It’s crazy to think that we’re nearly at the end of the summer already! Before we know it, we’ll be knee deep in roast dinners, presents and wishing it would snow.
Some people may have seen a decline in progress over the summer, beer gardens are opening, BBQs are firing, and who wants to be in the gym when the suns out? However, if you’re looking to get back on to the horse, below are my top reasons why you’re not making progress in the gym.
You’re in Denial –
Lets get the horrible one out of the way. You’ve been getting lazy and refuse to acknowledge it. “I’m still on track” you tell yourself. Except you’re not. If you really look at it, your trips to the gym have dropped off a few times per week, a few months ago, you could have rivaled The Rock for dedication, you were in the gym 6 times per week, smashing the weights and crawling out of the gym each day in a puddle of your own sweat, going home, recovering with top notch nutrition and getting ready to do it all over again so you could prance around with confidence on the beach in your budgie smugglers. However, recently you’ve spent more time browsing Instagram and eating and drinking out.
To remedy this, the only thing you can do is re-evaluate your goals, look at your weekly activity and accept that you’ve dropped off a little bit. Get yourself back to the gym, start saying no to the booze and eating out once in a while and you’ll start seeing progress again!
Not Tracking –
When you first started, you were making gains quite nicely without doing too much work. You didn’t change your eating or drinking habits, but you went to the gym a few times a week and you were seeing a difference. However, you’re now 3 months in and you’ve stopped noticing muscle growth/fat loss. My advice is to download myfitnesspal and start tracking your calorie intake so you can see whether or not you are eating towards your goal.
If you want to shred fat, you must be eating in a calorie deficit. If you want to gain muscle, you must be eating in a calorie surplus. Tracking calories and macros is by far the most accurate way to make sure you’re making positive steps towards your goal.
Too Much Cardio, Or Not Enough –
You want to build muscle, but you also like cardio. You’re eating in a 10-20% calorie surplus, lifting heavy but you also are worried about the extra fat gain. As a result of, you’re now channeling your inner Mo Farrah 3 times per week and you’re not seeing the gains you’d like. Cardio helps to put us in a calorie deficit, so if muscle gain is your goal, I’m afraid that you’re going to have to accept the inevitable fat gain and stop doing as much cardio.
On the flip side, if you’re goal is fat loss, and you’re not seeing progress, then you should be mixing resistance training with cardio. You can either do HIIT cardio or LISS. Either way, you’ll be putting yourself further into a calorie deficit, resulting in fat loss.
The Wrong Training Programme
So lets say you want to lose body fat. You’ve found a workout routine online, “Drop 10% body fat in 10 weeks” it says and you think, that’s exactly what I want! However, you get half way through the first circuit and you think, “FUCK, this is too hard”. You only do half the workout. You feel demotivated and sore the next day. It takes 3 more days to gather the energy to get to the gym, you’ve already missed 2 gym days as you’ve been too sore to workout. You’re demotivated again. Your heads not in the workout, it feels harder than the other day, you leave early again. You feel demotivated again. 10 weeks later you look the same as when you started and you’ve only managed 20/60 workouts that the shredded PT selling the online programme managed to do.
Instead of wasting your time with a generic online programme that you’re not going to be able to do, why not invest in a PT at a gym or mobile PT *COUGH*ME*COUGH to talk you through your specific goals and set you a realistic target to achieve them. You will still reach your target if you have a tailored exercise programme that is easy enough for you to complete 3 times per week.
You Don’t Have A Clear Goal
You need to have a clear goal. Trying to mix sports performance and weight loss don’t always go hand in hand and can lead to confusion in the gym. This often leads to fatigue as you end up doing to much and burning up.
Prioritise what you want and work towards it.
Finally, if you are too stressed out and your head is not 100% in working towards your goal, then you probably won’t be seeing any progress. This one also links to denial. Unfortunately, this one is a wait until you’re ready situation. You can’t force yourself to be less stressed, you just need to figure out why you are feeling the way you are and work towards that goal.
If you have any questions or what to talk about personal training, feel free to message me.
Much love, JF.
August 13th, 2017 by Jack Foster
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