Whether you’re focusing on muscle building or weight loss, when it comes to hitting the gym, you want to make your workouts count. You most likely already have a gym routine down, too — you go in, warm up for a few minutes, do about 30 minutes worth of cardio and then you hit the free weights to get that six pack you’ve been aiming for or work on perfecting your bicep curls. You may vary your routine a little bit to isolate different muscle groups daily, but overall, you’ve got a pretty good idea of how your hour at the gym is going to be spent.
Whether you go to the gym daily, weekly, or just every once in awhile, it may be time to take a look at seven of the most common training mistakes that men make while they’re working out. Getting the most out of your gym routine is essential to building muscle and avoiding injury, so here are a few missteps to avoid.
1. Isolating specific muscle groups only
While it may seem like a good idea to isolate small muscle groups and work them individually using weights, you probably won’t be building strength in areas of your body that will be useful to you in every day life. Outside describes this common training mistake as one that many heavy lifters seem to make. While it may seem like a good idea to work those small muscle groups just as hard as the bigger ones, you want to make sure you’re working them in a way that will benefit your body as a whole and help you build up your strength.
To build strength that you’ll employ in your life, you should aim to do exercises in the gym that work multiple muscle groups at once. Squatting is a great exercise for this reason — with proper form, you’ll be working multiple leg muscles, core muscles, and back muscles, and exercises that work a varied number of muscles are great for improved athleticism as a whole. Don’t just work on your hamstring curls — perform leg presses and leg extensions at a heavy weight with few reps for an all-over leg workout that includes the hamstrings.