If you’ve recently become a member of your local gym, you’re probably still getting into the swing of things. It’s likely you’ll be a little worried about stepping out of line and embarrassing yourself at first, but it’s totally normal to make a few mistakes, so don’t let this get you down. After all, nobody’s perfect.

While you will no doubt pick up a few tips and tricks the more times you visit the gym, it’s best to be given a few pointers in advance. This will save your workout from being disrupted and ensure a smoother performance.

Here a few rookie mistakes to avoid making in the gym:

Forgetting your water bottle

It’s a good idea to carry a water bottle to the gym in order to keep hydrated throughout your workout. Forgetting to carry a bottle with you could leave you feeling hot and flustered, leading you off track.

While gyms have water fountains that you can stop off at for a quick drink or to refill your bottle, these often have long queues of thirsty gym-goers waiting to hydrate – especially during the busiest times of day.

Queueing to use the water fountain because you left your bottle at home will only shave valuable minutes off your workout time and disrupt your flow, so remember to pack it the night before.

Waiting for equipment

You will soon come to learn the times of day when your gym is busiest. You will also notice that during these times, there is likely to be a wait for certain pieces of equipment.

Typical gym etiquette would be to ask the person using a machine to share it with you, so you can both take it in turns to carry out your reps one after the other. It is a good idea, though, to have a backup exercise or machine to turn to if there is a particularly long wait for the one you want to use first.

You can always come back to that machine afterwards.

Performing intense cardio before lifting weights

Carrying out an intense cardio session before going on to lift heavy weights will only have a negative impact on your weightlifting performance.

This is because the cardio session is likely to leave you feeling exhausted and with little energy to lift weights effectively. Doing so could even result in an injury.

Therefore, begin lifting weights after your warm up at the start of your workout to avoid feeling burned out too early on. You could finish your session by carrying out some cardio.

Doing the same routine every time

While you might have become comfortable following a particular workout routine, doing the same exercises every time you visit the gym can be highly repetitive and a little boring. This won’t give you the drive and motivation you need.

Instead, switch up your workout routine every so often, focusing on a different part of the body or using a machine that you haven’t used before. This will make your sessions a lot more exciting and will give you something to look forward to.

Compare yourself to others

One thing you should never do at the gym is compare yourself to others. The person on the treadmill next to yours may well be running a few speeds faster, but that doesn’t mean you should alter the pace at which you’re going.

Everyone has their own individual goals, so you should only focus on yours. What’s more, the person next to you may have been training for a few years, so will naturally be at a more advanced level of fitness. Try to put others out of your mind and keep working to your goal.