Top Ten Thursday: Top 10 Mistakes Women Make At The Gym (Me Included)

I have to admit, I am quite impressed. Impressed with the number of people still hitting the gym. I know it’s early, but it seems like a lot of the new gym members around me have quite the motivation and desire to actually keep coming.

I hope so! I love seeing people achieve their goals. I mean of course I would love to not have to wait for a bench or a set of dumbbells but that’s what happens when you don’t have a home gym.

I’ve been eyeing the ladies around me, seeing what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. I am not eyeing them enough to look like some creepo but enough to see the mistakes.

I don’t work at the gym that I workout at so I can’t correct these ladies. However, I do get the luxury of blogging about it so that you can learn from their errors. Pretty cool, right!?

This week’s Top Ten Thursday:

10 mistakes women make at gym

Top 10 Mistakes Most Women Make At The Gym
(In No Particular Order)


10. Calling A Non-workout A Workout:

cell phone workout

I was on a treadmill the other evening beside a lady who was taking a walk on the belt with her cell phone stuck to the side of her face…. for the entire time. Really? How hard was she really working out? Going to the gym and actually working out at the gym are two completely different things. Plus, no one needs to know the details of your day. I don’t mean to be harsh, but this is my pet peeve. Please, no chit chatting on the phone during a workout.

9. Lifting Too Light.

baby weight for women

Sure, if you are brand new to strength training it is critical that you start easy and work your way up. However, I see ladies grabbing for 5 lb dumbbells that clearly can lift heavier. Sometimes going too light is just as bad for your form as too heavy. You can get “whippy” and all around sloppy.

8. Avoiding Pre-Workout Food.

This one I see all the time in my morning boot camps. I think I have mentioned it a time or two. We think that it’s best to avoid food before morning workouts because it might make us queazy and nauseous, right? That is until you get queazy and nauseous from low blood sugar. When you wake up, eat a small pre-workout snack. Even if it’s half a Kind bar. Anything that will help fuel your workout. Everyone is different in terms of what they can tolerate. Find what works for you. You’ll be thankful for the fuel. If you start to feel light headed, drink some water and grab for a quick dose of sugar. I like to keep cereal bars and hard candies around for my ladies.

7. Taking Too Long At The Water Fountain.

Okay, maybe this is just another pet peeve. I am guilty of standing around the water hole too long because I am filling up my entire bottle. HOWEVER, if someone else comes up to get a sip, I slide over and let them. I don’t make them stand around while the little spirt of water fills my liter bottle up. That’s just wrong. When they are done and no one else needs a refreshing sip, then I get back to business.

6. Sticking To The Same Workout.

bored workout

I saw several ladies at the beginning of last week with a workout book in their hands. They went from exercise to exercise completing the workout that was within the pages. The next time I was at the gym, they were doing the same workout with the same weight.

And yes, I have a weird memory. The point is that to see changes in your body you have to challenge yourself. That means always aiming to either add weight to an exercise or add an extra rep in there. I also believe in alternating between workouts if you plan do stick to the same one for more than a week.

If you do the same workout all the time, you will end up bored and plateaued with your results. Change is a good thing.

5. Improper clothing.


There actually is a do and don’t when it comes to fitness clothes. You want something that moves around easily, something that doesn’t fall down when you exercise and something that you feel comfortable in. Oversized t-shirts are not ideal as you can’t see your muscles and body working during an exercise. Plus they can get heavy, clingy and all around uncomfie.

Same goes with bottoms.

I have learned this the hard way… colored leggings are no good for cardio workouts. Trust me! By the end you will look as if you had an accident. Been there, done that. Black is so popular for a reason.  Which is sad because I love color! Also, yoga pants are for yoga. Learned this the hard way too after having to fight with my leggings to stay up for an entire run. I am sure people driving thought I was giving quite the show.

4. Treadmill competing.

treadmill race

Have you ever been on a treadmill next to someone and couldn’t help but to glance at what speed/incline they were working at? Okay, so this particular incident wasn’t a women, it was a dude however he hopped on beside me while I was doing sprint intervals.

Every time I would take the speed up, I would see him push his button so that he was going 1-2 pushes faster than me. So if I was at a 9.3, he was at a 9.5. I thought it was hilarious and I took it as a compliment that he felt I could give him the workout “push”. Believe it or not, I didn’t let him interfere with my speeds. I was there to run my own race, not his.

But I may have been guilty of treadmill competing in once or twice… but that doesn’t make it cool. 🙂

3. No Plan Jan.

workout plan

Having no plan is like not having directions to someplace you’ve never been. You will get lost. Not only that, but you waste time trying to decide what to do next and that means too much rest and not enough action.

Have a plan when you go workout. Know what exercises, the format you plan to do, and the best way to set up. Don’t plan to do back to back exercises that are all the way across the gym. Figure it out so that it’s smooth and flows. That will create less stress and more results.

2. Abs Abs And Just More Abs.

abs to get abs

I used to think that doing crunches and sit ups all day would give me a 6-pack. It didn’t. I felt lied to because I remember the rumor that Brittany Spears did 500 situp/day to get her abs (back in her prime). Here’s the thing… ab exercises don’t burn the fat off.

They might tone the muscles but if there is a layer of fat sitting on top, no one will ever know. It’s going to take a fat burning regiment of cardio and strength training to get those abs to be “Bam” awesome.

1. Adductors/Abductors And Other Machines.

This thigh machine rules a women’s weight training workout. Have you ever used one? You sit in a chair with your legs in what resembles a GYNO contraption and push the weight in and out with your thighs. Sure it sounds great, but really what’s it really accomplishing? This is an isolated move and therefore not the best that you can do in terms of seeing fast results.

The same goes with most other machines that take up the gym floor. They work small muscles making it harder to burn calories and fat. You’ll be much better off doing moves like sumo-squats, lunges, and step-ups. Plus you will burn a heck of a lot more calories!

Have you ever done any of these? 

What gym pet peeve do you have?

I have made a few of these mistakes in my time…  I have been guilting of treadmill competing, not having a plan, and lifting too light! Dan always tells me to go heavier!

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