If you are overweight and have gotten to the point where you’re ready to hit the gym to start shedding more weight and gaining more muscle, there are many workouts you can do to help ease you back into the gym scene. Before getting into the specifics of these exercise and workout programs, you must know the basics of what not to do when it comes to exercising.
Common Mistakes Made When Exercising at the Gym: Cardio
So many people who want to lose weight and feel that the gym is the best place to do this could potentially run into some roadblocks. For those beginner gym goers, they may be exercising incorrectly and not realizing it. If you’re not informed of what NOT to do you will never see results and you could do more harm than good.
1. Slouching on gym equipment is not going to maximize your cardio workout. Don’t lean forward, lean back, or hang on with an extremely tight grip. This causes your back to round out. When you do this to your spine it doesn’t allow for much support. If one of your goals is to strengthen your core muscles this isn’t going to help. You need to engage your core by sitting or standing straight to optimize your results.
2. Don’t hold on to any type of cardio equipment too tightly. This contributes to slouching and allows you to “cheat.” It restricts your arms from moving hence restricting you to burn a lot of calories. If you don’t feel comfortable with the gym equipment without gripping onto it tightly, a great alternative is to lightly rest your fingers on the bar. As you gain confidence and get more familiar with the equipment, start dropping a few fingers off the bar or even your entire hand. By letting your arm swing freely, you will increase your heart rate and will be able to burn more calories comfortably and confidently.
3. Using gym equipment to catch up on your reading is a big no-no. If you are on the bike, elliptical or treadmill and you’re reading rather than focusing on your workout then you’re probably not getting a workout. Save the reading for home and the gym for burning off that fat! Don’t just go through the motions; leave the book at home and focus on your body, your intensity level and your breathing.
4. Never walk with weights. While this appears to be a good idea it actually limits your workout by compromising your stride. By adding weights to your hands, wrists or ankles you are essentially forcing your body to move in a more exaggerated manner. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you lean too far back or forward you will add unnecessary stress on your ankles, quadriceps, shoulders, shins, and your lower back. For the best results keep your strength training and cardio separate.
5. A common misconception is that only doing cardio exercises you will still achieve amazing results. While cardio is a must in any successful workout regimen, you will need strength training to rebuild the muscle you began losing at the age of 30. This will increase your metabolism which in turn burns more calories. Adding formal strength training to your workout routine 2 to 3 times per week separate from cardio will allow you see amazing results more quickly.
6. You are paying to go to the gym to exercise, not socialize. If you have the energy to catch up with your friends at the gym while doing cardio either face-to-face or in person you are not allowing yourself to get into a good target heart rate zone. By talking and holding onto hand grips too tightly, your chances of reaching that target heart rate zone are slim and won’t be beneficial at all to your weight loss goals. A good thing to remember is do your gym cardio as you would if you were jogging, walking, running, or cycling outside.
Common Mistakes Made When Exercising at the Gym: Weight Lifting
The goal of a personal trainer is to help their clients get the best results. Just as with cardio, there are many errors that you can make when starting your strength training, especially if you’re a beginner and you’re not familiar with how to use weights properly. The following list includes what NOT to do when doing weight lifting exercises.
1. Don’t ever copy another client or trainer’s moves. Trainers will develop a training plan based upon the client’s goals, pre-existing injuries and/or time. If a trainer is doing a specific move they are basing that move on what their client’s goals are and what they are capable of. Even though utilizing personal trainers are the best choice in getting your desired results, don’t do any exercises without knowing the correct technique and form or you could cause yourself to get injured.
2. Check the weights on a machine that a trainer just used. Don’t just take on the same amount of weights that the trainer used as it may be too much or too little for you to handle. If you are jumping on a machine after a trainer, make sure you change the weights to the appropriate amount that matches your goals and capabilities.
3. To get the best results, increase lean muscle, burn more calories, and decreasing body fat, lifting weights is a must. Knowing the appropriate amount of weight you should life is crucial. If you’re lifting weights that are too light, you won’t achieve the results you want; if you’re lifting weights that are too heavy, you risk getting injured. Women are more likely to lift weights that are too light thinking that, if they lift heavier weights, they will bulk up. Men on the other hand are more likely to lift heavier weights to get that bulk only to realize they are straining themselves by doing this. A good thing to remember is to lift weights that are comfortable using for 10 to 12 reps.
4. Hanging out on weight lifting equipment is a BIG no-no. Not only are you taking time away from other clients, you are wasting your own time that could be used working on another machine. Complete your set, briefly stretch and then move on to another machine.
5. Don’t ever drop weights. Weights can tend to feel heavy while you’re doing a hard weight lifting workout. Not only could you leave floor damage but you will need to pick them up again and either use them or put them back in their proper place. An important thing to remember is that some weights can bounce and roll causing injury to you or someone else. All you need to do is place them on the floor rather than dropping them from two feet up.
6. Don’t make noises while working out. Those “look at me! Look at me!” grunting noises are not needed and won’t make a difference in the results you will achieve. It’s very distracting to other gym members as well. Also, when you’re grunting you’re not breathing properly making you lose your breath easily and making things more difficult for you in the long run.
7. After sweating on a machine, wipe it down. Regardless of what type of machine you’re using it is common courtesy to wipe it off for the next person. It helps keep the gym sanitary and clean as well as safe for you and other gym members.
A Great Beginner’s Gym Workout
As a beginner, your best option is to do a full body workout three types per week along with 2 to 3 days of cardio workouts and stretching. This will give you a very balanced workout routine between cardio and weight lifting. At the same time you will be able to generate a high calorie burn workout which will help you burn fat quickly. The following are two examples of strength training programs you can follow for a full body workout.
1. Workout 1 Gym Goer:
• Barbell bench press medium grip: 2 sets of 8 reps, rest for 2 minutes between sets
• Barbell squat: 3 sets of 8 reps, rest for 2 minutes between sets
• Bent over barbell row: 3 sets of 8 reps, rest for 2 minutes between sets
• Dumbbell lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps, rest for 2 minutes between sets
• Dumbbell shoulder press: 3 sets of 10 reps, rest for 2 minutes between sets
• Barbell curl: 2 sets of 12 reps, rest for 1 minute between sets
• Seated triceps press: 2 sets of 12 reps, rest for 1 minute between sets
• Hanging leg raise: 2 to 3 sets of 15 reps, rest for 1 minute between sets
2. Workout 2 Gym Goer:
• Barbell incline bench press – medium grip: 2 sets of 8 reps, rest for 2 minutes between sets
• Leg press: 3 sets of 8 reps, rest for 2 minutes between sets
• Wide-grip lat pull down: 3 sets of 8 reps, rest for 2 minutes between sets
• Leg extensions: 2 sets of 10 reps, rest for 1 minute between sets
• Seated band hamstring curl: 2 sets of 10 reps, rest 1 minute between sets
• Side lateral raise: 2 sets of 10 reps, rest 1 minute between sets
• Standing calf raises: 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps, rest for 1 minute between sets
• Exercise ball crunch: 3 sets of 15 reps, rest for 30 seconds between sets
For maximum results, you will want to alternate these workouts in a 121 format one week, 212 format the next week, and so on with a minimum of 3 strength training workouts per week.
At the beginning of your workout journey, it’s best to focus on building up your cardio base first. Set a goal to work your way up to doing 30 to 45 minutes of cardio continuously. Once you become comfortable with this, start looking at incorporating interval training if needed. Make sure that you do these workouts in separate sessions. Alternate between strength training and cardio every other day with one day off during the week as a rest day so you don’t burn yourself out or strain yourself. Always make sure you stretch before and after each weight training workout to reduce the possibility of being sore and to increase your range of motion.
If you are overweight and have made the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle, this guide is the best place to start. Changing up what you eat, how much and the types of foods you eat, getting rid of bad lifestyle habits, and incorporating these essentially easy and painless cardio and weight training you are on your way to starting to live a much healthier life.
To get fit, burn fat and build a muscular physique, most exercisers think you need to join a gym. They think they have an advantage over the at home exercisers and are better positioned for meeting their goals. And at first glance, maybe they are right. But if you take a closer look, what you’ll find is that there are pitfalls to joining a gym, and advantages to working out at home.
And upon this closer inspection, I’ve determined working out at home to be better than gym workouts. Keep reading to find out why…
Gym Goers Are Dependent On Outside Factors
There is a long list of features the gym goer uses to support their position that gym workouts are better than home workouts. Here are a few:
– Access to exercise machines, both resistance and cardio
– Access to trainers
– The ease of working out with a partner
– Working out in a fitness environment
But here is the thing… you don’t NEED any of those things to get fit, burn off pounds of ugly fat or build an attractive, athletic body. And when you think you do NEED them, you become dependent upon them.
What happens when you can’t get to the gym? What happens when you can’t use the machines because the gym is too busy? What happens when the trainer is training other customers? What happens when your workout partner doesn’t show up? I’ll tell you what happens: your workout suffers!
The Downward Spiral Of Gym Goers
When you are dependent on outside things like gym memberships, exercise machines, workout partners, etc, you are setting yourself up for a fall. The likelihood that one of these factors will be missing is high. It is not a perfect world, sorry. And when one or more of these factors are missing most gym goers either get a poor workout, or quit all together.
At Home Exercisers Are More Independent
Compared to gym goers, at home exercisers are less dependent on outside forces. Yes, they still must take the time to workout and stick with a proven program long enough to get results. But they don’t RELY on being in the gym, using exercise machines or working out with a partner to get results.
Just think about it. Who do you think would get better results over all? A gym goer that misses workout because they don’t want to drive to the gym, can’t use the equipment they want because of an overcrowded gym or leaves early because their workout partner didn’t show up? Or a home exerciser using ONLY bodyweight exercises and that sticks to the program for months at a time?
I think the choice is clear, don’t you. (And even if you do belong to a gym, don’t you think you should learn to workout at home to avoid using any of the excuses outlined above?
At Home Exercisers Take Personal Responsibility For Their Success
I think it all comes down to responsibility. If you decide to workout at home (especially without any extra equipment), you are taking responsibility for your fitness, fat loss and muscle building results. If you fail, it is your fault. It is not the fault of high gym prices, overcrowded gyms or lazy workout partners.
And when you take responsibility for your fitness, you are much more likely to succeed and reach your goals.
Sure, you can get fit, lose fat and build muscle in a gym. But gym goers face obstacles that make it easy for them to fail and blame something or someone else. At home exercisers know their success depends on them and nothing else. If they have a functioning body and the desire, they CAN and WILL change the way they perform, fell and look.