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4 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results in the Gym

Matthew Iyiola


Why You’re Not Getting Results in the Gym

Are you spending hours in the gym every day but aren’t seeing any remarkable progress? This can be very frustrating especially if barely manage to squeeze out gym time from your busy schedule.

As a former personal trainer, I see this all the time and I’m glad to tell you that there are simple explanations for the problem. The lack of results in the gym often comes down to four things and I’ll discuss them in the following paragraphs. 

I’ll also give you tips you can use to get the most out of your workout sessions.

1. Over-reliance on supplements

Many people have the idea that all they need to achieve their dream physique is the right supplement. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The key ingredients for a healthy body are diet and exercise. Supplements are only supposed to compensate for whatever is in your diet already.

If you go through several cases of protein powder every month, the odds are that you’re not focusing enough on consuming a balanced diet. And without the macro and micronutrients in your diet, you won’t see much muscle growth.

My recommendation is to take time to plan your meals, incorporating enough protein, minerals, and other relevant classes of food. G-Plan has amazing resources that can help you plan your meals.

2. Spending too much time in the gym

When you spend a lot of time in the gym, you start to notice things. For example, people who spend the most time in the gym often happen to put in the least work. They talk with buddies, make new friends, spot other lifters, and even try to flirt. They basically do everything but exercise.

Experts suggest that optimal workout time is between 45 minutes to 1 hour. In that space, you can fit in up to 20 sets, a warm-up exercise, and even some cardio. 

The next time you go to the gym, try to keep track of how many sets and reps you actually complete the whole time you spend there (you can use apps like Hevy). That will instantly tell you if you’re wasting time or actually putting in work. 

3. Doing the wrong exercises

Has a personal trainer ever approached you on the gym floor offering free advice? Like most people, you probably thought they were just trying to sell you their service. And they probably were. But many trainers also approach people they believe need their advice.

Working out is more than just lifting weights. There is a wide range of exercises and movements for various goals. If you’re exclusively trying to build muscle, you’ll need a slightly different routine than if you were trying to become more athletic. 

I often recommend that you hire a personal trainer, or at least explore YouTube videos to understand the kind of exercises you need. I also often advise that people get clear on what they want before hiring a personal trainer to get the most out of the deal.

It’s also a great idea to read information shared by a qualified freelance health copywriter so you can have the best possible advice.

4. Always trying to set a new record

Personal records (PR) give you a sense of accomplishment, plus bragging rights. But they aren’t optimal for muscle growth. Instead, you want to lift a challenging weight for 8-12 reps for about 3 sets for the best effect. This formula changes with your specific training, but it’s a great baseline to get you started. 

Otherwise, you’re not putting the muscle group under enough tension and you won’t get a lot of bulk. I know what you’re thinking, “where’s the fun in working out if you don’t have an impressive PR?” 

You can set new PRs and still get a good workout in. My recommendation is to pick a day every month to change your Personal Best. Reserve the other days for actual muscle building.

The bottom line

One thing I’ve learned is that exercise is really quite straightforward when you follow the rules. Follow these tips to make your gym time count and get consistent and appreciable results.