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The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make In The Gym

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We've all seen the blooper videos of people doing things completely wrong in the gym. Well, I asked 10 health and fitness experts from Free Form Fitness personal training studios to give us their thoughts. Here they are:

1. Not balancing your workout

Often times people will overwork one muscle group, making it tight while making the opposite muscle group grows weak. People in the gym naturally gravitate towards exercises they are good at instead of what they need. This leads to injury. A good way to avoid this is to look at your posture and assess what exercises would be best for you. - Vania Hau, CPT

2. Exercising while eating poorly

Too many people feel they need to cut fat to lose weight, which leads them to buy "fat free" or "low fat" items. Those foods are loaded with sugar and fillers which simply harm their efforts to lose weight. Fats are not to be feared (good fats, that is!). Understanding "proper nutrition" is key to a successful weight loss journey. And no, that does not imply a diet. Those never work. It's a way of life! It's all about fueling the engine that is your body! - Catherine Marion, CPT

3. Having too many goals at once

There's a Chinese proverb that says "Chase two rabbits, catch none." Well, I would say the biggest mistake people make in the gym is just that. They try to fix too many things at once. "I want to run a marathon in record time but I also want to lose weight and be healthy." This is what I hear. Those three goals can be very conflicting and lead to complete mediocrity across the board. It's best to have a strategy. - Joey Blais, CPT

4. Drinking too much alcohol

I had a client that wanted to get in shape, but had a ton of aches and pains. I asked him to give up alcohol. Wait, wait, please keep reading -- there's still some alcohol. I knew he would hate hearing those words, but I knew that was the poison. Now with exception to only one or two glasses of wine on the weekend, he lost 15 pounds in less then eight weeks, all his aches and pains went away, and he increased his performance tenfold. We actually had members say he was an inspiration. Find the poison, remove the poison and reclaim health! - Mike Robichaud, CPT

5. Not eating enough

The problem I see in people who work out is that they don't eat enough quality food. Most people are lacking nutrients to build muscle, get strong or lose weight in a healthy manner. Not eating enough food also slows down your metabolism. - Alex Kendoza, CPT

6. Not warming up properly

I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is underestimating what a proper warm-up can do. For example, static stretching before a workout is not a good idea. You want to move your joint through full range of motion. I see a huge difference when my clients warm up properly. They approach their workouts with much more intensity and prevent injury. - Ryan Williams, CPT

7. Not making your goal a priority in your life

The biggest mistake goes something like this:

Client: "I can't lose weight."

Me: "Didn't you just tell me you drank three bottles of red wine and ate a whole row of cookies last night?"

The biggest mistake is not making your health priority number one in your day. Schedule it in, and let everyone know that it's your most important meeting of the day. It's you time. The pit stop to keep the car going strong. - Ryan Brown, CPT

8. Not maximizing their cardiovascular training

I think the biggest mistake is that they walk on the treadmill holding on at snail speed. They're not utilizing their cardiovascular training very well. Have you seen what sprinters look like? Sprinting helps stimulate fat-burning and muscle-building hormones. - Nicolas Antal, CPT

9. Following trends instead of getting down to the core issue

People tend to follow trends as opposed to getting down to the core of the issue. Sure, you can go do CrossFit or catch the next Zumba class, but what is the purpose? What are you trying to achieve? That's what I look at and try to find the most efficient and safest way to get there. That often means starting with the basics. - Matt Uden, CPT

10. Exercising too long

You don't need to be in the gym for very long. The first 30 minutes produce 80 per cent of the results. All you need is a 10-minute dynamic warm-up, 30 minutes of resistance exercise and a five-minute cool-down. Anything more will not provide more results. - Luzia Jaeger Hintze, CPT

Whether you're new to exercise or a veteran lifter, there are always things you can do to make the best of your workout. Let us know your thoughts.

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