Even experienced professionals make a few gym mistakes. With this guide of “what not to do” you’ll not only improve your workouts but also enter the gym with a renewed motivation and purpose.

  1. You always stick to the same workout

Change your program after four to six weeks to avoid getting into a pattern. A slump or a monotonous training routine can stop you from producing results because your mind and body has hit a plateau. Changing your workout can also help keep your body guessing – try new methods or even a class once a week.

  1. You copy the hardcore gym members

Instead of copying the hardcore guy in the gym without any instruction, train with a professional instructor and get better at your own pace. People see someone lifting heavier weights or using a certain technique and rather than asking for advice they imitate them. This could cause unexpected results or an injury. Do your homework before you hit the gym or ask a professional trainer to help you meet your own goals according to a special workout plan.

  1. You go every day

Working out every day is not sustainable – physically or mentally. If you go every day you won’t be able to maintain the necessary intensity and you’ll get bored. Pros will tell you that you make greater gains when you rest.

  1. You use the gym for socialising

We cannot reiterate this enough. If you want to get social go to a tea party with your sister or your mother-in-law. The gym is where you train. Be courteous to other committed gym members who are not there to waste time. Don’t be that person who’s always on the equipment tweeting. Get real or go home!

  1. You never take a break

Slavishly following a monotonous workout plan for too long is likely to lead to a burnout. If your training do it properly and have a couple of weeks off to get your body primed and reset your thinking. Boredom is one of the biggest killers. The other one that people always underestimate is over training. Give your body time to recover.

  1. You don’t separate mental and physical fatigue

People think they’re tired when all they’ve done is sit at their computers. Their brain is spent but their body is ready for exercise. By doing a workout, you’ll get your energy levels surging and de-stress yourself in the process.

  1. You work out when you’re ill

When you’re sick, you have a weakened immune system. When you train on a weakened immune you’re doing more damage to your health. Eat well, get some sleep and prepare mentally so you can get healthy quicker.

  1. You stick to the machines

Ever wondered why the bench press is easier on the machine than with a barbell? The machine is doing some of the work for you. Get off the machines and practice whole body workouts with compound movements. This will train your stabilisers and you’ll get stronger overall.

  1. You only ever use heavy weights

Don’t always hit the weight section and try to go the heaviest you can. This may limit your growth because you’ll hit your muscles in a very predictable way. It’s also harder to control large weights precisely. Go light and do extra reps with a greater range of motion.

  1. You do too many workouts

Lastly, don’t hammer yourself or you’ll end up breaking down your body faster than it can repair itself. When you rest is when you grow. Period.