5 Worst Gym Mistakes to Avoid

Do you know what are the 5  big mistakes people make in gym, irrespective of their fitness level?

The enthusiasm, energy and momentum most people have around the new year to join a gym and become fit, dies down by the end of the first quarter. Some people give up gym even after paying the annual membership.

Some factors or mistakes that lead to this loss of enthusiasm are :

  1. Injuries due to incorrect workouts and form
  2. Not knowing how to deal with muscle soreness
  3. Disappointment of not seeing results

What are the most common mistakes that we do in gym that hinder our progress or affect results?

  1. Jumping on to treadmill as soon as you enter the gym

This mistake might lead to injury and minimize the fat burn.
Both newbies and gym veterans err on this. Running on a treadmill isn’t the best exercise for our body.

If you have just started working out or are on the heavier side, running on a treadmill may cause more harm than good to your hips, knees and ankle joints.

Another disadvantage of treadmill is that for the self-satisfaction of running at a higher speed and incline, we tend to lean on the handle bars or change posture to accommodate the speed and incline. Both of the above practices are unsafe to our spine and hips.

Solution :  If your goal is to burn more fat, doing weights first and then cardio would yield much more result and aid in recovery than doing cardio first or just cardio.

  1. No stretching, warm up or cool down workouts

This blunder paves the way for workout injury and muscle soreness

Those who are regular to gym would know of people who walk into gym and start working out within a minute. Stretching and warming up your muscles for an intense /moderate physical workout is extremely important for an injury free workout and cramp-free body post workout. If you are one of those people who get headache or dizziness soon after you start a workout, it is a sign that you don’t warm up enough. Getting injured often during a workout, or while playing your favourite sport is also a sign of poor stretching before or after your activity.pablo (85)

Solution : Stretching and warming up relaxes and prepares our tensed muscles for the activity,  which ensures the workout we do doesn’t come as shock to the muscles when it is least expected.


  1. Looking at weights as though they are aliens.

Known mistake that reduces the fat burn and thus results.
If a fit body is your goal, treat weights like your best friend and not like an alien.

I have posted an article on why should we weight train. Many people get confused between muscle and fat.

More muscle you build, higher your metabolism and higher your fat burn.

Weight training is the best and most effective way to burn fat and get fit. Cardio burns fat only after 25 minutes of working out and only till you are performing the activity.  On the other hand, weight training has a profound effect on fat burn up to 48 hours after your weight training session(EPOC/afterburn). Although some trainers tell their clients that cardio is the best way to burn fat, studies have proven that the rate at which weight training burns fat or improves metabolism can never be compared with that of cardio

Solution: Spare a day or two per week for weight training, even if you are a woman.


  1. Doing 100 crunches right at the end of the workout for flat abs

This mistake makes the hard work, time and sweat in gym ineffective
Most moderate to well fit people commit this mistake. Right before finishing their workout, they focus on doing crunches. And proudly say they hit 75- 100 .

First things first , ab crunches are not the only workouts for six packs or flat abs.

Second, doing the same workout over and over again will not get your muscle to burn more fat.

Third, crunches do not target most of the core muscles, but only a small part.

Beyond all this, doing core strengthening workouts like crunches and more right at the end of your workout plan will not train those muscles as other workouts might  have exhausted their fuel. This means you recover less, burn less fat even after 100 crunches.
 Solution :  Push core strengthening workouts and weights to the start of the workout, and make sure your workout involves more muscle groups than just upper abdomen.


  1. Doing ‘Insta Ready’ workouts.

This mistake diminishes or doesn’t give any result at all.
There comes the last mistake of doing beautiful selfie worthy workouts. This is doing only exercises like bicep curls, wrist curls, heel raises for calf muscles and triceps extensions. Most women who go to gym do not go near weights, and if they do , it will be restricted to the above ones. Focusing only on the smaller muscles and not training the larger muscles like thighs, chest , shoulders and back ( Hamstrings, pec, traps and lats) is like planning all expenses for a month and leaving out the  ‘home loan EMI’.

Solution : Prioritize workout , in order of the size of muscles and train larger muscles first.

Needless to say, that we should not expect to see the transformation from a paunch to a washboard ab in a couple of weeks. Patience pays, especially if you started working out recently.

Working out is like a marriage. Just like we marry a person to be with them for a lifetime, and not just for immediate gains like having kids or buying house . Working out is meant to make us healthy and happy lifelong, not just to fit into an old dress or lose some pounds.

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Are you still not losing weight?

Most of us rely on the weighing scale/smart watch to judge our health and tend to use weight loss as a parameter to know the effectiveness of a workout/lifestyle change. Little do we realise that weight is not a great indicator of health. Unless you track your fat percentage, which gives you the breakdown of your weight, whether it comes from fat/muscle/water/bone,  weight is just a number.

smartwatch and scale (1)

There are other factors apart from your weight that will tell you how well your body is responding to a lifestyle modification or a workout.


  1. Energy level: Feeling energetic and up to a workout or cooking dinner even after coming from office? The most important sign that your lifestyle is healthy is your energy levels through the day. Fresh food and regular workout gives you a constant and steady supply of energy without having to reach for coffee or other stimulants. While good nutritious food helps you in alleviating vitamin/mineral deficiencies, regular workout helps increase your circulation; both of which are inevitable for good energy level. This means that you don’t have to snooze your alarm several times before you decide to pull yourself out of bed, don’t have to drag yourself till 6 pm in office or during meetings with a coffee/red bull every hour.
  2. Mood: Fresher the food you eat, better your mood. If your mood has been very calm, pleasant and your thoughts have more clarity, it’s a clear indication that your food/lifestyle change is having a positive impact on your body. Your mood is directly related to your gut health/intestinal bacteria. On the other hand, junk food and foods that harm your gut bacteria, causes anxiety, stress, depression and other diseases.
  3. Hunger and Satiety: Hunger and appetite are signs of vitality and good health. But not if you feel hungry all the time. Feeling hungry all the time is a sign that you are not nourishing your body with enough fresh food. When you eat fresh food that satisfies your taste buds, your gut and mind feels satisfied and body nourished and you won’t over eat. Eating highly processed food or consuming food aiming at sheer weight loss wont achieve this.
  4. Fitness and strength : Sometimes the scale doesn’t budge after regular workout and eating good food, but your clothes might start getting looser . You might also be able to do more reps with the current working set, or run more distance in the same time than previously. These are clear signs that your strength and fitness levels are increasing. The scale might even move up, which is a great indicator that you are getting more muscle mass and losing fat.
  5. Sleep quality : Feeling refreshed in the morning after a restful night’s sleep is priceless. This refreshed feeling is also one of the main indicator of a healthy lifestyle.Being sleep deprived and poor quality of sleep are some of the main factors that affect the over all health of a person. Reasons for this can be numerous, but the effect of this on the body is pretty much the same for everyone. Poor workout performance, foggy brain, low energy levels, slow metabolism , stress , increased risk of heart diseases, weight gain are the results. Eating light meals a couple of hours before bedtime and being active through the day can enhance your sleep quality which will help you recover better and improve your immunity. Watch this video on how to improve your sleep.

Like Helen Keller said, The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.


Do you rely on scale and watch to know about your body? Comment below your thoughts.

If you found this post informative, share this with your friends too.

Interested in sustainable weight loss through lifestyle changes and not crash diets? Check out our programs.