Common Gym Mistakes Stopping You From Reaching Your Goals

Take note.

Whether you’ve been going to the gym for a while or you’re a complete newbie, everyone can always do a with a refresher when it comes to workout advice.

Sometimes you get stuck in your own routine of doing the same thing every session, so you don’t stop to think whether what you’re doing is right.

Or - and trust us, we’ve been there - you walk into the gym and you’re just so daunted by the amount of people in there who look like they have their shit together.

So before you start the new year with your kickass gym routine, ensure you’re not making any of these mistakes...

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1. Not investing enough time in learning

Chris Magee, head of yoga at Another_Space, said finding a “cookie cutter” programme from somewhere, heading to the gym and then hoping it all works out simply isn’t enough.

“Invest in a couple of sessions with a trainer,” he said. “Correct and feel confident in your technique, get inspiration and accountability, and a programme tailored to your ability and goals - even if you can’t afford to keep your PT full time, those sessions are going to set you up for success.

“Doing it yourself often means you set slightly unrealistic goals or time frames in which you want to achieve things as you have no point of reference.”

2. Turning up to the gym unprepared

Rachel Chatham, qualified PT and part of Be:FIT London, said: “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”

“It’s easy to talk yourself into thinking that just going to the gym is enough, and it is certainly better than nothing to get some exercise in but in order to really maximise your workouts, its best to turn up with a solidly planned-out session so you can focus your full energy on giving it all you’ve got,” she said.

3. Poor technique

We get it, knowing how to perfect a press up, plank, kettlebell swing and every other move you do in the gym isn’t an easy task. But PT Tome Levi advises us to invest time in nailing your technique - or just ask the questions.

Failure to do so will result in injury, and stop us progressing.

Levi added: “Specifically to January, overtraining often fuelled by media-driven messages of guilt/the need to ‘detox’ over an alleged ‘over indulgence’ over the festive season, can also lead to injury.

“My standard advice to anyone who is unsure of their technique whilst in a gym environment would be to stop and ask for assistance from a PT. They’re there to help you stay safe.”

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4. Copying routines you see online

Fitness coach Lucy Arnold said she sees so many people at the gym copying exercise routines they have seen online by influencers or social media stars and it can result in unsafe techniques.

“It’s so much better to strip back to basics,” she said. “Quite often things can be unsafe if not performed correctly and resulting in injury.

“For the best results you should stick to safe compound exercises and cardio which isn’t putting you at risk of injury.”

5. Procrastination

Tom Oliver, trainer and founder of the eponymous Tom Oliver Nutrition, said: “By a lack of work-rate, I mean a lack of a good level of intensity, particularly with weight training.

“I see lots of sitting, texting or chatting between sets, which sort of defeats the object of being in the gym. Unless you’re training as a strength athlete, you don’t, in my opinion need more than 45-60 seconds rest maximum between sets.

“My advice to anyone wanting to reap the benefits of that time spent in the gym, is to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. If not, it will massively hamper your results.”

6. Lack of recovery time

Personal trainer Dom Thorpe, founder of Incentifit said to many people push too hard without allowing sufficient recovery time.

“This hinders progress and in worse cases, causes injuries,” he said. “Muscle groups should be trained once or twice a week max.

“Seasoned gym goers work around this and manage to train more regularly by breaking their workouts up into body parts, e.g. chest day, legs day, back day etc.”

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