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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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