Three Reasons You're Not Seeing Results
posted on 9/09/2015 2:14:00 AM
WORDS Greg Dolman
EVERY DAY WE ARE FACED WITH A NEW CHALLENGE OF WHAT CHOICES ARE BEST FOR US AT THAT TIME. Every day we have a choice as to what we say, what we do, how we say it, and how we do it. We also have a choice in many other areas of our daily lives, but what about the choices we make about our health? There is so much information available to us as far as exercise programs and nutrition to help us achieve the best results. But for the purpose of this article, let’s just focus on exercise. If your workout isn’t working, there might be a few things you have failed to consider. Making different choices in these three key areas could finally bring you the results you desire. So where do we start? The first thing we need to sort out is whether we are a beginner, an intermediate, or an advanced trainer.
1. YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT GUIDANCE
A beginner trainer, or ‘newbie’, is exactly that: someone who is new to the exercise arena, whether it be in or outside of a gym. The beginner has very little or no experience as far as exercise selection goes and relies on the information from an exercise professional for guidance. In some cases, the beginner may get a starting program from a magazine, the internet, or even from a friend. The downside is that without the right guidance in exercise technique, the beginner is usually on course for an injury down the track. At the very best, without the right guidance, the beginners’ results may vary quite substantially.
An intermediate trainer is a person who has been exercising for at least 12 months and has some experience at performing different exercises and, with the right guidance, on which exercises are necessary for the different muscle groups. The intermediate trainer might still need some guidance from an exercise professional so that the desired results are forthcoming.
An advanced trainer has been training for many years and is fully aware of what exercises are specifically for what muscle group. The advanced trainer has pretty well tried just about all the 'great' programs and pretty well knows what works and what doesn't. The advanced trainer, who is always looking for that edge, is also keen to search information and learn from the fitness industry's best in order to get the absolute best results possible. If the advanced trainer needs to get results a little quicker, they may still hire a coach to push them that little bit further than they can on their own so that they can fine-tune their desired results.
Once you have established what level of trainer you are, you can then seek the appropriate guidance and exercise program that will get you started on your results journey. Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced trainer? It pays to be honest with your answer.
2. YOU’VE STOPPED LEARNING
How we get our results will be determined by how much knowledge we indulge ourselves in. The amount of information on exercise available is mind blowing. You only have to have a squiz on YouTube to find thousands of exercise videos available to the masses. Then we have access to numerous fitness magazines, such as this awesome mag you are now reading, and many books which also have a plethora of exercise information.
All you have to do is pick a muscle group you want to improve on and then pick which exercises will give you the best results. The only problem here is the fact that we need to donate a certain amount of time to the exercise in order for a result to appear. How much time? It depends. We are all individuals and therefore need an individual program. What works for me really doesn't mean it will work for you. Let’s look at the tall guy versus the short guy for example. The guy with the longer limbs and longer muscles will certainly have a longer range of motion (ROM) through movement of a joint and therefore will not be able to lift as much weight as the shorter guy. The shorter guy is able to lift more weight with less effort and therefore get more muscle quicker. In theory, the shorter guy will get to his goal quite a bit quicker than the taller guy.
So what can we take away from this? The tall guy who wants to put on some quality muscle for toning and shaping should seek advice from another tall guy who has already achieved his muscle building goal. As should a shorter guy seek similar advice from another guy whose physique is similar to what he desires. Another option is to contact a coach who has proven experience in achieving results for both the above body types.
3. YOU’RE NOT IN THE MOMENT
From my experience of both working and playing in gyms for nearly three and a half decades, the best results come when we listen to our body and feel what muscle group is being stimulated by the selected movement.
If we are doing a chest movement then we should be feeling what part of the chest is actually being activated. If we feel our shoulders working too hard during the early sets, then this defeats the purpose of the exercise as we are supposed to be working the chest, not shoulders. Get your mind in to the muscle group that you are working.
It doesn't matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or an advanced trainer: if you do not focus on what the working muscle is doing, then you are not maximising the potential of that muscle. Many years ago I twisted my lower back while performing squats at the gym. To be exact, I twisted my T12 and L1 in two different directions. A lot of pain followed and I could hardly walk for many days. Why did this happen? I was thinking about something else and didn't have any focus on what I was doing. To add to the lack of concentration, the bar wasn't comfortable on my upper back, so instead of placing the bar back on the rack, I 'jumped it' whilst I was doing the squat. This movement shifted the loading on my spine and as I was descending in the movement, my spine reacted abruptly.
If we are in the gym and not really focusing on not just the working muscles, but also the technique, there is a good chance that an injury could occur, or at the very least the working muscle doesn't get the appropriate stimulation.
So if you’re still searching for results take a step back and look at the big picture. Do you have the correct guidance to suit what level of training you are at? Are you continually learning through magazines, videos, online journals and books? Do you have your mind in the moment while you work out? All these things are important to getting the best results possible. If you’re doing all these things and still do not feel and/or see any result within a month after beginning your new exercise program, then try changing something small. Whether it be the pace of the movement, the range of movement (ROM), the weight, the intensity, the repetition range, or even the rest between sets. Just don't change everything as sometimes the slightest tweak can make all the difference. And finally, keep in the moment with all that you do in the gym, and results will come your way!
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