Mistakes In The Gym

Make no mistake. Going to the gym is a good idea. But like everything else with so many positive attributes, there can be pitfalls. That's particularly true for those who aren't sure exactly what they should be doing once they arrive at the gym. So here's a quick list of common mistakes to nudge you onto the right path to fitness...

Lack of Planning. You need to have a workout plan. Like starting with the bench press, doing rows, then pulldowns and finally curls before jogging on the treadmill for cardio. A backup plan will come in handy when the bench station is tied up for hours on end. Lack of Challenge. You don't want to take this too far, but your muscles have to be challenged on every exercise. If you're completing all your reps and sets effortlessly, then you aren't accomplishing much. Consider adding one or two reps to your sets until you reach 12. Then add weight and start over with fewer reps. Long Rests. Restrict your rest period between sets and exercises to around 60 seconds. This will boost your fat-burning metabolism, increase the challenge factor mentioned above and get you out of the gym faster.

The Bigger Picture: Possibly the biggest mistake that you can make in the gym is to not seek advice when you're unclear on exercise form, safe equipment usage or another aspect of working out. There's no such thing as a stupid question. Even pro bodybuilders ask their peers for opinions. The more you learn, the fewer mistakes you'll make along the way. For tips on Joe Weider's Training Principles and Smooth Moves in the gym, check the breaking news section at americanbodybuilding.com.
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Apr 22, 2008
Excellent advice. I'd just remind readers that shorter rest periods necessitate lower poundages. This bears repeating because many lifters are always thinking of how to INCREASE poundages and so may need to be reminded. It's all part of having a plan!
Apr 23, 2008
Well said pencilneck - thanks for the feedback!