Everyone knows that if you want to drop weight, build muscle or simply get fit, the gym is the ideal venue for you to reach those goals. If you want to get the most out of your time spent there however, there are a few common mistakes that you need to avoid making.When such mistakes are made, progress rarely is. And some of them can even make you significantly more susceptible to injury. Here are seven things that you should never do at the gym.
Forget to Warm Up
If you want to injure yourself, forgetting to warm up is probably one of the easiest ways to do it. If you’ve spent the day sitting in a chair at work, you can’t expect your body to be ready for an all out assault. Ease yourself into your workout routine with a few key stretches and some light cardio. It only takes five minutes but those minutes are vital.
Compare Yourself to Others
Personal fitness requires motivation and you are not doing your motivation levels any good when you start comparing yourself to those who are in better shape than you. Size isn’t always an accurate reflection of strength. And even if it was, trying to compete with strangers in a gym is pointless.
Experiment With Machines
There are many things that you can learn by experimentation but operating fitness equipment really isn’t one of them. Not only is using fitness equipment incorrectly a bit of a waste of time, it’s also a very easy way to injure yourself. When you try a new machine, you should always be accompanied by either a personal trainer or a knowledgeable friend.
Do Dead Lifts With a Rounded Back
If you want to really hurt yourself at the gym, one of the easiest ways of doing so is to perform dead weights with a rounded back. Your back is simply not capable of handling pressure when curved backwards. Always aim for a neutral spine position. This means that your spine should be close to straight but slightly curved forward.
Workout While Dehydrated
Dehydration is never exactly a good thing but its effects are particularly negative when you find yourself working out. The need for isotonic drinks is debatable, but the need for ample water is just common sense. To keep yourself hydrated on a normal day, you should be drinking six to eight cups of water. If you plan on working out, you should be drinking twice that. Never hit the gym without at least a litre of water on hand.
Push The Same Muscles as Last Time
There’s nothing wrong with pushing your muscles to the limit, doing so is how real gains are made. But if you pushed a particular muscle to the limit during your last gym visit, you need to give it time to rest. Overtraining is a common mistake and it’s one that even experienced gym members make. Fail to give your muscles time to recover however and you are an injury just waiting to happen.
Try to Last Two Hours
Finally, we have clock watching. Your only goal when you hit the gym should be to push yourself. Lasting a predetermined amount of time is completely pointless. Thirty minutes of real work is worth far more than two hours of light exercise. Most experts even suggest that if you haven’t reached your limit within forty five minutes, you’re probably not working hard enough. Burn fat, not time.