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I spend a lot of time in the gym with my clients or kicking my own butt. On a daily basis I see gym goers make numerous asinine, pointless and sometimes even dangerous mistakes. So in the interest of public safety and improving overall success, here is my list of top 10 things NOT to do in the gym.
1. Not using a sweat towel
This is standard hygiene. Who knows how often things are cleaned at the gym? Carrying a towel to protect your exposed skin from germs is vital to avoid contact with pathogens and/or acne-causing bacteria. Likewise, nobody wants to lie down in a puddle of your sweat, so wipe down equipment (benches, mats and even dumbbells or handles) after use with sanitizing spray. If sanitizing spray isn't in an obvious spot in your gym, ask for it.
2. Doing cardio before weight training
I frequently see people spend 30-60 minutes on the cardio equipment before heading into the weight room. Guys, spend a max of 10 min on your cardio as a warm-up in order to limber up and get body temperature raised, then hit the weights. Not only will you be able to lift more (you haven't depleted your glycogen stores yet, but when you do your cardio after lifting your body burns extra calories from fat as the glycogen stores were depleted during the lifting.
3. Trying to chat up the attractive guy/girl with the headphones on
If someone is wearing headphones at the gym it's a universal sign of "I'm focused on my workout and have no desire to be hit on or make small talk." If you absolutely have to try and strike up a conversation, wait till the person has finished training and is headed out of the gym, then try to catch them at the juice bar or the exit.
4. Dropping the dumbbells
This is by far one of the most annoying things I see at the gym. If you can't put the weight down in a controlled manner, it's too heavy for you and you need to go lighter. Not only is dropping the dumbbells dangerous for you and those around you, it also damages the dumbbells and the flooring. Plus, you just look like a total tool. Dropping weights only becomes acceptable when performing power exercises with heavy weights at near 1 rep max level at the (well-padded) Olympic lifting platform.
5. Doing explosive power exercises for high reps
I blame the CrossFit craze for this disaster. People, explosive exercises such as power cleans, snatches and jerk presses are Olympic lifting techniques designed to develop explosive power. Thus, they should only be done for a limited rep range with heavy loads at a high speed. Physics ... Continue
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