Many of us start off workout plans strong. We’ve got an idea of where to start, the equipment, and the motivation. Then it’s on to the workouts. We follow the routine exactly as it’s written… but you’re not seeing any results. Why are your workouts failing?
1. You have yet to start.
This is arguably the hardest part of transitioning into a workout routine, especially if you have not done any physical activity for a long time. It is so easy to make excuses. “I can start tomorrow. Monday would be a better day to start. Just one more day, then I’ll get started.” Treat your workouts like you would an appointment. Set some time aside to workout, and stick to it.
If you’re having some trouble finding the time, you might need to take a few minutes to evaluate how you are spending your time to create balance between life and exercise. Don’t think of exercise as another chore to do but a time investment in yourself.
2. Your workouts are too hard/not hard enough.
Your workouts should challenge you, but they shouldn’t be so challenging that your confidence plummets because there is no way you’ll ever do a certain move right that second. They also should not so easy that you haven’t had a single drop of sweat after an hour.
Don’t be ashamed of slowing down to achieve proper form or modifying your moves if you need to. Listen to your body and make sure you are challenging yourself appropriately in order to build a foundation for your strength. Progress is progress whether it’s baby steps or big leaps.
3. You’re not doing things right.
Your form is extremely important. If you are going to take the time to workout, you absolutely need to take the time to do it right. When you do an exercise incorrectly, you will not only be working out the wrong muscles, you are putting yourself at risk for injury. It’s okay to ask questions, and you definitely should if you need to. Consider working out with a buddy who knows their stuff or finding a trainer to help you out.
4. You’re not eating right.
We all know that eating too much is not good, but we sometimes gloss over the fact that eating too little can be just as bad. Whether your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle, your body requires a minimum amount of calories just to function. Eating too little cause your metabolism to stall, and you could be putting your body into starvation mode and risking organ failure. This is like putting half a gallon of gas in your car and expecting it to go 1,000 miles. It’s just not going to work. Consider visiting a nutritionist or doing a bit of research to figure out what works best for you based on your wants and needs.
5. You’re expecting too much too soon.
One of the reasons your workouts are failing might be that it’s not. Sometimes we become discouraged from working out because we want results, and we want them now. This is why I like to stress the importance of taking “before” photos. Some people stop working out because they are not seeing the results they want and believe that they are making zero progress.
The truth is, you can see results in as little as two weeks, depending on what workout program you do, but the changes will be subtle because progress happens one day at a time. Think about it this way: it took some time for you to be the way you are now physically, so it’s going to take some time to get to where you want to be. The only way to actually see those changes happening is to periodically take progress photos and write down your measurements.
Remember that the extreme before and after pictures you see online are never days apart. They are taken weeks, months, or sometimes even years after day one.
6. Your methods are temporary, and you aren’t being consistent.
Think about your goal. How are you getting there? Consistency is key when it comes to achieving your goals. It is not really possible to maintain your results by going back to your lifestyle before you made changes. You are setting yourself up for failure if you reach your goals by making temporary changes.
That doesn’t mean that you have to commit to one workout and one diet plan for life. It’s possible to continue living a healthy lifestyle while doing a variety of activities and continuing to eat nutritious food without compromising flavor. It just means that your work doesn’t stop when you see results. If you saw results, it’s unlikely that your workouts are failing. It is more likely that you went back to old habits.
7. You don’t really have a plan.
Maybe you have an idea of what you want to do, and you think you have a plan. Well… it’s not really a plan if you don’t know what to do next. You don’t need to hop on the internet and buy the most expensive plan out there or jump into your car and head to the gym to purchase a year-long membership. What you do need to do is create a plan, or at least get a solid idea of how to reach your goals.
There are tons of free resources on the internet. YouTube has an incredible amount of great tutorials and series, and there are many websites dedicated to fitness that don’t require payment to access. There are also tons of free apps to guide you and help you track your progress as well as forums to ask questions about certain exercises. Start off by taking advantage of these free resources to get an understanding of what you want to try before committing to something with money.