Nothing is worse than working out religiously for weeks and not seeing the results that you were hoping for. Whether you were looking for accelerated weight loss or more muscle definition, not seeing results could be telling about just how effective your workouts are. As with everything we have to put things into perspective. If you have been working out for a week and are expecting to have tons of gains or maybe you were expecting to lose 5 pounds in one week, you may be expecting too much. However, if you have been working out for at least 4 weeks and haven’t seen an acceleration in your weight loss/gains I would suggest checking some items on the list below.
- IS YOUR DIET IN CHECK? Check your diet to make sure you aren’t eating more to compensate for your exhaustive workouts. It happens to the best of us that when we exercise more we want to eat more. I like to call this “eating your workouts.” Start tracking exactly how many calories you are consuming if you haven’t been doing it before. I recommend an app like My Fitness Pal which also gives you the breakdown on how many calories you are burning during your workouts. Also you want to make sure you are feeding your body the best and healthiest foods possible. To increase the effectiveness of your diet in general try calculating your macros to get the correct percentage of carbs/calories for your body and goals.
- PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT-Are you really pushing yourself during your workouts? Are you sweating and making sure that your heart rate is elevated. Raising your heart rate leads to more fat burning so it is a must during your workouts. Now is the time to reevaluate your workouts to make sure they haven’t become stagnant and that you are really working out to the point of perspiring or near exhaustion to really see the results you want. Don’t go easy on yourself !
- FEEL THE BURN-Are you feeling the burn during your resistance/weight training workouts? If not your muscles may have gotten used to the amount of reps or weights you are using. Depending on the look you are going for or what you are trying to achieve you may need to increase your reps (lean toned look) or decrease you reps/increase the amount of weight you are lifting (muscle gains). However, muscle soreness does not necessarily mean that you have put in a good workout. The goal isn’t injury. The goal is to constantly evaluate where your workouts are so that when the time is right you can increase the intensity or load of those workouts.
- FORM ON POINT-Having correct form is important for making sure you are getting the most out of your workouts. There is nothing worse than spending an hour in the gym weight training and get the feeling that your overall form is off or you are not doing the prescribed workout properly. Check out bodybuilding.com for videos for correct form on every workout from squats to bench press. Making sure you are using correct form not only can increase your gains/weight loss but correct form can also prevent injury.
- HIT THE HAY-Getting adequate rest is so important for weight loss and muscle gains in the gym. Making sure you are getting your sleep/rest is probably one of the most important things you can do for your body. Lack of sleep can affect everything from cravings to storage of fat cells to just how effective you are in the gym the next day. It is hard to put 100% into your workouts when you are exhausted.
Hopefully once you have checked off every item on this list your weight loss will be back on track and you will start seeing the gains you desire in the gym. Good Luck !