You hit the gym almost daily. You work your tail off while you’re there. And you leave drenched in sweat. Yet you’re still not seeing the gym results you think you should. You know that gains don’t come as quickly as all the ads say they do, but it’s been entirely too long since you’ve seen a change in the mirror. Here are five reasons you might be hamstringing your gym results.
You’re not Eating Properly
Every serious lifter knows that proper nutrition is just as important as proper training is. If you’re not fueling your body with enough good calories spread across an appropriate macro breakdown, you might as well kiss your physique and performance gains goodbye.
If you’re not sure how many calories you should be eating to support your current workout goals, nor how those calories should be split between protein, carbs, and fat, you can use this macronutrient calculator. Once you have these numbers, you can find a diet plan that works for you, as well as many tasty recipes to try.
You’re not Recovering
Taking eating properly a step further, many don’t get the gym results they want because their recovery is lacking. This could be caused by a number of things, including poor nutrition. However, not sleeping enough, not keeping stress in check, or working out too often could also be hampering your recovery. You can find a number of ways to improve your recovery here.
You’re Doing the Wrong Exercises
It can be easy to get sucked into doing the wrong movements, or even simply just too many movements in general. Gyms are full of equipment you want to try and the muscle magazines show the pros using every exercise known to man…and then some. But when it doubt, stick with the basics.
This is especially true if you’re using any sort of strength-based hypertrophy program. Multi-joint, compound movements give you the best bang for your buck, building the most muscle, as well as improving strength. Base your program around these exercises, then you can think about adding in smaller, isolation movements. This notion is supported by the NCSA, who found that bench press performance decreased by as much as 75% when trainees did dumbbell flies prior to benching.
You’re not Tracking Progress
You can’t get somewhere if you don’t know where you’ve been, nor where you’re going. Many trainees hit the gym almost every day, but aren’t keeping track of how much (if any) progress they’ve made in the last week, month, three months, or more. You don’t necessarily have to notate every single set and rep, but at least keep track of certain key indicators (how much you weigh, body fat percentage, performance on particular movements etc.) to ensure you’re moving forward.
You’re on Your Phone the Whole Time
Walk into any gym and you’ll see people on their phone. They’re on social media, checking email, sending text messages, and more between sets. You know that a mind-muscle connection is vital to getting a good workout, as is proper focus. You can’t achieve either one if your nose is in your phone the whole time.
If your gym results aren’t where you want them to be, try adding these elements to your routine. Your focus will improve, you’ll have a better road map to the goals you want to achieve, and you’ll have a better idea of the progress you’re making. Not only will you have a better idea of what you’re doing across the board, but will more easily be able to hone in on areas to tweak to improve results even further later on.