5 Ways Amateurs Waste Their Time at the Gym

For many reasons these days getting in shape is all the rage. Legions of amateur aspiring body builders are heading into gyms looking to trim and chisel. It’s not surprising then that they all seem to make the same mistakes that cause the vast majority of time in the gym to follow the 80/20 rule. Meaning 80% of their time is completely wasted while 20% of it gets meager results.

In this article we’re going to go over the five major ways that amateurs waste their precious fitness time at the gym in the hopes that more of them will avoid them and get far better results. None of these should come as a surprise. You’ll see it every single day in the gym once you know what to look for.

#1) Too Much Talky Talky

Either you’re in the gym to socialize or get in shape. Period. What’s your goal? You want to make friends, find someone to date or get healthy? Now, chatting here and there isn’t against the rules or anything. And, having someone to talk to while on the cardio machine isn’t a bad thing either. But, when you waste 50% or more of your time flapping your gums instead of exercising then what’s the point?

In reality you should save the socializing for somewhere else and get down to business when in the weight room! Remember the 80/20 rule and try to flip it on its head so that you’re only wasting 20% of the time.

#2) No Consistency – Lack of Planning

Yes, variety and keeping the body on its toes has some serious merits. In fact, it’s highly advised to consistently change things up to keep the body guessing. But, you simply cannot “wing” a fitness regimen and expect to actually get any results. Why? Because in order to force an adaptation the body needs to see consistency. There’s no way around it. So, there must be an element of planning in your exercise routines or it’s going to be a big waste of time.

That is unless the goal is simply to lose weight, and at that point just moving and burning calories is all that’s required.

#3) Improper Pre-Workout Meals

Seriously…don’t go to the gym on an empty stomach. It’s completely ridiculous. Sure, you’ll tap into some of that excess fat out of necessity but then you’ll end up gorging on food afterwards. And, you’ll crash half way through the workout. The body MUST have adequate energy to reach any serious level of intensity.

#4) Waiting Around for Equipment

Okay, yeah you could wait around for 10 minutes waiting for that particular barbell or machine. Or you could utilize that time doing something a bit more constructive.

#5) Single-Joint Exercises

In some cases this isn’t a bad thing. For example on chest days the bench press (single joint exercise) can be effective. But, in most cases there are more productive ways to work any body part and that is through the use of compound (more complex) movements that incorporate more of the musculature.

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Ali Asjad

Ali Asjad is a content strategist based in Stockholm, Sweden. He writes for Fitness Direct and other companies in vast and varied verticals. He is also a health & fitness buff, hence his interest in fitness equipment such as water-rower rowing machines.

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2 comments on “5 Ways Amateurs Waste Their Time at the Gym
  1. Nice post thank you. I’d like to rejoin by saying that for me going to the gym as a beginner can be also a mistake. A general workout at my fitness concept starts out from home-base. Then maybe i lift a weight other than my butt someday. Taking a gym mindset to the workplace and home is faster. Instead of all day just sitting there might as well move it, ergonomically. That’s a tough workout. All terrain. Real cross-fitness. At a gym I like the machines and gizmos yes and of course the social aspect can never be a mistake. Chat away I say. Otherwise roll out of bed and give the body 10,000 reps.

  2. How true. Not to mention the fact that the 6 pack adulation is on the rise, more than ever. It’s such a shame to see the typical amateur gym rat doing endless number of crunches and spending most of his time on abs exercises, in the hope that he’ll get ripped.

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