Maybe you go to the gym every day and watch what you eat, but still aren’t hitting your physique goals. It’s a common thing, and even dedicated gym rats hit plateaus from time to time. Switching up your routine frequently is a major key, but there’s more that could be going on if you’re at a standstill when it comes to your progress in the gym.
Personal trainer Pauline Nordin discusses 15 reasons why you may not be seeing the physique changes and fat loss results you want.
1. Not Giving It Your All at the Gym
You’re not there in spirit. You might show up and execute all sets and reps, but you’re doing it without any attempt to improve since your last workout.
2. Avoiding Muscle Groups
You choose your favorite muscle groups and then fail to do the ones you don’t enjoy doing, usually by procrastinating them into Sunday. And then you say, “Oh well, I’ll start fresh on Monday.” But on Monday you don’t start with the muscle groups you neglected, and work your favorite ones again, resulting in complete lack of stimulation of your weak spots for weeks.
3. Going to the Gym at Peak Hours
You go work out at the happy hour time when everyone else is working out. You do this subconsciously so you have an excuse to avoid the compound moves since everyone is doing them, and the racks where you perform those compound moves are busy.
4. You’re Waiting Too Long Between Sets
You don’t time yourself between sets, so they end up being 5-minutes long and you’re not a powerlifter trying to max out on singles. Then at 45-minutes into your workout, you’ve got to go, and you’ve only done 10 sets.
5. You Only Work Out When You Feel Like It
You allow yourself to exercise only when you’re in the mood for it, but sadly you’re not in the mood that often.
6. You Stop When It Hurts
But your muscles hurt when they are finally starting to get challenged.
7. You Don’t Prioritize Weight Training
You get wasted on cardio when you’re trying to pack some meat on those wheels.
8. You’re Lifting Too Light
How do you know it’s too light? You’re not worried that if you lose focus you’ll get hurt. If you’re not getting hurt when you lose focus it’s not a heavy enough weight.
9. You’re Lifting Too Heavy
You’re doing half reps, and fail to do more than two reps when the set is supposed to be hypertrophic around 10. But your ego says, “Keep trying and some day you’ll make 10.” Yes, but in the meantime, pick a pair of bells you can actually handle!
10. You Don’t Take Supplements
If you have issues with taking performance-enhancing supplements like creatine, caffeine, and protein for no obvious reason, that means you’re refusing to take advantage of them. Conclusion: You’re missing out on muscle-building options.
11. You Don’t Improve Your Routine
You go through your routine like it’s a list to check off, instead of analyzing how the exercises and reps feel, take notes, and then change what needs to be adjusted to improve.
12. You’re afraid of any and all gains
You’re so concerned with not gaining an ounce of fat while you’re getting those muscles to grow that you actually don’t grow at all. You defend yourself by saying your strength is going up, but if that means one rep on one set in one month, it’s not much to brag about. Also, you can gain strength without gaining an ounce of muscle.
You forget that excellent nutrition requires all groups of macronutrients except for alcohol, and you only remember to ingest that one daily. Here’s what you need to know about IIFYM: If It Fits Your Macros
15. You Blame Genetics for Your Lack of Results
You are convinced that all buff physiques are a result of excellent genetics. This translates to a perfect reason for you to not try and make the best out of what you’ve got, and hence you’re completely missing out on maximizing your potential.