8 Common Mistakes People Make At The Gym

When you take the time to get ready and make a trip down to the gym or the park, you want to have a productive workout right? Your time is precious and there are probably hundreds of other things that you have to do in a day besides working out.

Here’s the deal, I want to help you not only decrease the time you spend in the gym, but also make your time commitment as productive as possible. I have worked out in hundreds of locations in the United States and Europe and constantly witness people doing things that hinder their workouts. I promise that if you avoid these 8 common mistakes people make at the gym, your workout will be shorter and much more productive.

1 – Socializing

At the gym you can usually find many like minded people that are easy to talk to and friendly. There is a time and place for socializing at the gym. Before and after workouts are proper times to meet people and talk because it isn’t getting in the way of your workout.

As soon as you walk into the gym talk to the people who work there. They are good people to get to know because some can be really knowledgeable about health and fitness. Not to mention, they can also hook you up with some deals.

Before group fitness classes can be another good time to do your socializing. Especially because there is an instructor who will get your focus back when it is time to start.

The worst thing you can do is let socializing get you off-track. Don’t stop in the middle of your workout to talk to people. You might find yourself chatting away until your sweat dries and your muscles are not warm anymore. Cell phones are also a hazard when it comes to this. Leave your cell phone in your bag unless you’re expecting an urgent call. They can be the worst distractors.

A great way to keep your focus on your workout instead of your cell phone and other people in the gym is to wear headphones. Listening to your own music will keep you pumped up and ready to train. It will also keep other people from bothering you.

2 – No Workout Plan

Having a plan when you’re doing anything is the way to go. Especially when you go to the gym. If you have a workout plan ready to go then you don’t have to wander around the gym for 30 minutes deciding on your first exercise.

Ideally you want an extended workout program that moves you toward your goal in an organized and progressive manner. That isn’t necessary though. You can think about your workout day-to-day. For example if you did upper body muscles yesterday, then today do lower body muscles. Think of the exercises you are going to do before you get to the gym. That will save you lots of time.

3 – Not Warming Up

The first thing you should do after saying hello to everyone is warm-up. Dynamic stretches are the best way to warm up your muscles. This is the number one way to prevent injuries while you are exercising.

I consider this the worst mistake anyone can make in the gym. The other tips on this list will hinder you from making gains in your health and strength. If you get hurt due to not warming up you can be out of commission for weeks or even months. That is a set back that you don’t want.

Some injuries like strained muscles only take a couple days to heal. Injured ligaments can take months. But why even risk it. Most of the injuries people obtain can be prevented simply by warming up properly.

4 – Same Workout Plan Over And Over

One of the dangers of having a workout plan (Tip #2) is that it can be tempting to do it over and over again. It can be convenient to keep doing the same workout because you don’t have to think about another one, or have a professional write one up for you. If you keep doing the same things it will also get easier. That isn’t a good thing though.

If you keep doing the same things your body will adapt to it. That is when you will see a plateau. You won’t see the same amount of results as if you were to keep your body guessing with different workouts.

5 – Using The Wrong Weight And Speed

Both men and women are guilty of this. Men tend to use much more weight than they can handle, which causes them to use incorrect form. Women tend to use much less weight than they should, which results in not as many calories burned and less results.

In both cases results will be hindered because when you lift too much weight you are either not going to do the correct form, move the weight as fast as you should, or get injured. If you choose a weight that doesn’t challenge you, the typical response is to move the weight too fast. In many cases speed creates momentum which takes away stress placed on the muscle, causing decreased results.

If you are just beginning it may be hard to gauge how much weight is right for you. As you workout more and figure out what your goals are you will find out how much you can handle.

6 – Sloppy Form

When you’re tired or using a heavy weight it can be tempting to start using momentum to throw the weight around as opposed to working your muscles properly. Form can also suffer which can put pressure on joints and the spin in ways that can cause injuries.

If you know you are using bad form because something is too heavy, or you are too fatigued, it is better to lower the weight or ask someone to spot you.

7 – Too Much Rest

In between sets of an exercise make sure you don’t rest for too long. It’s good to breath hard and keep your heart rate high even if you are lifting weights. If you can keep your heart rate at a high level while you are lifting, that can be a form of cardiovascular training. It will also make your body burn more calories.

Resting for too long can cause your muscles to get cold and your workout will take that much longer. It can also cause you to loose focus and start talking to someone. Tracking your rest using a clock in the gym, or a timer on a watch is a great way to make sure you don’t rest too long.

8 – Copying Someone Else

Don’t just creepily watch someone in the gym and copy what they do just because you don’t have your own workout plan. They may be doing something completely wrong. Even if they aren’t, what they are doing may not be what you want to do for your specific needs.

Instead of copying someone’s workout, ask a professional about your needs and have someone write out a workout program for you.

Your time is extremely valuable, and your health is even more important. When you take the time to workout, no matter where it is, be on a mission. Have a plan to improve yourself and take a small step towards your specific goals. Don’t let anyone or anything distract you. You can spend less time in the gym and make that time more productive by avoiding these 8 common mistakes people make in the gym. Leave a comment about things you see at the gym that I didn’t mention. And if you know some people that are guilty of some of these, share this article on your Facebook.

Adam Pegg About Adam Pegg

Adam is an athlete with a serious passion for fitness and health. He played basketball at University of Delaware and Stetson. His degree is in health science and he's a certified personal trainer who loves helping people reach their goals.