Today we’re going to talk about seven things you should never do during a workout. These go beyond basic gym etiquette and can negatively affect your muscle-building ability.
The first one starts before your workout. You should never go to the gym without a plan or a goal. Before you begin, you know what exercises you will do, how many sets and how long your rest times are. Then during your workout, you build on this by having a goal for each and every set you do.
Before starting each set, you need to know how much weight you lifted last time and how many repetitions. We use this information to set the load and target reps for your current set.
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While doing your set, you’re focusing on doing a full range of motion on each repetition, with proper breathing technique, breathing in as you lower the weight and exhaling as you lift it. We don’t want to hold our breath or be out of sink with our lifting cadence.
I should point out that sometimes we hold our breath for just a moment as we begin to lift the weight and breath out as we reach the top. This is okay as long as we’re breathing rhythmically.
There’s also something called the Valsalva maneuver that powerlifters use when lifting extremely heavy weights to help stabilize the spine. Which involves holding your breath and is an exception to the rule, not something the general public will be doing.
After you’ve done your set and during your rest time, you don’t scroll through Instagram, check out the hot girls in the gym, or take selfies.
You log the weight, and the number of reps you did, review how the set felt and your energy levels.
You use this data, along with the information from your last workout, to set the goal for your next set.
I time my rest between sets to ensure I complete my workouts in a prompt manner.
It’s okay to track your workouts on your phone and use it as a timer. It can also track data like heart rate. Another good use for your phone is to play music that motivates you. This pumps you up for your workout, and with your headphones on, it blocks out distractions in the gym.
You should avoid scrolling through your phone looking for your favourite song. Your playlist should be put together ahead of time so you can put it on and forget about it.
If, for some reason, you have to take a phone call at the gym, leave your piece of equipment so someone else can use it and go outside or into the change room to take the call. If you don’t want to lose your spot in the gym to take the call, then it isn’t that important. Let it go to the message and check it later.
Another thing you should never do is work out with more than 3 people at a time. Have you ever seen a group of 5 guys working out on the same piece of equipment? Invariably it ends up with half of them goofing around while one is doing their set. Nobody is paying attention to his form, and it’s distracting his focus as well as those around them.
A training partner has a job to do, and that‘s to keep an eye on his friend’s form and give him a spot or encouragement when needed.
Lifting too heavy and using poor form should go without saying but you see it a lot. The last time I was in a public gym, there was a large number of people who were only doing a part range of motion because the weight was too heavy.
There are different kinds of pain and what I’m talking about isn’t the pain of the pump, which that full tight feeling we get in a muscle that’s sometimes accompanied by a burning sensation from lactic acid buildup.
Bad pain that we shouldn’t train through and stop doing an exercise immediately is a sharp pointed pain in one area like a joint. If we hear a pop followed by a sudden pain, this could be a torn ligament, tendon or dislocation.
Even a mild persistent pain that continues over multiple sets is a sign you should stop doing that exercise and work on another body part away from the affected area.