Common Gym Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Joining a gym is an exciting time. With your motivation high make the most of your membership and embrace your fitness and wellbeing, experience all the facilities that Wickwoods Country Club has to offer, smash your fitness goals and take advantage of our relaxation and socialising options too.
But before you get carried away in the gym, pause a moment to think. We all make mistakes, and it can be extremely useful to be aware of the most common pitfalls in the gym in order to avoid potential injury and downtime. With that in mind, we’ve put together the most common training mistakes and how to avoid them.
Not Asking For Help Or Assistance
Nobody wants to be seen as the newbie who doesn’t know their way around the gym but the only way to progress is to ask someone. At Wickwoods, all new members receive an induction to our gym, equipment and an overview of your complimentary fitness reward journey with us. Our fully trained, friendly personal trainers are on hand to help and support you at all times. So, whether you’ve forgotten how to use a piece of equipment or you’re not sure about an exercise, please come and ask us. We’re here for you.
Using The Wrong Equipment For Your Goals
Nearly ¾ of people believe that cardio is the best way to lose weight and that lifting weights makes you bulky – all wrong! By writing off certain types of equipment or exercises at the outset you could unintentionally stall your progress, miss out on enjoyable workouts and actually lose health benefits. Our advice is to speak to your trainer about the best methods and machines to help you achieve your goals, whether that’s weight loss, muscle gain or overall fitness.
Not Using Your Full Range Of Movement
Nearly half of UK gym managers agree that one of the most common mistakes they see in the gym is people not doing full reps. By not using the full range of movement when you work out – such as doing a half squat rather than a full deep squat – you won’t get the full benefit in terms of building muscle and strength. Unless you’ve been specifically instructed to do half-reps, full reps are the way to go. If you’re struggling, don’t rush. Take your time to learn the correct technique, even if it means reducing weight, and do your exercises properly.
Rushing Your Reps Rather Than Doing Them Properly
In the same way that incomplete reps won’t get you the best results, neither will be going too fast. Blitzing through your reps rather than taking care to do them correctly won’t help you reach your fitness goals because you’ll be relying on gravity to do the work rather than controlling your muscles. The time in which your muscles are under tension is important. Studies have shown that the majority of muscle growth comes from completing full reps that are controlled, with full mental engagement in the task.
‘Ego Lifting’ Weights That Are Too Heavy For You
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is a key part of making progress in the gym. But there’s a fine line between challenging yourself and overdoing it. Lifting weights that are too heavy for where your body is at is risky – the extra load can mess up your form and cause serious injury. What’s more, this is not a sustainable way to gain strength and muscle. To keep making progress and avoid getting hurt, find weights that challenge you but let you maintain good technique. If you’re not sure, ask one of our personal trainers – they’re always happy to help you in the gym.
Weight Training With Poor Form
It’s not just the kilograms on the bar that can cause you problems. Lifting properly is a skill that takes time. If you’re new to the gym and you don’t feel confident, ask a personal trainer for advice on your form with weights and machines, and take the time you need to perfect your technique before adding weight to your workout. Observe the ACE rule when strength training:
- Abs engaged
- Chin in position
- No overextending
Resting Too Long Between Sets
Taking breaks between sets is essential for an effective workout and to avoid injury. But pausing too long can hinder progress and have adverse effects. If your heart rate drops so much that your muscles cool down too far, you risk strains or tears. As a rule of thumb, rest 30-90 seconds for each 8-10+ reps, and 2-5 minutes between sets of 6-8 heavy reps. If you’re working with a qualified PT, they’ll be best able to adjust your rest period according to your workout and your goals.
Not Having A Workout Plan
An improvised workout can never be as effective as a gym routine with a solid plan which helps you make the most of your time and effort. It’s easy to get lost in the gym – you could spend more time puzzling over what to do next rather than actually working out. Go in with a plan and stick to it, while allowing some flexibility in case certain machines are busy or you want to avoid boredom. The Wickwoods gym is a large, bright air-conditioned space with a range of equipment by Life Fitness & Precor, and our team of qualified health & fitness coaches are on hand with advice and support, training plans, nutrition coaching and more.
Not Varying Your Training
We all know that repeating the same training is needed to see progress, but if you hit a plateau and haven’t changed your routine in a while, it may be time to mix things up. As your body adapts to your workouts and you get stronger, you’ll need to keep challenging yourself. This also applies to overworking one muscle group – try the opposing muscles to prevent imbalances. Varying your training can also help you stay motivated if you’re losing interest. Going to the gym shouldn’t feel like a chore, it should be something you look forward to. Try new exercises, booking different classes, lifting heavier weights to keep your workouts fresh and fun.
Not Warming Up Or Cooling Down
Whether you’re doing cardio or strength training, warming up beforehand and cooling down afterwards are both non-negotiable. We know it can feel tedious, but it preps your body for the workout and aids recovery, so you can keep training consistently and avoid injury long-term. There’s nothing quite as frustrating than having to abandon your fitness plans because you’re too sore or hurt from not stretching! Chat to your PT about which static and dynamic stretches for your workout type and don’t skip them.
Health And Fitness At Wickwoods
With a state-of-the-art gym and first-class tennis facilities, a team of highly experienced health & fitness coaches on hand to offer advice, and around 140 weekly exercise classes to choose from, it’s no wonder that Wickwoods is one of the most popular gyms in West Sussex. We are proud to have helped countless members achieve their individual fitness goals and become healthier versions of themselves, and we can help you too. Why not get in touch with the Wickwoods team and book a tour to see for yourself what’s on offer? We look forward to welcoming you.