Gym Blunders Unveiled: Don’t Fall for These Errors! – Tucson’s Best Personal Trainer Blog

Last month my wife and I had an awesome vacation. Much of the time was spent floating around in the middle of the ocean completely disconnected from the world.

It was great to spend some time reconnecting to what really matters… our marriage and our connection to one another. It’s been about 8 years since we’ve done a trip like this, and my only regret is that we waited this long to do it. We all need time periodically to step away and realign our compasses to make sure they continue to point true north.

During our time away we got to train at a ‘regular’ gym. There have been times where I’ve been on travel and had to periodically drop into one, but this time was different… we were there for over two weeks and trained almost every day. This gave us a deeper look into what it’s really like to consistently train in a place like this.

Needless to say, there was a lot of buffoonery… but I’m sure you already knew that.

Now look, I know the last thing the internet needs is another post from a professional coach making fun of typical gyms. So instead, I’d like to share the three biggest mistakes that I saw, with the hope that you’ll use this knowledge to avoid these costly mistakes.

Here they are in no particular order…

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Mistake 1: Vanity Lifting

This can best be described as follows: An individual uses a weight that is too heavy. Instead of humbling themselves and using a weight more appropriate to their ability, they continue to struggle with the heavy weight and use partial ranges of motion and sloppy technique.

In the old days, I only saw this in the young crowd… typically male… trying to show off to their friends how much they can lift. Now it seems like everyone is doing it regardless of gender or age.

Not sure how this became a trend…

One of the biggest issues I see with the people we work with at our gym are mobility restrictions.

All the strength in the world means nothing if you can’t move. Every time range of motion is restricted in a lift, it burns a neural pathway that tells the brain this shorter range of motion is OK.

Over time, these shortened ranges of motion become natural movement.

Nobody wants to be the stiff old man/lady shuffling around… so don’t shorten your ROM in your exercise.

Mobility work, AKA moving your joints through their entire range of motion, is terribly unsexy. However, this is the stuff that keeps you young. Don’t skip it. Barring an orthopedic issue (poor flexibility is not an orthopedic issue), you should always be thinking about moving through as full of a range of motion as safely possible.

Mistake 2: Majoring In The Minors

This is a term I first heard from my mentor Mark Reifkind. This basically means skipping the important bread-and-butter exercises and spending too much time on smaller, less important ones.

This is like skipping the meat and vegetables at the buffet and going straight for the dessert bar.


In the 2+ weeks we trained in this gym, we saw every version of bicep curl you could ever imagine… including some you probably can’t… up to, and not excluding, rowing on a rowing machine with an underhand grip while doing a curl on every stroke (I couldn’t have made this up).

Is there really an epidemic of weak biceps that I’m not aware of? Do we need to start a Go Fund Me for the “Save The Baby Biceps” charity? Seriously… what’s with all the curls?

All jokes aside, if you want to do curls, do curls… I don’t care. But what if maybe… just maybe… we spend just a little bit of time focused on getting strong in the big motor movements first?

How about this… once you have a proper deadlift, a proper squat, and a nice set of strict pull ups, do all the curls you want.

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Mistake 3: Zero Focus On Proper Execution/Technique

This could be its own post… possibly even an entire book. The importance of how one lifts is just as important as that they do it. My entire career as a trainer can be summed as follows: I’ve spent 50% of my career helping those who have never done serious strength training, learn to do it properly. And the other 50% trying to undo all the issues people caused themselves by doing strength training improperly.

Here’s the deal: Lifting weights is inherently dangerous. I can’t think of another example of a dangerous recreational activity that you can just fill out a waiver and go do, without any safety discussions/instructions whatsoever. For example, you can’t even go to my climbing gym without going through an orientation. The gym, however, is the wild wild west. Sign the waiver, swipe your credit card, and have at it! May the odds be in your favor! And the crazy stuff I saw in that gym confirms this.

Lifting weights is hard work; there are only a select few of us freaks who actually enjoy putting ourselves through the task of lifting heavy objects for personal amusement. For everyone else, if you’re going to go through the voluntary hardship of going to a gym, you might as well learn to do it right.

When I mingle with those outside my fitness world, all I hear about is the struggles: Body aches, pains, etc. We need movement in our lives to undo all the garbage that our modern, stressful life does to us. Speaking personally, exercise is the best medicine (and most powerful antidepressant)


I’ve ever taken.

If you feel like your gym is the blind leading the blind, it’s time for a change. I’d love to meet you and talk about your goals. Click Here to get started

Until next time,

Tucson Best Personal Trainer Group Fitness Near Me

Jerry Trubman is a coach, clinician, author, blogger, and powerlifting state champion. With over two decades of lifting experience, he has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. Jerry has coached “Team Protocol” to 4 National Powerlifting Championships in the 100% Raw federation. He writes the internationally-read blog, “The Healthy Addiction” and lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, Marie, and dog, Asher.nn

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