MONKEY SEE MONKEY DO. ARE YOU A GYM MONKEY?

I see this all the time in the gym – people copy others! They see someone doing an exercise (often with a trainer) and they assume that it’ll be a good exercise for themselves to do. Next thing they’ve added it to their training routine.

This can be at worst setting them up for injury or at best a complete waste of their time.

It’s common for people to assume that if a qualified Personal Trainer is using a particular exercise with a client then it must be a “good” exercise. Or perhaps they look at someone who is in really great shape and think that they must be doing all the right exercises so you start copying. But it’s not that simple.

There are many factors that must be considered when deciding if an exercise is suited to you, including

  • Your posture
  • Training experience
  • Age
  • Flexibility and muscle imbalances
  • Any current injuries or a history of injuries
  • Stress
  • Other training you’re doing
  • Your own training goals

It’s important to train smart and be selective about the exercises you include in your training program. It’s really helpful to know why you’re doing an exercise. So ask yourself – “why am I doing this particular exercise?”. Consider which muscles the exercise is working, and what effect the exercise has on you and your overall training goals.

Know that just because an exercise gets your heart rate up or feels challenging doesn’t mean it’s “good” for you.

Do some research or talk to an experienced trainer to ensure that your time in the gym isn’t wasted or an injury waiting to happen.

And remember, if an exercise doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t right for you no matter how good it looks when someone else is doing it!