We all make mistakes, but making them in the gym can be a majorhindrance to your progress, make your condition worse, or put you at risk for injury. It is for these reasons that beginners should take precautions and learn some lessons before they start an exercise program.
Irrespective of whether you have worked with fitness professionals, it is important to double check your exercise moves are appropriate.
People make many different mistakes with exercise machines and equipment at the gym. Luckily, nearly all can be avoided and corrected with the help and guidance from a certified fitness trainer. Here are some of the biggest mistakes trainers see in the gym:
Beginning Without Assessment
According to Maurice D. Williams, a NASM and NSCA certified trainer who also owns Move Well Fitness, beginners should carry out some simple assessments before starting an exercise. This assessment gives someone an overall picture of his/her current fitness level. You should use devices that will help determine your muscular stretches to prevent injuries. Most gyms have staff or trainers who offer free assessment when you join as a new member.
Omitting the Warm-up
William notes that there are some people who start their workouts without preparing their body for movement. Performing warm-up ensures that your body is ready to exercise and help prevent injury. He suggests you should begin every workout with some foam rolling, dynamic stretches, and mobility work. These should mimic the movements and exercises that you will be focusing on in your workout routine. Plus, you should take at least 5 to 10 minutes to cool down and lower your heart rate after every workout session.
Attempting Too much Too Soon
Robin Visanuvimol, owner and head coach of Beyond Boxing in Vancouver, notes that beginners tend to be overanxious and expect to start noticing results within a very short time. This can pose a number of problems. Exercisers get burned out physically, mentally, and give up on the program too soon. Robin insists that changes often take time. Dietary changes along with exercises done over a relatively longer period (6-8 weeks) are better than changes that happen at once.
Overtraining and failure to give your body enough time to recover another big mistake trainers see at the gym. This is in reference to Jessica Lopez, a certified personal trainer and a nutrition specialist at the Boxing Club in San Diego. She notes that upon gaining momentum, some people fall into the trap of thinking that more is always better. Sadly, that is not the case because it can inhibit your body from making the changes you want. Overtraining can trigger signs of lack of sleep, water retention, or injuries. Working out tears your body down and thus you should take enough time to heal and rest when necessary.
Focusing too much on Cardio
Tom Holland is a world-renowned exercise physiologist who has authored several books on fitness. He says that cardio happens to be an important component of exercise routines. Other than burning calories, it boosts your mood and strengthens your heart. However, many people spend too much time performing low-level cardiovascular exercises. Tom says that this result in just a few hundred calories burned at the end of exercise. He recommends performing a mix of cardio and weights. Strength training builds lean muscle which increases metabolism. This means that more calories will be burned throughout the day.
Failing to Plan
Most people who walk to the gym for the first time usually don’t have a workout plan. This is according to Ainslie MacEachran, a certified personal trainer and cycling coach in Fort Collins. Going to the gym with a workout plan that has a purpose will make your exercises effective and time efficient.
You only spend a small fraction of your time at the gym. According to MacEachran, it will be difficult to achieve your goals unless you don’t play your part in the kitchen. It can be difficult to outrun the nutrition piece, which means you have to make dietary and lifestyle changes to achieve better and more rapid results.
Several trainers have pointed out that one of the top mistakes they notice at the gym is people blindly following what others are doing. Eric M. Emig, a certified personal trainer says that it can be hard to tell whether someone you are watching is performing an exercise the right way. Additionally, people do a particular exercise with a reason and it may not be a good one for you.
In reference to Cindy Hauss, a certified personal trainer, there are some common postural deviations that can lead to injury. These include rounded shoulders, forward head, and arched low back. Cindy recommends hiring a trainer if you can’t maintain a good posture when performing an exercise. S/he will assist you with form, lighten your load, or decrease your repetitions.
Related Link: 7 Causes of Bad Posture (And How To Fix Them)
Lack of Variety
Tom Postema is a certified personal trainer and conditioning expert at Postema Performance. He pointed out that some people have no variety in their training. They tend to repeat the same program day-to-day or week-to-week. This often stalls their [progress and may wonder why they can attain similar gains as when they began their program. Tom says that incorporating enough variety at the gym will improve your results.