Why You Are Not Making Progress in the Gym

Pumped Up 14 April 2017

Why You Are Not Making Progress in the Gym

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We all remember those newbie gains when we first started lifting weights.  Those were the days.  Even by simply looking at the weights we magically seemed to grow.  After that time quickly faded, we actually had to put forth a lot of effort in order to see progress.  Sometimes the progress was quicker than others, and at other times there was none at all.  Here are five reasons you are not making the progress you want in the gym.

Lack of tracking

I distinctly remember when I first started lifting and the only movements I kept track of were squat, bench, and deadlift.  Granted, I made great progress on those three lifts, but all of my other accessory work was done by feel.  On some days, I would feel good and push the weight and on others, I would dial it back because I was tired or in a rush.  After a short time, I soon realized that not tracking my accessory work was destroying my progress as a bodybuilder.  Since that day, I have tracked millions of pounds of weight lifted throughout my sessions and I have the beat up notebooks to prove it.

Poor diet

I’m sure you might have heard the saying, “You cannot out train a bad diet”.  Well, it is true!  Even if you are training as hard as you can, but still eating like garbage, you will not gain the quality muscle you desire.  Focusing on getting in enough protein is just the first step.  Having a quality source of carbohydrates is just as important to fuel the workout as well. 

Lack of focus

Today’s gym scene has become very lackadaisical.  People spend more time gossiping, taking selfies, and talking to their cameras than they do actually lifting weights.  What ever happened to turning the music up, and tuning the rest of the world out?  If you want to have a great workout, put the phone down and crank the music high. Focus on moving the weights properly, not what is going on around you.

Failure to change

Don’t get me wrong, I like to run programs until I stop making progress, but some people refuse to try anything new.  There are more ways to pair muscle groups than “back/bi, chest/tri, and shoulders/legs.” Pairing up different muscle groups together can be just the new stimulus you need in order to keep making progress.  In addition, changing up movements is a huge factor.  Hitting a muscle at a different angle can also have a positive effect on making new gains.

No plan

Far too often do gym goers not have any set plan in mind when they enter the gym.  Even some physique athletes are guilty of this too.  Each day, you should have some sort of plan of attack when you enter the gym.  Whether it is as general as hitting your weights for 45 minutes and doing 25 minutes of cardio, or as complex as hitting 89.5% of your 1RM for as many reps as possible.  Even having a poor plan is better than having no plan at all.

Everyone wants to see progress in the gym, and it can get extremely frustrating when that does not happen.  Next time you hit a plateau in the gym, ask yourself if you are doing everything you should while there.  Is your mind in the right place?  Do you know what weights you should be doing?  Are you fueled properly for your workout?  Any one of these five reasons could be holding you back from making the progress you want.    Don’t let something that you have complete control over hinder you from making gains!

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Brandon Wadas

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