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10 Stupid Mistakes to Avoid in the Gym

Avoid these mistakes to make your workout more effective and see better results.

6. Not timing your rest periods

According to Jason Ferruggia, head strength coach at Renegade Strength and Conditioning, "most guys should be in and out of the gym in 60 minutes, including warm-up, cool-down, and a good lifting session." To make that possible, avoid wasting precious moments in between sets of an exercise. Wear a stopwatch or use an app on your phone to limit yourself to under a minute. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll finish your workout.

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7. Working your core solely at the end of your routine

Leave your dedicated abdominal work till the end of your workout, and you’re likely to cut it short. When you’re tired and nearing the end of a lifting session, the last thing you will want to do is multiple sets of planks, side planks, and leg raises. Instead, get the core training out of the way early by incorporating the same moves in between exercises. Perform them during rest periods to maximize your time in the gym. Avoid incorporating core while working on heavy strength sets of total body moves like squats as they rely on your core for proper form and positioning. Instead, incorporate them alongside exercises like bench press and leg press that rely less on the midsection.

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8. Forgetting your water bottle

Although it may seem trivial in terms of your overall routine, leaving the thirst quencher at home forces many guys to head to the water fountain in between sets. The result — wasted time in between exercises. To keep your workout going strong, bring your own bottle and fill it up beforehand.

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9. Spreading out your workout

Avoid putting a circuit together that takes over the entire gym. Not only does it inconvenience other gym-goers when you traverse the entire gym floor with your superset, it also wastes precious time. Group your exercises in a way that allows you to utilize equipment in the same area. This cuts down on transit time between sets and gets you out of the gym faster.

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10. Using balance equipment during strength exercises

If your goal is to build strength, leave the BOSU balls and other balance accessories out of the equation. Their main purpose is to increase proprioception (body awareness) and (you guessed it) balance. For heavy strength exercises, they decrease the amount of weight you can use therefore lowering the muscle stimulus. If you can’t lay off the wobble aids entirely, use them at the end of your workout to improve coordination.

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