So you recently started on the path to better health and increased fitness, most likely since the beginning of the year as a New Year's resolution and you are not getting anywhere. Why? Everybody is different in how they lose fat or build muscle but most of the time there are a few keys reasons why something you are doing is not working. Below I will try to explain some of them and how you can avoid making this mistake so you can get the best results in the shortest amount of time.
Why "it's" not working:
1. You eat too much.
If you are trying to lose fat and it is not working the number one reason is most likely the fact you are eating too much. Sure you're on a diet and eating less than before but are you truly eating the correct amount of food based on your exercise levels? In most cases it really takes some big planning and record keeping to see amazing results. If you are not losing fat after weeks of exercise, start a diet log and record everything you eat. Weigh, measure, and count your calories for a week. At the end of the week look back at what, and how much, you ate and measure it up with the scale. If it didn't move, drop something out of your diet. If it went down great.
2. You are not progressing on your lifts.
Whether you want to lose fat or build muscle you need to induce change in the body through strength training. If you've been lifting weights for some time and are still curling 40 pound dumbbells, it's time to pick up the 50s. You can't keep lifting the same weight over and over again and hope to see improvements.
3. You think you are working hard but really- you're not working hard enough.
You have a great program set up. 3 hours of strength training and 3 hours of conditioning. Great! That type of program is your best bet in changing your body composition. So why isn't it working? You need to do a quick gut check and ask yourself if you're really working hard enough. Are you truly giving it your all? Are you just going through the motions and counting your sets and reps or second intervals and not working hard enough?
4. You spend too much time in front of electronics.
Get away from the computer and television. It's simple. Especially before you sleep. Turn off your computers and phones and just zone out for an hour before you jump in bed. SLEEP is important.
5. You keep thinking you're fat or too skinny, too weak, etc...
"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve." Stop negative thoughts dead in their tracks, stop saying or thinking you're fat or whatever because time and time again those thoughts will become reality and if they are already true- you have a hard time getting any better or leaner because what you think about yourself is how you will be.
6. You eat too little.
Yes sir. Fat loss or Muscle Building- if you do not eat enough you will stall and stay in limbo for awhile. Stop eating like a pigeon if you want to lose fat and eat like your body needs. If you are stuck and not gaining muscle- eat more.
7. You are not envisioning the end result.
When you start on a program and say to yourself, "I want to lose 30 pounds" are you seeing yourself at that weight? Do you walk and talk throughout your daily life like you are the new you? You need to believe you have already lost those 30 pounds before you even start and live your life like you have already achieved your goal.
8. You keep listening to the trends in the fitness industry.
Stop bouncing from program to program, style to style, diet to diet and stick to the basics. Do not fall for the gimmicks and the so called quick fixes and stay on schedule with your yearly program. Nothing works better than the basics of strength training and healthy nutrition.
9. You don't stretch.
This may or may not be a real reason of why working out isn't working for some people but I feel it is important. If you lift and are not flexible and don't try to work on mobility and flexibility you're most likely limiting yourself to greater gains and a better Range of Motion. Also lack of stretching may be causing recurring injuries in you.. stretch... it really is important.
10. You don't want it bad enough.
You may feel like you want to lose weight or build muscle. You probably know you're skinny, fat, weak or tired, and you know you want to change but deep inside- where it really counts- where it needs to come from- there is nothing. You probably just go through the motions of workouts thinking you're working hard and improving when actually you're just maintaining. If you want to be lean, ripped, toned, big and bulky, you need to want it bad enough. Eating for change on a 50/50 schedule is not going to cut it. If you want to lose fat and get ripped your diet needs to be at least 90/10 on schedule with what it takes to achieve that success. You probably need to grab a pen and paper and track your diet, track your workouts, or add 2 or 3 cardio/running/sprinting sessions to your weekly schedule in order to see the changes you truly want. If you can't dedicate 4 hours a week to exercise and at least 90% of your weekly meals to healthy food- you DON'T want it BAD enough.
That's that. Straight to the point with no sugarcoating. Go through the list and see where you can improve. Pick one, pick ten, and work on them.