A while back, I wrote about six terrible mistakes you could make in the gym. Well, that was just the tip of the iceberg. See, people commit a ton of fitness sins, and as a personal trainer for athletes, entertainers and execs for more than 10 years, I have probably seen them all. (Except working out with heels. Which I wouldn’t advise. Especially for guys.) So here are six more egregious errors I notice time and time again. Steer clear or, trust me, your body will pay the price.
1. Working only the front of your body
Whether you’re trying to build strength or a better-looking physique—or both—you should focus more on your backside. Think of NFL running backs. Those guys are in phenomenal shape because they’re constantly working their backs, their glutes, their hamstrings and their calves. That’s how you increase your speed and power, and let’s be honest: that’s how you develop a butt that will be appreciated by the fairer sex. So give the biceps curls a rest and do more posterior-related exercises—things like glute kickbacks, squats, lunges and deadlifts.
2. Faulty spotting
When someone’s doing a bench press with dumbbells, most workout partners spot at the elbows. That’s just wrong. You should spot at the wrists. I’ve seen too many people do this incorrectly, and the weight comes right down on the chest. Also, if your partner is doing a barbell bench press, one palm should be under the bar and one palm should be over it, as if you were doing a deadlift. If you have both palms under or both palms over and your partner slips, that barbell’s going to come right down on the chest. Not good.
3. Asking the biggest guy in the gym for tips
Look, don’t ask the beefiest meathead in the gym for advice. Especially supplement and nutritional advice. (And if you do ask him, definitely don’t listen to what he says and follow his instructions.) Everybody’s body is different. What works for him won’t necessarily work for you. So don’t ask him how many calories you should eat per day. Think of it this way: You don’t want to look like him, do you? So don’t use his fitness plan.