12 mistakes you should avoid as a beginner

Top 12 Mistakes Beginners Make in the Gym according to the Personal Trainer

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Abhi. The first day he arrived at the gym, he was overwhelmed by all the weights and machines.

Abhi was so excited to build muscles, but that excitement didn’t last long. As soon as he started with a bench press, he nearly dropped a barbell on his face. After that, he had no idea what the **ck he was doing in the gym and that was the most terrifying workout of his life.

Hello everyone, my name is Abhi Kashyap. Yes, you are right, that was my story. Looking back, I realised that I made tons of mistakes and struggle a lot in the gym. And I am sure, some of you are also struggling to achieve your fitness goals in the gym. That’s why I am here to share my personal experience with you.

The years of struggle and training taught me a lot that I wish I knew on my first day at the gym.

Top 12 mistakes beginners make in the gym according to a personal trainer

1. You don’t Warm Up Properly

Not doing a proper warm up is a small but important mistake that most of the beginners do in the gym. Generally, beginners save their time and energy by not performing warm up.

Warming up, not only prepares you mentally, but it has a lot to do with your blood flow. It also sets your nervous system to exercise and to make an unbreakable mind to muscle connections. A little warm up can also affect your entire workout says Himanshu Vaid, a personal trainer at Fit-Online.

A good warm is the one which include:

  • Stretching your body
  • Increasing your Heartbeat
  • Lifting lightweight
  • A few compound movements
  • Joints movement

Warmup is the key which reduces the risk of injury and improves your athletic performance. You’ll know your warm-up is enough when you start to break a light sweat.

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2. Not Using Full Range of Motion

“Go Deeper”

“Feel that stretch”

“Go all the way down or up”

Most of our clients hear statements such as these from their gym trainer all the time. It’s true that limited range of motion is the error that needs to be corrected. But why most of the personal trainers suggest you to go with full range of motion?

Full range of motion actually helps you to be more flexible and stretchable. Research has shown that moving through full range of motion gives maximum benefits when it comes to building up muscles and strength. There is no doubt that when you will first enter into the gym, you’ll see most of the people lifting heavier than their limits, and that’s the point where they fail to perform full range of motion.

If you are also doing this mistake and expect to gain more muscle size faster, then you are in the wrong direction. If you just want to satisfy your ego of “No pain, no gain”, then drop your weight a little and start performing full range of motion which is harder than limited range of motion. That’s the one of the biggest mistake beginners perform in the gym.

Gym mistakes according to the personal trainer

3. You Focus Only on Cardio

The next big mistake most of the beginners do in the gym, is they focus only on cardio to lose weight and avoid or skip weight training. It’s true that cardio is very good for your heart and burns calories, but weight training is equally important when it comes to overall health and fitness.

I always say that “Your goal is not to lose weight rather to live a healthy life and have a fit body”. Some experts say that when you are young, you can do more cardio over weight training, but once you hit midlife then you must focus more on your weight training exercises. You should train your muscles at least three days a week.

Here are some benefits of weight training:

  • Increases overall strength and build muscles.
  • Helps to manage body weight
  • Maintain bone density
  • Keeps your heart healthy
  • Better sleeping habits
  • Reduce the chances of depression
  • Blood sugar control
  • Make you mentally and physically strong

The number of calories you burn during your work out depends upon your body size and how intensely you exercise. Studies shows that weight training helps you burn more calories every day, as it helps you to build muscles and some muscles helps you to burn more fat.

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4. Ego Lifting (the most common)

No matter at what level of training you are, ego lifting is the biggest mistake anyone can perform in the gym. In hopes to impress your friends or people around you in the gym, lifting weight using your ego is the act of pushing heavy weight without keeping the perfect body posture or exercise form.

Generally, most of the beginners wants to impress others by lifting heavy and shouting loud. I can tell you from my personal experience, nothing makes me laugh more than when I see a beginner lifting without proper form and try to impress others.

It’s true that to build muscle we have to lift heavy, but it is also true that you should increase weight as long as you can control it. Though some people may find it cool to lift heavy-weight, but remember you are putting yourself in a dangerous position. I request you no matter what you do in the gym, but please never put your life in danger. Ego lifting is bad and can increase your chances of injury.

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5. Not Planning Your Work Out

As a beginner how many of you have a workout plan and diet plan? I know the answer, very few people pre-define their fitness goals and plan their work out before joining the gym.

It’s a good idea to find a certified personal trainer or consultant to determine what you should and should not be doing. A wellqualified trainer can help you with specific exercise, personal diet plans, exercise routine, gym ethics, and plans intensity according to your personal needs. This is the best way to start your health and fitness journey as a beginner.

Benefits of hiring a qualified personal trainer and nutritionist:

  • Personalized Work Out plan
  • Personalized Diet Plan
  • Habit transformation
  • Daily health tracker
  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • Helps you to achieve your fitness goals faster
  • Makes you feel more confident
  • Break your mental, and physical barrier
  • Anytime support and reporting

Plan your workout and personal fitness goals before joining the gym. This will help you to be more confident and provide you a direction to start your health journey.

Get the Free Personal Consultant now!

6. Water In Between Your Sets

There is a strong misconception among beginners that drinking water in between your sets is not a good thing. But, according to the professionals and certified health coaches there is no such reason of not drinking water in between your sets.

In fact, there is a study which shows that drinking water in between your sets can help you in positive ways. There are a number of reasons for sipping water in between your sets, such as:

  • Water keeps you hydrated
  • Helps to maintain your body temperature
  • Prevents muscle cramps
  • Reduces the chances of injury during work out
  • Push nutrients to your muscles

Some of the best health and fitness coaches believe that during work out is the best time to drink more water because during exercise your body loses water in the form of sweat. So, drinking water in between your sets is a good thing and you should also carry your own water bottle before going to the gym.

7. Working Out more than an hour

I guess, as a beginner this is your favourite thing to do. You all want to spend most of the time of the day in the gym just to look cool and build more muscle or lose more weight. But this is not the case if you work out more than an hour.

Experts believe that working out more than an hour, may lead to muscle breakdown and you end up spending huge number of extra calories. A good workout lies somewhere between 45-60 minutes (including warm-up). Try not to waste your extra calories and time in the gym. Stick to general rule of thumb of 45 minutes of weight training and little bit of cardio is good to lose weight.

Read this: How to add a good workout in your busy schedule?

What Mistakes Beginners make in the gym

8. Doing Cardio before Weight Training

If your personal fitness goal is to gain weight or build more muscle mass, then you must avoid the mistake of doing cardio before your weight training session.

There are a number of studies which shows that cardio before your workout act as a barrier between your health & fitness goals. The reason behind this is simple, the mistake of doing cardio before weight training will burn your calories and energy. That loss of energy will make your weight training less effective.

So, the best practise, as a beginner is to always prefer to go with a weight-training session before doing cardio and such other exercises.

Identify your personal fitness goal now!

9. Using Only Machines or Only Dumbbells

Some of the beginners believe that machines are better than dumbbells, whereas, other believe that dumbbells are better than machines. I promise you don’t need to fight with your friend over this topic again.

Machines are good for the beginner as they are very comfortable and easier to learn. And there is a saying, “Good forms always protect you from injury”. Machines are also good for isolation movements and help you to be in a perfect position while doing exercise.

Whereas, free weights or dumbbells are good for your compound movements. Free weights target multiple muscles at a time. In simple words, this means you can get more out of work out in a short period of time. Compound movements include deadlifts, squats, bench press, dumbbell press, and overhead presses, etc.

I personally believe that they both are good and have their own importance to build more muscle mass. If you are a complete beginner and want to build more muscle then I prefer you to go with compound movements and focus more on free weights to target multiple muscles at a time. After some time, you can switch to machines or you can combine both of them in your gym workout.

10. Not having Mind-Muscle Connection

Weight Lifting is much more than going to the gym every single day. It needs a full mental focus, but so many beginners fail to do so when working out in the gym.

Lifting heavy is not the vital thing that you should focus on, rather give your 100% attention on your muscle. When you give your undivided attention to training muscle group will always give you results and helps you in size gain. There is an old saying which states that you build muscle when you connect your mind with your muscles.

Yes, I know there are some distractions in the gym, so how can you focus on your muscle rather than on something else? Let’s find out together.

  • Avoid Social Media in the Gym
  • Never do work out with a chatterbox
  • Take a deep breath or two before every set
  • Focus more on a form, rather than on increasing weight
  • Visualize your targeted muscles or body parts
  • Try to pose before and after your working sets
  • Listen to your favourite music

These (above) are some of the ways to build a perfect mind to muscle connection. This is one of the top mistake’s beginners make in the gym, make sure you don’t do it next time.

11. Ignoring Diet and Nutrition

Ignoring nutrition is the most common mistake most of the people do when they join the gym for the first time. Generally, people think that workout is enough to build muscles or gain weight. Even weight loss also requires diet management.

Never ignore your diet or nutrition and prefer workout over it. Rather focus on both and learn to manage them. When you push your body in the gym and burn muscles, you require a healthy diet to recover yourself. Nutrition plays an important role when it comes to weight loss or weight gain in a healthy way.

Read: Easy and Healthy Eating Habits worth following.

12. Forgetting about the Recovery Process

Never forget about the recovery process of your body. Your body needs some time to recover or heal itself. Some of you may have guessed it right, Yes, I am talking about our favourite thing to do every day: Having a good night sleep.

When, you work out in the morning and go back to your daily routine, at night your body is exhausted and need some rest to recover your muscle tissues and provide energy to other body parts. Sleep is very crucial for human beings and needed to be wisely managed. An average person needs 6-8 hours of sleep, and it also plays an important part when it comes to muscle building.

As a beginner, the best advice I can give you is to keep a good balance in your workout, nutrition, and sleep. Because then only you can build muscles and live a healthy life. The gym is not the only thing which helps you to be healthy & active, focus on your overall life balance and according to the personal trainer, you should avoid these top 12 mistakes before in the gym.