Only five mistakes? I could list hundreds of mistakes that I see every day. But this is a blog, not an encyclopedia. Here are what I think are the top five mistakes done in the gym.
Mistake #1: Endless Cardio Sessions. Get off the bike, put down your latest issue of Shape magazine, and hit the weights. I see the same people performing endless amounts of cardio for days, months, and years and their bodies never change. Check out one of my previous posts (No More Aerobics) to understand why.
Mistake #2: Not Enough Weight. What happened to people getting strong? Too many people are too weak these days. Everyone wants to tone? Well you know what? In order to “tone”, you have to build up muscle. In order to build up muscle you have to lift a significant amount of weight. Get way from high rep training for awhile and try something like 4 sets of 6-8 reps or 5 sets of 5 reps.
Mistake #3: Smith Machine Use. How is this machine still in the gym? Even worse, you can usually find it in the free weight area. It’s a machine!! It’s an overuse injury causing machine!! The argument from those who use it, say it helps with your form. Huh? It teaches you to squat and press incorrectly because the bar is not able to follow it’s natural path. It’s good for two exercises: inverted rows and bar push ups. That’s it.
Mistake #4: Crunch, Crunch, Crunch. A lot of injuries are posture related, so one of the goals of any strength program is to get as close as possible to perfect posture. So what happens when an individual performs a crunch? Bad posture is created. The shoulders come forward, the thoracic and cervical spines flex, and the abdominal area becomes shortened. All bad posture reinforcing movements. Get away from crunches and start performing exercises such as prone planks, reverse crunches and Russian twists.
Mistake #5: Split Body Part Training. Unless you’re a body builder, there is no need to use a split body part routine. One of the main focuses in the strength training world is “functional training”. How functional is it to train chest/tri’s on one day and then back/bi’s the next. Focus on training movements rather than training muscles. You’ll get more “bang for your buck”, especially for those who complain about not having enough time to work out.
As I said earlier, there are hundreds of mistakes made everyday in the gym. These are what I think the top five are. Five mistakes that can be corrected in order to get the most out of your training program. As a trainer, I’ve made the same mistakes in the past. But I’ve learned a great deal through my mistakes. And hopefully all of you reading this will learn something to.