Part II: Another 3 Gym Mistakes That Will Get You Injured & How To Avoid Them
5. Never Resting
It’s so easy to go all out at the gym when you have a month or two of extreme motivation (think New Years’ Resolution). You’re in the gym 6-7 days a week and going hard. And as hard core as you might feel, posting progress pictures on your Instagram for two-straight weeks, it’s a terrible idea if you are serious about building muscle.
The Fix: It’s simple. You need rest. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s Fitbit ambassador and world-renowned ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes on the importance of rest days:
“This is likely the first thing you learned about strength training. When you lift weights, you’re essentially tearing muscle fibers. But without a proper period of rest for your immune system to repair and grow the muscle, you’re not going to get the benefit of your training. That’s why you need to vary the muscle groups you engage on staggered days.”
6. Running a Gymarathon
It’s simple: There is no reason to be in the gym working out for over 1.5 hours. No reason whatsoever. So many of the aforementioned ‘gung ho lifters’ have this impulse to be there longer than anyone else to prove that they’re more dedicated to fitness than the next guy or gal.
The Fix: Lifting weights for 2+ hours is not the same as shooting free throws to improve your basketball game. You can shoot 1,000 free throws and still have lots of energy left over. You cannot, however, force your legs to keep squatting or your back to keep lifting. Well…you can, but it will lead to injury. Limit your time in the gym to an hour-fifteen at the most. Plan your workouts before you get to the gym to maximize your efficiency.
Ricochet: (noun) “a shot or hit that rebounds off a surface.”
Have you ever seen people ricochet really heavy weights off the floor or their chest? It happens all the time. Someone is repping with too heavy a weight and they’ll proceed to slam it off the sponge floor or ricochet it off their chest hoping to get some bounce on their next rep. They just can’t handle that heavy a weight responsibly and with good form
The Fix: Despite what was said in #6, the process of getting fit or in-shape IS a marathon (you just can’t run it all in one day). The goal is to be forever fit, not temporarily fit for ‘beach season’. Lower your weight, be conscious of your form, and don’t abuse your body. Injury from training too intensively will eventually put you on the sidelines and be a major setback.