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May 18, 2012

Top 10 Time Wasters at the Gym

I have written this post for a bit of fun because I spend a lot of time at the gym watching how other people waste their time. It only occurred to me the other day that, by watching those time wasters, I myself was wasting time! Here are the 10 best ways to waste time at the gym.

# 1 - Warm up for too long

I know it sounds silly but I see many people (women especially) warm up for far too long and as such decrease the amount of workout time by a huge amount. Warm ups are essential but it shouldn’t go for more than about 10 minutes.
The thing is, if you are young and go to the gym three or more times per week then chances are your body is limber, healthy and can resist a fair amount of work. The fitter you get the less you SHOULD have to warm up. However, better safe than sorry - don’t ever miss your warm up!

# 2 - Trips to the water fountain

I have noticed that many women don’t bring a water bottle but instead opt for the drinking fountain. If this is you, make sure your drinks happen inbetween sets and don’t take the scenic route!

# 3 - Talking to the hot guy/girl

The gym is for working out, the bar is for picking up!
If you go to the gym to meet someone then chances are you are going to make small amounts of progress. Monitor how much time you spend showing off your booty or trying to chat up that special someone and see if it does impact on your progress. I bet it will.

# 4 - Rest

Resting for too long in between sets is a good way to half the time you work out. Resting, like warming up, is essential but it doesn’t need to be for too long. Remember, we should be pushing ourselves more and more as we go on so that we never come to a stand still.

# 5 - Not pre-planning your workout

I am guilty of this. Many times I go to the gym without a prewritten workout or routine and after a couple of sets I walk around for 10 minutes trying to find something else to do. Particularly if I have been happy with my recent progress I will fart around with no particular sense of urgency and thus waste a lot of time. Don’t do this!

# 6 - Spas

The spa and the sauna should be viewed as post workout rewards or warm downs. A lot of people count the spa time in to their routine.

# 7 - Waiting for machines

At the busy times at my gym you can spend 10 mins waiting for a piece of equipment. However, there are ways around this and you don’t have to wait.
If someone is on the equipment you want, firstly look around and see if there is something similar you could do instead. If that doesn’t work (it will), ask the person how long they are going to be. If they say they will be a long time, ask them if you can share with them and do you set while they are resting. This might not work for all pieces of equipment but for things like the tricep pushdown, cables, fitness balls, and most machines that can have the weight changes with the pull of a pin it will be fine.

# 8 - Pretending to workout

This is one of the biggest time wasters of all! I notice that a lot of the time people are not really working out but are just going through the motions. We all know the person with the two pound dumb bells doing 8000 reps worth of bicep curls. Its a waste of time! It would be better to pick up some heavy ones and do five reps. Likewise, don’t set the bike on the lowest setting where you are basically pedalling on air, set it on a hill and pedal your guts out!

# 9 - Sitting on the toilet

Yes, thats right, I find all sorts of ways to waste time! Quite often a speedy run or a half hour of rowing will loosen things up and I will have to make a trip to the bathroom. If you need to go, don’t sit there for 10 mins having a power nap.

# 10 - Working out too much!

Saving the best for last! If you go to the gym too much you are wasting your time in terms of making muscle gain. If you work out muscles when they are sore you will not make any progress. The best way to waste time at the gym is to go too often.
If you have to go everyday (some people do!) then try to do something different. Mix your cardio and your weights up and give certain body parts a day off now and then.