Mistakes You’re Making With Your Quest For Fitness
OK so you’ve made your new years resolution to get fit and you’ve joined the gym. You’ve been going for about a week now and feeling a little sore and tired, but still not feeling fitter.
Hold on a sec though because we need to talk.
I’ve observed you in the gym and I can see some areas you need to make a few changes to already – before they become a bad habit and you hurt yourself.
Your Program Is Too Advanced
What website did you go to and get that ridiculous program from? You realize that Arnie spent years building up strength throughout his entire body before he started working out like that right?
Dial it back a bit to something that’s for beginners – because that’s what you are. Your journey has only just started, there’s plenty of time to get to a program like that once you’ve increased some strength and learned the movements properly. Try something that’s more whole body oriented using multiple joints – you’ll see greater results than if you follow a bodybuilding style program where each day is a different body part, bro.
You’re Going Too Heavy
I know you know that bigger arms will get you more girls. Its science right?
I’ve seen you doing those curls in the gym and you’re using waaaaay too much weight.
Notice how when you try to bring the weight up you’re pulling with your shoulder and your back is wobbling everywhere? That’s because you’re using too much weight. Your arm can’t lift it so the rest of your body tries to compensate for that by involving everything and anything else it can.
You have to start somewhere and the right place is a weight that you can do for 3 sets of 10-12 reps. Reps 10-12 should be hard, but not causing you to strain every other part of your body to get the reps done.
You Haven’t Learned How To Lift Yet
Everyone was a beginner at one stage – except me; I came out of the womb with a dumbbell in my hand (my poor mum, right?).
Your body won’t automatically know how to perform the movements in the gym. Chances are they will feel weird to you. It’s a good idea to go with someone who knows what they’re doing and can guide you through them. Or invest in a session with one of the trainers.
Not only will this give you the basic techniques needed but after only a couple of weeks your central nervous system will have learned the movements, the mental pathways will have developed and you’ll find mind/muscle connection will improve and you’ll be developing a real understanding of how things should be done and feel. This is important because as you progress you’ll need this to continue to make progress.
Its also going to give you a solid foundation for progressing your lifting and expanding your program.
You’re Turning The Fan On
I understand you’re getting hot and sweaty but you did make the choice to come to the gym and workout. This isn’t about staying in your comfort zone, that’s why you’re here. If you wanted to stay comfortable you should have stayed in bed this morning.
Working out is not about being in a soft, squishy, comfortable, climate controlled environment. If you’ve got the expectation that self-improvement was going to be a sweat free journey you’re going to need to go back to the front desk and ask for a refund. You need to understand that getting out of your comfort zone and sweating a little is normal for the gym. Sweating does more than you realise for your health. If you don’t like it, take a towel and pat yourself down between exercises.
Leave the damn fans alone. The only reason you turn on the fan is to blow away a fart – and you’d better turn it off straight after.
It’s also inconsiderate – sure, you might be hot, but what about everyone else in there working their asses off – and you’re just going to blow cold air on them all?
Too Much Isolation
Isolation exercises are ones that cause you to only use a single joint for the movement, targeting a specific muscle. Usually these are machines. Things like leg extensions, calf raises, curl machines…
There are reasons to use machines and this is to specifically isolate and work on one particular muscle. You can use them at the end of your workout and exhaust a muscle – but your whole workout shouldn’t revolve around them.
If you’re idly wandering around and picking a machine to use for a while you need to talk to someone about getting a plan made up. You’re not achieving anything until you come back with a plan.
Workouts for beginners to get fit should primarily revolve around a warm up, some basic strength moves using a bar or dumbbells or a series of movements that involve the whole body and a warm down. Sure throw some cardio in there if you want but it depends on your goals as to how much you do and how often.
You’re On Your Phone
Get your head in the game. How do you expect to be able to concentrate on your fitness if you’re checking in at the gym and checking how many likes you’re up to for the inspirational quote you posted?
Exceptions to this are:
- Your workout routine is on your phone
- Your playlist is on your phone
If you’re constantly getting calls and messages the phone needs to go away or on Do Not Disturb while you’re working out or your workout will suffer.
You Haven’t Quit Smoking Yet
Come on, this is a no brainer now isn’t it?
You need oxygen to get in to your lungs when you’re working out. With the limited lung capacity you already have its going to be hard enough but its going to be impossible if you’re going to keep making it worse.
I realise its hard to do but there’s always a way. Find the one that works for you.
You Joined A Crossfit Gym
You may have decided to join a crossfit gym – lets assume this was an honest mistake and you just walked to what looked like a real gym.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of benefits to a lot of the exercises done in a crossfit gym but as a beginner this is a surefire way to injure yourself in a short period of time.
A lot of the movements they will have you performing take time to get right and without proper practice on the foundations of strength you’re going to tear/strain tendons and ligaments.
There’s a reason why it’s made fun of all over the internet.