4 Reasons You're Not Making Progress At the Gym
When it comes to getting results and making progress in the gym, there are a few things which need to be completed and followed each and every week.
It's like baking a cake.
You have an ingredients list and a recipe to follow.
When you follow the recipe step-by-step and bake the cake for the required time, the result is a picture-perfect cake, just like on the box.
Don't follow the recipe, or try to modify it and the result isn't the same. You get a completely different cake.
The gym-equivalent is this: Your program is the ingredient list and following the plan is the recipe.
Stray from the ingredients list or the recipe and you will not make the best cake, or, in your case, achieve your end result.
Below are 4 of the most common reasons which might be holding you back from making better progress in the gym.
1. Your technique needs improving
One of the most common mistakes which I see people make when it comes to gym training --- doing cardio and lifting weights -- is that they focus on how difficult the exercise is, rather than on how to best perform it.
This leads to technique that isn't as good as it needs to be, using incorrect joints and not engaging the target muscle groups.
In a nutshell, you aren't maximising your time in the gym and are also leaving you body exposed to injury.
Now, you might do a few exercises with great form, but probably not all of them.
That is what's required for great results. Lots of great repetitions -- not just a few.
Technique is the number one thing you should be focusing on and paying attention to when you're in the gym.
If you aren't concentrating on your technique, what are you focusing on!?
Let's say that you are doing a squat, you should be focusing on the following things;
- Foot placement
- Screwing your feet into the floor -- to stabilise your hips and feet
- Bracing your abdominals
- Spreading your knees
- Bending equally at the hips and knees
- Staying upright
I understand that it's a long list. At least, it is initially.
But what I can tell you, is that after a while of paying attention to your set-up, where your knees should be travelling, your posture and getting lots of practice in (by completing lots of reps) that you won't have to always think of each item on the list.
Once you improve your technique, you will see how much better you get at the exercise and then build confidence in liifting heavier weights or performing more reps.
Each exercise and every single repetition is important and the more you focus on perfecting your form, the better your results will be. I guarantee you.
2. You're simply not working hard enough
Let's get one thing straight. Changing your body shape, building muscle and getting stronger are not easy things to do.
If they were, everyone would do it...
...they require effort. And lots of it.
Once you are confident and assured that your technique is not the issue or the limiting factor in your training, you need to ask yourself, "Are you working as hard as you can?"
Most people know that they have more to give, and I bet you do, too!
The goal of gym training isn't about smashing yourself, running yourself into the ground or being punished, but it does need to challenge you to work slightly harder each session.
If you are stuck in the comfort zone and are "cruising" through your sessions, you need to increase your intensity. Put simply, you have to work harder.
Working hard is one of those things which hold people back, but shouldn't.
There is no excuse for not working hard.
Any, and everybody has the ability to work hard and exert themselves. You don't have to be talented or have a gift. You just need to be willing to put in the effort.
The next time you head to the gym or complete your exercise session, I want you to work harder.
"On what?" Everything.
Try to lift the heavier set of dumbbells, put an extra few kg's on the bar, do a few extra reps or simply work for a longer period of time.
Don't over-complicate it. Just work harder.
You know you can.
3. You need to be more consistent
Creating gym goals is very easy. But nobody tells you that it will take longer than you anticipate to achieve them.
Want to lose 10kg's? That's simple. Not easy.
Creating the goal is one of the simplest things you can do. But what it actually takes to make it happen is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
Below, I will outline a few things which you must do a regular basis if you want to achieve a goal like the one above (lose 10kg's).
- Train ≥4xwk (2-3 strength training sessions, 1-2 cardio sessions)
- Increase your Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). (This is unplanned, low intensity physical activity)
- Follow the principles of Good Nutrition.
- Create a calorie deficit each week.
- Reduce stress.
- Increase the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Do this on a daily and weekly basis and you will lose weight.
It is a simple process, but not an easy one.
What I find is that a lot of people can do it for a few days or a week, while they are still inspired, motivated and the goal is fresh in their head.
But, when the days pass, you start getting urges for certain foods and things start to get harder, you want to change your path and this is where consistency comes in.
Sometimes you're going to have to do things you don't want to, in order to get what you want.
Things like changing your body shape, building lean muscle and getting stronger all involve things which you might not want to do. But the same thing needs to happen.
You need to lift those weights and stick to your eating plan. Because they won't happen on their own...
You must stick to the plan and stay consitsnet.
He or she, who sticks to and follows the plan the longest, will get the best results.
4. You need to be more persistent and patient
You didn't get your current body and arrive at your current state of health and fitness overnight. It took time.
Which is exactly what it will take to change them.
If you have been overweight for a number of years, please don't expect to lose all of that weight in a few weeks.
It will take months. Possibly even years to reverse those effects.
I'm not saying this to stop you from trying to reach your goals.
It's actually the opposite.
I want you to succeed! I want you to go after your goals and do everything necessary to achieve them.
But in order for that to happen, you need to manage your expectations and what results are likely to occur in a certain time period.
There is only one guarantee that will see you fail to reach your goal and that is by quitting.
If you quit, you will never accomplish your goals or make the progress you want.
Please, read that again.
Failure is guaranteed if you quit.
But if you don't quit, you have the opportunity and the power to take the necessary steps to make progress and get the results that you want.
Stay persistent and be patient.
Getting results comes from action. The more action you take, the more results you will get.
It's cause and effect.
Create a calorie deficit on a weekly basis, eliminate unnecessary stress and work as hard as you can in the gym = results. That's how it works.
Bonus. The program you're on isn't right for you and your goals
If you have read this far and you can with 100% certainty say that you are doing all of the things which I have asked of you and you still haven't achieved your results, then there is only one thing left.
The program which you have been following -- with flawless technique, 100% effort, impeccable consistency for a worthy amount of time -- isn't suitable for you.
If it were, I am certain that you would have already achieved your goals, or be well on your way to reaching them.
There probably are more than four reasons why you may not be making meaningful progress in the gym, but I feel like these are the most pressing and once improved, will see you on the right track.
Don't expect miracles or a quick-fix to do the job. It's going to take some time and effort.
If you're OK with that and willing to put in the work, progress will soon follow.