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7 Ways You’re Holding Your Progress Back in the Gym

7 Ways You’re Holding Your Progress Back in the Gym

Not seeing the results that you had hoped for from your workout program? Many people often find themselves frustrated when things aren’t quite going as they had planned. What gives?

How come you aren’t moving forward as you had wanted and what can you do right now to change your path so that you can?

This is a common question, but if you are going to see the results that you’re after, you must find the answer. Let’s look at the top 7 ways that you might be holding your progress back.

1. You Aren’t Being Consistent

First, if you want to see results, you must be consistent. This means getting into the gym, on time, day after day and never missing a beat.

If you often do a session, then skip a session, then do a session, and so on, how do you ever expect to see the results you were after?

You won’t—make sure you are making a regular date with your gym as you had scheduled.

2. You Aren’t Using Compound Exercises

Next, another big reason why some people fail to see the progress they were after is that they are focusing primarily on isolation exercises.

If you hit the gym and perform 10 different sets of bicep curls, you are wasting your time.

Focusing on compound movements that will work multiple muscle groups at once is a must. These are the ones that will yield maximum results and the ones that will help take your progress up a notch.

You can add in a few isolation exercises at the end of the session, but they should be more of an afterthought than anything.

3. You Aren’t Monitoring Your Rest Periods

Next, not monitoring your rest periods can often drag into the 2–3 minute mark. This could be the reason you aren’t seeing the progress you had hoped for.

Remember that shorter rest periods are going to help to create a metabolic response in the body and in addition, they’ll also ensure that you are keeping the fatigue level of the workout higher.

This teaches your body to train through fatigue so when you come back next workout, you’ll be more prepared to handle it.

Never cut your rest periods so short that you are using poor form, but at the same rate, don’t let them drag on and on either, or you will not see the results you had hoped for.

4. You Aren’t Lifting Heavy Weights

The next vital mistake that’s often made, especially by females with their workout program, is not lifting a heavy enough weight. Remember, you must challenge yourself!

If you are lifting only 5-10 pounds, you can do more than this—almost everyone can.

Most women underestimate their strength level and if they would just push a bit harder, they would see far better results. Instead, they let their worries about getting bulky stop them.

Always remember that it takes eating a lot of food, lifting heavy weights for years, and abnormally high testosterone levels to get big muscles.

99% of all women won’t build muscle quickly or easily. Pushing yourself will just help to get you stronger, leaner, and tighter—all things that you want.

For men, the opposite problem can occur at times and it is attempting to lift too heavy of a weight and as a result, get injured. Know your limits. It should be challenging, but it should be something that you actually can do. Don’t try and show off by lifting outside of your capabilities.

5. You Aren’t Eating Right

The next mistake that’s often made and would definitely be a reason you aren’t seeing progress is if you aren’t eating right.

Eating right is a huge part of the game, because the food you eat is what will fuel your body with the nutrients it needs in order to generate the lean muscle mass and repair the muscle that was broken down from a workout.

Likewise, if you are aiming for fat loss and are taking in too many calories, you won’t lose weight either. You need to get both your calorie intake in line as well as your food choice set up right.

Fail to do either of these and you will fail to see results.

6. You Have Poor Sleep Habits

Sleep habits are another thing to look at when assessing why you aren’t seeing the progress you had hoped you would.

If you aren’t sleeping at least seven hours each night, you aren’t going to be giving your body enough time to get a good recovery in.

Most people do not sleep enough because of their busy lifestyle and this can definitely come back to haunt them in the end.

Make a date with your bed each night for at least eight hours. Those who sleep more each night have better control over their appetite and therefore calorie level, secrete less cortisol throughout the day (which will encourage belly fat accumulation), and will also have a faster metabolic rate.

7. You Use Poor Form

Poor Form Weight Lifting

    Finally, the last big mistake that can keep you from seeing results, is if you are using poor form. Proper form is a must if you are going to derive all the benefits that an exercise has to offer.

    Those who use poor form won’t be working the muscles and worse yet, will be putting themselves at risk for injury.

    Make sure that once a month you evaluate your form and ensure that it is on track with where it should be.

    If you are committing any of these mistakes, you will want to get these fixed up before continuing on with your workout program so that you don’t waste any more time in the gym.

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    Last Updated on September 10, 2019

    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

    Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

    Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

    This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

    One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

    Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

    Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

    1. Gratitude

    Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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    The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

    Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

    So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

    Gratitude-Quotes

      2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

      This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

      For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

      What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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      Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

      3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

      This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

      Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

      An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

      Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

      write down goals

        4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

        According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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        There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

        5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

        Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

        Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

        6. Rise Earlier

        The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

        For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

        So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

        Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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        7. Listen to Uplifting Music

        Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

        Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

        It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

        Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

        More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

        Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
        [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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