You 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.
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.
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!