Lifting weights is one of the most effective ways to build a strong, healthy body from the ground up. However, many people self-sabotage and stall progress. Here are ten mistakes to avoid when hitting the gym.
Having unclear goals
Without a goal in mind, you won’t stick with your plan. Do you want to be more powerful, look good naked, or improve your health? Knowing what you want will keep you motivated and help you design your routine.
High reps with low weights
To get the best results, you need to do low reps with the maximum weight you can lift. This is called “lifting to failure.” Otherwise, it’s an aerobic exercise and you won’t build muscle or burn fat.
Not resting between sets
Resting between sets allows muscles to recover so you can lift your max weight in the next set. Rushing through your workout may get you home faster, but it will also slow progress.
Isolating muscle groups
Compound lifts like deadlifts and squats are more efficient and build strength evenly because they activate multiple muscle groups.
Having poor form
Lifting with proper form will ensure you are activating the right muscle groups while also reducing the likelihood of injury. A personal trainer can help correct errors in form.
Choosing the wrong footwear
The best shoes for lifting provide a flat, firm surface to maximize stability. Professional lifting shoes have wooden soles, but other options are available.
Not pushing yourself
Working hard keeps your heart rate up and maximizes the value of your gym time. You can chat with your buddies later over a protein shake.
Avoiding your weak spots
Failure to train your body evenly can lead to lopsided muscle gain, making you uncomfortable and potentially increasing the risk of injury. Don’t avoid challenging lifts if overall strength is your goal.
Neglecting rest days
When you exercise, you create microscopic tears in your muscles that take 48 to 96 hours to heal. Rest is a vital part of becoming stronger.
Avoiding the gym due to insecurity
The worst mistake to make is not lifting at all. Everybody has a “day one” of hitting the gym–get out there and make today your day.