5 Most Common Mistakes Made In The Gym

This is not a disrespect to people making these mistakes. I myself have made many (too many) mistakes learning the hard way.

1. Poor form with heavy weight

The most common of all common mistakes in the world of being common is poor form.

You can go to any gym in the world and you can guarantee there will be someone in there, no matter what time of the day, undertaking an exercise incorrectly.

This is not only dangerous long term, but in some cases, you could end up training a different muscle group from the intended one. Think of someone doing heavy bicep curls and leaning back.

This is almost a certainty in beginners trying to ego-lift.

Poor form and heavy weight could be under two separate categories, but they are often linked together.

Progressive overload is important, and a few cheat reps are not always a bad thing, but it should only ever be a few at the end of a set every so often.

2. Too many Isolation Exercises

Training for most goals, should be based around compound lifts such as bench press, military press, barbell squats, deadlifts and Lat pull downs.

Stimulating large muscle groups at one time will lead to better results but this does not mean to say there is no room for isolation exercises such as leg extension, bicep curls or tricep push downs.

As a rule of thumb, most training sessions should begin with compound exercises and lead into isolation exercises once the bigger lifts have been completed first.

Pre-exhaustion is a technique that can be used but for general muscle gain and weight loss goals by using isolation exercises first.

But in my experience, it is not necessary to include this within most people’s training regimes.

3. Cardio is the best way to burn fat

In one session, you will likely burn more calories undertaking cardio than you would doing a weightlifting session in that same period with similar effort levels.

But over time, muscle building exercise would allow you to increase resting metabolic rate, so you burn more calorie at rest.

Clear as mud then.

The ideal methodology would be to include both types of training into your regime if fat loss is your primary goal.

I would always prioritize undertaking any resistance exercise before doing cardio exercises.

Too much cardio before lifting any weight will lead to a poorer overall results and loss in strength.

This is due to phosphocreatine system stores being used up during any endurance activity, which are crucial for performance in weightlifting exercises.

4. Not implementing Progressive Overload

Far too often, people use the gym facilities and repeat the same exercises repeatedly, week after week.

They do the same length of time on their favourite piece of cardio equipment, then lift the same weights for the same amount of sets on each piece of resistance equipment and guess what? They never change.

Therefore, it is super important to have a plan and track your results on that plan, because without seeing your progress how

will you introduce progressive overload? You must start to record results and increase the time, intensity, sets, reps, or weight if you really want to recognise any noticeable progression.

5. Too stubborn to seek advice

Nobody likes asking for help, in any part of life but it could be the difference to getting to where you want to be.

Personal trainers and more experienced gym users love being asked to help, so they can share their knowledge with people and help others.

Nothing makes someone happier than helping another person, so why take that away from someone?

It is a win-win situation for both parties.

If you are unsure, ask.

This should be a common rule in all aspects of life and is not limited to the gym.

Throw your ego to one side and realise the benefits which can come from simply asking another person for some help.

Which leads me onto my online personal training plans. If you are going into training blind without a programme you are not helping your chances of progression.

For the price of less than a months gym fee, you can rest assured be on the right track and have full contact with me throughout.


You can also find my downloadable training programmes on my website, which are a one off download.

You can take them away with you to keep for as long as you need them.

Published by Thomas Jackson Smith

Personal Trainer. Qualified Strength and Conditioning Coach, Exercise Referral specialist, Football coach and entrepreneur. Interested in health and fitness, exercise prescription, football, nutrition, injury prevention, recovery and mindset improvement. Any views are my own and from my own experience. Looking to build links within the blog community, replying to feedback and offering support so we can learn and grow together!

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