You never miss a spin class or a sweat session, but no matter how hard or how often you work out, you’re not seeing results. Sound familiar? There are several reasons your regimen might not be working as intended. Read on to find out what could be behind your workout stalemate.
1. Lack Of Intensity
Just working up a basic sweat simply isn’t good enough. You have to remember to push yourself to keep doing better with each workout. It needs to be a challenge. Our bodies can handle a lot more than our minds think they can. Hour-long workouts are simply too long for us to push ourselves to the limit the entire time. As a result, we lower the intensity level. This is where high-intensity interval training (HIIT) comes in. HIIT consists of intense periods of exercise with short recovery segments in-between. As the saying goes: “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” and you’ll start seeing improvement fast.
2. Too Many Reps
If you’re racing through your reps, chances are they’re way too light for you. If you can consistently lift without feeling tired, then you need to increase your weights. Your muscles can’t get toned if they’re not being challenged. How do you know which weight to start with? Start with the set you normally use, let’s say 20 lbs., and divide that by half. So now you’re at 10 lbs. Complete a set at 10 lbs. and slowly add more weight after each set. When you finally get to a point where you are slowing down your reps towards the end of a set (while still maintaining good form), that’s when you know you’ve found your starting weight. Eventually, maybe after a week or so of consistent lifting, you’ll find that you can do more reps on these weights. At this point, you’ll add 2.5% of that weight and move up to the next level. This is how you’ll tone muscle more effectively.
3. You Work Out More, You Eat More
We are all guilty of this at some point: We push ourselves that extra mile on the treadmill and feel like rewarding ourselves for our efforts. Maybe a small dessert? Or a hamburger? After all, we did burn off all those calories, right? Not so much. While working out may burn calories, you can’t see results unless you’re burning more calories than you consume. So losing weight more means eating less than you burn, not more.
4. You’re Too Attached To Your Workout
If you’re doing the same thing every day, your muscles will simply adapt rather than tone. Doing the same exercise every day only targets the same muscle fibers and never any others. Eventually, you’ll start to plateau. Instead, try going at the same workouts from different angles. Literally. If you do chest presses on a flat bench, try doing it at an incline. Or trying using different gym equipment that you don’t usually use. Alternate your routines to switch every few days. You’ll start toning muscle fibers you weren’t toning before.
5. You Can’t Commit To A Workout
The opposite of routine can also be true: You don’t have one! One day you take a spin class, the next it’s Barre, and then you move on to kickboxing. While it can be fun (and good!) to try new fitness classes, it doesn’t allow you to stick with one thing long enough to ever see any progress. How are you supposed to see significant improvement during yoga if you’re only going to class once a week? Having a principle workout allows you to track your progress and gauge your fitness level. Pick one discipline as your core workout and break that up with other classes and workouts in between. When you feel that you’re improving, you can switch up your discipline or continue with the one you have.