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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

To 10 Mistakes People Make in the Gym

We all go to the YMCA or a health club for a reason. Right? What is that reason? For everybody it is something a little different but I can guarantee that there is one common element. We want to get results! Is there anyone out there that says they go to the gym for something to do or to get out of the house? We pay our money and go back time and again to get results; plain and simple. Some people want to lose weight or get stronger or to build muscle. Some people want to train for a triathlon or a marathon. The simple fact is that we all want to be better. If this is true, why do a majority of people that go the gym do things that SABOTAGE their efforts to get and be better? I see it every day and so do you. Do you do any of these 10 things? The better question is how many of there things do you do? Read this list with an open mind. Realize that you may not know everything and a couple of tweaks to your workout could lead to the results that you’ve been searching for for years.

I can write this essay because I know what I’m talking about. I’ve worked with dozens of people over the last 10 years to get phenomenal results. I spend close to 50 hours per week in a gym and have for many years. I know what I’m talking about. Trust me or trust the person who makes excuses. Who is really going to help you?

Top 10 Mistakes People Make in the Gym

10. Using the leg curl, leg extension and rotary torso machine. These machines operate contrary to the natural function of your body. Every once in a while OK, all the time: dangerous.

9. Opting for the Elliptical trainer or the bike instead of the treadmill or the pool. Here is the absolute definitive ranking of the best cardio choices: treadmill (or on the roads/trails), swimming in pool, rowing machine, Stairmaster, elliptical machines with arms, bike, elliptical trainer. The truth is that your body needs 2 things: impact and variety. Mix up your cardio and see phenomenal results.

8. Reading while doing cardio. This is just plain silly. Focus on your workout! Your heart rate will be in the toilet if you are reading a book on the treadmill. Read at home, exercise here.

7. Fixating on how much weight you use and not on range of motion or proper form. This is mostly for the younger generation but I’ve seen all age groups do it. Don’t put that extra plate on until you are ready. It’s dangerous and non-productive to lift extra weight if you’re not ready.

6. Doing crunches and believing you are working your “Core”. Doing crunches does not work the core. Plain and simple. Crunches work the abs, the core is so much more. (By the way, if you have belly fat doing crunches will not help)

5. Standing around and talking. This goes with #8 above. Talk before your workout, not during.

4. Not using free weights. You cannot be truly fit if you do not use free weights on a regular basis. Take that one to the bank.

3. 3 sets, 10-12 reps. This is how body builders work out. Are you a body builder? If no then stop the silly 10-12 reps and 3 sets. Variety is what gets you results! Do 100 reps of an exercise one day! Do 2 sets one day and 5 the next. Spice things up and you’ll see results!

2. Doing the same thing day after day after day. I see this all the time. There’s so and so doing the pec fly AGAIN, now it’s time for the ab machine…. blah, blah, blah. This is both mind numbing and the opposite of productive. You must change up your routine to get results. It you don’t know how to then you need to enlist the services of a personal trainer. This one investment in yourself could make the difference between you breaking your ankle on a sidewalk or being the best you can be!

1. Holding onto the treadmill. This could be an entire article, in it’s self. You burn about half the calories if you hold on. Try it sometime. First, go your regular pace, holding on. Then take your hands off and see how much harder it is! That’s only part of the reason to not hold on. The biggest reason is that your upper body is not meant to be stationary when you are walking, think about it. Think of the stress you place on your hips when you lock in your upper body while walking. It is just plain loony to hold onto the treadmill while you are walking. This is the biggest results stealer out there.

Now, do you want to know how to get results?

Hire a personal trainer. Again, this simple investment in you could make the difference.
Take a new class. Variety is the spice of life and the key to results in the gym.
Set 4-5 goals that stretch you. Write them down and tell everybody that you know about them. This gives you accountability. Your goals will come true.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, okay... I am guilty of #1, Holding on to the treadmill. But only on an incline!!
    Nice blog, I like it. Now, hiring you the fitness guru has helped me eliminate some of these listed habits.
    Thanks again for the inspiriation.