Fitness has been a part of my life for a few years now – so I have picked up on common gym mistakes that people can make without noticing. Getting rid of these habits will help you get better results out of your workout– I guarantee you.
1. Working out while looking at your cellphone
Exercising with a phone in your hand is a widespread gym mistake, and it isn’t only distracting but dangerous! Injuries can happen in the blink of an eye, and especially if you’re using weights, it is important to stay focused.
My advice: IF you can, invest in a pair of wireless headphones
I know that nowadays, we all are glued to our cell phones but think about your workout as a time to disconnect from your work email, your social media, and your group texts. Believe me, they will survive without you for an hour, and it will not only be good for your workout’s focus but will help as a stress reliever as well.
2. Not Using Challenging Weights
Another common gym mistake is not pushing yourself to the next level.
Get out of here with those 1-2 lbs, lol. Unless you’re doing HIIT or taking a high cardio class, the weights you lift need to be challenging for you. Otherwise, you are wasting your time and will see no results.
My advice: If you’re doing 12-15 reps easily with a 5 lbs dumbbell, that means you need to up your weight game and start lifting 7-10 lbs.
The secret is to use a challenging weight for you during the last 3-5 reps of the set – with time, you will realize that the 7-10 lbs are getting easy to lift so that you can move on to a higher weight.
I know I told you that having a gym buddy is important for accountability, but if you and your gym buddy use your workout time to catch up with your friend, you won’t focus and won’t exercise to your full potential.
Of course, you don’t need to be anti-social, but long conversations at the gym will take your time and concentration, leading to longer -probably useless workouts.
My advice – focus on your workout, and after you’re done, grab a protein shake
4. Going to the gym without a workout plan
There is nothing more discouraging than going to the gym, not knowing what to do or where to start. I’ve seen this common gym mistake countless times! People come in, try a couple of machines, grab a dumbbell, do some bicep curls, and then leave.
Not knowing what to do can be intimidating, so if you need some motivation, check out my Instagram. I post workout videos a couple of times a week.
My advice: do some research, write exercises, sets and reps down either on a paper or on your phone, and follow them. You will feel much more accomplished.
5. Underestimating resting times
Finally, resting times are crucial for fitness progress, more than you’d think! If you rest too long, your muscles will relax, and the weightlifting won’t have the best impact. If you don’t rest enough, your muscles will exhaust, and you might get injured or be unable to exercise for the next 3-4 days.
My advice: I know it’s easy to get distracted – conversations, social media… (tips 1 and 3), so if you are lifting to grow on muscle mass, rest 1.5-2 minutes between sets. If you are lifting to lean and tone your muscle, rest no more than 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Bonus Tip: mind-muscle connection
Have you ever heard the term “mind-muscle connection?” it is a very common term in the fitness world and means that to get the best results out of your workout session, it is important to be 100% focused on the muscle – or muscle group – you’re working on. Otherwise, your body isn’t really going to work to its full potential, and the workout will be a waste of time.
Distractions have a big impact on your fitness results! Stop these common gym mistakes and try to apply these tips to your next workout routine.