Gym Don’ts: 4 Things You Should Not Do at the Gym

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For many adults, New Year’s resolutions are filled with high hopes and lofty goals of hitting the gym hard. Keep in mind, though, when you have a list of “do’s,” there’s often a list of “don’ts” that accompanies it. We’ve rounded up a list of “don’ts” from personal trainer and co-founder of HEAT Running Joseph Phillips to help you keep that New Year’s resolution on track. Because after all, you can’t get to day two if you can’t get past day one.

1. Don’t max out on your first day

If you’re anything like most other adults around the holidays, it’s safe to assume that going to the gym hasn’t necessarily been at the top of your list lately. Phillips says, “Assuming that you have had a long lapse or it’s your first time in the gym, lifting the most weight possible isn’t a good idea right out of the gate. Lay a foundation and build up first. Stay consistent and there will be plenty of time to test your limits.”  

2. Don’t refuse the help of a personal trainer

Sure, personal training sessions can be costly, and might seem like more of an attempt to upsell a gym’s clients rather than actually help. However, personal trainers do actually want to help clients reach their fitness goals, so don’t be so weary. “Don’t refuse the help of a personal trainer,” Phillips advises. “Most gyms offer a complementary session you can schedule on your first day working out.” Talk about a bonus.

3. Don’t copy the routine of the guy who looks the way you want to look

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Competition can be a real doozy, especially if you’re someone who is constantly comparing yourself to others and trying to attain something that’s simply out of your ability or skill level. “The guy with the V-shape and the six pack may not know a whole lot about exercise. He could be doing dangerous exercises or things that may not fit in with your current fitness level,” Phillips said. “We are all different and need to find a routine that fits our genetics and goals.”

4. Don’t let a trainer push you to the puking point

If you do decide to go with a training session, remember that, even though your trainer might be shouting at you and bossing you around for a painful hour, you also hold power in the situation. Phillips says, “A very small percentage of fitness professionals will try to push you too much. Know your body and your first day limits.” Don’t go too hard on the first day and forfeit your chances of actually being able to achieve the body you want.

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