Do you go to the gym, follow a plan, consistently workout 4 days a week, but still aren’t seeing results? Are you one of those people that struggles to see a change with their body, despite never missing a day or cheating on your diet? Well, the reason you’re not seeing results could be simpler than you think and in this article, I am going to tell you how to make your workouts more effective, efficient and worthwhile.
The gym is a social place, you meet friends, colleagues and training partners and if you’ve been going there for a long time you’ll see the same people over and over for years. The problem with that is too many people see the gym as a place to hang out, a meetup destination like a café or a bar.
They go to work out but spend more time working their mouths. If that’s you, it’s time to stop.
When you spend more time talking you spend less time working, your muscles get cold and you spend way too long resting in between sets.
It doesn’t mean you have to be rude to people but you, and they, need to understand that when it’s time to work, it’s time to work.
Put some headphones in, keep the music turned up and keep it moving, the workout should be your priority.
You may be thinking that because you’re focused during the set, that you can talk, check your phone and flex in the mirror while you rest, well you’d be wrong.
Depending on what exercise you’re doing you only need 45 to 90 seconds to rest in-between each set. Some moves, especially if you’re going heavy and working in the 1-5 rep range, will require more, but for most people, 45-90 seconds is perfect.
Any longer and you’re wasting time and letting your muscles get too relaxed.
Most gym members stay in their comfort zone and are simply too scared to try anything different.
They go on the treadmill, get to their usual speed and slowly jog for 30 minutes every session without ever trying to go faster, then wonder why they aren’t improving.
They lift weights (that they are comfortable with) but don’t ever try anything heavier, or a different rep range, and then wonder why their body isn’t changing or they aren’t getting stronger.
Your workouts don’t have to bring you to your knees and leave you a quivering wreck, but they should challenge you and let you know you’ve been working. Pushing harder in your workouts doesn’t mean being dangerous or stupid and trying something you know you can’t do but it does mean testing yourself and trying to achieve more or do something a little different to normal. If you’re guilty of sticking to the same routine, it’s time to change it up and add in some variety.
40% to 110%, Know Your Numbers
It’s well known that the human body is much stronger than we think and capable of way more than we imagine. Throughout all of sports and fitness, people are constantly proving this point and often they speak of two things and specifically two numbers.
The 40% rule has become somewhat popular now having been coined by a retired navy seal. He said that when going through the hardest training possible and being pushed to what he thought was his maximum, he actually realized that his mind gave up before his body and although his mind didn’t believe it, his body was capable of doing more.
He started to push past what his mind was telling him and eventually came to the realization that when you feel like quitting, you’re actually only 40% done and you can still achieve a lot more.
The second number is simple, in all of your workouts, whether weights or cardio and no matter if you’re training alone or with a friend, give it everything you’ve got, in fact, give it more, give it 110%.
Knowing your numbers doesn’t mean being crazy or dangerous or putting yourself at risk but it does mean that you don’t quit as easily and you give maximum effort every time you work out.
If you’re trying to do pull-ups but It’s getting hard, push for the final few reps, don’t just quit and you’ll soon start to notice a difference.
Overload Your Body
Similar to ‘Push it’ and ‘Know your numbers’, every time you enter the gym you should be trying to get better than you were last time.
If you do the same thing, over and over, you eventually get used to it and start to find it easier than before.
If you were to run 1 mile every day, along the same route, it wouldn’t take long before you didn’t find it difficult and could complete the mile as a warm-up, instead of your main run.
Everything you do in the gym is the same.
You should always be trying to achieve more and improve on your previous results.
You can do this in different ways but one of the easiest methods is to increase your workload by 5%-10%.
If you lifted weights for 10 reps last time, aim for 11 or 12 next time.
If you were able to sprint for 30 seconds last time aim for 33 seconds next time.
It doesn’t have to be too difficult or too big a goal, but it is a simple way of achieving more and improving your performance every time you train.
By continually overloading the body and working harder each and every time you train, you will soon start to see an improvement in performance and your overall results.
Check the plan
Over the years exercise fads have come and gone and body trends have done the same. Whether focusing on the arms, glutes, abs or chest there are often body parts that people tend to focus on more than others.
Simply open up Instagram and you’ll find thousands of fitness influencers showing you their favorite exercises with different variations to help you grow.
Trouble is, at best most of these are ineffective and at worst, they’re flat out wrong.
Not to say that’s true of all programs out there but it certainly is of many.
If your program is from someone like this it might explain your lack of progress.
Have a trainer at the gym or some other fitness professional look over your program and make sure it’s right for you because once you are following the right type of program, you will start to see the results you want.
Check your food
Just like checking your program to make sure it’s right, checking your nutrition is equally as important.
Whether your goal is to lose weight or build muscle, your food will determine how well you do and how fast you achieve this goal.
So many people make the mistake of ignoring calories and just winging it when it comes to their food or following a new way of eating thinking that this is enough to help them see results.
Well the truth is your nutrition and your calories are more important than you think, food type alone isn’t enough to help you get results.
It is possible to be vegan and overweight just like it is possible to eat carbs and still have abs, it all comes down to your calories and how much you eat.
If you’re following a diet where you don’t have to track your calories or you are tracking them, but not consistently, then that could also explain your lack of development and could be the final fix you need to help you see results.
Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results.
If you haven’t been seeing progress, if you haven’t got the results you want, but you have been consistent and eating well, then it’s time to make a change, because what you’re doing is insane.
Gym goers everywhere make these same mistakes whenever they workout but they don’t actually realize that they’re working against themselves and halting their own progress.
Now that you know, you can start to make changes.
Treat your gym sessions with the respect they deserve, get in, work hard, stay focused and get out, and you’ll soon see the benefits of this new approach to working out.
It could be as simple as reducing your rest periods or increasing your intensity by another 10% but by making the changes above and squeezing more out of your workouts you’ll finally start to see the results you’ve always wanted.