It seems everywhere you go these days everyone is on the fitness bandwagon following some kind of crazy diet and of course, making regular appearances at the gym but what if your workout is doing you more harm than good?
Here we’ve listed the top 5 common mistakes everyone makes at the gym and how you can rectify them and finally get the body you’ve been dreaming about:
1 – Not coming prepared with a solid workout plan.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, as the saying goes and when it comes to working out this couldn’t be more true. Most gyms offer a personal workout plan as part of the membership package and there’s an abundance of free workout videos on YouTube that you can easily follow to see what’s best for you. With all of these tutorials at your fingertips there really is no excuse to go to the gym without a plan. Work at a pace that suits you but just be sure to complete each workout to really make the most of your time instead of wandering in, messing around with some equipment and leaving feeling like you haven’t really achieved anything.
2 – Doing the same workout week in, week out.
Whilst it’s important to have a workout plan you must remember to switch it up to keep your body guessing what’s coming next. It’s easy to fall in to the trap of using your favourite piece of equipment and following a simple routine but not only will doing the same workout get boring, it will also become less effective on your body over time. It’s best to switch up your routine every 4 to 6 weeks for optimum results, but changing the amount of reps and/or weights (when you feel ready) is also a good way to keep your workouts fresh and effective.
3 – Not fuelling your body appropriately.
There is such a thing as ‘fasted cardio’ and other types of workouts but generally, and especially for beginners, it’s advised to fuel your body with the appropriate mix of carbs and protein to give you an energy hit to sustain yourself throughout a workout. Not fuelling your body properly will leave you weak and in some cases, unwell and will have you out of action for a few days recovering. Nutrition is so important when it comes to changing your body shape wether it be for losing weight, bulking up or just general fitness and toning. Speak to an advisor in your gym about what you should be eating but a good place to start is a pre-workout snack such as a banana on brown toast for a slow-burning energy hit to keep your pumped up whilst you go work out.
4 – Not warming up and/or cooling down properly.
How you treat your body before and after your workout is just as important as the workout itself as you get those muscles ready for an intense session as without warming up you could cause yourself some serious damage. Heading straight into an intense workout could lead to tears, pulls and tears but a simple warm up of light jogging on a treadmill or a few stretches and reps with lighter weights could ease your muscles into beast mosde with little risk of damage.
5 – Using the gym to socialize and use the fancy spa facilities instead of working out.
This is probably one of the hardest things to conquer if you enjoy going to the gym with friends or have been going so long you’re friendly with most of the regulars. If you’re at a fancy spa gym it’s easy to fall into a trap of using the more relaxing facilities such as the pool, sauna and steam room rather than heading straight to the gym to pump some iron and go for the burn. Say your hellos then stick your earphones in and work through your plan, being careful not to get too distracted by what’s going on around you and if your friends want to stay and chat, get them to spot you and aid your workout instead of wasting time.