People from all walks of life will at some point begin a fitness journey. For some that will start at a young age. For others, that might not happen until later in life. Regardless, it is bound to happen at some point.
When most people embark on a fitness journey, they’re motivated and excited. They’ve decided that they’re going to finally go after their goals (whether that be weight loss, muscle growth, for medical reasons, or to just feel better in general) but what many don’t realize is that simply showing up to the gym won’t always yield results. Sure, at first you might see some changes in your body just because you’ve gone from not moving to moving, but after a certain amount of time, the results will dwindle and many will find themselves stuck in the same place for months or even years.
We see this all the time. Members that have been coming to the gym for years, but their body never changes. So why does this happen? Why is it that all the so-called “experts” claim that we should exercise 3-5 days per week and that’s all it takes?
The short answer is that there are many factors at play and if you’re lacking in any one area, it’s likely that you’ll stall out in your current fitness regime. Additionally, people’s approach and mindset play a huge role in whether or not they’ll be successful in accomplishing their goals, so it can vary from person to person.
Because of these factors, we’ve put together the most common problems that may be holding you back from achieving the results you’ve sought out to get.
Here are the 5 reasons your body isn’t changing despite your best efforts.
1. You’re self motivated…but your workout program is flawed.
There are many people who have no problem getting to the gym and making it part of their routine. When they get to the gym, they have no problem doing what their program lays out for them and they find a way to get their workout in most days. So what’s the problem here? When your fitness program isn’t progressive, you’ll stop making progress at some point. This could mean that you’ve been using the same weights for the last several months and never going heavier. Or maybe your program doesn’t require you to work your muscles from different planes. There is a myriad of reasons that your program may be flawed, but if you find that you’ve been consistently going to the gym and you’re not seeing muscle growth, “toning”, or any other changes, your program may be the culprit.
2. You need external motivation (and don’t have it).
This is probably one of the most common reasons people don’t see changes. They burn out and stop showing up! It’s hard to motivate yourself to get a workout in every day. For some it’s more difficult than others, but it does take a great deal of self-talk for many. There is nothing wrong with this, and it’s why many people hire a personal trainer, or more commonly in today’s world, join a semi-private training or small group training class. This way they have people to be accountable to (you wouldn’t want to leave your trainer or training partners hanging), and there is a camaraderie between the group that pushes everyone to work harder and have fun while doing it. (If this sounds like you, check out our Fit in 42 Program).
3. You aren’t pushing yourself hard enough.
This is probably the 2nd most common problem that I personally see. The weights get slightly difficult, so you stop. Or you decide the weight is too heavy before you’ve even tried to pick it up. It’s very normal and it’s our body and mind’s way of protecting us. Our natural instincts are to be safe and stay in our comfort zone. After all, there’s less to worry about there. However, when it comes to training, if you constantly stay in your comfort zone, you’ll never be able to grow. It’s vital to any fitness program to push yourself hard. It doesn’t mean you ALWAYS go balls to the wall, but it does mean that you do that sometimes and that no matter what, you’re going a bit outside of your comfort zone on each set. Again, this is why many people join a group fitness program or hire a personal trainer. It’s hard to do this by yourself. It’s easier to have an outside set of eyes to tell you you can do more reps, more weight, or push with more intensity.
4. You’re a cardio bunny.
Cardiovascular workouts are a great addition to a fitness program, but they shouldn’t be your main meat and potatoes (unless you’re an endurance athlete and this is your goal). Cardio is a great workout for your heart (and even your mind…many find it very soothing and therapeutic), but it doesn’t do much for your muscles or bones. In order to see real changes in your physique, you must perform some sort of weight training a few days per week. You can still do cardio, but consider cardio to be your appetizer or dessert to your fitness program. Weight training should be the main course if you’re looking to change the shape of your body. This includes both weight loss goals and/or increased muscle mass goals. And ladies, I say it all the time but I can never say it enough: you will NOT bulk up. Weight training is the way to get the “toned” look that many women desire.
5. You’re not eating right.
This right here is probably the hardest issue (you’re probably nodding yes with me). Most of us actually do know how to eat right. We know that eating a bag of Cheetos for lunch is not a great idea (although sometimes, can be delicious :-)) Putting this into ACTION though, is tough. A workout is an hour out of our day. Once it’s done, it’s done. How we eat makes up the other 23 hours of the day and you can’t really “take a break” from it and expect to continue seeing results. Having someone to monitor your eating and show you how to eat healthy in a sustainable way is extremely helpful in staying compliant with a healthy eating lifestyle. (This is something we do in Fit in 42 and all of our small group training classes at Iron).
As you read through the above reasons, you may find that you struggle in more than 1 area. Don’t feel down about this. We ALL struggle with these things at some point. Yes, even us trainers struggle! I’ve been a coach/personal trainer for 8 years and still have my own coach (and have for years). Why? Because I know that my coach can see what I can’t see. He doesn’t let emotions influence the changes that should be made in my training program or eating regimen, whereas I may feel like I’m weak that day and think I need to adjust. Or maybe I feel “fluffy” that day and think I need to make a change in my eating, when in reality, it’s just part of the natural waves of training.
I encourage you to look through each of these 5 statements and see what hits home with you most. Figure out what your weaknesses are and seek help to improve those weaknesses. We are always here to help and have programs for virtually any situation you need. Contact us at 310-264-9800 to find out what might be best for you. We offer 1-on-1 personal training, semi-private training (2-3 people with individualized programs), small group training (3-5 people), large group training, and our specialized Fit in 42 Program which encompasses workouts, diet, and the mental side of it all as well.