When it comes to taking care of ourselves, nobody’s perfect. But men can be particularly flawed in their fitness routines, according to one personal trainer.
“It’s kind of an ego thing,” said Cory Smith of GoodLife Fitness. “I’ve fallen guilty of it too.”
Some gym clients say male competition can be a factor.
“You sit next to a guy that’s lifting heavier than you and you try to keep up,” said Cody Velders.
“You’re just like, ‘I can step up to this and just do it’ – and then you don’t,” said Aaron Cherniwchan.
They’re not alone. According to GoodLife Fitness, here are the six most common mistakes men make at the gym. (Hint: not Spandex.)
1. Skipping warm-ups
Too busy to start slow? Smith says preparing your body for exercise is never a waste of time.
“You’re…less susceptible to things like injury, discomfort, pain or stress,” said Smith, an employee of GoodLife in St. Albert, Alta.
2. Not planning your routine
“Think of a trip to the grocery store, for example,” Smith said. “If you don’t have the list, you’re not going to know what you need.”
Planning exercises, including sets and reps, helps you get the most from your session.
3. Doing the same workout every day
Yes, that routine feels easier each time, but it means your body adapted to it.
“You become less efficient or you get less results over a period of time, unless you’re shocking the system,” Smith said.
Try switching up the order or doing each exercise for time, rather than reps. You could also add intervals to your cardio routine, like a minute of sprinting.
4. Focusing on force over form
You’ve seen that guy – the rippling muscle man struggling to lift more weight than everyone else. It’s actually counterproductive.
“You’re always gonna generate more force with actual proper form and full range of motion,” said Smith.
5. Taking on too much, too soon
You were on the track team in high school, of course you can pound the treadmill at full speed for an hour. (Wrong).
Build up to the heavy stuff. When in doubt about your abilities, ask a fitness professional to do an assessment.
According to GoodLife, the ideal length of a workout session is 45 to 60 minutes, with at least one day in between.
“After the proper rest, the muscles are primed up a little bit more, they’re a little bit stronger than your last workout,” said Smith.