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Even the most experienced gym-goer can make mistakes every so often.
Here are 7 mistakes you might be making and, more importantly, how you can avoid them.
Mistake 1: You aren't setting any goals (or the goals you're setting are unrealistic)
It might feel like a waste of time tracking your workout and after a busy day you probably just want to get in, lift some weights and get out but trust us it’s worth it.
Consistency is key and setting goals will help to keep you motivated and focused. Just make sure they’re not unrealistic. We’re all for aiming high, but if you’ve never run before you’re not going to be running a marathon next month.
Base your goal setting on the SMART principle.
Ask yourself, are they specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timed? If yes, you’re good to go.
Mistake 2: You’re resting too long between your sets
We know that going to the gym is a great way to socialise, but if you’re doing 1 set of bicep curls and then chatting to your gym buddy for 10 minutes before your next set, you’re really not making the most of your training time.
If you’re taking too much rest in between your sets, your muscles are going to be given plenty of time to recover from the stress they were under during the last set.
This means you’re not getting the most from your workout as your muscles are not being forced to push themselves and therefore adaptation and growth will be less efficient.
Mistake 3: You’re not drinking enough water
Drinking enough water is essential whether you’re hitting the gym or not, but when you’re breaking into a sweat, it becomes even more crucial.
If you are not replenishing the water lost throughout your workout, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated, which can mean that your muscles reach fatigue a lot sooner!
Mistake 4: You do the same thing every time
When you find something you love it can be easy to slip into a routine.
While it is important to be consistent, it is also vital that you continue to push yourself and challenge your body in new ways to prevent yourself from hitting a plateau.
We would recommend switching up your routine around every 4 weeks.
This doesn’t have to be anything drastic! Just mixing up the number of reps or sets you’re performing or taking shorter rest periods can be enough – just another reason why setting goals and keeping track of your workout can help!
Mistake 5: You have bad form
You might think it is worth sacrificing good form to hit a deadlift PR but, trust us, it really isn’t! Having bad form can result in injury, which can make it a lot harder to achieve goals.
To prevent this, make sure that if you are unsure you’re seeking guidance from a professional.
Don’t just stack on the weights and hope for the best!
You’re better off starting with lighter weights than you are attempting heavy weights with bad form.
This leads us on to mistake number 6.
Mistake 6: You’re using too heavy weights
We know that it can be tempting to try a heavier weight, especially when you’re surrounded by people who are lifting more weight than you.
However, when you go to the gym, leave your ego at the door. It doesn’t matter how heavy you’re lifting or how fast you’re running compared to other people – what matters is that you are doing your best.
Be realistic with what you can achieve and pay close attention to your for.
It really doesn’t matter what the guy next to you is squatting – you do you!
Mistake 7: You skip the warm up and cool down
Last but not least is a gym crime we have probably all committed.
When you’re short on time it can be really tempting to skip your warm up or cool down; however, they are a crucial part of your workout!