Just joining a gym and visiting it daily won’t help you in achieving your fitness goals. In order to fulfill your fitness objectives, you have to train hard, get the exercise form right and give your best for every workout. However, following these rules isn’t enough if you are making some rookie mistakes in the gym. For success, you have to be equally careful about what you shouldn’t do.
‘Keep your back straight’ or ‘don’t lock out your arms’ are training tips. However, there are several other non-training mistakes that you often commit in gym. And, such mistakes can be as bad for your results as any flaw in the exercise form. So, here are certain things that you should avoid doing in the gym to get the best results.
Never rest during a leg workout
When you have finished a challenging and grueling set of squats, it is understandable that you want to sit down and catch your breath. However, doing so can be counterproductive to your recovery and results. Taking a rest for a second or two is ok and is a best thing. But, during the rest between the workout, you should walk around as it flushes the muscle of the byproducts of high-intensity training that cause muscle fatigue.
Plus, sitting down on a bench or not getting out of the leg press machine, reduces the blood flow to your muscles. The blood flow helps in removing toxins and metabolic byproducts from the muscles. Also, the blood serves as a transport medium for glucose and other nutrients. So, if the blood flow to the muscles is restricted, it will take longer to get ready for your next set. And, walking around also reduces the risk of painful cramps or involuntary muscle contraction setting in.
Never copy an exercise someone else is doing
Okay, you can take an inspiration from someone else in the gym and can incorporate any exercise that will improve the quality of your workout. However, before you do that, you should always take an expert advice about that particular exercise. It has been often seen that a bad exercise form is passed around like a virus. And, trust me, it can travel faster than the virus. This is especially true in case of fancy and exotic exercises.
Just because someone with great physique is doing it doesn’t mean the exercise form is always spot on. Even, the most experienced bodybuilders can make such mistakes. Especially, when exercises with complex form or movement are concerned. Also, the new trend of clubbing different exercises together to create a compound exercise that will torch fat and stimulate most muscle mass has to be watched carefully. You can always search a particular exercise or compound movement on YouTube and can find the right form of the exercise. Remember the exercise form is the most important thing.
Never try to hide your weakness
Everybody has a particular weakness. For someone, it might be weak legs and for other, it might be the giant one pack straddling their midsection. Or for someone, it might be a very weak bench press. And, it is often seen that people try to hide their weaknesses or weak parts. You would find people doing leg workout late at night, when no one’s around to see, how thin their legs are. Or, you might see someone doing a half hearted cardio very early in the morning. There is no need to hide your weaknesses. Everybody has some. You need to embrace them and should work even harder to address them. If you have a high fat percentage, then do two sessions per day. Dedicate one to cardio only and lift weights in another. If you feel you have weak and underdeveloped legs, make your workouts longer or maybe work them twice in a week. It is a better alternative than making excuses about your bad knees.
Never waste time on your phone
Okay, we know that your beautiful girlfriend is texting. But, gym is not the right place for chatting. And, the rest between sets isn’t the right time. The usage of phones during a workout is one of the biggest mistakes. Firstly, you lose focus and concentration by fiddling with your phone, even if you are checking out fitness articles. Plus, people often tend to rest in between sets for much longer time. If you are going to rest for five minutes after every set, you won’t be getting great results, no matter how heavy you are lifting. And, by wasting your time on phone, you risk losing interest in the workout you are doing.
So, unless you are making entries in a workout app, you should keep your phone aside during the workout. Or, if you are trying a new workout or doing a complex exercise, keeping a phone with you is acceptable. However, even then stay away from social media.
Never hang around while working out
This is another mistake about doing things at the wrong time and wrong place, it is always great to know new people, especially who have similar mindset. However, when you are doing a workout, it is not wise to hang around with your gym buddies. The negative effect of doing so is similar to that of the preceding point. You can easily lose focus and concentration. Plus, the rest between the sets usually extends to four to five minutes, which could easily mess up the workout intensity. And, it isn’t like you can’t talk to anyone in the gym. It will do your workout routine a world of good by getting advice from dedicated and experienced professionals. But, do it after you have completed the workout.
Never confuse training smart with training hard
People often confuse training smart with training hard. And, that is why, they don’t get the right results. For example, you can do 60 repetitions of bench press with 30 pounds or you can do 10 repetitions with 80 pounds. Both, count as training hard. But, only one of them qualifies as training smart. If you want to build stronger and bigger chest, it is advisable to lift heavy and keep repetitions low. Doing 50 repetitions will give you a short pump, but when it comes to building muscles it won’t amount to much. Yes, it will build stamina, but muscle is doubtful.
As long as you are doing 8-12 repetitions with right form, right weight and working your muscles to failure, you will build muscle mass. When lifting a particular weight gets easier and repetitions go over 12, increase the load. Or, you can opt to cut down the rest time.
Never get comfortable
Naturally, we all seek to get comfortable. But, it is not a smart thing to do when it comes to working out. The science of bodybuilding is based on progressive overload, which means you have to gradually increase the resistance to build stronger and bigger muscles. When your muscle gets used to and comfortable with particular weight, you have to increase it, to ensure that your muscles have to work hard enough to create micro-tears in the muscle fibers. It is very important that you don’t allow your body to adapt to physical demands. For the same reason, it is advisable that you keep on changing the workout routine after every four weeks.
Never add weight without getting the form right
Okay, I have been going on about lifting heavy weight to stimulate maximum muscle mass. But, that shouldn’t come at the expense of right form. Not only it will reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of the exercise, but also places you at the risk of a serious injury.
Of course, you don’t have to worry about form when you are doing simpler exercises such as barbell curls or bench press. But, there are some exercises that are inherently complex such as deadlifts and bent over barbell row. And, in such exercises, the risk of injury is far more. If you are bending too much while doing the bent over barbell row with heavy weight, you run the risk of herniated disc.