Have you been working hard had the gym? And yet, you’re not feeling or seeing the results you want.
It can be frustrating to spend hours every week training, only to see no or minimal changes in your strength, endurance, and physical appearance.
Many of us realise that exercise is a long game. Results shouldn’t be expected immediately, but even with patience, some people don’t see the results they deserve. It can be discouraging and block or interrupt our fitness journey.
If this rings true for you, don’t worry. Several common mistakes may be preventing you from seeing your desired results, and there are effective and simple solutions that will help you overcome these difficulties.
Let’s look at what you might be doing wrong and how you can start achieving the results you desire.
You’re taking it too easy.
On average, you want to be hitting a heart rate of about 220 minus your age. So if you are 30, your heart rate should be about 190 when you are doing intense physical exercise.
If you’re putting in a small amount of effort, you can expect your body to show it. Luckily, having a goal can help and measuring your heart rate is easy. You can buy and wear a monitor of your own or use any gym machines fitted with one.
You’re not eating right.
Remember, you can only get so far with your workout goals if you are not feeding your body right.
If you want to lose weight, you should not be eating excessive calories. On the other hand, if you are trying to bulk up, you need to be giving your body the right food to support this growth.
Try eating slow-release energy foods like porridge before exercise, as these will keep you going for longer. You can also try having some caffeine before training. Recent studies have shown that caffeine can allow people to exert more power and train for longer intervals.
One way to keep yourself on track with your overall health pursuits, while still being kind and understanding about natural cravings, is to practice intuitive and mindful eating. These methods allow you to focus on listening to your body. Let it tell you when it is full or when it’s hungry and what types of food it requires.
You’re doing exercises in the wrong order.
Many gym-goers, especially beginners spend their time inefficiently. For example, expending most of their effort on isolation exercises like bicep curls at the start of their session. These activities are actually best left until later so the muscles can go into a state of exhaustion known as hypertrophy that encourages growth.
It is best to begin your workout with compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups. You will need a strong foundation to hit your other fitness aims.
You’re doing reps at the wrong speed.
Generally, doing slow reps helps to fill the muscles with blood and encourages them to grow. Faster repetitions are better for those who want to build their strength.
Make sure you are sticking to your chosen rep speed throughout your session. Otherwise, you end up sending your muscles mixed messages and slow your results even further.
You’re all about cardio.
Cardio is great and necessary for those who want to improve their heart, strength, and endurance. It is also useful as part of a weight-loss plan. But alone, it is not enough.
Did you know that muscles burn calories even at rest? If you are hoping to lose weight, you must incorporate weight training exercises into your routine. You can lift weights or do movements that involve using your body weight (such as push-ups).
You’re focusing on the wrong exercises.
It’s easy to assume that focusing on a certain movement or body part will automatically lead to toning or growth in that zone, but this isn’t always the case.
For instance, if you are training for a six-pack, crunches and sit-ups should not be where you focus your energy. In fact, planks are far more effective.
You’re not monitoring your workouts and progress.
While variety is important, it is first essential to have a strong base from which you can build. There are many fitness plans, usually lasting between 8 and 12 weeks, that can help give you a clear idea of what exercises and what muscles you are using every time you workout.
Additionally, you should track numbers associated with your result goals. You’ll need to know your weight or body measurements if you are looking to lose weight or tone up. You will also want to record the weights you’re lifting and the reps you complete if you aspire to continue making progress.
Knowing where we have come from, and seeing how things change, can help us make and keep making progress towards our objectives.
You never change things up.
Not only will you end up bored of your workout if you never change it, but you will also begin to see less effect from your exertions. It is important to vary the exercises you do and to try to increase the intensity if you want to keep progressing.
You’re glued to your phone.
Many people use their phones while they exercise. Often the purpose is simply to listen to music or keep an eye on the time. But, for many, their phone usage doesn’t end there.
If you are using your phone to scroll through social media or reply to messages, it could be a problem. You are likely spending more time resting than you intend. It’s easy to do and often seems like a non-issue. But resting for too long, particularly while using a phone, reduces our heart rate and leads to a less intense workout.
You’re not allowing yourself enough time to rest
On the other side, you may not be allowing yourself enough time to rest and recuperate between sessions.
You’ll end up with fatigued muscles if you never let them recover from the soreness of the last workout. Plus, sore muscles often prevent us from training as hard or for as long as we would otherwise.
It is also critical that we get enough sleep, typically at least 7 hours per night for adults. Sleep is essential for the healthy function of our minds and bodies, and a lack of it can even result in reduced metabolism and increased appetite.