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Ridicule-Worthy Training Mistakes

Avoid these surprising workout mistakes and don’t become a gym punch line.

Two guys walk into a gym and...

Yes, this sounds like a start of a joke, but these five punch lines aren't anything to laugh about. We asked celebrity trainer Jay Cardiello of Cardiello Fitness for some of the mistakes he's seen at the gym that make his blood boil. Before you point your finger at someone else, make sure you aren't guilty of one of these ridicule-worthy moves.

...don't train their posterior.

Typically speaking, there are three exercises that dominate most fitness programs: the bench press, bicep "anythings" and crunches. But to really be bigger, faster and stronger, more men should focus on building their posterior chains with such exercises as deadlifts, hip dominant leg exercises, good mornings and planks. Why would someone who spends most of his time behind a desk train so much of the anterior portion of their bodies so as to create more of a forward tilt?

Go to any gym and you will see guys banging out rep after rep on the bench, curling everything and everyone and ripping reps on crunch equipment. In comparison, go to any professional strength training facility and you'll witness athletes developing what matters—their posterior. With all of the athletes that I have ever trained, I have never had them perform a bicep curl, and still can't find any sport except for bowling where I would need to have an athlete perform curls.

...look like lollipops.

Did you ever notice that after a hurricane, it's the top-heavy trees that get uprooted, while palm trees always seem to ride it out? Overdeveloping the upper region your body will not only keep your from ever wearing shorts to the gym, but on a physiological level will actually hinder you from developing to your full potential.

On the most simplistic level, your legs are the largest muscles in your body, producing the most testosterone and also have the ability to kick your metabolism into high gear. But that’s only if you work them out. So, stop with the Jersey Shore program.

..put their feet on the bench.

How many times have we witnessed gym rats performing a bench press with their feet up on the bench? That is one of the cardinal sins of the bench press. Yet, I have heard everything from, "I'm trying to maximize my results," to, "This way, I am isolating my chest."

First off, what? Secondly, the bench press is a full-body exercise. By keeping your feet off of the ground, you are not only reducing your power and strength gains, but also placing yourself in an unsafe and unbalanced position.

...do one-dimensional cardio.

From ellipticals to stair-stepping, people do not realize training in a one-dimensional fashion will make you one-dimensional. It amazes me that the average New Yorker walks on average three to five miles a day, but the number one cardio workout they do is the treadmill or elliptical. Then they wonder why when they make a sharp twisting motion at work or simply play a weekend basketball game, they get injured.

Your cardio or fitness experience should be a "prehabilitational" experience, meaning you "prehab" your body to avoid having to rehab your body. Simply put, train the way you live. From bending to twisting to standing on a ladder to changing a light bulb, you have to train outside of the box. Jumping jacks, jump rope, rumba class, just move.

Just because he can kick your ass
doesn't mean he can train you.

...ask "that guy" for advice.

We all have "that guy" at the gym—the one who can lift a house and looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the '80s. But what makes you think he has the knowledge that will help you? Your body is genetically different from the next guy and has different needs, but he is going to tell you what works for him. Most importantly, he is probably not a health professional.

Instead of wasting your time asking what he does for his workout, hire a professional. Too many people give out too much faulty advice to people who will take their word at more than face value.

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