Common Mistakes I See at the Gym

liftingtooheavy

It’s inevitable, I go to the gym to get my own workout in, and I can’t help but notice what people are doing wrong.  In order to obtain great results you need a combination of resistance training, cardiovascular work, and a good clean diet.  Simple right?  Well, you need to be doing those workouts correctly too.  Here a few mistakes we see over and over again.

Lifting too Heavy

Heavier doesn’t necessarily mean better.  If you cannot maintain proper form, have to ‘jerk’ the weight in order to lift it, or cannot perform an exercise through a full range of motion, then the weight is too heavy for you.   Lower the weight, and perform the exercise at a moderate pace using a full range of motion.  Not only is this safer, but you will see much bigger gains.

Talking on the Phone

Seriously?  If you are talking on the phone while working out, I can guarantee you are not working hard enough!  Focus on the muscle you are working and make every rep count.  This is what builds a strong, lean body, and a clear focused mind.

Leaning on the Cardio Equipment

Proper form holds true for cardio equipment too.  Don’t lean over, hanging on to the StairMaster or elliptical machine.  Stand up straight and let your legs carry your weight.  By leaning on the equipment you are promoting poor body mechanics.  If you find you cannot stand up straight then you have the equipment set at too high a level for you.  Slow it down or lower the incline.   You should be able to maintain proper form throughout the duration of your cardio session.

A trainer can answer any questions you have about proper form and can prescribe a cardio prescription at the right level for you.  Building a solid foundation in proper lifting techniques and learning to stay focused during your workouts will keep you injury free and reaching your goals sooner than you thought!

Image courtesy of Jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhoto.net

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23 thoughts on “Common Mistakes I See at the Gym

  1. Cathy Jennings

    I used to read and try to do cardio at the gym (like treadmill, elliptical, etc.) until I realized that I wasn’t really focusing on my workout and form. And, you are so right about the level of effort — if I can read a book or magazine comfortably, then am I really working my body enough to see results?

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  2. hollyjeantampa

    Poor form is dangerous to your health! You are doing your body a diservice by over-lifting and poor form on machines. This is why everyone needs a health or fit coach!

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  3. Crystal

    The first thing I thought of when reading your article was all the people I see leaning on their grocery carts at the grocery store. The cardio equipment isn’t the only thing getting leaned on!

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    1. bodysoulcoaches Post author

      Amen! Not to mention you actually get results instead of spending years trying to figure it out yourself. It’s very frustrating to watch the same members of a gym month after month and their bodies never change!

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  4. The Burgandy Boudoir

    Love this! I saw a lady at the gym recently and the entire half hour i was on the cross trainer, a woman was on the phone. We left at the same time and she was then talking to someone saying ‘i’ve just been to the gym’ and i had to stifle a giggle!

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    1. bodysoulcoaches Post author

      quite true, but it is hard to teach everyone how to use the equipment properly in a gym setting. Even if you show someone once, a lot of times they forget the next time they come in. This is one of the reasons I got into private training.

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  5. Marie Leslie

    It would be nice if a new gym membership included training in how to use the equipment. All too often gyms are happy to take membership money but don’t offer any instruction.

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  6. Beth Niebuhr

    This is such good advice. I can’t really imagine talking on the phone while working out. For one thing, it’s irritating to other people. It doesn’t make sense to use the equipment wrong and it is important to get training.

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