Working out is something you do before work in the morning, it’s your entire lifestyle. Those of you who are serious about fitness and exercise understand this very well.
If you only casually exercise when you have the time, you are going to see seriously reduced results. Effective training means molding your whole lifestyle around your fitness goals so that you can achieve the results you’re striving for.
It can be really easy to fall off the wagon when you inevitably face roadblocks along the way. Here are five reasons you’re not seeing the results you want after your workout, and what you can do about it.
1. You’re not eating the right foods.
We all know that we’re supposed to eat healthy. Diet has a huge impact on our overall health and can help or hinder a workout a great deal. So you know you need to be eating the right foods, but which foods are the right ones?
That’s going to depend on what your fitness goals are. There’s the conventional wisdom that if you are trying to build muscle you are going to need to eat more protein and if you are going to try and lose weight you need to avoid carbs, but in reality diet is a lot more complicated than that.
While it’s true that certain macros are better for certain goals, the real challenge is building a diet around your goals and body type. This will make sure that you are getting the nutrients you need to reach your fitness goals, and those nutrients are being used effectively by your body.
2. You aren’t setting good goals.
Setting goals is one of the cornerstones of fitness culture and is a piece of advice you can find in every gym in the world. What you may have overlooked is that your goals don’t just need to be realistic, they need to be SMART. That means when you set your benchmarks for the next month, they need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bounded.
There is a huge difference between saying “I will lose 30 pounds” and “I will drop my calorie consumption by 500 calories each day, while doing an hour of high intensity interval training 4 days a week.”
Those two statements are majorly different, with the biggest difference being that one of them is actually effective, and the other is some vague amorphous nonsense that’s setting you up for failure.
3. You aren’t pushing yourself effectively.
It can be really easy to walk the last mile of your run. Sometimes when you’ve had a long day and you just aren’t feeling it, you may not push the bar all the way up. These little adjustments make you feel a lot better in the moment, but they hold back your workout as they begin to add up.
Make sure that whatever exercise you’re getting, you are using proper form and pushing your body into the range that you want to be. You probably shouldn’t be running at 200% of your resting heart rate for an hour every day, so a great way to make sure that you aren’t over or underdoing it is to track your vitals.
This will give you a better idea of how much strain is being placed on your body during different movements, which will help you figure out what you need to focus on. If you’re trying to train endurance for a distance run, tracking your heart rate during while running at a set pace might help you figure out if you need to be doing more leg and core training or if you need to be building more endurance.
The more data you collect, the more accurate your understanding of your body is, and the faster you will be able to improve it.
4. You aren’t getting enough sleep.
Someone in your life has definitely told you to get more sleep, but please allow me to be yet another one of those people. If you aren’t getting sufficient sleep, your muscles aren’t going to repair as effectively and your body is going to suffer a host of other disadvantages that will hinder your progress.
More than just how many hours a night you spend asleep, you need to make sure that your sleep schedule has consistency. Sleeping for consistent intervals helps your internal clock regulate the neurotransmitters in your brain that make you sleepy. This will lead to improved rest and recovery.
5. Working out isn’t happening regularly.
It can be hard to get your exercise in every day, but that consistency is what will make the biggest difference. Doing things like strength training and cardio is going to help you a lot more if you do them in regular intervals, that way your body doesn’t atrophy.
Hopefully your workouts are already going really well. If they aren’t, these steps will help you get them there. The most important thing to remember is that you are going to face further plateaus and roadblocks to your progress. When that happens, make a plan, stay calm, and keep pursuing your fitness goals.
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