If you’re just getting started at the gym, or with exercise in general, your time at the gym can be a little intimidating and trying to get in a solid workout without sticking out can feel overwhelming, to say the least. We’ve all been beginners in the gym at one point or another, and most of us have made these common mistakes ourselves.
With that in mind, here are the most common mistakes beginners make in the gym, and how you can avoid them -
- Don’t miss that stretch
Warm-up is a crucial part of your workout routine. No matter how much hurry you are in. DO NOT skip your warm-ups. Warm-ups help to get your joints, tissues and muscles primed and ready for exercise, but they can help you avoid injury as well. A good warm-up will have your blood pumping and get you lightly sweating- it’s much more than a few static stretches!
- Have a workout plan
Walking into the gym with zero plan of what you’ll do once you get there, is not a good idea. Avoid this by going in with a workout plan! There are plenty of beginner workout plans to be found on the internet, or you could invest in a coach or trainer in order to get a more personalized plan for your goals.
- No Repeat Modes
Once you have your plan ready, don’t stick to it as if it’s your holy grail. It’s not just one workout that you complete every single time you go to the gym. You’ll never reach your fitness or body goals by performing the same workout over and over. Eventually, your body will adapt to this stimulus, you’ll plateau and stop seeing results, not to mention you’ll be extremely bored.
Try to incorporate 3-4 workouts per week, for a 4-6 week period of time before switching things up. This, of course, will be dependent on many things including but not limited to: your goals, your schedule, your current fitness level, the amount of time you want to spend working out, etc.
- Pick up the Weights Man!
Cardio has its place in maintaining heart health and can burn calories, but if weight loss and/or muscle gains are a part of your goals, cardio isn’t necessary to reach them.
Strength or resistance training, as opposed to cardio, is actually a better option when it comes to exercise for fat loss or fitness goals. This is because strength training builds lean muscle, and adding more muscle means raising your resting energy expenditure, or the number of calories you burn while your body is simply at rest. Don’t be afraid and just go for it, you’ll feel better.
- Post Workout Stretch - 100% Necessary!
Stretching is an important element of your post-workout routine. It helps you recover from your workout, improves your posture and balance, and can even calm and de-stress you.
Stretching is another part of a workout that we tend to brush off or skip, but cementing the habit now – as a beginner – will ensure you always cool down with a post-exercise stretch.
With these 5 points covered, you’ll surely be able to advance your fitness journey!