7 Common Gym Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Jun 26, 2014 | by AIF

Brad Riddle, Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness VIC reveals 7 common mistakes that could be holding you back from achieving your goals in the gym.

1.Doing the same workout program with no adaptions.

For most people it’s the lack of imagination or experience that prevents them from making this change, but staying with the same workout continuously won’t challenge your body. You can overcome this by learning as many exercises as you can, and become comfortable using all types of machines, cables and various free weight exercises. You can also change your sets, reps and weight intensity; all these will force the body to react in a different way, creating future changes.

2.Bad technique.

This is the most common cause of injuries and lack of gains in the gym; this often leads to people quitting and being very restricted to what exercises they can complete in the future. The easiest ways to prevent bad technique are not advancing the weight to fast, always completing the correct range of motion, and not being afraid to ask a Personal Trainer for help.

3.Poor nutrition.

People are often left wondering what to eat before and after the gym to help with their energy expenditure and recovery. The question that they always need to ask is can they justify what they’re eating and will it be a good fuel source for the workout they’re about to complete? For example, football players eat a lot of carbohydrates the night before and the morning of their game due to the intensity and length of the game, so if your gym session is at a lower intensity and lesser time period then you shouldn’t over eat before or after the gym as you’ll be cancelling out your good work.

4.Low intensity.

Anyone can say that they went to the gym for an hour, but what did you actually do there? Did you workout as hard as you possibly could, or did you wander round the gym and lift a few weights here and there, or go for a walk on the treadmill? The intensity and training should always be improving, otherwise the body will get used to it and the gains will become less and lesser.


So many people don’t realise when they are overtraining. This can happen when you train the same muscle groups day after day e.g., training chest and triceps, then the following day training shoulders your shoulders would have already been working during the chest and triceps session. When you train this way the muscle goes into atrophy and instead of growing and becoming stronger it can actually become smaller and dramatically weaker. Muscles need to rest; as this is the time the muscle grows the most. It is also very important that after training for 10-12 weeks straight you take a full week off weight training or drop everything to 50% allowing the body to fully recovery and super compensate.

6.Not drinking enough water.

This is one of the biggest contributing factors to why people don’t perform at their best, recover or have the mental capacity to complete their training. We need to drink at least 1 litre for every 25kg of body weight, and 1 litre for every hour of physical exercise. Make sure during the day, whether you’re working in front of a computer, studying, driving, doing paper work, that you keep drinking water to prevent becoming dehydrated, tired, and getting headaches.

7. Lack of motivation.

We all plan on making time to train and have great intentions on trying our best when we do train, but all so often people run out of time, can’t afford it, something comes up, or you just lack motivation. To combat this you need to set your mind on it and plan your day around your workouts rather than the other way round. A healthy body and mind will make your life a lot greater and much more enjoyable!

If you’re fed up of seeing people making these mistakes in the gym, become a Personal Trainer with the Australian Institute of Fitness and teach people how to get the most out of their workouts.



At the Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF), we are no stranger to the competitive and evolving nature of the fitness industry. That’s why we remain the #1 fitness educator since 1979. We continuously raise the bar by providing the best education and resources through dynamic and hybrid training methods that mould to your lifestyle. We are strong believers in evidence over fads, so you can be assured your training with AIF will solidify your career for the long-term.

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