Bringing your celly to the gym? Training with the brahs at the globo gym? Not tracking your progress? Get your head in the game with these 12 tips.

Texting At The GymYou see, to me there are more than just form and technique mistakes that people are doing in the gym that are holding them back from really getting the best workout they can. That's too simple. What about the bad habits, or personality?! Ever think those things could kill your workout?

I see bad form and terrible technique all the time but it’s the little things to me that can add up to become bigger little things...you smell me? After doing a bit of thinking I started to compile a list of some mistakes that I know people do all the time (I'm a guilty of a few). Check this out! Warning: extremely biased.

12 Mistakes You're Making In The Gym​

Not Bringing Your Music

I could go into detail on this one but do us all a favor and make sure you bring your best jams. Most people with bubbly personalities or to many friends in the gym tend to talk to much. That means not only are you messing my workout up but your also hurting yours.

Music is also a beast motivator. There is nothing like getting ready for a lift listening to that one song that gets you fired up. I remember when I wrestled in high school and the one song I would listen to before every match was "Break Stuff" By Limp Bizket. I don't know why, it just got me fired up.

What gets you fired up!? Make a play-list of your top 10 most motivating songs and hit shuffle. Your workouts will get better.

Only Doing Your Skill Set

We all do it in more areas of our life than fitness. We like to do what we are good at. It's time to step it up. Do something new. If all you do are lunges and leg press because you think your beast at them then try one of the other hundred ways of working legs.

It's nice to be really good at a few things but you want to be good at as many things as you can. It also gives a challenged to your workouts. Doing something new usually causes you to either drop weight or spend more time mastering...it’s like your starting from scratch! Embrace it, you haven't always been a beast!

Focusing On The Little

Unless you’re competing for your pro-card and taking buckets of steroids you don't need 6 different arm exercises on arm day. I have learned so many weird bodybuilding tricks over the years that it would be confusing to explain them all. One thing I have learned, is if you focus more on the major muscle groups and worry less about how much your wrist twists at the top of your bicep curl then your doing fine.

Stop adding all these filler movements and exercises and talk about different angles and blah blah blah. The average person doesn't need that. Yes, angles play a role in lifting but not as much as you think.

Plan It Out

Where are you going to go? What are you going to be doing between sets? What exercises are you going to do first? Which ones are your compound exercises and which ones are not? How much weight did you do last time? How are you going to change your program up this week to support progression? Most of these questions need to be worked out before you start moving around.

Call me old school but I am getting back into writing everything down so I know where to challenge myself next week and what needs to change for the next month cycle. Sure you can just walk in to a gym and start moving stuff around but you’re not going to get far. So if you’re serious about seeing results, start writing.

Workout Fatigue

Protein Powder

It's not that big of a deal. There are thousands of brands of protein supplements on the market. There is no way I could tell you which ones are the best out of them all. I can say that getting an organic, grass fed whey would probably be the best but I personally don't do that. Costco sells a giant tub of 100% whey protein that I have been buying for years.

Lately, I have gotten away from drinks and turned more to chewing my protein.... to each his own. Watch the carbs, sugar and any other filler crap that they put in those other powders. If your whey powder tastes like a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato then odds are it’s not the best for you.

Lifting With Your Boys

I have lifted with small groups of guys before and the majority of the time gets spent messing around and getting too much of nothing done. Stick to one partner or none at all (see my next point). The more people you have the less you can get done. 45 minute workouts turn to 1:15 minute workouts.

You may have all the motivation and drive in the world but banking on the rest of the guys your with to have that same drive...don't hold your breath. Stop using the gym as your social hour.

Lift Alone

I am blessed to have a beast partner that pushes me and is always down to try new things. We are seeing results and getting things done. I have had partners in the past that always showed up late or never at all, never really changed much up. I just wasn't there to do that and like anyone else time is precious.

These kinds of partners are not going to help you get results. You’re better off lifting alone and getting more things done. "But I need a spotter" I answer this in my next point.

Lift Till You're Blue In The Face

Do me a favor for a few weeks try not going to ultimate failure and then some with every set. Tone it down some. Do as many reps as you can with perfect form then hang it up. You can do this with any rep range whether it’s a low rep or high.

Do what you can with good form and leave it alone. This protects your central nervous system from being over worked and not being able to help repair your body after your workouts. You will feel better and recover faster for the next lift.

Lift With Your Girl

As long as you two part ways the minute you walk into the door. Odds are she is afraid to do anything heavy and will walk over to a few machines and end up in the stability ball and band area. If you take the time to explain to her the importance of doing heavy weights and compound exercises and she is on board, then let her join you.

My wife is pretty rocking. She will do just about anything I tell her to as long as it’s not going to put her life in danger (although sometimes there is always that chance). She is willing to push heavier weights and stay away from the bosu balls. Total respect for you ladies doing work in the gym! :)

Being A Member Of A Globo Gym

Meat market, drama, and clickish tendencies is what I hear the most coming from these places. They are great for the classes and variety of equipment but if you’re like any other social person your workouts could turn into a social hour. I'm not knocking them completely. Total respect for the guys and gals who go into those places and grind out killer workouts and not get mixed up in all the mess!! BUT....The hottest gyms are the little hole in the wall studios you see around town.

Working for Old Dominion University as a trainer for a little while gave me somewhat of a feel for the bigger gym atmosphere. Spending most of my career in small studios has really allowed me to grow a passion for the smaller studio feel. It’s just better. You get the family atmosphere and depending on the owner you can find some pretty odd objects to use in your workout.

Doing Olympic Lifts With Straps

I have heard horror stories of noobs trying to hang clean or full clean weight and actually breaking their wrists because of the weight and lack of proper technique. You can't clean tons of weight and expect your wrists to have the proper range of motion (along with the rest of your arms) as a noob. If your new to the clean then go light and work on your catch and ROM when its at rest (top position).

Catching with your elbows pointing straight out and landing the bar across your upper chest and delts. If your grip is suffering then spend some extra time on your off days working on grip exercises. Check this video out! Start with these and use some chalk until your form and wrist/arm ROM is on point. By then you shouldn't even need straps to do them. Win-Win situation.

Bring The Celly

Leave the phone in your car. In today's day you probably send well over a thousand texts a month...if not more. You don't need to have that thing right on your side the whole time. Facebook, twitter, emails etc. all get sent to our phones which means your probably checking some kind of notification every few minutes. This is time away from your lifts. Whatever it is can wait.

If it's an emergency then let those people know where you are. What happened to just calling the main building the person was in. That's what intercoms are for right? Now, if you’re doing everything I say then you’re probably lifting at a small local studio therefore they can call you there almost directly. :) Don’t worry, I am guilty of this too! I hate it when I catch myself wasting time looking at an email or post. It's all about productivity.

Go after it!

18 Comments
Paul
Posted on: Mon, 10/12/2015 - 02:16

Go back and rewrite the article replacing all instances of "your" with "you are" and see if it makes more sense...some of these instances are correct but certainly not enough.

Mihal
Posted on: Thu, 05/08/2014 - 10:40

I liked your article A hell of a lot. Heck all yours lol. But have a few gripes. Yes, sour grapes lol

The little - though I am not competing for my "pro card", when I do med weights with dumb bells, and especially on the Incline DB Flys. I like the slight contraction I feel in my inner chest "grundle" when I twist at the top

Globo Gyms - Yes I can agree with that, but if all you have access to is a "globo gym" then that is fine, the 1 or 2 "special" equipment should not be a deterrent. Besides, the gym is not for socializing so why would a hole in the wall gym matter.

Music is not really a "motivator" for me. I do a cadence chant when lifting. Count to 100 and continue on my way. I do not have time for that. Not to say I do not occasionally listen to the fare playing on the loud speakers of the "globo gym" lol.

If you have time to noticed others socializing then a) you are not working out hard enough, b) you are not listening to "your" music and c) you are socializing lol. I do not care what others do, yes I notice the distraction only when I am reracking the weights I used so that others do not get hurt.

Mihal
Posted on: Wed, 05/07/2014 - 15:47

I liked your article A hell of a lot. Heck all yours lol. But have a few gripes. Yes, sour grapes lol

The little - though I am not competing for my "pro card", when I do med weights with dumb bells, and especially on the Incline DB Flys. I like the slight contraction I feel in my inner chest "grundle" when I twist at the top

Globo Gyms - Yes I can agree with that, but if all you have access to is a "globo gym" then that is fine, the 1 or 2 "special" equipment should not be a deterrent. Besides, the gym is not for socializing so why would a hole in the wall gym matter.

Music is not really a "motivator" for me. I do a cadence chant when lifting. Count to 100 and continue on my way. I do not have time for that. Not to say I do not occasionally listen to the fare playing on the loud speakers of the "globo gym" lol.

If you have time to noticed others socializing then a) you are not working out hard enough, b) you are not listening to "your" music and c) you are socializing lol. I do not care what others do, yes I notice the distraction only when I am reracking the weights I used so that others do not get hurt.

Andrew
Posted on: Mon, 05/05/2014 - 03:07

I have to take exception to the cell thing. I use a fitness app which allows me to track my workouts. During rests between sets, I enter the data from each lift. It's the same thing as a notebook, but saves on paper and travels better. I also keep all of my music in the phone. I lift with bluetooth headphones connected to my cell, and it helps me. (See the article.) I totally agree about the texting/social media distraction, but if you are disciplined enough to follow a steady workout routine, you have enough discipline to ignore the texts and emails until after the workout.

Dwayne Johnson
Posted on: Thu, 01/24/2013 - 16:01

im HUGE now man thanks!

William Richards
Posted on: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:21

Thanks everyone for the reads and comments!!!

Andrew Coby
Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 10:20

I absolutely loved this article, i have never had a so called "spotter" come to the gym with me, to help me finish my bench-press if it's too heavy or whatever. if i ever go to work out i go when i want to and therefore don't rely on anyone else. i find stopping one rep before failure whilst maintaining form is best for gains, not half assing an attempt and having someone finish it for you by pulling/pushing/whatever.

darksavior
Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 09:30

great job dude i ordered my mp3 today lol

William Richards
Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 07:27

I couldn't agree more and thanks for the response!!

Rick
Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 05:38

I take my cell phone in the gym, but not for checking notifications. My phone has my workout plan on it, so I can record my progression right then and there. It also has my Pandora app that I use for my music. I have bluetooth headphones so I leave it sitting on a window sill while I go do my thing. I ignore the notifications until I'm leaving.

Cristina R
Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 03:21

Great article, William!
I've been doing heavy weightlifting for three months now and I hate it when someone (girl or guy) says that they're going to sign up for the same gym as me so we can train together. No!! Nononono! That is my time for challenging myself, no need to spend it with someone. Even when I had a boyfriend at the gym, we would get back together after our *separate* workouts.
I must admit I judge when people "Lift Till They're Blue In The Face". It's obvious that the weights are too big, not keeping the form of the exercise, they get down from the machine and they fall on the floor in pain. Do they seriously think that is going to create *healthy* muscle mass?!
One more thing: quit hogging the machines people! You don't need 4 minutes in between sets!

Nick C
Posted on: Sun, 05/04/2014 - 16:46

It's common for a powerlifting routine to rest 3-5 minutes between sets. This time is need for central nervous system recovery and heavier lifts to increase strength.

Emily
Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2012 - 21:43

I bring my phone but that's because it has all my music on it and I listen to it the whole time. But I see people texting in between sets and it's really weird. I never answer a call at the gym unless it's an emergency.

D
Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2012 - 18:47

For myself I use an app to track my workout, but as people text you we all tend to take a second to look or if you have to bring it I let that be my motivation to finish my set. Do it correctly and I get to check it during my rest period after I log my set.

Tim
Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2012 - 18:40

I'll have to disagree with "Focusing on the little". I actually do a lot of isolation exercises for my arms - you're not going to get big arms without lots of sets focused solely on your arms. It's funny, all the people who brag about not working arms and say they get worked enough in their back workout, all have the tiniest arms.

Breanna
Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2012 - 17:54

I agree with all of these! I don't know how often my lifting partner (male friend) and I shake our heads at people wondering around looking lost, spending a 1/2 hr chatting w/friends or lifting so heavy and with such bad form that they're more likely to hurt themselves than build muscle! And thanks for the props to the ladies actually doing work at the gym! :) Oh, and one more thing to add to the list, *PLEASE* pick up after yourself (replace dumbbells/bars, wipe off yo sweat from the equipment, etc.)!

Jo D
Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2012 - 17:14

HATE people with Cell phones in the gym. Seem to see more girls with cell phones than guys to be honest. Still, terrible habit.

Good read overall.

SteveMcDee
Posted on: Sun, 05/04/2014 - 17:18

I use my cellphone to see and track my workout. It also has my music. If you HATE people with cell phone at the gym so much then you have issues. Unless it directly affects your workout there's no reason why this should bother you.

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