Rookie gym mistakes

Rookie gym mistakes

By Katherine Webb

If you’ve just started at the gym, it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

1. SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME AT THE GYM    .

Newbies often get so excited they visit the gym every day for 2 weeks then stop completely. This is burnout. Instead, slow and steady should be the name of the game. 3 or 4 times a week max to start. Remember you can always increase the intensity after you’ve built a strong foundation.

2. STATIC STRETCHING BEFORE A WORKOUT

Those old-school 'stretch and hold’ warm up exercises are bad news before exercising. Studies show they make our tendons looser but less ‘springy’, making us more prone to injury. Instead, you need to do dynamic stretches. These activate the muscles you will be using during the workout.

3. TOO MUCH CARDIO

It’s proven that gym beginners often only use the cardio machines. This is particularly true for women who say they don’t want big muscles. But this means they miss the huge benefits of using weights and resistance machines.  Make sure you include strength training if you want a complete fitness routine.

4. NEVER VARYING REP RANGES

Many gym-users aim for 5-10 reps of anything, then repeat. This is great. But it can result in a lack of progression as muscles adapt to the expected routine. Instead, think about your goals. Then plan out a variety of rep ranges and weight.  Ask a gym instructor if you need help with this.

5. LACKING FOCUS

Getting to the gym is half the battle. But you want to make the best of the time while you’re there. Planning out your exercises ahead of time will give you an efficient, satisfying workout. It also avoids getting overwhelmed by the large variety of equipment and machine programs.

Of course, the worst mistake is to avoid the gym altogether. So choose a pass and give it a go.

 

Comments

Phillip H.
30 September 2014

Phillip H.

they certainly should, Matthew - part of being an instructor is to 'suss out' your client and know how to approach things like this without being patronising.

Matthew C.
28 September 2014

Matthew C.

I see a lot of people doing static stretches when they get into the gym. Surely gym instructors should go over and tell them if it's that big a mistake.

Matthew C.
28 September 2014

Matthew C.

I see a lot of people doing static stretches when they get into the gym. Surely gym instructors should go over and tell them if it's that big a mistake.

Roger B.
26 September 2014

Roger B.

overdoing it to start is probably why gyms are so busy in January and then everyone disappears. Start gently, people!

Mike D.
26 September 2014

Mike D.

I see a lot of new people come a lot for a few weeks then never see them again, They probably get fed up because they took on too much too soon then realised they couldn't fit it all in, which is a common mistake.

Sasha B.
25 September 2014

Sasha B.

Not varying reps is a good one to mention, and one I hadn't thought of. I get very used to doing things in sets of 8.

Emma C.
24 September 2014

Emma C.

It's true - I see a lot of new women heading straight for the treadmill. But I remember doing that myself because running was a familiar exercise. Gym instructors need to guide them to other machines too (tell them they'll burn more fat and that will get them off!)

Tanya M.
22 September 2014

Tanya M.

I've had a couple of lacking focus periods since I started training, I usually take some time out and exercise from home / add a couple of extra runs into my routine and soon I'm desperate to get back to the gym and test my endurance.

Trevor D.
22 September 2014

Trevor D.

this is excellent- so much conflicting advice about but this is clear and helpful. No more static stretches for me!

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