Oh the mistakes I’ve made. It’s shameful.
But, lucky for you – this is your chance to learn from my (and other people’s) mistakes. In this post, I’ve decided to address an issue that I believe is very important to those of us with gym memberships.
Let me explain… The gym is a shared space so, as with any shared space, there are certain unspoken rules that all members should adhere to in order out of common courtesy to other members.
At this point I’ll share a little anecdote from my gym as to what you SHOULD NOT do in a public space where you’re expected to show common decency to other people. I was a member at a gym that happened to have an Olympic sized swimming pool.
“This is great!” I thought because I’d be able to enjoy a low impact form of exercise, which was exactly what I was looking for while I was recovering from knee surgery. Anyway, the pool had slow and fast lanes, so the idea was that swimmers were supposed to share lanes with others who had a similar pace.
Predictably, not everyone was fast enough for the fast lane or slow enough for the slow lane.
One day, I witnessed a guy getting increasingly frustrated in the slow lane because he was swimming behind someone who was a little TOO slow. What did he do? Did he politely ask the person if he could split the lane or go around him? Of course not! That would be too nice. What he basically did was have a temper tantrum that involved a lot of shouting and then he actually grabbed the slow swimmer from behind and literally picked up the poor guy and shoved him aside.
So obviously that is not socially acceptable. It’s a shared space! If you want a swimming pool where no one will be in your way, get your own damn swimming pool! So, what’s the point of all this? My point is, in a public space, there are rules of common decency people are supposed to follow and that’s what this post is all about.
I’m going to list the FIVE stupidest common mistakes made people make that should always be avoided…
Number One – Waiting Around For Gym Equipment
All right, we’ve all be there… At the gym during peak hours waiting for the elliptical machine or the bench press while someone seemingly oblivious of your increasing panic setting in that you’ll never get your turn on the machine. Here’s a little tip for you—STOP!
There’s no reason to wait for equipment at the gym. You’ll never get an effective workout if you find yourself waiting around for five or ten minutes (or more!) while the person in front of you complete his or her workout.
The best course of action here is to have a Plan B. Always have an alternate workout routine in mind when you go to the gym—especially at peak hours. That way, you’ll NEVER wait in line for equipment again!
Number Two – Skipping Your Warm-Up Routine
Here’s the deal: I know a lot of us don’t have a lot time when we go to the gym. Personally, I used to go to the gym early in the morning before work or in the early evening after work. These are usually the peak hours at the gym so a lot of people were getting their workout in, like me, before or after work. What this means is that most people are on very limited time when at the gym. I mention this because it’s super tempting to skip the warm-up routine to save time and jump right into the main part of the workout routine. I know it’s tempting but you’ve got to fight that urge to skip the warm-up. Here’s why—if you skip your warm up routine, you will definitely injury yourself eventually, which would really suck. Injury will not only knock you out of commission for potentially a long time, but also some people develop such chronic injuries that they never work out again. The point is—it’s not worth it so don’t skip the warm up!
Number Three – Doing Cardio BEFORE Weight Lifting
Recent studies have shown that doing cardio before you lift weights can dramatically increase your chances of injury.
It’s tempting to do cardio prior to lifting weights because you get a good warm-up exercise that increases your heart rate and loosens up your muscles.
The problem is that you get fatigued when you do a substantial cardio session prior to lifting, which results in poor form and an increase in injuries. The solution? Do your cardio AFTER weight lifting bro!
Number Four – Doing The Same Routine Every Time
This is a very common mistake. It’s tempting to go through the motions and do your workout routines week in and week out doing the same exercises.
The problem here is that your body becomes accustomed to the routines and you’re not getting the most out of your time in the gym after a while because there isn’t as much muscle growth or stress because your workout has become too routine and your body has adjusted to it.
There’s something called “muscle-confusion” which forces your body to adjust to the stress you’re putting it under from exercise to exercise. That way, your body doesn’t adjust to a particular routine, which means more muscle growth, which is a good thing if you’re trying to get ripped. If you are looking for a new routine check out this post on training like a Special Forces champion.
Number Five – Not Timing Your Rest Between Sets
I’ve seen A LOT of dudes in the gym over the years who love to chitchat between sets or walk around, look out the window or whatever. This is a HUGE mistake! You should never be in the gym for longer than 45-60 minutes.
If you’re chatting or zoning out looking out the window between sets, you’re not working out correctly. You’re letting your body cool down too much and you’re just wasting time.
To get a good workout, limit your rest period and get the job done! So there you have it—my common mistakes to avoid at the gym.
I should add one more—STOP GRUNTING SO LOUDLY AT THE GYM!
Nobody wants to hear that so try and keep it down! Look, I get it, you’ve got to exhale loudly between reps, but again, here’s the deal… it’s a shared space so keep that in mind, be courteous to other members, and keep it to a reasonable decibel when you’re lifting heavy weights or hitting the gym hard. Ok, so there you have it. I hope you find these rules useful and good luck getting ripped!