Five Common Mistakes about Going to the Gym

Adam Hambrook, owner of Sculpt Health & Fitness Miramichi being awarded NB Provincial Champion 2015 Men's Physique Short.

Adam Hambrook, owner of Sculpt Health & Fitness Miramichi being awarded NB Provincial Champion 2015 Men’s Physique Short.

By Adam Hambrook

For most people new to working out who decide to join a gym, it can be a very intimidating and overwhelming change. If you are going to join a gym avoid these five common mistakes in order to maximize your results and make going to the gym part of your healthy lifestyle forever.

Mistake #1: Choosing the wrong gym
Yes, the fancy, new, state of the art gym with 10,000 pieces of equipment may seem like a great option but perhaps traditional weight training isn’t the right fit for you. There are plenty of options including CrossFit, military-style boot camp classes or even yoga.

Mistake #2: Bad exercise technique
With bad technique, injury will often soon follow which can prevent you from exercising. For those that are new to exercise, getting a good personal trainer with not only credentials and certifications but also experience is highly recommended.

Mistake #3: Too Much Cardio
It is common for new gym members to do strictly cardio. The main reasons for this is because of lack of education and competence with resistance training coupled with the fact that walking on a treadmill or biking on a stationary bike are easily done and do not require any technique learning. By incorporating more resistance training into your workouts you will tax different energy systems, build muscle and increase your metabolism more than cardio alone, resulting in a better over body composition change.

Mistake #4: The Wrong Exercises
For those who do incorporate resistance training into their plan, it helps to do the right exercises. Most commonly, new gym members navigate to machines which is a great idea as there is less coordination and skill needed. The problem I see most often is the over use of isolation movements over compound movements. The preacher curl machine and delt side raise machine get utilized for multiple sets while the shoulder and leg press machines often go unused. For better overall results, use more compound movement machines such as leg press, shoulder press, pull-downs and rows and fewer isolation machines for better muscle development and to burn more calories.

Mistake #5: No Change in Diet
This is probably the biggest mistake of all!! People still believe they can out train bad nutrition and bust their butt for that first month and cannot understand why they are not getting the results they want. If you truly want to change your health, wellness and body composition, start with a healthy diet then move on to exercise or do both at the same time. Exercise alone most often leaves new gym members feeling frustrated. Your workout is roughly one hour out of the day.

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