The Internet, and specifically social media, has contributed greatly to raising self-awareness. Valuable information supported by facts and figures suggests that switching to a healthier lifestyle is extremely beneficial for the human body and mind.
Millions of people are now choosing to stay fit and active. Diets have improved and people now know the importance of hydration. More people now than at any other time in history are keeping themselves physically and mentally fit because it pays in the long run.
An active lifestyle requires the elimination of junk food items and maintaining a strict workout routine. People have become health conscious, and in urban centers one can find a gym opened on every block, encouraging people to get memberships and personalized training from the experts.
The rise in gym memberships does come with some of its own challenges, as a gym culture, formed in the late 20th century, assimilates a larger stratum of the population.
Working out may seem simple enough: You hit the weights at the gym, try out some machines, and call it a day. But that’s not the full story—at least, it shouldn’t be.
Here, we have compiled gym sins that you should pray you are not caught doing because these not only violate the norms of the gym culture but also put you in physical danger.
1. Lifting too heavy, too soon
Although progressive overload is number one when it comes to building muscle and strength, you shouldn’t start lifting heavy right off the bat without easing into it. Newbies are guilty of making this mistake. They would rush their foundational strength work to get to lifting heavier to satisfy their ego.
Heavy lifting can be taxing on your body, especially the wrists. If you are struggling with wrist issues, you should invest in a good wrist brace to make sure your wrists are safe while you lift to sculpt that physique.
Here is what the gym science has to say about what counts as ideal lifting weight: The weights should be challenging enough that you should start struggling after the 8th rep and hit failure at the 12th rep mark. Ideal weight will let you train injury-free, all the while building strength and muscle.
2. Skipping warm-up and cool-down
In their hurry to get to the meat of their training, most gym bros and gals will skip the most important part of a workout: The warm-up. Results in the gym cannot be hurried. One of the deadliest sins you could commit inside the gym is skipping the warm-up and cool-down routines performed at the beginning and end of a workout, respectively, because of time constraints.
Skipping these will only make you prone to getting injured. You are increasing your chances of getting muscle tears, strains, and sprains by skipping the warm-up. You need the muscles of your body to be supple, flexible, and warmed up before you inflict the pain of muscular annihilation through the workout.
Warm-ups include light stretches and body movements that gradually increase blood flow and oxygen in the muscles.
Similarly, your body needs to cool down after the workout to return to normal heart rate and breathing patterns. Cool downs also help with muscle soreness the day after the workout.
3. Not performing cardio
There is a misunderstanding that cardio is only for those who wish to burn fat and lose weight. It does burn calories, no doubt, but it also strengthens the muscles of your heart and builds copious amounts of endurance.
An intense cardio session releases endorphins that uplift the mood. Cardio will also make you sleep better and enjoy a deeper and longer sleep cycle.
No matter the goal, cardio must be a part of your routine. Start off slow and gradually increase the time if you are new to cardio. Look into High-Intensity Interval Training, trendy, fast-paced workouts for people with busy schedules. HIIT keeps the metabolic rate up and increases muscle mass and strength.
4. Following bad advice
There is a lot of bad information over the Internet about workouts and fitness programs that one can easily get misguided. When it comes to your health, personalized care plans and exercise routines should be preferred over unsolicited and half-baked advice and workout plans online.
Every human body is different in its threshold for pain, tolerance, strength, and a whole host of other factors, meaning that what works for your gym buddy may not work for you. Don’t take internet advice at face value and research and cross-examine with verified sources.
If you have the budget for it, hire a personal fitness coach or gym trainer. Gym trainers have a deep understanding of exercise anatomy that can help them devise personalized workout programs for your body type. They can also make you an actionable diet plan based on their knowledge of food and nutrition.
The unrealistic and retouched images and videos over the Internet of people transforming their bodies in a matter of days are fake and misleading. Good things take time, commitment, and consistency.
You should not expect to see results within the first week. It is easy to give up on your efforts when you don’t see the desired results after a few weeks.
It takes nearly 2-3 weeks only to notice changes in your weight. As far as your body’s physical transformation goes, it may take 6-8 weeks only to see any change. The key here is to stay patient and consistent.
6. Disregarding gym etiquette
Using public facilities means you need to abide by some fixed rules. Gyms have written and unwritten rules that you should know lest you start creating inconvenience for those around you. Here are some common gym rules you should follow at all times:
Don’t hog any equipment –
you cannot have the equipment all to yourself. It’s wise to wait your turn before taking up any equipment. Let go of it once you are done.
You aren’t the only one –
Grunting, screaming, singing, humming, or letting weights drop with a bang is a big no.
Avoid using your smartphone –
Texting, taking calls, or simply taking selfies can be distracting for you and others as well.
Wipe after yourself –
If you don’t sweat, you didn’t work out. It’s natural, but you must ensure that you wipe every instrument and equipment after you are done using it.
Unload barbells and equipment once done –
Don’t let others unload the weights after you. Make sure you put the weights on their racks once you are done.
People want to stay fit and are increasingly turning toward gyms to get into the best shape of their lives. Since the gym is a new culture to adjust to for many of us, we make some deadly sins along the way. Through expert and peer guidance, we soon learn that there are written and unwritten rules of the gym. The above-mentioned gym sins should be avoided at all costs unless you want to be thrown out for being a Neanderthal, unfit for any gym membership.