Walk into any gym in the world and I can guarantee you will see people doing one of these, my Top 10 Gym Mistakes! They are all very common and can easily be done, some are things and concepts that I have done myself until I learnt otherwise! So, hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and this post can help improve your workouts as you avoid doing any of these Gym Fails!!
1) Doing 100 Sit-Ups a Day to get a 6-pack- This is definitely a concept that
was ingrained into my head in the early days of my gym life. Most people like me when they first start going to the gym have a goal of getting those washboard abs we see on the front of every fitness magazine. There are two reasons why this is a huge mistake, firstly because actually doing ‘Sit-ups’ works the hip flexors and leg muscles just as much as the abdominals and so it doesn’t actually isolate and work the abs all that much. Secondly, no matter how many crunches or any other abdominal exercise you did, you wouldn’t be able to see the abs until your body fat percentage is low enough. You could have the biggest, hardest abs in world, but if your body fat is above around 12% then they will be completely covered up and you simply won’t be able to see them! This is something that a lot of people don’t realise. If you want to learn more on the truth behind achieving a six-pack I will be posting a blog about it soon!
2) Doing Core Exercises to Burn Belly Fat- This one leads on perfectly from the first point. It is a common assumption, that by working the abs and core, this will in turn burn fat from that area and so many people do crunches and planks for hours every week with the goal of burning belly fat. This is completely wrong. Whilst doing those exercises will strengthen and therefore grow your abdominal muscles, and contribute towards burning fat, the fat won’t specifically come from the stomach area. This is because your body when burning fat can take it from anywhere in the body, as such it won’t spot reduce and take the fat from a specific area. This attitude then is actually inefficient at burning stomach fat as core exercises will burn fewer calories than other exercises and cardio especially High Intense Cardio, which therefore would be much more effective at burning calories and thus burning fat.
3) Don’t Just Work On What You See In The Mirror! This is a mistake that I know that I made early on in my time of going to the gym and I know many of my friends who also have done the same (cough cough Drew)! And that is you work on the muscles which you can see when you look at yourself in the mirror, with your top off. This obviously being your Chest, Abs, Shoulders and Arms. Completely neglecting your Back, Rear Delts and Legs. Whilst by focusing on those muscles, you most certainly will add size to those muscles you will build an unbalanced, unnatural looking physique that no one wants. Not only that but you’ll probably struggle with back problems due to constantly working the front of your core (Abs) and nothing else. You need to make sure then that you have a well-balanced training routine that works on every muscle group, so that you can build an athletic, balanced physique!
4) Focusing Too Much on Isolation movements instead of Compound! Many of us when we first start going to the gym to build muscle do
the first exercise that we can think of that is synonymous with magazine covers everywhere and that tends to be the good old Bicep Curl! This seems to carry across to other body parts and people tend to have a training routine that consists largely of these isolation movements which focus on one specific muscle. Research however shows that by working more than one muscle in an exercise (a Compound movement) is far more effective for building muscle. Not only that but they allow you lift heavier weights and allow you to burn more calories. It seems such a waste for me then when I see people not bothering to hit those compound movements like Bench Press, Squats, Deadlifts, Pull Ups as they are fundamental to muscle growth and also to strength gains. So give up the Bicep Curls and Get doing Heavy Pull Ups!
5) Lifting Too Light! I quite often see people in the gym that I can just tell aren't pushing hard enough, aren't going heavy enough. You can easily spot these people as they are usually sat there at a bench looking disinterested and have hardly broke sweat. If this is you then