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How to Workout and Weight Train the Right Way: Start Training with a Purpose, Start Getting Results

  Oct 20th, 2011
I was at the gym today, and as I was waiting for the squat rack to open up to start my workout, I was observing the several dozen people around be. What I saw disturbed me and I decided right then and there that as soon as I got home I would make sure that everyone who visits understands exactly how to spend their time at the gym if they want to maximize their results.

What I observed wasn’t all doom and gloom as there was a handful of guys and gals who were making the most of their time at the gym. However, these select individuals were the exception, which should never be the case at a gym.

There are reasons that some people train for years with little to show for it while others are able to consistently improve their physique and have a body that they can be proud of. And one of the biggest factors in determining the results that one achieves from their bodybuilding program is the way they spend their time training.

I want to explain a couple of things that anyone who wants to use their time working out to transform their physique needs to be aware of…

Socializing At the Gym

Socializing and Working Out Do Not Mix

Waiting for a squat rack to open up is bad enough. But when I am waiting for a station to open up while a group of guys are holding it up to talk about where they are going to go drinking later, I can’t help but start to get frustrated.

Admittedly, I was perturbed that the social hour taking place by the squat rack was preventing me from starting my weight training. But, even more than that, I couldn’t get over the fact that all 4 of the guys were scrawny-framed dudes that seemed to be completely content with their less than impressive physiques, which begs the question of why they were at the gym to begin with, but that is another issue altogether.

They would have all night to chat about girls, sports or whatever, but they chose to spend their hour at the gym doing more talking than training.

There is nothing wrong with having friends at your gym or even doing some socializing before or after your workout. But, when you are in the middle of your workout, your training should be the only thing on your mind.

It can be hard to get out of the habit of chatting it up during your workouts. Actually, I have some friends at the gym that I enjoy talking to and I have had to take steps to make sure that for the 45 minutes or so that I am training my focus remains on my workout.

First, I only use a spotter when absolutely necessary. While spotters can obviously be a great help in keeping you safe and enabling you to push out a final rep, they can also be a distraction if they like to talk. By asking for a spot only when you need it you can help to minimize the socializing that can take place between sets with you and your spotter.

The best case scenario is to actually find a spotter who is just as focused on their training as you are and who won’t slow you down or distract you.

Second, I blare music in my headphones. When my friends see that my headphones are on (and can hear the music coming from the buds in my ears) they know that I can’t hear them and will refrain from trying to talk to me until I turn off the music when my workout is finished.

The final thing I do is simply cut people off when they are talking to me – as politely as possible, of course. I will usually just tell them that it is time for me to perform my next set and move on to my next set. Most of the time that will end the conversation until the end of my workout. If nothing else, it at least sends the message that I am there to train and not to socialize.

The Goal is Not to Just Get Through Your Workout

Another way that people minimize their own results is by nonchalantly working out. These kinds of people can be found in just about any gym and can be identified by their dry shirts, stagnant strength gains and lack of results.

Weight training is not about getting through 5 sets of 5 exercises and going home. It should be much more than that.

Weight training should be a time of fighting to push out that final rep, battling with a new amount of weight that is greater than what you were able to perform for a certain number of reps before, and pushing your body and your muscles to their absolute limits!

If you don’t believe me, pay attention to all of the men and women in the gym who have impressive physiques and you will see them training with this kind of purpose during each and every training session.

If you can consistently maintain this kind of perspective while you are training, you will be ahead of 90% of those at your gym, and it will only be a matter of time before it will begin to manifest itself in the form of strength gains, muscle growth and your improved physical appearance.

You Are Working Out for a Reason

When you are at the gym, or working out at home, always remember that you are working out for a reason. Whether you are training with the goal of building muscle, burning fat, feeling better or living longer, the more you put into your workouts, the more you will get out of them.

Hopefully my ranting about a couple of things that annoyed me while I was at the gym today will help you to avoid making the mistakes that I saw so many making at my gym while I was waiting for the squat rack to become available. If nothing else, I hope that you will be more aware of the times when you are falling into the traps of talking more than you are training or are simply going through the motions of your workout.

Habits such as these are simply unacceptable for anyone who wants to get serious results from their training.

By the way, if you want a great resource to show you exactly how to train for maximum muscle gains, I highly recommend checking out my book, Ripped Out.

If you notice people doing ridiculous things at your gym, or if you have a tip that you would like to share regarding getting the most out of your workouts, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to join the discussion by using the comment box below.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, I would greatly appreciate if you would please click the +1 button in the right side bar to pay it forward. I also encourage you to subscribe to to receive a free copy of my book, Ripped Abs Now, and to stay up to date on all of my latest postings.



2 Responses
  1. Kathy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This should be required reading for all gym members; everywhere. My boyfriend and I are in the midst of competition training and made the huge mistake of going to the gym around 6:00 p.m. the other night. It was practically impossible to get anything done because of the amount of socializing going on. I’m all for being friendly at the gym, but I go there for one reason and one reason only…to work my butt off. Heck, other than one or two word comments, my boyfriend and I don’t even speak to one another in the gym! And we do the same routine. What frustrates me even more is when the same people I constantly see spending the bulk of their gym time talking complain about not seeing the results they want. I’m never quite sure whey they are surprised by that…

  2. Thanks Kathy!

    My wife and I also kept our distance when we trained at the same gym together, because we were both there to kill it. Good luck with the competition!

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