So, last week we tackled the top diet mistakes (holy eye-opening); this week we’re shining the much-needed spotlight on gym mistakes. Come on, I know you’ve seen it… some Joe Schmoe mindlessly clanking dumbbells or a Jane who runs and runs and runs yet never makes a dent in her weight. And don’t think you’re above it; gym mistakes strike even savvy exercisers – and could be getting in the way of your New Year’s Resolutions. Don’t believe me, just ask Billy Malkovich, CEO of Mountainside Fitness, the largest locally owned fitness chain in the state of Arizona. He’s not just brains and a suit; he’s an avid exerciser who’s seen every mistake in the book—and he’s here to set the record straight. So stop sabotaging your gym sessions and start seeing results.
Top 10 Gym Mistakes by Billy Malkovich of Mountainside Fitness
1. You are what you eat. There’s 24 hours in a day. You sleep 7 hours and exercise 1. That leaves 16 hours to sabotage your progress by eating the wrong type and amount of food.
2. Don’t sell yourself short. Worry less about the cost of a fitness center and focus more on the amenities, class content, cleanliness, staff, accessibility and overall environment. Something is worth what you get out of it not what you pay for it.
3. Attack of the machines. Exercising while sitting down is better than nothing. But, stand up, walk away from the machine, and grab a set of dumbbells. Take for example a shoulder press: Performed on a machine, you are engaging your shoulders and triceps. Performed standing with a set of dumbbells, you engage your core muscles and lower body while also working your shoulders and triceps.
4. It’s not fashionable to be late. If a group fitness class is in session, do not enter the room. No one appreciates being interrupted, mid-down dog by someone rolling out their yoga mat.
5. Avoid chunky aerobics instructor syndrome. Hour-long bouts of aerobic activity, performed at a medium pace, cannot be your entire fitness regimen. Mix in some resistance training and short, intense cardio sessions and I promise you’ll look better at the beach.
6. They still sell weight belts? Wearing a weight belt to protect your back is like smoking a cigar to make your cough go away. By doing so you are weakening your core muscles which are the very muscles needed to protect your back. Throw the weight belt away and read #7.
7. Allowing ego to overtake form. If your back hurts after doing a bicep curl, perhaps the weight is a tad too heavy. Lifting heavy weight, with poor form, does more harm than good.
8. Your routine is so routine. Our bodies are incredibly adaptive and must be constantly challenged. Not only will an overly routine, routine get mentally boring, but physically as well. If all you do is Zumba, mix in a Cycle class. Been doing the same 7 machine circuit for the past month, try a TRX class.
9. Don’t be “that guy/girl.” Grunting is not necessary; neither is dropping the weights or wearing a copious amount of perfume. Don’t talk on your cell phone, sit on a machine and text, or confuse the locker room with a nudist colony. Remember, you are one of many all coexisting in the same space. Be respectful of those around you.
10. It takes more than seven minutes to get abs. Infomercials have succeeded in setting unrealistic expectations. If it was easy, everyone would be a fitness model. Don’t self-sabotage by setting unrealistic expectations. Strive for constant and never-ending improvement. The results will be permanent and the disappointment, absent.