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Top 5 Gym Mistakes
Wanted to continue this top 5 series with the five mistakes I see people make in the gym all the time. We have all at one time or another seen some bad things being done in gyms. I wanted to cover the ones that I feel like are the most common. I hope that if you are making one of these mistakes that it will help you to learn how not to make that mistake anymore. If you are making one of these mistakes do not feel bad, we all have made mistakes in our life and we had to learn somehow. So let’s go ahead and get right into the top 5 with the mistake that I feel like is ranked 5th on this list.
The number 5 mistake that I see being made almost on a daily basis is people working out in their comfort zone. I don’t know how many times I see guys and girls come into the gym and talk throughout their entire workout. They do 10 reps of something so light that they almost forget how many they have even done. When they leave the gym it doesn’t even look like they have broken a sweat. Girls hair and makeup, still perfect, guys shirts, no sweat? I really am confused on the entire purpose of them even being at the gym. Now being honest, we don’t always have a crazy intense workout where we say “man that was the best workout ever”. But if more than half the time you go to the gym you don’t even push yourself to try and be better than you were before, then please ask yourself the question. What the heck am I even doing here in the first place? When you workout it’s about bettering yourself and your health not social hour. Now don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with talking or having a good time while you workout but let’s be real here. There is a fine line between that and making the gym time your new hangout place to talk gossip. The funny thing is, some of these people are the first ones to complain when they don’t see any changes. Hmm I wonder why that is? So please guys and girls, you want results? Then go to the gym and work for them instead of talking about it.
Mistake number 4 that I see in the gym is people lifting/working out without a purpose or plan. These are the people that do one of two things. They either come to the gym and kind of just do whatever they feel like with no specific goal or reason in mind. Or even worse they literally do the same exercises every single day. They never change or sway to anything different than the same international chest day on monday. Now these people are more motivated than the ones that mistake number 5 but they still could be helping themselves out more. Lifting without a plan or reason is fine for beginners but if you have been going to the gym for a month or two then it’s time to get a plan together. Not only can changing things up or getting a plan make the gym more exciting again. It also shocks the body and will allow you to break through plateaus that you once had. I hear things like “I want to get stronger” yet I see them doing reps of 25. Or, “man I really wanna get a bigger chest” and then they do heavy bench press for 2 reps. There is a reason why I do every set and every rep. They are all thought out and they are done with a purpose, this is one of the reasons I have been able to be so successful in the gym. So make sure you are planned and prepared for your workouts if you really want to see some changes.
Mistake number 3 is one that can actually cause physical injury and that is not warming up properly. We have all seen it, the guy goes to the barbell bench and does one set of 135 and then jumps straight to trying to do 225 or 315. I just cringe when I see things like this in the gym. We only get one body in this life and it is important that we take the steps necessary to protect it. There is nothing wrong and in fact I recommend having a warm up routine before all of your workouts. Do not just jump straight into your working sets without warming up your joints and muscles. Now this will be different for everyone on how much they need to warm up but everyone does need to do something. Even if this is a walk on the treadmill for 5 to 10 minutes before you do legs or just a few sets of pushups before you do chest. Warming up properly will allow you to have a much more effective workout and prevent the risk of injury. This will insure that you will be able to make progress for many workouts to come instead of being set back by an injury.
Mistake number 2 almost makes me laugh when I see it and that is people who are always doing fancy exercises. I don’t know how many times I see people trying to find new ways to improperly use a machine to workout. There is no fancy exercise that will make you build a better body than what people have been doing for 100 years. This especially goes for the ones that haven’t even used the basic exercises yet to build a solid foundation. I remember seeing an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about this exact thing. They didn’t do all these fancy exercises back in the day when they built amazing physiques like Arnold, Serge, Frank, and countless others. Girls you want a better butt, then squat. Guys you want bigger shoulders then press some real weight. There is no booty blaster 1000 that will do you better than some old fashioned, put the bar on your back, and squat your butt to your calfs. Now I am all for trying new things but if you don’t have a real solid foundation first and the basics aren’t part of your staple. Then I seriously recommend going back to the drawing board on developing that plan. Stick to the basics first and master though’s before you try and put bands the wrong way on bench press.
Last and certainly not least, the number 1 mistake I see people making in the gym is EGO lifting with poor range of motion. You all know what I am talking about, those people that load up the bar with 405 and do about a half a squat. I am talking not even close to parallel, much less going deep. Or the person that tells me they bench 350 and they throw the shoulder saver on there or stop about 4 inches from their chest. How about the guy that military presses the 110 dumbbells and doesn’t even get his elbows to a 90 degree angle much less full range of motion. Not to mention the one that loads up the entire leg press machine with 45’s only to move it about 4 inches for 5 reps. I could go on and on with examples that would make even beginners laugh. The better the range of motion during any exercise the more muscle fibers that are recruited. This means that you will see a greater gain in muscle size and strength if you actually do the exercise correctly. I do not know why guys especially do this but they are not impressing anyone that has a clue and they are going to hurt themselves. If you can not control the bar all the way down to your chest and then press it back up, then it is to heavy for you. If you can not squat with proper form and get down to a minimum of parallel, then it is to heavy for you.
Alright y’all that is my top 5 mistakes that I see in the gym. I hope that this has been informative and maybe even a little funny for you. I hope that this has helped you in some way with either your workout routine or in helping out your buddy’s. Thanks for reading look out for the next article. Top 5 mistakes people make in their nutrition.
About the author:
Corey is a full-time personal trainer training clients from ages 15-years-old to 75-years-old. One of his clients is making a run at the NFL for the Patriots. He is the 2015 NPC North Carolina Physique Champion, and he owns “Carolina Physiques” coaching over 20 physique and bodybuilder competitors. Follow him on Instagram: @coreyreich or on his website www.reichfitness.com.