Are you working your butt off at the gym, but not seeing results?
It's easy to become disheartened when you've worked hard and feel like you're getting nowhere, but instead of quitting, make sure that you aren't making any of these simple mistakes:
1. You stop when it hurt
Working out is tough, but nothing worth having ever came easy. If you stop when it starts to hurt then you will never see the results you crave; obviously if the pain is coming from an injury then you must definitely stop (or adjust your workout to be more suitable), but otherwise, stopping when you feel like your muscles are just starting to work really hard is pointless.
Your muscles are hurting because you are pushing them, and that's what's going to make them grow and give you the coveted toned appearance. Anyone can do a workout and stop when it starts to get tough, but it's a waste of time if you are looking for great abs and a bubble butt, because the only way you will achieve those results is if you push yourself past the pain barrier and work as hard as you can.
2. Your weights aren't heavy enough
There's a common misconception
that women shouldn't lift heavy weights...ignore that! If the weights you're lifting aren't making you work hard then they aren't doing anything. If you choose not to lift heavy weights for fear of getting "too big", please stop worrying; lifting heavy weights will increase the strength of your muscles, but, unless you have an abnormally large amount of testosterone (or steroids) in your body, it won’t increase the size of them by a large amount so you don't have to worry about getting bulky.
If you lift heavy weights and follow a clean, healthy diet, then your muscles will become stronger and denser, and you will burn fat; resulting in the toned appearance many women crave.
3. Your weights are too heavy
In the same way that lifting weights that are too light can hinder your results, lifting weights that are too heavy can also stop you from reaping the rewards. You need to find a weight that you are able to lift repeatedly for a number of reps, but one that's not easy for you so that you ensure you're pushing yourself, but not putting yourself at risk of injury.
Lifting weights that are too heavy can prevent you from seeing results because, if you are struggling to lift the weights to the point that you fail to achieve the desired number of reps, then you aren't completing the workout and, as reps are crucial to lifting weights, you are ruining your progress. If you're unsure how heavy you should be lifting, check out my recent article
to find out more.
4. You're not really into it
After a long or stressful day many people believe that doing a workout with half the effort is better than not doing one at all...surely something is better than nothing, right!? Not entirely. Unfortunately, exercising without the proper form and effort is not a worthwhile workout because you aren't putting enough energy into it to reap the rewards, and, if you're really not into it, you could actually damage your muscles by not being careful.
We all have days when we don't feel like getting our workout clothes on and going for it, but on those days, instead of completing your usual hour-long routine at the gym with half the effort you would normally put in, simply halve the workout time. Not only will halving the length of the workout make you feel better because you will know that it will be over quicker, but it could also actually spur you on and make you work harder than you would've done if you had stayed for the full hour.
better than nothing, but putting 100% effort into half the workout time is far more beneficial than putting 50% effort into the full workout.
5. You're focusing too much on how you look
We all like to get a glance of ourselves in the mirror while working out to boost our confidence and, let's be honest, ego. However, if you spend your whole workout worrying about how you look while doing the exercises, then you won't be putting enough effort into the workout. Put quite simply; if you still look good at the end of your workout then you didn't work hard enough.
While exercising we all sweat, we all pull very strange faces and we all either make absurd noises or swear a lot. It's practically impossible to look good during a proper workout, so don't fight the inevitable because the only person who's bothered by how you look while you lift those weights is you...and if anyone else is
bothered, then they clearly aren't paying enough attention to their own workout. So stop worrying and go for it; you'll see results much sooner if you do.
The Daily Hiit workouts are perfect for you if you really don't like people watching you at the gym because you can do them all in the comfort of your own home.
6. You're exercising too much
This may sound silly, but if you workout too much then it can actually take longer for you to see results. When you lift weights you are actually making tiny tears in your muscles (don't worry - it's ok), and when you rest, your body repairs the muscle and rebuilds it stronger than before, so rest days are vital. Missing rest days can actually make you more prone to injury too, because, if you aren't giving your muscles the adequate amount of time to recover, then they are prone to injury.
I workout on average five days a week, dependent on my schedule, and that gives my body time to recover after I've pushed really hard.
7. You're not consistent with your schedule
Busy lives can often get in the way and make it hard for us to find the time to workout, but if you are repeatedly taking time out of your workout schedule then it will take much longer for you to see results. It's unfortunately not as simple as making up for missed workouts; doing an extra three workouts this week won't make up for missing three last week. You need to be consistent to see results.
8. You haven't cleaned up your diet
Working out regularly will only produce results if you also follow a clean, healthy lifestyle. It's no good spending hours in the gym if you then eat junk when you get home; all you will be doing is eating more calories than you burned during your workout.
The old mantra of "I've worked hard so I deserve it" is to blame for many people's inability to see results from their workouts. If you've worked hard at the gym and burned 700 calories, but then come home and eat a big slice of cake as your reward for working hard, then you're undoing all of your hard work. It's unlikely that you will ever see results if you don't clean up your diet alongside your workouts.
Treats are obviously allowed, but not as rewards for working hard.
9. You are expecting too much too soon
If you started working out with the hope that you would look like Jamie Eason within a week, then you were only setting yourself up to fail because, sadly, you aren't going to see results immediately. You will undoubtedly feel better and healthier within days, but the abs you crave will take far more time to achieve. Setting unrealistic targets will only make it harder for you because you will repeatedly feel disappointed, when you in fact should celebrate your achievements, no matter how small.
Don’t expect miracles; don’t be upset if you measure yourself after one week and don’t see a difference, because it takes time. Don’t get disheartened because, once you start to see results it will be one of the best feelings ever. Keep going, and remember that you get out of this what you put in.
10. You only ever work your favourite muscle groups
We've all seen the pictures of people who "forget" to train legs, and, although that's not what I'm getting at, it is important to this point because, repeatedly only training the muscle groups you enjoy working on will not help you to burn fat from your whole body as much as working different muscle groups consistently does. Your whole body needs to be pushed hard for you to see results.
11. You are doing the same workout you've been doing for months
If your workout routine used to produce results, but lately you've not been getting anywhere with it, then it's time for you to switch it up. There's no specific time frame after which it's recommended that you should change your routine, but a basic guide is, if you start to feel like your workout is getting easy and not in any way pushing you, then it's time to change it.
When you do the same thing repeatedly your body starts to become more efficient at doing it, meaning that, although you struggled initially and it worked really well for you, your body will begin to adjust to it, making it harder for you to burn the fat. By regularly changing your workouts you will keep it fresh, and your body won't know what's coming so won't be able to adapt to it, meaning you will see results.
Are we missing anything? Let us know in the comments below!