Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle gain or performance, I have listed 5 reasons that you may not be seeing progress in the gym.
Not having a plan. Your first year of training is when you will make the quickest progress in your strength and in your physique. This does not mean that you will not make progress after the first year, but it just won’t come as quickly as it does when you start out, especially for muscle gain. You wouldn’t try and service your car yourself, so why try and figure out your way around the gym by yourself?
Having a tailored program (from a qualified professional) will help you to maximise your results and time spent in the gym.
Program Hopping This is something that a lot of people seem to get wrong. There is an idea that you have to change your program every 4 weeks to ‘keep the body guessing’ and create ‘muscle confusion’, or results will plateau and stall altogether. This isn’t the case. With so many magazines giving a new program every month and with You Tube having so many ‘experts’ giving their enthusiastic advice, it is easy to see where the confusion is coming from. Once you find a balanced program that works for you, stick to it for 2-3 months. As long as you are trying to progress through increasing the weight on the bar or the number of reps you are doing and you are evaluating your progress every week, you will see results. You have to give the program a chance.
Not keeping a training log This is the easiest thing that you can do to keep track of yourself and to ensure that you make progress in the gym.
All you need is a notebook and a pen and you are good to go. Have your workout session for that day filled in and look at where you progressed and where you struggled from your previous session. Write down the weight you have lifted and the number of sets and reps. If you have a good day you will have a new goal for your next session, if you fail on a lift you can adjust the weight for your next session. It is the easiest and cheapest way to make sure that you progress in the gym. You should never walk into a workout and try to figure out what you did from your previous session.
Only training the ‘Mirror Muscles’.
This is a common mistake by guys in the weights room. They train all the muscles on the anterior plane of the body and neglect the posterior chain altogether. What they end up with is an unbalanced physique where the chest, front delts and biceps are over developed and the back, rear delts and triceps are neglected. This drags the posture forward and makes the trainee look ‘closed in’ around the chest area. For every exercise you for the front of the body try and do an opposing exercise for the back to maintain balance in your physique. If your posture is extremely poor you may need to do a 2:1 ratio of back to front exercises.
Having unrealistic expectations One thing that I always do during the consultation process is goal setting. I get the client to write out their 1, 3, 6 and 12 month goals. This gives me an idea of what their expectations are; both from themselves and from me as their trainer. The most common thing that I find is that their expectations are almost always at the extremes, either way too high or not enough. When it comes to fat loss, 1lb per week is great; actually it’s FANTASTIC. This is something that people really need to realise. If you are losing 1lb per week, over the course of a year you will have 52lbs lost, that’s 3 and a half stone in old money. Anyone who thinks that this is not enough needs to reassess their goals. For muscle gain, male beginners can expect 1-2lbs per month. (Women can half these amounts). For intermediates with up to 3 years training experience, you could gain up to 1lb per month. For anyone with more experience than that, the amount will change person to person depending on calorie intake, volume and training intensity.
Your time in the gym is limited and precious. Not having a plan can seriously hamper your progress. Fixing these common mistakes can help you to avoid your plateaus and take your training to the next level.
For further information on Personal Training or to get a structured training program, please contact me through the link below. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rushe-Fitness/120518884715118 * Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe Fitness