Whether you’re a gym faithful or a newbie, you’ve most likely found someone wearing too-little shorts or using the incorrect lifting-form. If you’ve never seen anything like that, you’re probably the guilty one here.
Beginners, we know you’re prone to make mistakes; you’re new to this whole fitness thing and you aren’t too sure where you fit in just yet, but that’s okay. Using the incorrect form and looking like a newborn deer isn’t entirely your fault, but there are a few mistakes that can be completely avoided despite your experience level.
And GymRats, don’t think you’re safe just because you frequent the gym. You’re actually even more prone to be the center of a joke since you’re so sure that you know what you’re doing. So if anyone needs to be mindful of their technique, it’s you.
To save yourself time, get faster results, and make your workouts more effective avoid these following mistakes:
Mistake #1: Waiting for Equipment
Your best bet at avoiding this issue is knowing when your gym is the busiest. Gym lines are bound to form during peak hours, so your best bet is to head to the gym when the parking lot doesn’t look like that of a sports bar on a friday night. But no matter how busy the gym is, you should never have to stall your routine in order to wait for equipment.
Oh, you say someone’s on your favorite machine that you think is the secret to toning your abs? Man up and move on!
To get around obstacles like this, always have an alternative option in the back of your mind in case your first choice is taken. It’s called having a back up plan — sound familiar?
Mistake #2: Skipping your Warmups
We all try to slide in and out of the gym in the most efficient way possible, but never let someone catch you cutting corners. There ins’t a workout cheat sheet, but if there was, diving in without stretching and completing your warm-up exercises definitely wouldn’t make the list.
Spending a few minutes doing arm circles, leg swings, and a few warm-up squats, for example, can save you pain and possible injury later.
Mistake #3: Failing to Plan your Workout Ahead of Time
Walking into the gym without a plan is just like heading to the grocery store without a shopping list. After a while, you’ll end up aimlessly pacing back and forth, only to have strangers wonder whether you’ve lost your mind or not. Make it easy on yourself and strategize your workout regimen before you check-in to the gym.
Mistake #4: Sticking to All Cardio, All the Time
Access to treadmills and ellipticals may have been your impetus for joining the gym, but don’t get cardio tunnel vision on us.
Surprisingly enough, if you do the same aerobic workout every day, your body will adapt and you won’t see the changes you want.
How many bubbles did we just burst?
Mistake #5: Lifting weights that are too light/too heavy
Under-lifting is primarily a women’s problem, since ladies typically don’t want to become too muscular and they tend to underestimate their capabilities. Hate to break it to you sweetheart, but all you’re doing is wasting energy and the nice young man’s time who’s patiently waiting behind you to use the same machine.
Overloading yourself is a bad idea, too. Not only isn’t it hard, but it’s a recipe for injury.
How do you know if you’re properly loaded?
If you can do 10 reps and feel like you could do easily do five or more additional ones, you gotta go up. If you’re struggling at rep 5/10, you definitely need to take it down a notch (or five). Ideally, you should have just enough gas to maybe churn out two or three more.
If you don’t do this the right way, you’ll either look like a pansy for barely having any weights attached to your bar, or an imbecile for having too-many to control.
Mistake #6: Ignoring your form
Here’s the fun part where other people start to really realize that you have no clue what you’re doing.
Keep in mind, the way you perform an exercise is just as important to your wellbeing as getting to the gym in the first place. Bad posture, incorrect or incomplete range of motion, and compensating with one muscle when you’re looking to work another — all of these mistakes not only sacrifice the quality of your workout and increase your risk of injury, they also make it clear that you don’t know how to maximize your workout results.
No gym-goer wants that.
Mistake #7: Texting & Flirting
Individually, they’re both pretty bad gym crimes; but combine the two mistakes together and you’re sure to become a laughing stock without ever knowing it.
This may come as a newsflash to some, but no one wants to see you smiling at your phone! They gym is a place is full of people with actual goals, and they don’t have time to push you out of the way every 5 seconds because you’re distracted on your phone.
Oh, and flirting at the gym is like asking to be turned down. Unless you’re sure that you’ve spotted your soulmate, it’s probably in your best interest to leave that sweaty, exhausted girl with music blasting through her headphone alone. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want to talk to you right now, and you can’t blame her!
Mistake #8: Bringing a full Gallon of Water
So.. did you head straight to the gym from grocery store? Because that what it looks like.
If you can drink an entire gallon of water after a workout, good for you — but you don’t need to bring that huge, tacky jug with you to prove a point. Stop being extra and divide it into a few water bottles, silly.
Mistake #9: Mirror Gazing
… is never okay.
Whether you’re staring at the fat you’re trying to burn or admiring your new bod, you’re committing a heinous gym-crime. Staring in the mirror will either deem you as an insecure beginner or conceited jerk. Either way, you don’t want everyone all-up in your business, right? Save admiring yourself in the mirror for your post-workout shower.