One of the many challenges faced by those heading to the gym for the very first time is having to figure out what the hell they are supposed to do. Though personal fitness certainly isn’t rocket science, it isn’t particularly straightforward either. And to get the most reward for the effort that you put in, a solid understanding of the basics is very much required.
Should you find yourself in a beginner’s camp when it comes to personal fitness, a great place to start is learning what not to do. Here are seven common beginners mistakes that are very much worth avoiding.
Using Equipment Incorrectly
Most guys new to the gym don’t have a clue what they are doing. Though this is completely natural, it’s also a little dangerous. While fitness equipment is designed to help you improve your body when used incorrectly, injuries are not only possible, they are common. There is also the fact that when you don’t really know what you are doing, it’s pretty difficult to maximize the effectiveness of your workout.
Although personal trainers are a little bit on the expensive side, taking advantage of their services for a few weeks can be highly beneficial. Fitness equipment is rarely complicated and a few hours of instruction should teach you all that you need to know.
Failing to Stretch/Warm Up Effectively
Spending the weekend sitting on the couch and then skipping into the gym expecting your muscles to be ready for a workout is simply unwise. When you don’t spend enough time stretching and warming up you not only limit your ability to work out effectively, but you also greatly increase the chances of injuring yourself. A careful stretching and warm-up routine is therefore the one part of a visit to the gym that is anything but optional.
Not Drinking Enough Fluids
If you want to get the most out of your time in the gym, you need to drink fluids and a lot of them. Many guys new to the gym assume that because they don’t feel thirsty, they must be adequately hydrated. Unfortunately, this is just not the case. You should get into the habit of drinking half a liter of water both before and during your workout. It is also worth noting that if you are the type of guy that sweats a lot, you might want to replace water with something that contains a lot of electrolytes.
Trying to Get a Six Pack by Doing Endless Sit Ups
Do you ever notice the guy lying in the corner of the gym doing endless sit-ups? He’s new. One of the most commonly believed myths about male personal fitness is that sit-ups can lead to a six-pack. Combine this myth with the fact that every guy wants a six-pack and you have one of the most common beginners mistakes made in the gym.
Sit-ups are great for strengthening your abs but they have little to no effect on the layer of fat that covers them. This means that if you have a bit of a gut, no amount of sit-ups is going to give you a six-pack. You need to combine abdominal exercises with a calorie-controlled diet. Rock-hard abs are of little benefit to anyone if they are hidden behind a beer belly.
Doing Cardio Before Weights
If you want to lose a bit of fat, cardio is great. It’s also something that can take you a long way toward a healthy heart. Unfortunately, however, it also has the habit of using up quite a bit of energy. Therefore if you want to gain some muscle by lifting weights, you should leave your cardio exercises until afterward. Doing a little bit of cardio as part of your warm-up is clever. Spending an hour on the treadmill and then trying to lift weights is just illogical. Those weights aren’t going to lift themselves, it’s important for you to conserve your energy.
Talking too Much
There is nothing wrong with socializing in the gym. In fact, it can be a great place to make a few new friends. If you are trying to build muscle, however, it’s important to keep your mouth closed until after you’ve finished your workout. The reason for this is simple, to get the most from your time in the gym, you can’t allow your muscles to rest for more than two minutes between sets.
Spending too Much Time Working Out
Finally, one of the most common mistakes that all guys make at the gym, let alone beginners, is spending too much time working out. When it comes to workout duration, less is always more. This is because if it’s taking you longer than forty-five minutes to reach your limit, you are not pushing yourself hard enough. Forty-five minutes of pushing your body hard will lead to far more benefits than two hours of taking it easy. Therefore focus on exertion, not the clock.
Also Read: Bodyweight Exercises For Workout At Home