To the average person walking through the gym, everything might look just fine. You’ll spot people on cardio machines, others lifting weights and some people wandering around—and nothing will really seem out of place.
To a certified personal trainer with years of experience, however, a typical walk through a gym will reveal people making lots of mistakes. From poor posture and incorrect form to faux pas like leaving weights around and not cleaning your benches, there are no shortage of mistakes that can be found in any given gym—and they’re all avoidable.
That’s why we turned to certified personal trainers and gym owners to find out about the most common mistakes they see every day. These fitness professionals highlighted several key issues—and it’s worth mentioning that hiring a personal trainer could help rectify many of them. Before your next trip to the gym, check out these 15 common mistakes to avoid injury and embarrassment.
Trying to Do Too Much, Too Soon
“New exercisers tend to be overanxious and expect to start seeing results in an unreasonably short time,” said Robin Visanuvimol, owner and head coach of Beyond Boxing in Vancouver. This poses a few problems: they get burned out mentally, physically and give up on the regimen too soon. “What I normally tell people is that changes often take time. Small exercise and diet changes done over a relatively longer period of time (six to eight weeks) are much more important than extreme changes done all at once.”
“As crazy as it sounds, one of the biggest mistakes I see people make is overtraining and not giving their bodies enough time to recover,” said Jessica Lopez, a certified personal trainer and nutrition
consultant at The Boxing Club in San Diego. “Once you’ve gained momentum and start seeing results, it’s easy to fall into the trap of ‘more is always better’. Unfortunately, that’s not the case when it comes to your body and you could be inhibiting your body from making changes…If you notice signs of water retention, lack of sleep or injuries it may be due to [overtraining]. When you’re working out, you’re tearing your body down, so you need to give it enough time to heal. Listen to your body and take rest days as needed.”