few more mistakes to be made, avoid these 7 and you’ll be well on the way to long term fitness success!