Top 7 Exercise mistakes of a new gym goer
Whether in the park or in the gym there are so many people exercising
wrong. Apart from the increased risk of injury, exercising wrong will slow your progress, not allow your body to exercise efficiently, and will probably leave you feeling un-motivated about exercising.
To maximise your efforts make sure you follow the simple
Not warming up, cooling down. Warming up prior
to exercise is an essential element of exercise many people choose to forget. A
steady 5-10 minute warm-up followed by some dynamic stretching has a host of
Increase the body temperature
Makes muscles, tendons and ligaments more supple
Improved oxygen utilization by the muscles
Heart, lungs and internal organs prepared for
Mentally focuses you for the exercise
A cool down is just as important as this enables the body to
flush away waste products such as lactic acid, reduces muscle soreness the next
day and allows the body to safely return to a resting state.
Have a workout plan. When exercising you need a
plan – don’t just randomly move from machine to machine. If you are unsure of
what to do, employ a personal trainer to design you a program, this can be done
relatively cheap as you will only need them for 1 or 2 sessions. Without a plan
you cannot set a realistic goal, you will quickly lose inspiration and soon get
bored, and you will increase your risk of injury. Have a program and follow it,
this way you can gauge your progress.
Poor Technique. This is not just a problem for
the gym newbie, many seasoned exercisers use poor form which in time leads to
muscle imbalance, poor posture and ultimately injury. Rather than picking up bad habits and then
trying to lose them, make sure you are shown how to do every exercise properly.
Virtually all gyms have floor staff that will be happy to show you how to use
the equipment properly and for no charge. If you’re not sure – ask.
Over Training. This is probably the most common
mistake people new to exercise make. They have not trained for years, go to the
gym for 5 consecutive days, then spend all weekend in agony with every single
muscle aching. If you have not exercised for years start slowly with 1 or 2 low
intensity sessions per week and build up from there. Within a month you will
know what your body can handle and can start to push yourself within your own
Under training. As stated above, build up your
training, do not stay at 1-2 sessions of low intensity per week. If you are not
regularly challenging and pushing your body you will make no progress. Don’t be
one of them people sat on the exercise bike reading a book, push yourself you
get better results in less time and you’ll actually enjoy it.
Ignoring the weights. Numerous studies now show
the benefits of incorporating weights into an exercise regime – whatever your
goal. Some studies even show weight lifting with minimum rest between sets (less
than 1 min) to be more effective than cardiovascular exercise for burning fat. Lifting
weights will not give you a huge muscular physique, but they will make you continue
burning calories long after you stopped exercising, strengthen joints, tendons
and ligaments thus reducing the chance of injury; they will also tone the
muscles underneath the fat your burning off.
Goal setting. We have already mentioned having a
plan when attending the gym and as part of your plan you should have a goal.
Remember to keep your goal realistic, you’re not going to lose 25kg of fat in 6
weeks. Set regular small attainable goals to keep you motivated, for example to
lose 2.5kg of fat in 4 weeks, or to lose 5cm off your waist in 4 weeks. These
are small goals which will be part of an overall target such as fitting into a
size 10 dress.