Common Mistakes People Make in the Gym

April 3, 2014 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

So you’ve been attending your gym religiously for two months and nothing’s changed; you feel a little fitter, and certainly a lot better about yourself for exercising regularly, but the pounds just aren’t shifting. Why? What is it that is stopping you from getting to your desired weight? Is it motivation? Is it your training plan? Or is it something else entirely?

Maybe it is time to stop and take stock.

Perhaps you’re making one of these classic mistakes…

Spending too much time socialising:

Look honestly at your gym routine – how much time is spent really exercising and how much is spent talking with your friends? And a walk on the treadmill while you natter away doesn’t count as exercising – if you can talk comfortably, you’re not exerting yourself at a level that will get results.

Trusting the machine’s ‘calorie expenditure’:

There are a great deal of variables that go into how many calories you burn while exercising, and no machine can give you an accurate calculation.

In fact, the difference could be so great, that the machine could say you’ve burnt 500 calories when you’ve only burnt 250.

If you’re relying on the machine to decide how big a portion of pudding you’re allowed later in the evening, the reason you’re not losing weight could be down to something as simple as numbers – the wrong numbers.

Doing the same thing every time:

Variety is the spice of life – and this counts for exercise too. If you were making progress initially but have now hit a brick wall, try mixing up what you do.

Vary the amount of time you spend on your favourite machines, and the level of intensity you work at. And don’t be afraid to try new machines. Each new challenge you put on your body will help give it the kick start needed to start making progress again.

Bad technique:

If you’re not using a machine correctly, you could be mistaking damage to your body for normal exercise fatigue.

Get a qualified instructor to check your technique and put right anything you’re doing wrong. Bad technique can at best, mean you get nothing out of your workouts, and at worst, cause you permanent damage.

Jumping straight in at the deep end:

Starting off with too much might not only cause your body harm, but is also likely to prevent you from keeping up your new routine for too long.

Committing to attend twice a day, five days a week for example, is setting yourself up for failure. Few people have the motivation to attend at that sort of level (and those that do, usually have a specific goal to train for, such as a marathon).

Starting off with two twenty minute sessions a week is ideal. Over time, you can build this up to three 45 minute sessions. The key is to find a balance and schedule that works for you – jump in too deep and you will burn out quickly.

Antony Belanger runs a successful blog about slimming (, covering all the last trends in dieting and weight loss. You can read his latest post about the Mediterranean diet here.

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