Have you ever thought, "The gym is a place for me congregate with my buddies, bother everyone and possibly distract them enough to focus on anything but weight training"? This is what may be going on in the back of people's mind, whether they know it or not. It is one of the 4 mistakes that you want to avoid while weight training at the gym.
1. Trying to Be the Strongest Guy at the Gym
Most of the time you see people in the gym competing with each other instead of training themselves properly. The problem with competing instead of working out is that you don't know what level of fitness or experience others may have. They may be like you - just trying to out lift the next guy.
The only thing you should be thinking about is what kind of workout you're going to get out of that session. Concentrate on what you should be doing and not what others are doing because you may just end up injuring yourself or simply not getting a good workout.
2. Squatting with Bad Form
Another problem people seem to have at the gym is squatting incorrectly and putting too much weight on the bar. This even affects some of the ladies, but not as much as the men. The problem with doing incorrect squats with too much weight or any weight at all is that you can injure your spine, i.e., your lower back. This can put yourself out for months and may result in rehabilitation if things get really bad.
The best way to go about a proper squat is to make believe you're sitting on the toilet when you go down. You want to make sure that your butt is out, hips back and not tucked inward as you squat down. Another thing you want to make sure of is that when you start warming up, use the bar only. I tend to use the 45 pound barbell alone when I warm up. This way if you don't know proper form, you can practice. And last but not least, make sure to push through with the heels and not the balls of your heels when you explode upwards.
3. Lifting Weights and Not Eating Before
Many people think that going to the gym and lifting on an empty stomach is the best way to lose weight. That is contrary to the truth. First of all, you're going in with no energy and no residual strength and stamina to complete your session. Not to mention, you will not be focused and will be unable to concentrate while getting under heavy weights or during intense sets. Eating is very important and in order to perform at your peak levels the body must have proper nourishment. Your body is like a NASCAR car that needs to be finely tuned and fuelled up for maximum performance.
Thinking that going in without any food is going to help in losing weight is a mistake and continuously done on a daily basis will result in only one thing - a lower level of performance in the gym.
4. Talking to Your Buddies While Training
Weight training requires you to be engaged in what you're doing. Sometimes we can get caught up with friends during or between our sets. This takes the focus off what you're doing while you're lifting weights and can result in injury. Other things you have to worry about is not getting your workout done or the muscle cooling down and throwing off your rhythm as well as your pump. I know that sometimes your friends have important things to say but nothing is more important that paying attention to your set and each rep to further along your progress.
A good way to handle this is to either have your earphones in or keep that crazy look on your face like you don't want to be bothered.
Curtis Fisher is a personal trainer, diet consultant and body builder. You can find more fitness and diet tips at his blog Diet What Nots | Training, Eating, Science.