Walk into any gym, the average Joe gyms, and you will find a lot of people doing something wrong on the gym floor. Incorrect posture, incorrect methods or just something completely vague are common amongst gym mistakes for beginners.
Well, most of these mistakes are naive and can be looked upon but some will come back haunting you sooner or later. Short-sightedness will make losses in the long run, especially once you are done with gym routine for beginners.
Here are some of the most common gym beginner’s mistakes. If you know them, then you can correct them. You can also just live with them and keep one making these mistakes, but well, we would advise against it. If you keep on ignoring and continuing these, then you never be able to crack the answer to how to be a gym bro.
1. No Plan
Most of the beginner bros and broettes don’t have a plan at all. It is hard to develop a plan for yourself when you start off, but you can surely ask anyone to tell you what you are supposed to do. If you don’t have a gym partner or a gym friend, then just ask a trainer, google, read Cannot Cardio’s gym routine for beginners for week 1 and week 2 while you find a plan that suits you.
Even during the later stages, I’ve seen people walk into the gym without knowing what they are going to do today. Always have your plan laid out for the week and if possible even know what variations you are going to do for what workout. Always think through what you are going to do and think in advance.
2. Being the “I Know Everything Guy”
If someone walks up to you and corrects you that you are doing something wrong, then learn from them. If you have your doubts, then be open about it, tell them why you were doing something the way you were and ask them why do they think it is wrong. Learn from everyone at the gym and know why for every workout.
If someone walks up to you to correct you, then firstly they are sure about their posture and sure that you are doing something wrong. Secondly, it is a good way to get to know the intermediate or veteran gym bros and broettes. Someone told you to do something, and I agree you are doing it, but you might be doing it wrong.
So never pretend to know everything, learn from everyone and don’t make rookie gym mistakes.
3. Poor Posture
Doing a workout completely wrong is fine, it is doable because no one considers it as workout even. However, having a poor posture for any of the workouts in your routine is worse. The idea is that if you have poor posture you will tire your muscles and yourself without any results. This is one of the most common beginner’s gym mistakes.
Plus, if you do something completely wrong someone will come up to you and correct you. If you just have a bad posture, most people think that you will learn over time or you have a joint problem. Also, if someone is teaching you the posture, keep the weights low and learn the posture correctly before you go on to increasing weights.
4. The Equipment Queue
Remember you have rests between sets? Well, they should not last over 2 minutes at most even waiting in the queue for the equipment counts as rest. Waiting for one person to empty the machine so that you can use it is fine. But when you have 5-8 people standing in front of you before you can use the machine, it is not worth waiting.
One of the gym mistakes for beginners in cases like these the don’t switch up their workout pattern but stick to what they thought.
At this point, you are wondering, “What am I supposed to do?”
Well, for starters don’t go to the gym during peak hours. If you are a morning person, then wake up just 30 minutes earlier and you will probably find the gym empty. If you are late person then wait for another hour or so and you will find the gym empty. And if you are a student, then go during office hours!
One other thing that you can do it change your gym schedule to make it different from the others. Split your six-day workout into two parts, and do the second part first. If everyone takes legs on Saturday, start taking legs on Wednesday. If your gym is open and empty on Sunday, then make Thursday your new Sunday.
5. The Cold Start – Not Warming Up
Walk into the gym and get to dumbbells right away! Yes, that’s what we all love to do, don’t we? But should we do it? No, that’s a rookie gym mistake!
When you walk into the gym, from the cold weather outside or from a perfectly relaxed state your body temperature is a lot cooler than it is going to be. Your heart rate is normal and your muscles are a rest. There is going to be a lot of muscle contraction and expansion over the next hour or so and your body will need that much oxygen and thus blood supply to battle the fatigue.
To compensate for that your heart needs to pump that blood and it needs a few minutes before it gets into that state. It doesn’t matter if you have less time or if the gym is going to close, always warm up and don;t make a beginner’s gym mistake. Remove a variation out if you want but don’t skip on the warm-up.
6. Doing Intense Cardio Before Workout
I will work those legs today, or I will buff those biceps up but let me first do 30-minutes of intense cardio. Get that body heat up, get that blood flowing through the veins.
Sure, that sounds like a plan that would ruin your whole workout session. Doing a few minutes of warm-up exercises before you actually start working out is important. But using all your energy and putting it in the warm-up is nowhere near wise.
One of the most common gym mistakes for beginners is that they don’t realize the 30-minute cardio was for week one only and not to be carried in the latter weeks.
If you do intense cardio right before the actual workout you will drain out your energy. You won’t be able to do the best you can do on a weight day. Keep the intense cardio days away from the workout days, if you can’t then do it after the main workout. Just warmups at the start.
7. Being The Routine Stickler
I’ve seen people doing the same workout for months and months, another rookie gym mistake. After the first few warmup weeks from gym routine for beginners, people change their workout coming to the main routine but after that, they never change it.
Sticking to one routine will put your body into a habit. Most people even keep the number of sets and reps the same, just the weight increase by 5lbs every month. If you are going to follow the same routine it will become a habit. A gym mistake beginners make is not realizing it will not work in the long run.
Unless you challenge your body with a new workout pattern, new variations, reshuffle the sets and reps, your gains will eventually plateau. Always keep changing up your routine. You can keep the same workout for a few weeks, but change it before it becomes a habit.
8. “12-10-8” for Life
Dave Draper’s 12-10-8-6 workout is meant to be done in a specific format. There is science behind the magic number and it’s not just a number. The workout is effective only if each of the sets is done to failure, which we don’t or we cheat in the middle reps to make it to 12 reps.
Gym beginners are afraid of failure in the workout and commit this rookie gym mistake.
Dave Draper’s routine works only if done correctly. Also, you can’t be doing it for every variation, every day, then it just becomes a habit. You have to change it up. If you can’t do 12 but only 11, great if you did it to failure! If it is too light and you did 15 then good, there is a method to it. As long as it is not a beginner’s gym mistake.
Some days, just change it up, take lighter weights and do 20 or more reps just to get into the frequency reps or increase the weights and just do 4 reps and get into the power reps. Challenge your body with every day if you don’t want to plateau your gains.
9. Too Light Too Long
When you join the gym you are too confident about your ability to lift weights. After a few days, however, you learn that it is not that easy after all and fear of weights sets into your mind a gym mistake every rookie makes. I’ve seen people lifting light weights even after spending months at the gym.
It’s not your fault, I agree, weights above 15kgs start looking a lot bigger than they are supposed to. It is the design of the weight that increases the fear in your mind. If you are afraid of the weights, get a gym bro or broette to assist you for the first time you increase the weights, you will understand that it is all in the head. Letting that fear set in your mid is a gym mistake for beginners.
Or there are just some people who would say, I am preparing for the heavy lifting, let me get comfortable with light weights first – you had months! Gym growth is gradual, not increasing weights for months won’t let you double your weights tomorrow. Increase gradually but increase the weights especially once your are with gym routine for beginners.
10. “Light Weight Bro” – Lifting too Heavy
Trembling hands and red faces look good only on veteran gym bros and broettes who have dealt with injuries, pain, and know the way out if something goes wrong. Not with beginner gym-ers. Gradually increasing weights doesn’t mean you increase your weights by 5 lbs every week!
Increasing weights takes time and you grow gradually, grow out of the beginner gym mistakes. Jumping weights and assuming that your body can take it is a good way to hurt yourself in the process. Besides, increasing weight rapidly will deteriorate your posture and within a few weeks, you will be doing tricep workout in a bicep variation.
Growing is important, but growing steadily is a lot more important. You can’t increase your weight one week and then end up stunting your growth a few weeks down.
11. Following the Herd
Doing what everyone else does has never benefitted anyone, however, always do a version of what everyone else does. That is the process of being a gym bro. Copying workouts are good, copying patterns is also good, but don’t copy blindly. Learn why someone does something in a certain way, modify it for your body and then workout.
Steal like an artist.
Blindly copying workout or listening to someone is one of the most common gym mistakes for beginners. Learning is important and so is applying your mind in it.
Also, if everyone in your gym takes protein capsules doesn’t mean you should, or if everyone does legs on Saturday then doesn’t mean you fall in with the herd. In fact, if everyone does legs on Saturday then definitely avoid doing legs on Saturday.
12. Worn-out Shoes for Gym
“Why should I get new shoes? When these shoes will wear out within weeks of workout?”
This is one of the most common excuses I’ve heard from people wearing completely worn-out shoes to the gym and thus one of the most common beginner gym mistakes. I agree the shoes will wear out, and if new shoes aren’t exactly in your budget right now then wear shoes that you already own but they shouldn’t be too old!
Shoes that are a little bit worn out are fine, but old, completely worn out shoes should be avoided. Ankle injuries are just one wrong step away when you are lifting weights, one beginner gym mistake away. Always wear shoes that are good enough to hold grip but also provide enough cushioning to absorb the jerks during the workout.
13. Lack of Hydration
Most of us don’t have a habit of drinking a lot of water, it is just the way our sedentary life is tuned. You don’t need a lot of water if you are sitting on one seat for the entire day. You need to realize that your life is changing now and you can’t keep up with the old habits. You will have to increase your water intake. Keeping old habits and not adapting is another top hit on your gym mistakes for beginner’s list.
Keeping a water bottle near your desk or carrying it along everywhere you go is going to become a necessity now. Your body needs water to recover from the intensive workout and water helps your body recover from the workout tear.
Lack of hydration will not only reduce your recovery speed but will also stunt your muscle growth and you will have sore muscles for a very long time. Drink water, be a Gym Bro!
14. Not Carrying a Bottle & Towel to the Gym
If you want to be a gym bro or broette then always carry a towel to the gym, don’t make a rookie gym mistake. Keep your towel on the bench before you use it and wipe the bench clean after you are done. It is something every bro and broette should do. Carry a towel maintains your as well as the gym’s hygiene.
Also, since you are sweating a lot always carry a bottle of water to the gym. Keep drinking small sips of water while you keep working out. The best way to get rid of any cramp you get during the workout, sit down and drink water. Don’t workout for a few minutes when you get a cramp. Trying to workout when you get a cramp is a beginner’s gym mistake.
So, don’t be lazy, don’t say a bottle of water or a hand towel increase the weight of your bag, they are light. Always carry a bottle and a towel to the gym.
15. Not cooling down After Workout
If you are going to the gym always pull some time off your schedule, don’t be in a hurry to go back home.
A lot of bros and broettes leave the gym without doing a cool down which is a rookie gym mistake. A cooldown is just a set of different stretches to regulate the blood flow in your body and stretch the tensed muscles. If you had a leg day or a day of intense workout routines, then just walk a few minutes on the treadmill as well.
The entire cool down session won’t take more than 5 minutes, 10 if you walk on the treadmill. Either way, it is hardly a fraction of your entire workout routine. A little bit of stretching goes a long way in helping your body recover from the gym fatigue. Remember the faster you recover, the faster you can get back to the gym.
16. It’s Rest O’clock – Not Timing Rests
Taking rest between the two sets is sometimes the best part of the gym, right? No, it’s a gym mistake for beginners. Just like good things don’t last, these shouldn’t last either. A rest break should not be longer than 2 minutes, 90 seconds would be better.
A lot of gym-ers when they sit between two sets they forget that they are working out. Talking to your peers, walking around the gym floor, or just staring at everyone else working out is fine, but as long as it lasts not more than 2 minutes.
Any rest break that lasts longer than 2 minutes will cool your body and take away the cumulative fatigue from your workout. When you are working out, the longer you workout the more difficult it gets to continue. The cumulative fatigue works great in workout patterns like Dave Draper’s 12-10-8 routine. The cooldown takes away that effect from the workout reducing your gains.
17. Gym Selfie – Using Phone During Workout
Using a phone during the workout is the worst thing you can do and one of the worst beginner’s gym mistakes. The phones are a deceptive piece of art. One app leads to another and then to another. The 2 minute rests breaks becomes a 10-minute break without you realizing it.
Just like we mentioned in the point right above this, it would cool down your body and takes away the cumulative fatigue we developed during the first few variations of the gym routine for beginners.
You can use your phone, you can click pictures but do it before or after the workout. Keep your phones in your bag if possible, if not don’t use them as long as you are on the gym floor.
18. Lift Everyday Bro!
I understand that you have fallen in love with the idea of a workout, everyone does at least once they get into the gym routine. The day you don’t go to the gym you feel something is missing, and you feel the urge to go to the gym and I get it.
Going to the gym every day is only going to hamper your gains and might even get you sick. There is a reason why the rest day is a part of the gym routine. Without a rest day, you will tire yourself beyond recovery and hamper your gains.
Follow rest day like you follow every other weight lifting day, and do it diligently. Do stretches, maintain a diet, have protein bars and shakes if you want to and rest the muscles. Get to the gym tomorrow and shred and bulk, but rest on rest days.
19. I Play My Own Music
I know the DJs at the gym are trash, and that’s we don’t go there to attend their concerts, we go there to workout. Working out with your own music blasting in your ears is something we all love, it gives you more energy while working out and better motivation.
But working with headphones or earphones that cancel out the gym music, means you cannot hear anyone else. A lot of people would approach you or talk to you without you noticing. Often, correcting your posture or warning you about someone else or themselves working out.
Once you are a veteran when you know what you are doing, and when you develop a sense of being aware of your surroundings, you might then start listening to your own music – if you don’t develop a taste for gym music. Until then, don’t use earphones and listen to the people around you, don’t add it to your gym mistakes for beginner’s list.
20. Post Luch Workout
You just had a filling meal and there couldn’t be a better time to hit the gym, right? Well, for this one I assume you already know the answer. In case you don’t, it’s a hard no. If you just had anything avoid going to the gym for at least an hour, two would be better.
The gym puts your body into extreme muscle expansions and contractions. The diaphragm moves to regulate your breathing during the workout. A taut muscle and a chest full of air can make you puke.
You are supposed to leave your breath out when you lift the weight, but sometimes we all do it wrong. In cases like these, there would be a lot of pressure on your stomach and bile would come gushing out of your mouth. So never do it unless you want to commit a beginner gym mistake.
Okay, bros and broettes, that’s it for rookie gym mistakes from Cannot Cardio. If you want to be a gym bro then avoid these at all times and be polite to everyone. If you are a veteran, then help the rookies out.
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