10 MISTAKES BEGINNERS MAKE IN THE GYM
MISTAKE 1: EGO LIFTING
This is by far the biggest mistake anyone can perform when they are at any level of training. Lifting with your ego is the act of lifting or pushing too much weight without the conscience effort of keeping form in the hopes to impress your friends, the opposite sex or a more experienced lifter.
MISTAKE 2: LACK OF HYGIENE
The gym is a place where hundreds of people a day are all sweating and sharing the same
facility. This makes the gym a perfect place for the spread of bacteria.
It is critical to make sure that you are as hygienic as possible. This means, when you use a machine and or bench take the time to wipe it down when you are done. When you use the bathroom wash your hands. Have a little common sense.
Would you like to lay on a bench that was dripping with sweat? No, so why should someone else have to. Do your part and help stop of the spread of germs by being health conscious and wiping equipment down. Last thing you want to do is become sick and miss workouts. Remember that the best form of teaching is through example.
MISTAKE 3: NOT PUTTING WEIGHTS AWAY
All levels of trainers are guilty of this one. It can be frustrating to search the gym for weights every time you want to do a set.
It is also bad gym etiquette to leave weights around but it also can be dangerous. People can trip, fall and easily hurt themselves. Don't leave your weights around.
MISTAKE 4: SOCIALIZING
Your number one goal when going to the gym should be to get a great workout. I understand that the gym is a place where people commonly go not only to workout but also to socialize. Make sure the socializing doesn't take over and your workouts come second.
Too many beginners in the gym taking way too long in between sets because they are socializing and having full length conversations while someone else is waiting for a piece of equipment. Also remember that other people are there to workout and if you disturb them mid-workout you might be taking them out of their zone.
When you are at the gym small talk is fine but never to the point where you stop the flow of your workout. Friendly banter is fine but too much socializing will lead to no results.
MISTAKE 5: NOT USING COLLARS
Free weight training is the most effective form of training, period, but it also is the most dangerous. The reason for both are the weight is not on a fixed plain. The weight is free to move as it likes, so balance comes into play.
When you are new to exercise the balancing of a barbell while squatting or bench pressing could be tough as many beginner lifters favor their dominate side. This could lead to one side coming up faster than the other and woop, there goes the weight sliding off the weaker side. That would not have happened if you used collars.
The last thing you want to do is put yourself in a dangerous position. Collar up the weight and press away.
MISTAKE 6: THINKING THAT MORE IS BETTER
The old rule of "more is not always better" is also true in weight lifting. More weight, more sets, more reps. I am a big believer in quality over quantity.
All beginners should start out employing a full body workout split and use a maximum of 5 sets for larger muscle groups. At this point your rep range should be between 8-12. Rest periods should never exceed 90 seconds.
It would be beneficial to rest only 60 seconds between sets but you will have to work up to that. Finally the amount of weight you lift should not always increase from one workout to the next.
You should be able to easily perform a set using proper form with a certain weight for a couple of weeks before moving up. Never just add weight for the sake of trying more. Quality is the name of the game.
MISTAKE 7: NOT USING PROPER EXERCISE FORM
Using improper form will likely lead to injury or nothing at all. One common example is watching people do what I call "partial pull-ups". Instead of going all the way back down, many people just go down till their arms are at a 90 degree angle and back up. You are pretty much not doing anything.
It is extremely dangerous to perform exercises such as squats or lunges with improper form as the chance of major knee injury is quite high. If you are unsure ask the trainers at the gym, go on youtube or search online for pictures, read the descriptions, watch the videos and see how the exercise is performed using perfect form.
Get a personal trainer at least for a little while until you get the hang of it. Use quality form and get quality results.
MISTAKE 8: NOT BALANCING WEIGHT TRAINING AND CARDIO
Here is where the ladies and the gentlemen differ. When young gals come into the gym they usually go right to the cardio machines. They are known as the cardio bunnies.
When young guys come into the gym they go straight for the weights they are known as 'guys'. No cute name for us guys, we are just guys. Guys hit the weights and the ladies do the cardio in the hopes to achieve their goals. I am here to tell you that each sex is missing out when they don't balance the weight lifting and cardio.
Ladies you can't get toned, lean muscle by just doing cardio. You will burn up all the muscle that you have and end up looking skinny without the curves that us guys love.
Guys you can't get lean and ripped by just hitting the weight. You need to do cardio to help melt away some of that body fat so the ladies can see your six pack. "I just want to get big" some guys tell me.
Understandable, but you should know the most important muscles of all is your heart and lungs if they are not conditioned you will have to stop on sets shorter than you would otherwise had to if your cardiovascular system was in good condition.
MISTAKE 9: NOT HAVING A PLAN
When you step foot in the gym you should always have a plan of what you are going to do. You should have a workout split. Which tell you what muscle groups you will be hitting on each day, a cardio schedule and also a detailed log of training results including sets, reps and weight.
Beginners fall in the trap of not planning ahead, they wait till they get to the gym and just do whatever they want. This leads to a lack of direction and results will fall short.
Again if you are not sure what you should be doing on each day ask a trainer or even better hire one to get maximum results.
MISTAKE 10: FORGETTING ABOUT NUTRITION
Nutrition is simply 90% of the puzzle. You can work your butt off performing the perfect workout plan, using the best form and the most intensity but unless your nutrition is sound then you will not get anywhere.
Training and nutrition go hand and hand. One can not succeed without the other.
Don't make the mistake of working hard in the gym only to waste all that hard work because you didn't want to eat a necessary healthy diet. Take the time to eat healthy and the results will be two fold.
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