When it comes to training, hardly anyone is perfect. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gym-goer, it is likely that you have room for improvement.
To improve, you must recognize your mistakes and try to fix them. There are inevitable mistakes that many people make while at the gym. These mistakes hinder your performance while minimizing the progress you make.
Here’s a look at some of these common strength-training mistakes you’re likely making.
Not Warming Up Before Workouts
Everyone knows the importance of warming up before workout sessions. It loosens up the muscles, reduces your risk of injury, gets you in the right headspace to move your body, and enhances your overall performance during a workout. Yet, it is astonishing to see how quickly these benefits go out the window when you’re running short on time. But you leap right into the exercise instead of taking the time to prepare yourself, and later wonder why your performance was not up to the mark.
A good warm-up doesn’t require a lot of time. However, if you don’t warm-up, you’ll notice that your performance will visibly suffer. Even if you are short on time, spend a few minutes stretching and warming up your muscles to ensure a good workout session.
Using Momentum to Complete Your Lifts
You must have seen those people who load up weights on bars and then push themselves through workouts by leaning and bending with quick momentums. Are you that person? This can be painful to watch and also make you look like you have no what you’re doing. From a training point of view, it is entirely futile. If you’re training like this, you’re not working muscles the way you’re supposed to. Instead, you depend entirely on momentum to complete your reps. It also limits the range of motion in which your muscles are working. The poor technique and lack of control over the weight can significantly increase your risk of injury. By training this way, you’re cheating yourself out of any real progress you can make through a proper working out.
Remember that heavier weights don’t mean more progress. Use weights that are appropriate for your fitness and skill level, and focus on the movement of your muscles during the repetitions. Take the time to learn the proper technique. Two sets of appropriate form and high intensity will result in better progress than four sloppy sets. Once you’re comfortable with the technique and weight, gradually add more weights to increase your progress.
Neglecting Your Posterior Chain
Perhaps the biggest issue in our daily lives is that our everyday tasks encourage us to hunch forward. Whether you’re sitting at your desk at work, texting, working on your laptop or computer, or playing with kids, you’re likely bending forward. Hence, it would make sense for people to focus on correcting this position while training by strengthening the back of their bodies. Ironically, this is the body part that gets neglected the most during training sessions while people focus more on other larger muscles such as abs, quads, and chest. Not training the back of your body and other smaller muscles will leave these muscles de-conditioned and weak, leading your body to become imbalanced.
Ensure that you are doing exercises that strengthen your back. A good way to start is by incorporating pull-downs, planks, and cobras into your workout. You can also benefit by focusing on engaging your glutes and hamstrings during lower-body strength-training workouts such as squats and lunges.
Only Thinking About Workouts
If you want to see any real progress from your workout sessions, you will have to look at the bigger picture. You’ll always feel tempted to do more. More time. More weights. More training. More fat loss. More muscles. However, putting in hard hours of intense training will not ensure excellent results. This can be bad for you. Unless you’re an Olympic-level athlete whose being trained under professionals, you are likely to get overworked and cause more damage to your body than benefits. In addition to that, overtraining can also lead to demotivation, which can cause you to go for more extended periods without any training at all.
For progress at an appropriate and sustainable rate, it is essential to put in a proper amount of effort. This also means ensuring that you don’t put in more effort than required. It would help if you also take rest days at least once or twice a week. This will give your muscles adequate time to heal and recover from the workouts. Aside from this, focusing on your lifestyle is vital for progress. Follow a nutritious diet that supports your training goals and has foods from each macro group for balanced meals. Getting 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep every night is also essential.
If you’ve been making any of these mistakes, then there’s no need to panic. These are very common mistakes that a lot of people make. The good news is that you are aware of these strength-training mistakes now and can take the measures required to correct these problems. You can get yourself on the right track by taking a few easy steps.