We're not going to tell you that you're doing it wrong. We're not going to tell you that you're wasting your time at the gym or that you will never see results if you keep doing the same routine you have been.
But, there are some mistakes that many of us make when we're working out. These mistakes can sometimes prevent us from reaching our fitness goals as efficiently as we could.
If you're looking to get into shape this year, keep reading so we can let you in on some of the most common training errors that people make that cost them time and results.
It's no secret that the gym can be a great way to boost your self-confidence. After all, who doesn't feel good when they enjoy what they're doing, start to see some results, and have a great gym fit on?
But while ego lifting in the gym can feel good at the moment, it can actually be pretty bad for you in the long run.
Ego lifting is the term that the fitness world uses to describe lifting more than someone could, would, or should normally lift to try and build muscle or show off. Because the weight is heavier than they can handle, the weight is typically lifted with improper form.
This type of lifting can quickly lead to injury and suboptimal workouts.
So here's our advice - don't prioritize the number, instead prioritize proper form! It's better to lift moderately heavy weights, close to failure. Avoiding lifting weights that affect your form will help you avoid risking injuries to your joints, muscles, and ligaments that can be more difficult to fix in the long run!
Not Resting Enough
Lifting too heavy (aka. ego lifting) is one of the most common mistakes we see with gym-goers, but the second one is lifting heavy and NOT resting enough before the next set.
As trainees, we have to understand that lifting heavy weights is very strenuous for the body. This strain makes rest times crucial for sustained performance.
Think of it this way - If you do 10 reps with a given weight and only rest a minute, you're likely to do fewer reps on the next set because the weight has tired your muscles. But if you give yourself an additional minute or two to rest before your next set, odds are you will be able to get those 10 reps again.
What does this mean for you? Well, it means that your muscles are able to do more work total when they have enough time to recover between sets!
Next time you're working on lifting a heavy weight, take up to 3 minutes between your sets and see the difference it makes!
Progressing Too Quickly
The third common mistake people make during training is that they try to increase their weight too quickly!
When the normal weights start feeling too easy, you'll see people increase their weight by 10-15%, which leads them back to the first mistake - ego lifting. Instead, what you want to do is systematize your progression and gradually increase the weights you are lifting.
Here's something to try the next time you're ready to increase weight:
- Take a given weight.
- Aim for 32+ reps total across 4 working sets.
- Once you hit 33 or more reps across the 4 sets, increase the weight by 2.5 - 5%.
- 4. Work your way up to 32+ reps across 4 sets.
Doing Too Many Sets
Last but not least, most people do too many sets in a given workout. The reason for doing too many sets is because their sets aren't quality sets. Generally speaking, a quality working set on any heavy exercise will leave you needing a longer rest before the next set AND you will soon feel that your performance is diminished.
For most beginners, 5 quality working sets (taken close to failure), per muscle group, per week will get the job done!
As you advance, that number will grow to around 15-20+ because you will need more total sets for an effective workout and to progress further.
Here's our advice to avoid doing too many sets in your next workout: Take just a couple of exercises and do multiple sets, close to failure, with 3 minutes of rest between each set!
It's easy to make mistakes when it comes to training, but luckily most of them are easily avoidable!
By being mindful of the common training mistakes we've outlined and knowing how to avoid them, you can stay focused on getting the most our of your workouts and start seeing results sooner rather than later.
Have you been guilty of any of these bad habits? Let us know in the comments!