– You will hit a point in your program where progress is stagnant or very slow.
– This is always fixable but you must be able to detect, address, and accept the changes.
– Find professional help and ASK QUESTIONS. Don’t be afraid of criticism or feedback.
– STOP RELYING ON ‘FITNESS INFLUENCERS’ ON SOCIAL MEDIA for information. Beauty does not equate to knowledge.
Lift long enough, diet long enough, train long enough and eventually you’re going to get frustrated with the ‘lack’ of progress. A few genetically gifted humans, and I truly mean a few, can forever pack muscle on eating whatever they please and training however they’d like. You are not one of them. The odds are in the millions. For the rest of us, we need to first learn how to train correctly, eat properly, and enact hourly / daily / weekly habits that will not always be pleasurable but will get us where we want.
Imagine doing everything exactly as written for months or even years. Then, all the sudden, your thousands of hours in the gym don’t yield the same results they once did. It’s extremely frustrating and can leave many with a sense of failure and / or hopelessness. I’ve heard it from clients over and over “why the f*ck is nothing happening. I’m doing EVERYTHING I am supposed to.”
Can you relate yet? If not, bless you. I envy your ability to never hit plateaus! For those that have been there, are there now, or will encounter this in the future, please take the next few pointers very deeply into consideration when addressing this issue and remember; YOU ARE NOT BROKEN AND IT IS FIXABLE.
Here are 5 reasons you are not making ‘gains’ and how to fix it!!!!
– You are comparing your physiques with others…and you need to stop!
I won’t embark too deep into this one because it’s not needed. It’s very simple; if you’re spending countless hours looking at bodies online, inevitably you’re going to compare your body to what you see online. It’s as common as watching a food channel and desiring what the chef is preparing. But how does this kill your progress you may ask? Well, you may now be setting unrealistic expectations for yourself…expectations you did not once have. Let’s say you trained for two years and never got on social media much. Then, you decide to compete and you get on Instagram; you start seeing all these amazing physiques that are ‘perfect’. You reevaluate your own progress and now you feel less confident, less driven, and totally upset with your ‘lack’ of progress. But, in hindsight, you’re fine and always have been fine.
***Always remember; some of these bodies have decades of INSANE training and impeccable dietary habits and they too have had challenges. We are all human and, with a hell of a stubborn work ethic, we all continue to progress eventually!!!
– You’ve been doing the same thing and therein lies the problem!
Your training habits haven’t budged in years. You’ve been eating the same food sources for years. Your daily regime has been the exact same schedule for years. This is what we call BEING COMFORTABLE and that’s where you’re failing. This happens unintentionally more often than gym goers realize; you have no training program to follow and make up routines on the whim. While they may be challenging, chances are it’s the same kind of routine…similar movements, loads, rep schemes, combos, avoidance of certain exercises because you ‘don’t like them’ (cough cough ‘LUNGES’ cough cough). Our bodies are incredible machines and adapt to repetitive, external forces very quickly. VERY quickly. As far as food, most of us are guilty of the same thing; we’re comfortable eating the same 3 sources of protein, 2 sources of carbs, and 2 sources of fats. Remember that every source of protein (and every macro) is going to have a slightly different ‘profile’; that chicken you’re eating may be 25 grams of protein and that steak you’re not eating may also be 25 grams of protein…BUT these proteins will provide completely different amino acid ratios which WILL help differently with your recovery, performance, and overall progression. This is universally true across the board for all foods!!! So, do some research and try changing up your food sources! As far as your workouts, hire a professional and get some damn programs written up. TRACK your numbers, intensity, and how you recover…muscular and strength development is OBJECTIVE which means it’s measureable. So let’s measure it.
– STRESS! This alone can kill everything!
There’s no sugar coating this; stress can suck the life out of us and destroy any chance of muscular progression. Stress can force the body to hold onto fat like a Rose holding onto Jack during that climactic scene in Titanic. Except, just like Rose, we can let go. We can let go of stress. I’m not going to tell you how because I don’t have enough time in the day and, frankly, you’re an adult and can figure it out. But just know; if you hold onto grudges, love gossip, enjoy seeing others fail, think / act / talk negatively to others or even yourself, you will NEVER be able to build the body you want. Bodybuilding, competitively and recreationally, is a beautiful process because it requires you to act, think, and be positive. CAREFULLY examine your attitude, your friends, your significant other, your family, co-workers, workout partners, and pretty much everyone else you meet. Evaluate your job, your commute to work, what shows you’re watching, who you follow online, what websites you visit, and what you post online. IF IT IS NOT POSITIVE, DON’T EXPECT TO BUILD YOUR BEST BODY!
– Hormones (if you ain’t producing, you ain’t progressing)
There are situations when you ARE following everything like you should, you ARE listening to the coach you hired and eating every meal and hitting every workout. Everything is being done exactly like it should and you are stuck in the water. Your sleep is good, stress is manageable, life is great, and yet you just aren’t losing that body fat or building those biceps. Naturally, our natural testosterone output lessens and, if we desire to perform like we did in our younger years, we may need to meet with a hormonal doctor. So so so many times, trainers have had this exact conversation with female clients and it can be extremely frustrating. If all meals, workouts, and other factors are successfully being done, it may be time to check your testosterone levels as well as your other hormones and overall bloodwork panel. Imagine you’re on a road trip, the cars packed, the family is in good spirits, and the Google Maps notifiues you that you’ll be at your destination in 7 hours. NO ONE is going ANYWHERE if you don’t have FUEL; testosterone, along with multiple other naturally produced hormones, IS the fuel and there’s no substitute. Testosterone can be subsided from days / months / years of poor eating, alcohol consumption, smoking, excessive body fat, stress (yes…stress again), etc. If one were to just adjust the weekly and weekend habits (cut out all the crappy food and alcohol drinking), chances are they’ll see improvements. It’s never a bad idea to get your blood work done however and in many cases its necessary. We need to ‘check’ out fuel levels and make sure the tank is FULL!!!!
– You’re lying to yourself and need a self-intervention
You’re telling everybody including yourself that you’re following instructions…but you’re not. You forget to tell your trainer about that 250 calories of creamer you’re using daily in the 10 cups of coffee a day you’re drinking…which you also forgot to mention. You’re adding ‘toppings’ to your food without much thought (ranch, cheese, oils, etc). You’re skipping workouts and telling everyone you’re not.
ONLY you will know whether or not you REALLY are being truthful;
– Have you REALLY stuck to a diet? Are you tracking every meal? Did you make a note in your journal if you missed a meal? Are you measuring out your food making sure it’s the quantity you are suppose to be eating? Are you cooking with excessive oils or adding in whatever you’d like? Are you doing your own substitution with foods and eating garbage, ultra processed chicken instead of the farm raised chicken you’re suppose to be eating?
– Have you REALLY given it all in your training? I mean…really? Have you REALLY pushed yourself to your absolute threshold time and time again? Are you writing down your progress and tracking your routines? Do you even know what you trained last Tuesday? Do you bullshit around with your buddies in between sets? Are you really focused or are you just congregating? ARE YOU MORE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR NEXT SELFIE OR YOUR NEXT SET? Are you checking your social media 8 times when you’re working out (FYI: we have over 25 NFL athletes train at the gym now and not a SINGLE one of them is on their phone when they’re training….just saying). Are you performing the exercises like you’re supposed to with proper technique and form? Is your ‘fitness center’ not the ideal place to push yourself to your limits because it’s intimidating to others? (Planet Fitness anyone). The list can go on and on and on and at some point you’ll come across an area you can improve on…SO DO THAT.
Hopefully there’s some take away from all this for you. If it’s helpful that’s great. If you’re offended, that’s great too. Maybe one of these points is exactly what you needed to hear. We at …destination Dallas ONLY want success for everyone and we mean that. I want you to do well and move forward with your physique and with everything in life. If you have any questions regarding this or anything weight loss, muscular development, or fitness related please don’t hesitate to contact me.