Four Reasons Why You Aren’t Seeing Results at the Gym:
1. You do the same routine day in and day out. You may have a great workout and at first you saw good results but then it stalled. The reason behind this is because our bodies are very smart. At first, adding a new work out challenges the body; hence changes occur. After about six weeks, our body and brain knows exactly which exercise we are about to do. Therefore, it is important to change up our workouts from time to time to further challenge our bodies. The way our bodies and our minds work is something like taking our dog out for a walk around the block. The first few times, the owner leads the way. At some point, the dog will remember the routine and in turn, the dog will know enough to lead. To break through this, we want to change and create a new workout or change up the routine. Instead of every Monday, Wednesday and Friday doing chest, try Tuesday and Thursday. Switch up reps and sets, or even go from machines to free-weights. This gives your routine a shake up and keeps your body guessing.
2. Food consumption isn’t great. Sometimes, it isn’t always about what you eat, but how much you eat. The portions you are eating create a caloric increase. To lose fat, you must burn more than you eat. A great way to see how many calories you need each day is referring to Google searches for help. A few tools are keeping track of your daily caloric intake and your Basal Metabolic Rate.
3. You’re not eating as healthy as you think. When I ask clients how their eating habits are, I normally get the same response: “I think I eat pretty well”. However, once I start to look deeper into what they are consuming, I slowly realize that our definitions aren’t the same. At no time do I say you should be restricted from eating certain foods. I personally believe we are human and we should be allowed to eat the foods that we crave. That being said, we should limit our “junk food” intake to a lesser frequency. Some of the most common pitfalls in people and their eating habits are in consuming far greater calories in liquid form. Anything from Starbucks to fruit juices, alcohol to pop. Many people eat out at fast food places for ease and convenience. Even having a whole grain bagel with light butter doesn’t change the calories, fat and carbs that we are taking in. We should be eating balanced meals of healthy fats, carbs, proteins and vegetables.
4. Not spending enough time exercising as required. Someone wise once said, “one bad meal won’t make you fat, just like one day of exercise won’t make you fit”. We all want the quick fix. Truth be told, there isn’t a “quick fix”; things take time, especially when it comes to our bodies. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to lose fat, gain muscle or train for a marathon. Things take time and you must put in the time and effort. If your goal is fat loss (notice I am using the term fat, not weight), you can’t just go to the gym one day a week and expect results. For weight training you can train up to four days per week while giving 24-hour recovery time between muscles. Cardiovascular exercise can be done everyday but I caution on overuse of the leg muscles (that’s when shin splints happen).
I hope this has given you some clarity on the struggles of trying to stay fit and better your life. Be creative and flexible with your workouts and be mindful of what you eat. Stick to a regimen and persevere. Soon, you will see your hard work pay off. Good luck and don’t give up!