I'm a gym owner, and these are the 6 common mistakes preventing people from reaching their fitness goals

  • Hitting the gym is good step to getting fit, but common mistakes can make workouts less effective.

  • A personal trainer said people often skip warm-ups, copy Insta workouts, or use the same weight.

  • For better gains, have a plan that challenges your body to reach your specific goals, she said.

Common workout mistakes can stall your progress and prevent you from making gains, according to a gym owner.

Jennifer Scherer, certified personal trainer and owner of Fredericksburg Fitness Studio, told Insider that she often sees people making simple errors that reduce the effectiveness of their workouts.

"People don't have a clue about what a workout should include. They need guidance and accountability," Scherer said.

While just walking into the gym is a good first step, you can make the most of your sessions by avoiding issues like skipping your warm-up, doing random exercises, and using the same weight over time, she said.

Mistake 1: not having a plan

Scherer said the biggest mistake she sees is people doing exercises seemingly at random, which can lead to limited results or even injuries.

Start by identifying your goals, then assess what types of exercise might help you achieve them, while being realistic  about your time commitment and current fitness level, she said.

Ideally, it's worth investing in good personal trainer to help you learn the basics of proper form even if you plan to train on your own, Scherer added.

Mistake 2: using the same weight and reps every workout

A common side effect of not planning your workouts is doing the exercises, weights, and reps every session, which will quickly stop being effective, according to Scherer.

In order to build strength and muscle, you need to continually challenge your body over time, a principle known as progressive overload.

"When you feel like a workout is starting to get easy, it's time to increase the weight," she said.

Mistake 3: skipping a warm-up and cooldown 

To save time, you may be tempted to start your workout as soon as you hit the gym, and bail once you're done — but that can make your session more injury-prone and less productive, Scherer said.

"I see people just jump into weights without warming up. You're going to get more muscle activation if you start by elevating your body temperature and working through all the planes of motion first," she said.

Similarly, you're missing out on some benefits if you leave the gym before cooling down. Taking some time for slow, restorative movement post-workout can improve your energy and reduce soreness to get you back at it faster, according to Scherer.

"You need to bring heart rate down, allowing the muscles to return to a resting state," she said.

Mistake 4: worrying about how you look 

"Gymtimidation" is a real thing, and Scherer said people often miss out on workouts or effective exercises because of what other people might think.

Movements like a plie squat or deadlift may feel odd to a beginner, but the benefits are worth the initial nervousness.

Elite athletes say the trick to overcoming gym anxiety is to realize that no one is looking at you, since they're probably too busy trying to get a good workout themselves.

Mistake 5: copying what you see online

Following an influencer's eye-catching routine is more likely to lead to injury than progress, according to Scherer.

Flashy moves like box jumps or Olympic weightlifting require technique and practice to perform safely and effectively, so stick to simpler exercise with good form unless you have a coach, she said.

Influencers often also emphasize fad diets and shady supplements, distracting you from basic healthy habits like good nutrition and sleep that are key to fitness gains.

"What works in the long run is something that you enjoy doing that's safe and appropriately challenging," Scherer said.  "Everyone's body and goals are different. You have to find what works for you."

Read the original article on Insider