Fitness and Health

Fitness and health go hand in hand, and this section of our health library is devoted to exploring the relationship between these two very important aspects of life.

The 10 Biggest Workout Mistakes

Although exercise is highly recommended and deserves no judgment, avoid making these 10 biggest workout mistakes to lower the risk of injury and maximize your results!

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Pumping iron and living at the gym when crazing in a fitness journey?

Although all exercise is highly recommended and deserves no judgment, being misinformed can deter personal goals. It may also cause injury.

Avoid making these 10 biggest workout mistakes to maximize your results in the gym!

The 10 Biggest Workout Mistakes

From looking to the wrong fitness advice to overworking the muscles, do not make these common gym workout mistakes.

1. Looking to the Wrong Advice

With so much idealized fitness information trending social media feeds, it is easy to get caught up in the wrong advice.

Always determine the credentials and experience of the individual promoting and providing workout guidelines and tips. This not only ensures the workout lends successful results but is safe to implement.

Meeting with a personal trainer can help get you carefully started. It is a good idea to consult with your doctor before beginning any sort of workout regimen, too.

Their guidance and expertise can help tailor recommendations to fit personal needs. This especially serves true if living with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

2. Overlooking Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs

It is all too common… People rush to the gym, blow off a warm-up, tackle a workout, and dismiss the cool-down. They then wonder why they are so sore or have injuries.

Warming up and cooling down is a must for every workout and should never be overlooked or rushed through. Doing so helps prevent soreness and injury of muscles. Warm up with a light jog, jumping jacks, or any exercise to elevate the heart rate for at least five minutes.

It is likewise essential to reduce an elevated heart rate with a light walk and stretch muscles while they are "warm." Hold each stretch and breath deeply for 10 to 30 seconds.

3. Going All in Too Quickly

While you may be excited to jump into a new workout, ease into an exercise program to lower injury risk.

Especially if a beginner, start with 10 to 15 minutes of light activity. Gradually work up to 30 minutes each day, along with increasing the intensity and volume of your workouts.

4. Targeting Only One or a Couple Muscle Groups

Particularly if self-conscious about specific areas of the body, you be overworking one or a couple of muscle groups.

However, all muscle groups should be targeted. This includes the chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and back.

Working all muscles balances and optimizes strength, coordination, and overall muscle mass.

5. Not Allowing Rest

No, resting does not mean resting on your health goals!

Muscle groups should have at least a day or two of recovery to prevent injury and maximize muscle growth and restoration.

Always listen to your body and if you are feeling incredibly sore, allow it a rest period to recover.

6. Relying Solely On Cardio

Cardio is often the exercise of choice when trying to lose weight. And while it has shown to be the fastest way to shed off pounds, weight training should not go unnoticed.

Building muscle supports lean body mass which contributes to a faster metabolism, in turn resulting in long-term weight loss.

Health experts encourage at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise weekly. But incorporate strength training at least twice a week, too.

7. Placing Quantity Over Quality

There is an often misconception you have to lift heavy weights and crank out numerous reps to gain results. However, muscle strains and injuries often occur when rushing and jerking through a set of exercises too quickly.

Lifting weights too heavy or doing too many reps can likewise be a common workout mistake. Fitness experts suggest lifting lighter weight with correct form is much more efficient in gaining desired results.

Nonetheless, the emphasis is quality over quantity. Always pay attention to the quality of the form and technique, not the quantity of the weight, reps, or sets.

8. Sticking to A Singular Regimen

If someone feels a certain exercise is giving them glory, they likely stick to their guns and the same routine.

You do want to have some repetition in your workout. But repeating the same activities constantly can stall progress and is a gym workout mistake you can easily avoid.

Shake up your regimen by including different movements, along with varying intensities and weights used in your workout.

9. Neglecting Good Nutrition

Whether trying to lose weight or gaining muscle, there are two likely scenarios occur related to nutrition.

One: Many people believe exercise is a free pass to eat whatever you want. But the bottom line is you cannot out-exercise a bad diet. If you eat a 1,000-calorie cheeseburger, it is going to take at least an hour to burn off those extra calories.

And two: Individuals trying to gain muscle may be undereating in worries of gaining body fat. However, the body needs extra fuel to feed and ensure efficient muscle growth.

A Registered Dietitian can help determine nutritional needs and requirements based on individualized goals.

10. Trusting Too Much On Supplements

Supplements are often looked to as the ultimate elixir to reach health goals. And while they can and do have their time and offer some benefit, they supplement a healthy diet.

Ultimately, supplements should not displace whole foods that are rich in nutrients. A balanced diet allows the body to carry out physiological processes, including weight loss and muscle growth.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Medically reviewed By Jake Berman, PT, DPT. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on June 19, 2019.

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