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Workout Tips

This section of our health library is devoted to – you guessed it – workout tips! Learn about all things fitness in these articles that are designed to help you get up and get moving, regardless of your physical ability.

What Not to Do at the Gym to get the Best out of your Diet and your Workout

Working on your body can be hard. Learn what to do and what to avoid to make good use of your time.

What Not to Do at the Gym to get the Best out of your Diet and your Workout

We’re told that exercise should be paired with healthy eating to drop the pounds and keep the weight off; but, what most people don’t know is that JUST exercising, without any guidance, is not ideal.

Have you ever started an exercise routine and ate healthy only to find that you weren’t losing any weight? Well, what gives? The truth is that this happens all the time.

We want you to successfully lose weight and get the most out of your workouts so we’ve compiled a list of what not to do at the gym to get you started. The rest is up to you!

What not to do’s at the gym

What not to do at the gym tip #1: The gym is for everyone. Ladies, the weights are not off limits. Don’t be intimidated by them.

The weight room can definitely be intimidating for a woman and the cardio section probably feels a lot more like home, but strength training is a key part to everyone’s workout—both male and female—and should not be ignored.

If you don’t know how to use the weights, ask your personal trainer for advice; ask your friends; or ask some of the guys in the weight room—gym goers are normally very friendly and if you have a willingness to learn, they should have no problem taking the time to show you what to do.

What not to do at the gym tip #2: Don’t be boring and stick to one thing! Venture out and conquer new fitness routines to avoid a plateau.

It’s awesome that you’ve found an exercise that resonates with you, but doing the same routine over and over again can increase your risk of injury, create a lack of motivation and the dreaded plateau.

Try to challenge yourself and include each of these components into your workout:

Cardio-respiratory endurance—Aerobic exercise including brisk activities like walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, jumping rope or kayaking. The key to a successful workout is building up your intensity over time.

If you’re a treadmill addict, spinning is a great alternative.

Muscular strength—It’s important to get in a well-rounded workout and muscular strength is key.

Try lifting weights like free weights or dumbbells or you could even try a weight machine.

Muscular endurance—Improve your endurance through conditioning exercises, weight training and activities like running or swimming.

Flexibility—Work to increase your level of flexibility through stretching exercises that are done as part of your workout or through a discipline like yoga or Pilates.

What not to do at the gym tip #3: Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can become a body builder overnight. Stop, slow down and plan out your workout.

If you jump into an exercise routine too soon without doing the proper research, you can become overly sore, lose your motivation and develop symptoms of fatigue.

Remember that it’s not always about speed. Going through your reps at lightning speed does not mean you are working out harder, better or stronger. It means you are not working through the full range of your muscles. Most people don’t know about proper form and posture at the gym. Check with the front desk to find a trainer who can show you how to get the most out of your workout and how to do it correctly.

Incorrect weight lifting can be just as bad as flying through your reps:

Many people make judgment errors when lifting weights. You should choose a weight that you can lift 30 times to start, but afterward can lift only 15 times more. You never want to feel completely exhausted after you’re done.

Don’t fail to focus on your core:

The body’s core—the entire area from your chest down to your hips— is the basis of all human movement so strengthening it improves all other physical activities too. Try to incorporate bench presses, back row and leg presses into your workout.

What not to do at the gym tip #4: Some general housekeeping

You’ll never get anywhere without proper hydration:

It’s important to stay hydrated while at the gym. A good rule of thumb is to drink 2 cups (16 ounces) of water about 15 minutes prior to your workout and another 6 ounces after you cool down. Also, a quick sip every 20 minutes will help keep you hydrated while you’re pumping the iron.

Listen to your body:

Forget no pain no gain. If your body starts to hurt during your exercise routine, that is not a good thing and you should NOT keep going. It is normal for your muscles to feel sore 12-24 hours after you’ve worked out, but if any pain occurs during your workout or immediately afterward, consult your doctor. The same goes for muscle soreness that persists for more than a week. Also, don’t work out when you’re extremely tired or not feeling well.

If you exercise smart and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts, you’ll stay challenged and safe.

Warm up and cool down:

This is something many people ignore, but your body can’t just go from 0-60. It needs to wake up and do 5-10 minutes of low-level aerobic activity before you stretch it. To get the most out of your pre-work out stretch, perform each stretch slowly and gently—and hold for 30 seconds. Never bounce during a stretch. Relax and ease into it. If you feel any discomfort, you are pushing too hard.

You can’t eat whatever you want and expect to lose weight:

You must eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight so you can’t just eat everything you want as long as you’re working out. It just doesn’t work that way. Working out and successfully losing weight is all contingent on a healthy diet and how much you put into your exercise routine.

It’s important to find a balance of protein, fats and carbs:

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Written By bistroMD Team. Published on June 28, 2013. Updated on June 18, 2019.


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