Why You’ve Stopped Seeing Results In The Gym
So, you’ve stopped seeing results in the gym? I’ve been there and it’s frustrating as hell! All the early morning wake-ups, the clean eating and the extra effort you put in, but nothing is changing. It’s not only demotivating, but it can also be confusing. There a few key reasons you may have stopped seeing results and some of them may surprise you!
When I first started my fitness journey 4 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. That’s the honest truth. I started off as a cardio bunny, eventually progressing to free weights. Even then, I would go in, do my squats and my rows, and look in the mirror to check out my results. The thing is, these results were missing.
I remember being confused. I’d been making an effort and yet I still fell short of achieving the results I’d seen other girls achieve. I knew comparing myself to these girls wouldn’t fix anything, but it made me think that perhaps I was doing something wrong. It wasn’t until I became a trainer and started doing my own research that I found out what exactly that was.
This is for my girl who has been working out for a while doing mainly resistance training. The girl who has seen results, even small results, but not for a long time. You’ve still been doing the same routine, and you’ve played around with your eating but you can’t seem to progress any further. If this girl is YOU, listen up! I was once in the same position you’re in and I now have your solution!
Before we get into the 3 key actions you need to take, let’s ask a question;
Are you working hard enough?
I know, I know. This one doesn’t feel too good to admit. But, sometimes you need to be honest with yourself.
I had this exact problem about a year ago. Yep, that’s right. I’ve been exercising for almost 5 years, and only within the past year have I started seeing results. It comes down to the fact that I wasn’t working hard enough.
You should be struggling to get the last couple reps out in every single set. Ensure you’re struggling. The gym shouldn’t be easy. If it is, you clearly won’t get results.
If you’re aiming to build muscle, you need to be lifting heavy. And I mean HEAVY. Your weight should be increasing every few sessions, minimum.
I personally aim for one heavy, compound movement, such as barbell squats. I then add in some lighter movements for volume.
If you’re working towards losing fat, your sessions should be super intense. There’s no use just doing cardio and breaking only a little sweat. Results come from dripping with sweat by the end of your workout.
Whichever style of training you’re doing, one thing is clear: You should have nothing left in the tank once you’re done.
Make a pact to work hard every day
However you’re feeling before you step into the gym, leave that at the door. Your main focus needs to be on doing the very best you can in that session. Don’t worry about yesterday. Don’t stress about tomorrow. Work hard today. And then repeat that day after day after day.
Whether you feel like you’re working hard enough or not, the hard work needs to be combined with the following 3 key factors. That’s how you’re going to see constant improvement.
#1: Same, same but (not) different
The first reason you’ve stopped seeing results is that you’re not changing it up!
In order for you to avoid plateau and keep progressing, you need to be changing it up all the time. You need to be shocking your body all the time. Basically, by repeating the same routines again and again, your body gets used to what you’re doing. The same goes when you’re not changing the style of training that you’re doing. Every time you give your muscles something new and different, it’s going to be a shock to them. That’s how you progress.
You need to be alternating between doing super heavy sets one week and lighter sets the next. You have to change up the exercises every week. If you did heavy back squats one week, the next you should do lighter sumo squats focusing on depth. The following week you should super-set heavy lunges with jump lunges.
Even though you’re working the same muscle, the exercise, sets, reps, intensity and tempo will be different. The result is that your body can’t keep up, your muscles are always sore and you’re constantly progressing. Training in a slightly different way every session will also make your training a lot more enjoyable.
#2 The kitchen is key
Another one I struggled with. I know you’ve heard the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen”, about one millions times, but so are the rest of your muscles. And it doesn’t matter what your goal is. If you’re not on point with the nutrition side of things, you’re not going to see results. Period.
The basic rule to follow is this; If you’re trying to gain muscle, you need to be in a caloric surplus. If you’re trying to lose body fat, you need to be in a caloric deficit. That’s it!
If you’re really trying to put on muscle or tone up, you’re going to have to increase your caloric intake and your carbs. Unfortunately, you can’t build muscle and burn fat at the same time. I tried and I got nowhere.
I know it’s a little scary, but try increasing your caloric intake for a few weeks while training a little harder. You should start to notice a difference pretty soon.
Similarly, if you’re aiming to lose fat but you’re not willing to give up the excess calories you’re consuming, you’re not going to see progress. Whichever option you fall into, you can follow any meal plan or diet you wish. Some of you swear by specific diets and others, like me, don’t. That’s for you to decide.
#3 Cardio? No thanks!
If you’re trying to burn fat and doing cardio, you should stop. If you’re just doing cardio and nothing else, you’re not going to progress. During my cardio bunny days, I spent hours on the treadmill. Not only was it boring, but just 2 months after I had started, I already stopped seeing results. Yea, cardio has never been my friend.
You need to incorporate resistance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your routine. If you want to work really hard but see even better results, try also adding high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) supplemented with regular resistance training.
Both HIIT and HIRT use intervals of work and rest periods. Your body can’t adjust to constantly changing heart rate and your body works a lot harder.
As well as that, your body doesn’t receive the oxygen it needs, leading to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption for up to 24 hours after the workout. Sometimes even longer. Taking in 1 litre of oxygen burns around 5 calories. If you’re taking in extra oxygen over the 24 hours or more following your workout, you’ll be burning a heck of a lot more calories than you would be doing cardio.
Resistance training is popular for building muscle and toning, and even though you’re trying to “lose weight”, it’s fat that you’re actually wanting to get rid of. You might think that building muscles will hinder your results but in reality, it will do the opposite. By building muscles and replacing the fat you have with lean muscle tissue, your body is essentially going to go through recomposition. You might weigh a similar weight but your fat will be reduced and your lean muscle mass increased.
Patience is key
Most of the time we’re not going to see results as fast as we want to, and that’s okay! I know you’re frustrated because you’ve stopped seeing results and you feel like you’ll never achieve your goals. But remember; anything worth achieving won’t happen overnight. In saying that, following the tips I mentioned will increase the rate at which you achieve results and they’ll honestly change the way you workout.
If you’re looking to change up your workouts but need some help I have the solution! A brand new workout targeting your entire body will be waiting for you right here every Wednesday. I’ve gotten some great feedback about the Weekly Workout and my aim is to bring you something new and different every single week.