The gym can be one of the most useful tools in your weight loss program. It provides a sense of community with other members as well as housing a variety of expensive equipment that may not fit in your house. While gym sessions should be consistent and productive, some members may still not be seeing the results they desire. There are a few common mistakes that occur once you decide going to the gym is right for you.
- Too Much Too Soon
Most new gym members are also a little inexperienced about weight loss methods or specific gym equipment. Some push their workouts too hard too soon and wind up overly sore or injured by equipment misuse. To make sure you’re doing the right amount of work, listen to your body. If something pops or feels overly strained, slow or stop your workout. You do not want to discourage yourself from returning to the gym by injuring yourself during your first session. Consult a physician before beginning a serious workout regimen to determine the best workout for your body type.
While it is important to have a sense of community at your gym, taking up space in the squat rack talking to your four friends about what you did that weekend will not help you improve your performance. Keep conversation brief, whether it be relevant to your workout or running into a friend at the gym, you don’t want to cut too much into your own gym time. Think of your gym as a place to clear your head and unwind. There are benefits to intensely focusing on the activities you’re performing and avoiding long conversations will cut down on distracting thoughts.
- Lack of Intensity
If you have clear, specific health goals to reach but are leaning on treadmill bars or not challenging yourself on the workout equipment, you won’t see results. Push to run an extra mile, or bump up the weight on the resistance machines. Also, the time of day you work out could be a reason you don’t have an intense workout. Find a time during your schedule where you can set aside at least 40 minutes for your workout and pick the time of day that gives you the most energy. Whether it be in the morning or later in the evening, most gyms have 24 hour access to allow you to pick when to go.
- No Direction
If your gym does not have a personal trainer, you’ll need to do your own research before hitting the weights. Some useful websites offer free workout programs and advice from experts to help give your workout routine more rigid direction. Also, consult the owner or attendant of your gym, as they will be able to help you learn how to operate machines and possibly give you some tips about how to maximize your workout. Whether or not you have access to personal training sessions, you’ll want to do research to determine goals to set for yourself and how to achieve them.