Many people begin a training program with good intentions, but never see the fruits of their labor pay off. They struggle to understand why, because they are simply not aware that they are performing exercises incorrectly or working in a way that won’t help them achieve their specific goal. Make sure this scenario is not you. Stay on the right track with your goals by avoiding these three gym mistakes you’re probably making.
1. You’re Lifting Too Heavy
“Am I doing this movement with the proper technique?”
This is a great question to ask yourself. If the answer is no, then the weight is too heavy for you, my friend. This is one of the most common gym mistakes there is. The goal is not to lift the most weight possible. The goal is to lift the most weight possible, properly and safely.
Building muscle requires a great deal of effort and pushing outside of your comfort zone. However, you need to be able to lift the weight with the proper form. You will actually be much stronger lifting with the proper form because you’ll be incorporating the proper muscle groups. True strength is displayed by lifting the most weight possible with the proper form and control.
Lifting incorrectly with too much weight is a good recipe for an injury. And guess what? If you’re injured, you will have to take some time away from the gym to recover. That’s not what you want to have happen. So be patient and work hard and you will get stronger. Focus on the following three keys to build your strength:
- Speed/ Tempo
- Weight /Resistance
The above order is critical. Never neglect the first for the latter two. Keep these three keys in mind when programing your workouts and you’ll be lifting for a long time to come.
2. You’re Lifting Too Often
Lifting too often is a big mistake. You must allow your muscles to recover before you break them down again. If you do not allow time for recovery, you’ll actually be losing muscle and decreasing your metabolism. And presumably, that’s the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
That’s not to say that you can’t lift every day. You just can’t lift the same thing or the same way every day. You must vary it up in some way or another. If you decide that it’s best for you to lift every day, you must realize that your intensity shouldn’t be very high. The less frequent your workouts, the more intense they can be. If your workouts are super intense every day, you will be constantly breaking down your muscles and never allowing them to recover. Bad system. Be smart and plan your workouts ahead of time. Look at the big picture when it comes to programing your workouts.
3. You’re Doing Too Much Cardio
Cardio is the most commonly abused form of exercise there is. When done in excess, cardio can really inhibit fat loss. The body responds and adapts to cardio very quickly – much quicker than resistance training. When it comes to cardio, there are only a few variables to change: duration, speed, machines/modes (running, cycling, etc.), and intensity.
Weight training should be your priority in almost every situation. Traditional cardio doesn’t stimulate your muscle like resistance training does. In fact, many people can get away with doing little to no cardio and still improve their cardiovascular function through weight training.
Don’t waste any more time and effort in the gym. By avoiding these critical gym mistakes, you’ll make sure each workout gets you closer to the person you want to be. Be a student of the game and tactfully perfect your craft and your body. The future you will thank you!