If you relentlessly exercise everyday, prepare healthy food, spend your hard earned money filling your fridge every week and fork out on the best supplements. Wouldn’t you expect your body to be looking dramatically different to what it does now?
There are so many people dedicating so much of their time, research and effort, but hardly have anything to show for it.
If this is you, take a step back and honestly question what it is you’re doing wrong. Hire a skilled professional (one who gets results) and ask how they could help, this way it would actually save you a fraction of the money by wasting time and not making progress.
Even though we all have our personal goals and measure success differently, there are some common reasons why people find themselves in a rut, or not seeing results they would like from working out.
Your goal is too vague
If you’ve hit that workout plateau but not sure why, the first step in getting to the bottom of it is to rewind back and take take a closer look at your goals again.
Apart from not having a goal at all, the most common mistake athletes and exercisers make – is that the goal they set for themselves is either set too far (which usually leads to lack of motivation) or the goal is too vague.
An example of a target that isn’t specific enough could be: “My goal is to lose weight.” How would you measure that? How much weight do you want to lose? And in how much time?
Your goal is unrealistic
Many times we don’t believe enough in ourselves, but some of us take it to the other extreme and set the bar way too high for anyone to reach. As a result, they end up getting knocked down by a massive disappointment – all because of unrealistic expectations.
So, before you throw in the towel altogether, be aware of what is attainable with your current fitness level and the time given. For example, if you don’t have a strong running background (let alone if you have no running experience at all) setting a goal of running your first marathon in sub 3 hours means setting yourself up for failure.
A more realistic starting point could be to aim to run a 5K or a 10K first and build on that. Your first marathon could be about gaining the experience and crossing the finish line, never mind the time.
You don’t know how to monitor progress
Setting attainable goals that you can measure is key, but the next step is to understand how to monitor progress.
If you set a big goal for yourself and six months from now see if you got there, there’s a chance you’ll find yourself nowhere near where you wanted to be because you’ve been trying things that haven’t been working for you and one in which fits realistically within your lifestyle.
You don’t know how to structure your workouts going forward
It’s awesome to be excited about working out but if you’ve been trying to hit your goals faster by doing more and more of the same, you may be feeling like running a hamster wheel – putting in a lot of effort without moving forward.
A really important rule in increasing any kind of fitness goal is Mechanics -> Consistency -> Intensity, of course there can be some variables to this. Now, if you lack in mechanics due to not reaching full range of motion in a certain movement, you won’t be able to move on to consistency and your progress will come to a halt. This rule, if followed correctly, will always guarantee you an increased fitness level overall.
You can read more about getting the most from your workouts here: 7 Tips to Help You Build Lean Muscle
Your diet is off
With all the conflicting nutrition advice out there, figuring out what and when to eat is easier said than done over a period of time.
Because our bodies are unique, it’s challenging to give out generic nutrition advice applicable to everyone, in all situations, but if you aim to eat unprocessed whole foods, high-quality proteins and essential fats (e.g. from avocados and nuts) as often as possible, you’re off to a great start.
Written by: Paul Karoullas – Head Coach – Lean Body Training