I’ve had enough! Come on people, if you’re at the gym or if you’re exercising, your goal is to improve your fitness. Whether that means you want to be stronger, leaner, more athletic, or whatever your goals are, you would not be in the gym if you did not want to attain that goal. You made the effort to go to the gym, so if you’re going to be there, don’t waste your time. If you don’t care to put the effort into your workout, just go home and save yourself the effort. You should be pushing yourself and committing yourself 100% to your workout. Stop wasting your time there and put some work in!
This is my advice to the people who are wasting their time at the gym:
- Quit going to the gym to socialize: There is nothing wrong with saying hi to a friend and talking to him or her for a couple minutes, but most people who I see workout in groups (especially if there are more than two in the group, which seems excessive) waste half of their time at the gym telling stories and goofing around. Goofing around can wait for later, you are at the gym to get fit, work at it and commit to it. You shouldn’t have time to goof around while you’re working out, which leads to…
- You shouldn’t be able to talk during your exercises: I see this all the time too, and it seems women are more likely to do this, though men are not innocent of it either. If you’re doing cardio, your heart should be beating, you should be taking deep breaths, and you should be so focused that you can’t carry on a conversation. If you’re lifting, you should be pushing yourself and focused on moving the weights. There is no time to talk casually during your exercise if you’re doing them right.
- Put your phone, the newspaper, magazines, and books away: I can’t tell you how often I see people think they can just go on the bike or elliptical and text, play Angry Birds, or read a magazine while working out. They do end up playing with their phone or reading the magazine, but then that is their main focus, and they don’t push themselves hard enough to break a sweat. Your main focus should be on your workout and not something to keep your mind off it, because if your mind is off it then you’re not focused and you’re not giving it your all. (Note: Listening to music and watching TV is okay because they don’t necessarily interfere with your ability to concentrate on your workout. Music in particular can be very motivational, but playing Angry Birds is just wasting your time)
- Know what you’re doing: This cannot be emphasized enough. People always feel good about themselves after they go to the gym, but the truth is when you are away from the gym, you should be continuing to recommit yourself to your workout. If you just go to the gym without a clear plan of what you’re going to do, and then just hop from one machine to the next randomly, you’re wasting your time. If your plan at the gym has no structure, and you end up focusing on your biceps or chest while ignoring other muscles, you’re wasting your time. While away from the gym, research good workout plans, learn how to do the most important compound lifts (male or female!), practice them with a broom stick if needed, and always look for ways to improve your workout. How lucky we are to live in the age of the internet where there is such an abundance of information about fitness online, and if you go to the gym, you’re wasting your time if you’re not researching that fitness material while away from it.
- Never become complacent with your workout: I see this a lot too, and I have fell victim to it myself before. You have made some progress at the gym doing a certain routine, so you just decide to stick with it. Forever. Maybe now and then you might switch from barbell curls to dumbbell curls, but the basic workout remains the same. You will hit a plateau very quick if this is what you do. Never let yourself become complacent. If you aren’t seeing gains, it’s time to make changes. Never be afraid to incorporate new exercises, especially more challenging ones that involve more muscles. I will never understand people who go to the gym to lift weights, but shy away from the primary compound exercises that athletes depend on for their strength.
- Supplements alone won’t make you big: This is pretty self-explanatory. I am not opposed to supplements, though I am also not convinced they are necessary for most people either. I think most people probably would be just as fine eating a meal full of protein with a glass of milk right after working out as they would be drinking a protein shake. Either way, if you want to use them, then good for you, but you damn well better known what you’re doing at the gym or you’re wasting your time and money at the gym. Doing five variations of curls followed by a protein shake won’t make you big.
- Be Confident, but Not Arrogant: There is a bit of a fine line here, but I see too many people on either extreme who are wasting their time. I don’t care how big, fit, skinny, fat, or whatever you are, but don’t be scared at the gym; you should project your confidence without projecting arrogance. Some people walk around timid like they have no clue what they are doing and they are afraid to look themselves in the mirror, not to mention look at someone else at the gym. If you are walking around with your head down at the gym, too scared to watch what other people who you may learn from are doing, you are not going to get anywhere there. You’ll end up quitting before long because you’re afraid of the place. Don’t be scared to go. Be confident — if you’re committed (and following these other steps), you’re making yourself a better person, and you should be proud of it! Carry yourself with some confidence. On the other hand, there are some people who seem overly confident at the gym to the point of arrogance, and then they walk around like they are Greek gods. This isn’t any good either. First, you look like an ass when you do this and nobody respects you for it. Second, if you are more focused on projecting your ego than you are on your workout, you’re interfering with your workout. Be in tuned with your workout and not with your image. Therefore, don’t be scared of what your image projects — don’t be trying to impress people or be afraid of people judging you — just focus on your damn workout!
I am sure I will think of some more ways that that I encounter people wasting their time at the gym, and I will add to them later. but for now this is it. If you can think of any, please leave a comment mentioning them!
In the meantime, remember: you made it to the gym, you’re there to improve yourself. Now get at it and work to improve yourself! Do everything that is needed to give it your all. Don’t try to take your mind off your workout, put your mind fully into your workout so you know what you’re doing and you’re doing it with your full dedication and giving it your all. Don’t half-ass it. Quit wasting your time! Focus on your workout as much as you can and you’ll see the improvements come.