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Some of the common mistakes people make in the gym

Here is a list of the major things that will have a big impact on results.

Not being present.

Especially if you don’t have a regular fitness routine, it’s very easy to be somewhere else in your head. Sit watching TV or reading a magazine and go through the motions. This will lead to an ineffective workout and not take you towards your goals as quickly as if you were engaged with what you are doing.

Thinking turning up is enough

 Just being in the gym doesn’t do anything. You have to work! Intensity is the key to results. The harder you work, the better your outcomes.

Poor technique

This is one of the biggest issues in gyms everywhere. More often than not, people are doing their exercises with bad technique, increasing risk of injury and long-term niggles, aches and pains.
Some people have imbalances in their body due to poor posture and other lifestyle factors.  These needs to be addressed so you are strong through the movement. Seek out some help and learn proper training technique if you think you’re in this boat. You’ll reap the rewards forever. Element Fitness PTs are very knowledgeable and happy to help with proper technique demonstrations to ensure you can lift safely.

Going heavy too soon


Related to the previous point, going too heavy, too soon, is a common mistake. Men are generally the biggest offenders here. Call it ego, an inflated sense of capabilities, or the desire to impress the ladies, but all too often this is what you’ll see if you walk into any public gym.

Lightening the loads is one easy way to tidy up a lot of training technique straight away, and will save a lot of injuries (and forced time off training as a result). When you enter the gym, leave your ego at the door, start light, practice the proper form and gradually progress the weight.

Doing cardio before weights

To lift weights you need to be fresh, co-ordinated and mentally engaged. Meanwhile, cardio is very monotonous and repetitive. Often performed on a machine, making it impossible to do it wrong. Do weights first and finish off with cardio. Technique and safety are not as great a concern during cardio, so you can afford to be a little tired.

Neglecting to stretch and warm up

I know we’re all pushed for time, but this is the number one reason people get injured in the gym. You’re better off losing 5-10 minutes of every session to properly warm up and stretch than losing months due to an avoidable injury.

Given the fact that most people sit at a desk all day, a proper warm up is essential for optimising gym performance and safety. Jumping on a bike or treadmill for 5-10 minutes is not the best warm up, and you’re leaving a lot on the table if that’s your go-to.

A proper warm up should aim to:
  • Mobilise your ‘tight’ areas like hips, thoracic spine, shoulders, ankles
  • Activate important and often inhibited muscles like glutes (your butt)
  • Increase core temperature
  • Excite the nervous and hormonal systems.
While this deserves an article all to itself, running through a more dynamic sequence of various movements (almost think like a yoga flow) along with some foam rolling and dynamic stretches will better prepare your body for a great session and help you maintain your movement quality.

Check in with yourself to make sure you’re avoiding these 6 mistakes, and if you are, look at fixing them and watch your results take off.