Ways To Waste Valuable Workout Time

Time is a precious thing to waste. That’s why these gym time killers are a tragic waste of time when you’re already scrambling to find an hour to fit in a workout during your day.

Here are 10 ways you’re wasting valuable workout time:

Sticking To the Same Old Workout

Do you set the same workout on repeat and just go through the motions—for days, weeks, and months on end? Trust me when I say that this method won’t get you anywhere and you’ll soon hit a wall. The human body (and it’s muscle and fat mass) responds best to changing circumstances, which means changing up your workout routine is just the shock your body needs to promote change. So increase the length, intensity, weight, and make the exercises more challenging on a regular basis if you expect to progress.

Waiting for Equipment

You know what I’m getting at if you went near a gym the first few weeks after the new year—that place was packed! But did you just wait for a treadmill or bench press station to become available—or did you take this as the opportunity to mix up your workout. Instead of wasting your time checking your text messages while you wait for a machine, go ahead and adapt your workout plan and try something new.

Overdoing Repetitions

Sure, I often do 10 repetitions of the same exercise. However, if I easily get to 15 reps without feeling my muscles exhaust, I know it’s time to make changes. Either I change the weight or intensity of the exercise to ensure my muscles are properly challenged or else I’d be wasting my time.

Cardio Training with Zero Intensity

It doesn’t make much sense to use an stationary bike or treadmill on zero intensity. Sure, if you’re new to the machine and trying it out for the first time. But aside from that training with zero intensity while you watch Beyoncé videos isn’t going to get your far. Try doing cardio in a circuit training style instead to incorporate strength and intervals so you can burn calories more effectively.


You can see the culprits from a mile away. They’re not at the gym to workout; they’re there to chat, joke around, and hit on members of the opposite sex. And while its perfectly fine to be friendly, if you’re one of these chatty-gym goers, you’re just wasting your time as well as the time of others.

Taking Excessive Breaks

Sure, you should give your muscles a break between weight lifting sets, and no one will judge you for taking child’s pose to take a breather in hot yoga. However, taking lengthy breaks (5 to 10 minutes) between exercises is uncalled for (2 minutes is fine) unless you are suffering an injury, and in that case you should just stop working out.

Refusing to Sweat

Even though your workouts should never hurt or put you in pain, you should experience exertion and that can sometimes be mildly uncomfortable.   There’s some truth to the adage “no effort, no reward,” which is why you should workout to the point of sweating and muscle fatigue if you expect to see results.

Focusing On One Muscle Group

So you want chiseled abs? So you do only abdominal crunches! Or you want bulging shoulders, and you do hundreds of pull-ups every day. Unfortunately, all you’re going to end up with is an injury due to unbalanced workouts.  Make sure to follow the equal ratio rule with exercise, meaning for every chest exercise you do, do a back exercises to restore balance and alignment.  The same goes for abs/lower back, biceps/triceps, and quads/hamstrings.

Sabotaging Your Workouts

Awesome, you go to the gym 6 days a week. However, what do you do when you leave the gym—go for beers, smoke a pack of cigarettes, stay up all hours of the night, do drugs, order take-out all week? Remember, a healthy lifestyle extends into all portions of your life and affects nutrition, sleep, entertainment, hydration, and how you spend your social time.

Ditch the Gym

I belong to a gym and I often use it during winter months, when it’s too cold and snowy to run or workout outside. However, in the nicer months I ditch the gym in favor of running and hiking in my local parks, walking the dog to the beach, doing yoga in my backyard, or swimming in a nearby lake. What I’m saying is get outside whenever you have the opportunity. You don’t have to go to a gym to be healthy.


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.