For a long time, I trained in private studios which meant my access to the general public was very limit, as most either trained with me or had a trainer of their own. However, since I’ve joined a more commercial space for a change of scenery, I can’t help but worry about some of the current trends I’m seeing.
Too many people are under the wrong impression when it comes to training, and social media doesn’t seem to be helping either. Here are three common mistakes I’m currently witnessing:
1. Lifting Belts/Waist Trainers
Lifting belts are being miss-used massively at the moment and waist trainer are pointless. Even though these pieces are different, I have to group them together here.
The purpose of the lifting belt is to help you embrace your core more during your heavy lifts, but due to the fact their current purpose is fashion driven, it’s actually weakened your core.
If you're lifting 85% or above of your 1RM then yes lifting belts can help, especially under competition conditions where you're pushing for a personal best. However, when you’re simply doing walking lunges and bicep curls with it on, it carries no benefit.
Wearing the belt negatively impacts your core as its not being worked as much as it would be if you weren’t wearing it. Also, I rarely see those who wear them doing core work, and I can only speculate that they’re not doing additional core work either (sit-ups don’t count).
Waist trainer are utterly pointless and have no purpose in the gym. There’s not need to say much more really.
2. Dropping weights
Like with the lifting belt, dropping your weights isn’t necessary unless you’re Olympic or compound lifting (heavy) or under competitive conditions. We’ve all see the signs in the gym “If your big enough to lift the weight then you’re big enough to put it back”, well that’s the same for lower the weight under control.
Eccentric work (returning to the beginning of a movement) can yield countless muscle building and training benefits that most people are neglecting when dropping the weight. Studies have shown that protein synthesis is much greater post eccentric training, indicating a better hypertrophic response.
3. Too much weight
Most seem to be lifting too much for their current capability, which can lead to injury and lack of muscle development.
Full range of motion in a movement will bring greater results than a half rep with 25% more weight. Muscle growth is caused by muscle activation, so cut back on the weight and work through the full movement.
If you’re unsure about whether you’re reaching your full potential with your technique, try filming yourself from various angles and watch it back. You’ll soon see how you’re efficiently you’re moving.
What mistakes are you seeing in the gym at the moment?