Investing time and effort at the gym but getting no results can be extremely frustrating. You’re fully committed to achieving your fitness goals, so instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you want to determine what’s not working and correct it immediately. Your lack of progress could be due to one or more of the following factors. Take the time to learn about these five issues that could be coming between you and your gains. Then, throw on your bodybuilding clothes and get back to work.
You Aren’t Training Hard Enough
Since just about everyone has different fitness goals, the intensity of your training is up to you. The idea is to train at a level at which you can achieve your desired results without going so hard that you risk injury, which can lead to a huge setback. You should struggle toward the end of your workout and finish feeling tired but not exhausted. Know your limit and push yourself to it.
You’re Too Focused on Volume
Is more always better? Should you be aiming to complete as many reps as possible and be in the gym for hours on end? While increasing volume is the key to building mass, you don’t want to go overboard. In fact, ramping up your volume too quickly can lead to excessive muscular damage and set you up for injury. Going up at a more gradual rate will allow your body to adequately adapt, enhancing longevity and giving you the benefit of marathon gains. Mix in some lower rep/higher weight workouts into your routine to keep things fresh and maximize your training.
Isolating Too Much or Too Little
If you’re unintentionally over-isolating certain muscle groups, you’re likely missing out on the benefits of compound exercises, which include more significant gains and greater calorie burn. On the other hand, if you’re looking for leg gains but not isolating with exercises like hamstring curls or weighted calf raises, those gains may feel elusive. Make sure you wear comfortable bodybuilder clothing and intentionally craft your workouts to include the exercises that will get you the most mileage.
Chasing PRs Every Workout
An obsession with building strength is great, but a fixation on topping PRs won’t help you achieve your fitness goals. That is to say, you shouldn’t be going for a one-rep max every workout. You need volume to make gains, and one-rep maxes just don’t provide that. Instead, go for a PR once a month or so and then spend the rest of the month focusing on solid, clean-form reps. Not only will these help you grow, but they also help you get stronger, so you can top your PR at the end of the month.
Poor Form and Technique
Using improper form means you aren’t getting the full benefits of the exercise. If you aren’t implementing the correct technique, your muscles aren’t working and breaking down properly, which is holding you back from your gains. Take the time to get your movements right, and don’t cheat to add weight or “ego lift.”
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