It’s so exciting when you start a new exercise program. Chances are you have already told your friends, your family, and even posted a few selfies on social media to show everyone how hard you are working. But what happens when you aren’t happy with the results you are seeing? Could there be an underlying reason why you aren’t as successful as you planned or intended to be?
The answer is YES, and it happens all the time! If you are working hard and you aren’t seeing results, there are a few common reasons why. Good news is that the solution is simple once you have identified what’s getting in the way!
Reason #1: You haven’t made changes to your diet.
This is probably one of the most common reasons that I see when a workout isn’t working. An hour workout just doesn’t add up to a calorie splurge afterwards. Not to mention, when you are more active, your body needs vital nutrients to build lean muscle and repair. You may even be overestimating how much you are burning and then sabotaging yourself by eating too much.
Simple solution #1:
Start tracking. Hear me when I say tracking works! By writing down all of your food and activity you can see in real time what you are taking in as well as burning off. This also helps to hold you accountable and see where high calorie foods are sneaking into your day!
Reason #2: You are only doing cardio exercises.
It’s important to understand that a successful and safe exercise plan includes all components of physical fitness. You want to aim to include cardio, strength, flexibility, and functional fitness into your weekly routine. If you are just doing cardio you will be strengthening the cardiovascular system but not doing much to change overall body composition by building lean muscle mass.
Simple Solution #2
Take a look at your current routine and find some ways to incorporate the other components. If you only do heavy cardio-based exercise, try to fit in strength and flexibility two days a week. You can also try interval training that combine both cardio and strength exercises. Crossfit style classes as well as kettlebell classes typically have a good balance between the two. If you are really creative, come up with your own intervals that you can do at home.
Reason #3: You aren’t getting enough sleep.
Sleep is essential for active individuals because it’s the body’s opportunity to repair the damage that it’s experienced during the day. If you aren’t getting enough sleep and muscle recovery between workouts, your body isn’t going to be as efficient in preparing for the workout ahead. This can leave you feeling tired and sluggish as well as sore.
Simple Solution #3
Get your 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, try to find ways to help your body wind down at the end of the day. Also, remember that if you are strength training, you need 24-48 hours of rest between working the same muscle groups. Resting less will only leave you at a loss for gains in progress. Bottom line is get your ZZZ’s!
You work hard in the gym to keep your body healthy and in great shape. It only makes sense to aim to make sure that all other areas are working together to achieve the same. If any of these reasons sound familiar, start by picking one at a time to tackle, and I guarantee you will start to see progress!