Mistakes you are making at the gym

Mistakes you are making at the gym

I recently picked up a membership to a major gym franchise. To be completely honest 80% of the reason was for access to the hot tub, sauna, and steam room. It also is convenient that I can go whenever I want and squeeze in a quick workout. I’ve never really been big on going to the gym. I’ve been a runner most of my life so it was never a big priority to put on muscle mass and frankly I found it boring to go in, do three sets of ten of whatever exercise then sit for a few minutes and do three sets of ten of some other lift. Blah. I’ve outlined in past posts how I absolutely love the Skogg System, http://www.skoggkettlebell.com, and highly recommend it for anyone curious about kettle bells or just looking to get in better shape, its great. Your cure for the common gym. This post isn’t met to discuss that however. I do have a fair bit of experience lifting weights, but not in an athletic club setting. As a former DI sprinter for a Pac-10 (now 12) school we lifted minimum 3 days a week. We didn’t lift for looks. We lifted for function. To get faster, more explosive, better endurance. Probably the biggest difference however was that we had a coach. In fact a specific strength training coach separate from our running coach. This coach outlined a program for us based on our event, our areas of weakness and our goals. He also was there to correct our form so we got the most out of each lift with minimal risk of injury. Basically what I am saying is that I know a little bit about what I’m talking about when I point out the mistakes I see at the gym.

No plan what so ever.
At least no plan that I can see. Guys jump around from one machine to another, one lift to another with no rhyme or reason. What are you trying to accomplish? Strength gain? Fat burn? Stability? Endurance? Its all a mishmash. My recommendation is to put a little thought into things before you go to the gym or at least before you start your workout. What do I want to accomplish today? As general rules to increase power lift heavier with fewer lifts and longer rest. To increase strength moderate weight 6-10 reps and shorten your rest. No more than 2 minutes between sets and I would suggest more like 1 minute. For more of a toning and cardio workout (yes you can work cardio lifting weights) lighter weight, high reps, short rest. Think 10-15 reps and super-set lifts (going straight between multiple lifts with no rest).
Terrible Form.
Before you do a lift stop for a second and think about what (primary) muscle group that lift is meant to work. If its a curl don’t swing the weight, lean way back, or any of the goofy things I’ve seen people do. For squats keep your heels planted on the ground, maintain the normal curve in your low back by bracing your abs and squeeze your gluts as you lift. If you have no experience lifting, or if you have injured yourself I recommend finding a qualified trainer. Another pet peeve is how people work their abs. Leg lifts primarily work your hip flexors guys. To work your abs, actually your abs, you need to bring your pubic bone towards your rib cage. Small, concentrated motions accomplish this really well. Crunches are great. I also really like planks and different modifications of planks since they put far less stress on your spine.
I could keep going, but that’s a pretty good rant for one day.
Again, I recommend you all check out http://www.skoggkettlebell.com.

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