Here’s a list of the most common mistakes made by even the most experienced gym goers. Find out of you’re apart of the majority….
Are you an experienced gym goer? Are you thinking about heading to the gym for the first time? No matter your level of experience, you probably make one or more of these mistakes that can be hurting your progress!
The good news is that most of these mistakes are quick fixes! The biggest way to fix these mistakes is to be aware of them.
So here they are – the exercise mistakes we are all guilty of making…
Failing to Prep
Getting into an exercise routine begins before you even get to the gym. It starts the night before, while you are getting ready and planning for the next day. Your gym bag will need packing, meals and shakes need making, and it should all be set up in a way that will allow you to remember to grab everything in the morning.
Failing to prep the night before causes a HUGE, yet unnecessary, rush for you in the morning. This creates room for a couple problems to happen… excuse making or forgetting something. “I’ll make sure to prep tonight instead.” We are all guilty of making excuses like that due to the lack of proper preparation.
Tip: remember the “5 P’s:” Perfect Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
Not Having a Plan
This also occurs the night, or even a couple days, before heading to the gym. Many of us get so excited to jump right into exercise without having a plan first. We get to the gym and jump right in, aimlessly hopping between various exercises.
This may not seem like a big deal at the time but it usually leads to one of three problems… Either you spend a considerable amount of time thinking of what you will do next, you end up doing too much, and/or end up doing too little (these are other common mistakes that we will discuss later)!
Remember, Perfect Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!
Failing to Fuel
Exercise requires energy, considerably more energy than when your lounging around at home in your Sunday best (comfy sweatpants and hoodie if you’re me).
What you consume before heading to the gym determines how energized you will be and how you will feel after! Your body is much more likely to keep up with the physical demands of exercise if it has the energy available to do so. Proper fuel also reduces, or may even prevent, those achy muscles we all get the day after completing a great workout!
This pre-exercise fueling doesn’t have to be anything huge – something small and fast acting like a bowl of fruit is an excellent choice.
Doing Too Much, Too Fast
This is most common amongst beginners but even experienced gym goers are guilty of this. We get the mindset that “more is always better.” With exercise, that is not the case!
Doing too much, too quickly fails to allow our body to fully recover. Start out by exercising 2-3 times per week. As you get into the swing of things, you can begin going more often.
Take your time, exercise and staying healthy is a marathon, not a sprint!
Not Doing Enough
On the flip-side, there is a large group of people who are either inconsistent or fail to get an adequate workout in during their time set aside for exercise.
So how do you know if you fall into this group? Simple, asking yourself this question…. “have I made progress?” If the answer is no, chances are you are not doing enough. Good news, this is a simple fix! Get motivated and stay motivated.
Phones, small talk, that good looking girl (or guy, ladies)… These distractions surrounding us at the gym and it is so easy to get sidetracked!
A great way to keep your focus is to have a plan and stick to it. You should know exactly what you are going to accomplish the moment you start your workout. This will limit the amount of time you are spending at the gym while still accomplishing everything you intended to!
Another way to maintain focus is to plug in a pair of, toss on your favorite music, and put your phone on “do not disturb” mode. This simple move will help energize you and limit distractions like small talk and playing on your phone in the middle of your workout.
Overtraining Certain Body Parts
Guys are infamous for this one, overtraining some muscles groups while neglecting others. We can all name someone who trains arms 3 times a week while the squat collects cobwebs – or not because they were curling in the squat rack (don’t be that guy).
All jokes aside, this is a common mistake many people are making. This causes muscular imbalances in our body that can lead to an array of problems, one being poor posture. Every muscle group should be given equal attention to keep our entire body balanced and healthy!
Not Switching Things Up
When people start to notice progress, they usually feel like Super (Wo)man. They feel like they found the secret formula to exercise success that they could probably patent and sell for a million dollars.
Until…. they hit a plateau. Our bodies are smart and adapt after doing the same things week after week. Therefore, we need to switch it up, try need exercises, add more weight, anything that will challenge you in a new way! Do this every few weeks, especially if you have noticed that you are not making any progress.
Failing to Refuel
Like #3, refueling after an intense work is an ENORMOUS mistake that is relatively common. We always hear “but I don’t feel hungry after a workout.” Even if that is the case, you should attempt to eat something small within a half hour after training.
Quick digesting food like fruit and protein powder is gold standard in this situation. The quick crabs from fruit will give you energy while the protein from the powder will help kick-start the muscle repair and building process.