So I just got back from the gym today after a long 2 hour workout. It seems every day when I go to the gym, I have amnesia about what I have seen the last time.
I think to myself, “I haven’t been to the gym in a while, what I hear about the people who go there can’t be all that bad. Maybe it’s all just hype.”
I was young.
I was stupid.
I was wrong.
And today reminded me of that. So now that I have been inspired to voice my misgivings about what I have seen.
5 reasons why your workouts at the gym may be garbage.
Your technique is bad
I saw one person today who looked like a bodybuilder sitting down on the rowing machine. He had a lot of weight and was bringing it all the way back to his chest. Only thing was his form was TERRIBLE! He was retracting his shoulders, then bringing the weight to his chest. YOU DON’T WANT TO EVER DO THAT! I hear from people that when they retract their shoulders, they feel like they are working out their rhomboids and middle traps more. What you are actually doing is causing subacromial impingement and damaging your shoulder slowly over time. By retracting your scapula, you are bringing your humeral head forward already. When you row, you are bringing it forward even more. You’re going to damage the structures in there over time. The correct technique is to row without initially retracting the shoulders.
Another mistake I often see with the rowing machine that makes me go crazy is seeing people fully extending their arms and pulling the weight only using their back. It’s like they are listening to the song called ‘Lean Back’ and are doing it perfectly in sync with the rhythm of that song! According to the instructions on the machine, this exercise is supposed to work muscles like latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoids and middle traps. How is leaning back all the way with your back doing any of that?
You talk too much
Now I’ll admit, I am guilty of this sometimes. Working out can at times get quite monotonous. I will catch myself though and get right back to working out. I see a LOT of people at the gym spending the majority of their time socializing. They’ll talk about everything….up to and including their dalliances with the people of the city, their accomplishments in the arts and their search for inner truth. These people shouldn’t be at the gym, they should be in a philosophy class.
You focus too much on looking good
I sometimes see this with people who go to the gym. I once saw a guy finish his workout, get in the shower, dress up in a full suit and tie with his hair gelled and walk around the gym floor for a half hour talking to people he knew. Is there any point to that besides showing off? He could have spent that extra half hour lifting weights.
I also saw a woman exit a spin class once with makeup running down her eyes! Why wear makeup to the gym at all!? You are there to workout!
You are too easily distracted
This isn’t helped at all by our obsessive, unrelenting need to constantly check our iPhone and iPad nonstop! I see some people at the gym always glued to some device they bring. One guy in particular who I see at the gym is always bringing his laptop. He sits in the corner of the gym watching 15 minutes of videos, then goes to the tricep pulldown machine and half-heartedly does fifteen reps like he is barely trying, then goes back to his laptop. What is the point of being in the gym if you are that easily distracted!?
You aren’t lifting enough weight
I see this in some men, but mostly women. It seems the myth is strong that if you are a woman and you lift heavy weights, you will bulk up and have HUGE muscles. This is simply not true. If you are woman, you make WAY less testosterone than men. So unless you are taking anabolic steroids, you simply will not bulk up like a man. Those 5lb dumbbells are much too light for you!
Also, some people don’t appear entirely cognizant of the fact that you need to actually LIFT the weight to get any benefit. I saw one guy at the gym today doing lat pulldowns and moving the weight maybe 6 inches down! Come on, really!?
So there you go. Those are 5 reasons why your workouts at the gym may not be getting you the results you would like. Thank you for reading this post and please write any suggestions or questions or comments you have.