Not seeing any workout results? Here are 6 common mistakes that may explain why you’re not getting your wanted results.
You’ve tried a new diet. You’ve been sweating, running, lifting and stretching. You've undoubtedly tried every gym machine, working out like a beast and you still haven't seen any results. It's disappointing when nothing appears to work. However, there is usually a reason why. Just take a look at these six common mistakes that may be holding you back, and then apply these strategies and methods to figure out what you can do about it.
1. You’re not letting your body rest between workouts
"No rest, no gain". You’ve probably heard it before, but there is a truth to it. Working out, day after day without rest may cause your body not to recover properly. Naturally, your degree of fitness will influence the amount of time it takes you to recover. A good rule of thumb: Three days of training per week for beginners and up to five days for expert athletes. Make sure to schedule recovery time (rest days) in between your workout routines.
Related reading: 5 tips to boost your workout motivation
2. Change your workout routine
If you want to keep on seeing results, you must alter your workout routine over time. When you repeat the same workout regimen over and over again, without increasing the intensity, your body becomes accustomed to it and is less prone to change. Start challenging your muscles instead!
3. You’re too stressed out
It's not just about taking care of your body. Working out is a mindset too. You can be stressed out from work, relationships, or other worries. When you’re stressing out, your muscle-building hormones drop while muscle-damaging hormones rise. This is due to your fight or flight nervous system, also known as the sympathetic nervous system, and it’s heavily involved in the link between stress and muscle growth. This is because when you’re under stress, your body is secreting chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline, which break down fats and proteins into high-octane glucose. That’s why you must stress down and try to have a clear as possible mindset while working out. If you find that hard, try yoga or mindfulness – both have great stress-reducing effects.
4. You’re not eating and drinking after exercising
When you exercise, the glycogen storage (carbohydrate) in your muscles are drained, you get increased protein metabolism, and lose fluids, salts and the burning of adipose tissue. Or simplified: When you exercise, you have to regain what has been emptied. To do this, you need to consume food and drink that best fills up this storage. Some experts suggest that the best time to do this is right after, or at least within 30 min. after your workout has ended. This is because the body is most receptive to nutrients right after working out, especially when it comes to carbohydrates.
5. Your exercise goal is unrealistic
Sometimes we’re pushing ourselves too hard too fast, setting the bar too high for our fitness level or simply just being over-optimistic. Fitness goals can be a great motivator but they can also lead you to throw in the towel even before it begins – and that’s not what we want! We want attainable fitness goals that keep us going!
So, how to set realistic fitness goals? Start with your fitness level and work your way up. You may have an overall goal to run a marathon, but before you can do that you need to run the 5k, the 10k and so on. Don’t set yourself up for failure – set yourself up for success!
Related reading: 5 easy and fun exercises you can do at the playground
6. Your workout routine doesn't match your fitness goals
This one is quite self-explanatory, but still worth mentioning. For example, you may have a goal to lift a certain amount of weight, but never seem to get any stronger, so you keep on doing the same exercise over and over again. If this is the case, you should do some research or contact a personal trainer (PT), who can give you some input on what types of exercises you can do to better see results. Very often, we tend to focus on one or two types of exercises when we really should look at them more holistically. Yes, you need to have strong arms to lift, but what about your back or your core muscles? Do some online research to see what others have done to match their workout routine to their fitness goals, and you'll be surprised at the results.