So, you’ve finally decided to join a gym and shock your body into better shape. Congratulations! You’re on the right road to better health, improved aesthetics and boosted self-confidence. However, if you’re not careful, you could easily start your gym experience on the wrong foot – even the most determined gym enthusiast can’t have an optimally effective workout without following some basic rules.
To help you avoid wasting your time, here are the top 5 mistakes you should be careful not to make.
1. Not Having a Plan
The easiest way to fail at your weight loss or muscle building goals is to go to the gym without having carefully thought about the body parts you want to work on and a program of exercises and rep schemes.
In other words, not having a plan means setting yourself up for failure. If you just walk into a gym and start doing what you feel like or just wandering aimlessly and trying out random different things, you can’t expect to make good progress and add real muscle to your body. You don’t want to be one of those. Without knowing exactly what you’re doing and why, you’re going to have a really hard time succeeding at anything, let alone physical transformation. You need to know which exercises you’re going to perform and how many sets of each of them you’ll do before you pick up the first weight. Also, you’d benefit a lot from having a training log – that way you can easily track your progress in all aspects.
2. Resting for Too Long
Are your rest-pauses lasting for 10-12 minutes? Do you have the habit of chatting with friends in between each set? If yes, then now you know why your workouts aren’t producing the results you want. If you spend more than one hour on a training session, you are either overtraining or your rests are too long. When the second scenario happens, you will be unable to maintain a high level of muscle tension through the entire workout and lose precious opportunities to hammer your muscle fibers. Don’t forget that the opportunity to socialize with people with similar interests is just one side-benefit of bodybuilding, while your primary goal is to work hard at forcing your body to grow. If you suspect you might be giving yourself too much time for resting, try using a timer to track your rests.
3. Impairing Your Testosterone Production
If you’re serious about building muscle, you shouldn’t miss any chance to up your production of this hormone and you should do everything in your power to keep your testosterone levels high as long as possible. Men who have low testosterone production find it very hard to make decent muscle gains, so if you’re suspecting, make a blood test to be sure.
However, even if you are indeed one of those unlucky few with naturally low testosterone production, there is a lot to be done here. By making sure you sleep enough, eat healthy and exercise regularly, you can effectively boost your testosterone production and build real muscle. In addition, you can take a natural testosterone booster which contains scientifically proven ingredients.
4. Wait Too Long for Equipment
You don’t have to wait for your preferred piece of equipment to become available at all – if you find yourself constantly waiting too long for equipment, either try to adjust your exercise to the equipment that’s already available, or go for a similar exercise you could do right now. Making too many long rests will cool your muscles off and impair your results by reducing the intensity of the session. Often, it forces you to use a different weight than you would like to ideally, and you end up not getting an optimal workout. Finally, if your gym is always crowded or you can’t go at a different time when there are less people, stop sabotaging your success because of lack of equipment and simply switch gyms.
5. Rely Too Much on Supplementation
Supplements can help you enhance your performance, burn more fat and reduce fatigue, but if you think they can do your work for you, you’re wasting your money. First of all, there is no supplement in the world which can help you sculpt your physique if you aren’t already putting in tons of hard work in training and dieting. Then, most of the popular supplements on the market today come either with exaggerated claims about their effectiveness or they’re literally useless.
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That’s why you should know some basic information about the active ingredients in supplements and do some research if they can help you accelerate your gym efforts. For example, whey protein, BCAA’s, creatine, natural testosterone boosters and fat burners are the best-researched supplements in the fitness industry and have proven to be safe and effective when taken properly. Look for good quality brands and use the recommended doses.