Don't Be Gym Stupid: 20 Things You Shouldn't Do (Part 2)!

In an attempt to decrease the occurrence of gym stupid, I've brainstormed up a few tips. I'm not gonna tell you what to do; rather, I'm going to share what not to do. Here's the rest of the top 20.
Part 1 | Part 2

Article Summary:
  • You need a solid base of strength to truly reach your growth potential.
  • Set goals for your individual workouts to build motivation.
  • Proper planning is the best way to avoid stagnation.
  • dot
    Don't Be Gym Stupid: Part II

    dot 11. Don't Think You Are Too Advanced To Warm-Up: dot

      You might think you're too advanced to dedicate 10 minutes of your session to warming your muscles and stimulating the central nervous system, but I guarantee you that your body is thinking that you're not too advanced for injury.

      Stepping into the gym and immediately hitting the iron is not the ideal way to go. You run with the increased risk of injury and decreased performance. Spend a few minutes performing a low-intensity mobility and soft tissue warm-up followed by a specific warm-up for your first exercise.

    Spend A Few Minutes Performing A Low-Intensity Mobility And Soft Tissue Warm-Up
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Spend A Few Minutes Performing A Low-Intensity
    Mobility And Soft Tissue Warm-Up.

    dot 12. Don't Skip Out On Core Work: dot

      Your core controls everything. All movement is initiated from the core. It constantly works to stabilize you, regardless of the situation.

      Without some degree of core strength, performing these movements would be hell. A variety of direct abdominal and lower back work a few times per week goes a long way. Hanging leg raises, planks, glute-ham raises, good mornings - whatever floats your boat.


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    dot 13. Don't Ignore The Importance Of Strength: dot

      I don't care what anyone tells you - without a solid base of strength, your gains aren't going to be near as good as they could be. Everyone these days classifies "strength" as specific to powerlifters and strongman competitors; completely useless to the bodybuilding crowd and the recreational lifter who just wants to look good at the beach.

      But think of it this way - heavier weights have a greater impact on the cross-sectional area of muscles, right? So wouldn't it pay to be benching 225 rather than 135? I'd say so. You need a solid strength foundation to truly reach your growth potential.

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    dot 14. Don't Dismiss The Idea That Less Might Actually Be More: dot

      Yeah, I went there. I'm no fan of the typical chest/ triceps/ shoulders split in which 4 different exercises are performed for each muscle. Your anterior delts are actually extremely tiny in comparison to your chest, so why do both groups need 4 different exercises? They don't!

      Your smaller muscle groups generally get enough work from your big compound exercises such as the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Stick to the important compounds and stop dedicating so much of your gym time to pea-sized muscles!

    Stick To The Important Compounds
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Stick To The Important Compounds.

    dot 15. Don't Attempt To Train For Opposite Goals Simultaneously: dot

      Case in point: A competitive powerlifter training to run a marathon. Do you think there's any way in hell he's going to gain strength while running well over 100 miles a week trying to prepare for the Houston Marathon? No sir.

      When training for two goals, you're only going to get half-@ssed results from either of them. The same applies to gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time. If you run both goals together, you get mediocre results at both ends. However, if you focus on one at a time, you get great results from that particular focus and you are able to spend time on the other aspect in another cycle.

    What's Your Goal? What Is Your Goal?

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    dot 16. Don't Write Your Own Programs Without A Strong Anatomy Background: dot

      This brings us back to Part 1's point - don't ignore structure. How do you expect to write a well-balanced training program without, at the very least, a basic understanding of anatomy and physiology?

      You might be able to get something down that looks decent on paper, but in reality the chances of it really working out are slim to none. Learn about the body - your body in particular - and then start programming. Don't get me wrong, it's an important skill to possess; but stick to the proven programs until your knowledge is up to par.

    Anatomy Main Page!
    Anatomy Main Page!

    Check out the pictures to learn the names of each major muscle group. Just click on the area you want to enlarge on yourself!

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    dot 17. Don't Avoid Corrective And/Or Prehabilitative Work: dot

      Even with a proper warm-up and balanced training, you still run the risk of injury. It happens to the best and most knowledgeable of us. To work around it, adopt the prehabilitation mentality.

      Let's fix it, even though it's not broken yet, because it will probably break soon. Look at your past injuries and problem areas. Determine the most important and then implement corrective or prehabilitative work for that specific area into your program.

    Look At Your Past Injuries And Problem Areas.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Look At Your Past Injuries And Problem Areas.

    dot 18. Don't Think Goals Are Just For Idealists: dot

      Goals provide motivation like you don't even know. They may prove useful to anyone, especially those who constantly need to see some kind of improvement. Develop goals for every aspect of your life.

      It may seem a little stupid, but when you accomplish even the smallest one you get a pretty wonderful feeling inside. Set goals for your individual workouts - let's say next Tuesday I'm supposed to bench. I hit 225 lbs for 5 reps this week, so next week I want to hit 230 lbs for 5 reps. It's as simple as that!


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    dot 19. Don't Go Into This Without A Plan: dot

      Sure, roaming around the gym rotating through whatever exercises were on your mind during math class might work for a while, but you will eventually hit a plateau; everyone does at some point.

      Proper planning is the best way to avoid this stagnation. Get real comfortable with the term periodization. If you've never heard this term before - I have nothing left to say to you.

    dot 20. Don't Set Yourself Up For Failure: dot

      That is, by ignoring the previous 19 points. If you actually read through the all of these tips, then you're now more than well-equipped to make the progress you deserve. Go hit the gym and do me proud!

    Part 1 | Part 2