When you’ve been in the health and fitness business for as long as I have, you’ve definitely seen a few things in the gym that makes you laugh and cry. From bad form, to seeing someone use a piece of equipment the wrong way, we’re going to talk about the six biggest mistakes we see in the gym, that you could be holding you back from the results you want. Believe me, you don’t want to end up being the next Youtube sensation because you’re using the outer thigh machine, for your shoulders.
1. You Don't Have A Plan
Traveling without a map is similar to working out and training without a plan. It doesn't have to be complex, it can be as easy as one muscle group a day, with 5-6 varying exercises. But, if you have no plan, then you'll get lost. And worst of all, you'll have no way to know, what type of progress you're actually making. My suggestion, create a plan according to what your goals are, and track it. You can try tracking it through a fitness app, or better yet use a journal. I recommend investing in a Gym Gypsy journal, specifically a seasonal subscription that gives you one place to log your workouts (and your nutrition), keeping you on track throughout your weeks.
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2. You Have Bad Form
The number one biggest mistake you’re making at the gym is bad form. People, please educate yourselves before stepping foot onto the gym floor and performing exercises you’ve never done. You may think the small illustrations on the machine are going to help you, but believe me they don’t. You might think watching your favorite insta-celeb's newest video is going to work magically for you, trust us, it's probably not.
If you’re not sure how to perform a specific movement, my best advice is this - look for someone who’s in shape, and seems like they know what they’re doing. It’s better to ask, than end up hurting yourself. Or better yet, Google it before you go to the gym, or opt to get a trainer.
3. You’re Doing the Same Thing Over And Over
Constantly varied movement. There’s a reason why this term exists. Sure, performing the same training routine will absolutely help you get into shape, lose weight, or become more competitive. But, without varying your movements, whether through reps, tempo, sets, or exercise type, your body will get used to what you’re doing. Eventually, you’ll stop progressing towards your goals and plateau. We all know that person, that’s been training for months on end, or even years, with relatively no change in their physique. Ever wonder, why that is? Create some variation [R].
4. You Just Use The Weight Machines
You may not be seeing results simply because you’re just using the weight machines. I completely get it, free weights can be intimidating, but they’ll help you increase your strength, core strength, balance, and help fix any postural imbalances you may have. Weight machines are great, if you’re focused specifically upon one core muscle group and trying to overcome any weakness in that area. The problems that machines don't address is our weaknesses and imbalances.
Whether it’s one shoulder that’s stronger than the other, or quad that has more power. When you use the machines, the natural imbalances you have, get even worse, since your stronger side, overpowers your weaker one, which further develops your imbalances. Posture and balance is fundamental to every fundamental movement in life. It’s important that you build your core strength with strong functional movements, not just weight machines [R].
5. You Don’t Workout Hard Enough
Just because you go to the gym, does not mean you’re going to see results (say it louder for those in the back). Your workout intensity matters and varies depending upon your goals. Without getting your heart rate up to your fat burning zone, you won't actually see much result, which means you need to work harder.
To determine your maximum heart rate, simply subtract your age from the number 220. For example, if you are 38 years old, your maximum heart rate is 182 beats per minute (BPM). Since your fat burning zone is approximately 60 to 70 percent of this number. If you’re trying to lose weight and get more cut, then utilizing high-intensity workouts, supersets, and higher rep counts are going to be your jam [R].
On the contrary, if you want to increase strength and bulk, then smaller rep counts and heavier weight is going to be the way you want to go. No matter what you do though when you get in the gym, then expect to do work. Getting on your phone while you pump the leg raise machine for 8 reps at 10lb, is not going to do anything for you, besides get you labeled with nicknames you don’t want. If you want results, then work for them [R, R].
6. Your Pre-Workout Is Underdosed
Under-dosed? What do you mean? I used to live and die by pre-workout (and zero-calorie Monsters, if we're being honest). If I didn’t have pre-workout in my gym bag, then chances were, I wasn’t going to work out. Pre-workouts claim, to ‘help you get stronger’, ‘build more lean muscle mass’, and ‘crush your workout goals’ when in reality, pre-workout is really just glorified powdered Red Bull. Pre-workout powders are loaded with sugar and caffeine and not enough of the ingredients you actually need to improve your performance and get results.
The culprit with pre-workout is that most underdose the ingredients you need to actually improve performance. Research suggests through human clinical trials, that you need a certain amount of pre-workout ingredients such as Beta-Alanine (Carnosyn), Citrulline Malate, and Kre-Alkalyn or creatine to produce a positive effect on your performance. If your pre-workout doesn’t have enough of these ingredients, then you’re basically just throwing your money away, and drinking sugar water that's going to leave you burnt out and waves of nausea by the end of your workout.
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Not only that but if your pre-workout uses proprietary blends, then you really have no idea what you're putting into your body since they don’t disclose the amount of each ingredient.
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If you want to start seeing better results in the gym, then do some research on what you’re putting into your body. Swolverine products are transparent, and clinically dose each ingredient according to what the scientific research says, so you can get the results you’re looking for.
You can check out our Sports Performance line and create your own customized stack according to your specific goals.
The 6 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making At The Gym: Takeaway
It can be extremely frustrating to train day after day, with no result. Make sure you take into account these six mistakes so you can achieve your athletic aspirations. Have a plan when you go into the gym because without one, you'll never be able to accurately track your progress.
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Wormgoor, Shohn G et al. “High-Intensity Interval Training Is Equivalent to Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training for Short- and Medium-Term Outcomes of Glucose Control, Cardiometabolic Risk, and Microvascular Complication Markers in Men With Type 2 Diabetes.” Frontiers in endocrinology vol. 9 475. 28 Aug. 2018, doi:10.3389/fendo.2018.00475
Lemos, Sandro et al. “Effects of Strength Training Sessions Performed with Different Exercise Orders and Intervals on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Variability.” International journal of exercise science vol. 11,2 55-67. 1 May. 2018
Alansare, Abdullah et al. “The Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training vs. Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Heart Rate Variability in Physically Inactive Adults.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 15,7 1508. 17 Jul. 2018, doi:10.3390/ijerph15071508