Going to the gym daily is hands down the most popular New Years Resolution. Everybody wants to get in shape, and what better time than the 1st of January to start on this adventure? However, just going to the gym every day is not going to get you the body that you have always dreamed about. It is what you do inside the gym day in and day out that determines your results.
Most people think they know what they are doing when they get into the gym. Statistics show, that a lot of people make a few mistakes when they are in the gym. Here are the 9 Biggest Gym Mistakes of 2019.
1. Going to the gym without a goal in mind
When you step into the gym, you should understand why you are there. This is easy for most people, because it is the reason you are there in the first place. However, a lot of people do not cater their workout routines to fit their fitness goals. If you want to burn fat, you don’t need to strength workouts with long periods of rest. Do some cardio and maybe some circuit workouts. If you want to build muscle, you should focus more on your weight lifting sets and technique, than trying to burn calories and perform circuit workouts. Just make sure to have your goal in mind and plan your workout accordingly!
2. Not warming up
A lot of gym-goers believe they are too good to take time to warm-up properly. These are the same people you see out of the gym for 6 months because they pulled a bicep muscle. Warming up is key if you are in this thing for the long-run. You need to stretch a little, perform some light cardio, and perform warm-up sets before your heavier sets. This will prevent injuries, prepare your muscles so they can lift more weight, and also make you feel 10x better while you workout.
3. Trying to do too much
Just because you stay at the gym longer, perform more sets, and drink more protein shakes does not mean you are going to see better results. These things will actually hinder your results over the long-run because they are harder to maintain. You need to focus on small progressions which you can maintain and improve on over the long-run. When you try to lift too much weight, stay at the gym too long, or perform 100 rep sets, you will get burnt out or worse, injure yourself to a point you cannot even workout again!
4. Using mostly machines
Using machines is one of the biggest gym mistakes of all. This is because machines are the hardest to ignore, since there are so many of them and when the free weights are all taken, this seems like the best option. If you want to really see results, you need to focus your attention on free weight exercises and compound movements. Using free weights causes your body to recruit more muscle fibers because it has to balance the weight, instead of the machine balancing it for you. So as a rule of thumb, perform 80% of your exercises with free weights, and 20% on machines.
5. Not drinking water between sets
Starving yourself of water while you workout is not going to speed up your results. It will actually hinder them. Your body needs water to carry the essential vitamins and minerals to the muscles, allowing them to perform the movements and grow. If you do not drink water between your sets, your performance will decrease and your results will suffer.
6. Not lifting any weights when trying to lose weight
This is a common mistake because it seems obvious that if you want to lose weight you should perform cardio and if you want to build muscle you should lift weights, right? Wrong. You should be lifting weights either way. Research shows that lifting weights with intensity leads to as much or more caloric burn than traditional cardio.
7. Not switching up isolation movements
You should perform the same compound movements every week. Squats, pull-ups, military press, etc. However, the isolation movements that you use to supplement these compound movements should change almost every workout. This keeps your muscles guessing and also keeps your workout interesting, instead of doing the same thing every time! If you do the same movements every workout, your muscles will get use to them and will stop growing. You do not want that.
8. Emphasizing quantity of reps over quality
What will get you better results? Performing 100 half-assed curls with light weight or performing 12 curls with a weight where you can barely get the 12th rep up? The latter is correct. Doing more reps does not lead to faster or better results. It is the QUALITY of reps you perform, not the quantity. Doing more reps will just lead to wasted time and poor form.
9. Thinking your workout routine (and not your diet) is going to get your results
This one is mentioned last, but is the most important. I cannot hound on this enough, and the reason being is that I used to have this mentality when I first started working out. I thought that I could eat whatever I wanted and see the results that I wanted as long as I worked out harder and harder. The thing that most people don’t realize is, you can workout as hard as you want, but if you don’t eat at least a semi-clean diet, you will destroy all of your hard work in the gym. So before you decide to go all in on your training, make sure to get your diet down and replace some of the unhealthy, processed foods with whole foods and lean protein.
I hope you can employ some of these tactics in your training routines today. If you do, I promise you will improve your results and waste less of your time. To help you workout, here are some of our best workout playlists and mixes we made just for you: