With Spring upon us and just around the corner a lot of people are thinking about getting “in shape.” Attaining a beach body for Summer is most people's number 1 goal right now.
While you have already won have the battle if you made it to the over to the gym there are similar mistakes I see people make constantly at the gym. This isn't to say there is a wrong or right way to workout since everyone is different but these actions are not helping you make the fastest gains possible in the shortest amount of time;
- Too Much Weight: This is pretty common for people just getting started at the gym. They are trying to compare themselves to other people around them lifting a lot more weight. You need to just slow down and not worry about what you are lifiting. You should focus on a good lifting technique and gradually increase the weight. Remember, no bodybuilder or the buffest person at the gym started out looking that way. They had to work at it too.
- Using Your Phone: Walk into any gym in the US nowadays and I am sure you will a similar sighting. People on there smartphones texting, emailing, surfing the web, etc. while working out. Really people? If you want to get into optimal shape you shouldn't be on your smartphone doing that. I know a lot of people use their smartphones to play music but consider leaving it in the locker room (with a lock on the locker of course) instead. I have an inexpensive Sansa Clip which is small, lightweight, and easy to clip-on to workout clothes. The Sansa Slip is 4GB which is plenty of space for music or podcasts. Having just an MP3 player allows me to workout for 45 minutes – 1 hour without worrying about anything else. If you truly want to shed fat and gain muscle fast you will do it a lot better if that is what you are concentrating on for that period of time.
- Fitting to Much into 1 Workout: If you have not been to the gym in awhile but used to be in great shape, don't overdue it. Just because you used to be able to lift or run a lot does not mean you can now. Push yourself but don't fit too much into 1 workout session. You will hurt yourself and possibly end up not wanting to go back to the gym. Try to make workout sessions short but highly efficient and effective. Remember you can always come back to the gym
- Comparing Yourself to Others: Don't worry about the biggest or fittest people in the gym. Like I said before they didn't start out that way and you shouldn't expect to start out that way either.
- Wrong Technique: It is quite common to see people doing the wrong techniques even if the are experienced gym rats. If you do the wrong lifting or exercise techniques you won't get the most of your workouts. If you think you are doing something wrong try to go with a friend or hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to iron our your kinks.
- Not Stretching: This goes into number 5. It is ideal to stretch before, during, and after when you are lifting weights. A lot of people don't but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Stretching will enable your muscles to recover faster and keep your body limber.
- Not Drinking Water: Make sure to include a water bottle in you gym bag and stay hydrated during your workouts. This will make your workouts more effective and keep your muscles moving. It is best to take small sips of water between sets.
I don't claim to be a fitness expert or gym rat but I hope you have found this helpful. If you agree or disagree with this list please let me know and leave a comment below. If you know a friend or family member could benefit from my list and advice, please share.