Lack of progress or results in any training or fitness program is a common frustration for many athletes and individuals. Let's take a look at two of the more common reasons why people fail to see results from their training efforts.
#1 – You Aren’t Training Correctly
“I don’t get it. I workout hard. I eat right. I follow advice. I feel like I’m doing everything right, but I just can’t seem to (plug your goal in here)”
At GP, we hear this time and time again. Chances are you have heard these complaints or have experienced the same frustration.
Let’s get this straight: if you aren’t achieving your goals, you aren’t doing EVERYTHING right. Keep it mind, everything makes sense. Don't settle for someone telling you, "I don't know" or "I don't get it". If results aren't happening, there is a good reason for it. If you or your trainer don't understand the reason for your lack of results, chances are it doesn't make sense to you or to them. But it always makes sense.
Something can change.
Something can improve.
There is a solution.
This is why trainers and coaches that have a massive knowledge base and utilize critical thinking are invaluable to the progress of their clients.
As with any problem, to identify the solution you must have a clearly defined goal or outcome. Regardless if your goal is to lose 25lbs, squat 500lbs, or run a faster 5K, your training parameters must be compatible to the desired goal or training result. If your method of training is off, it will have huge implications on why you aren’t progressing or seeing results. Sorry, you can't just 'wing it', that will only get you so far.
We could put this into perspective with any number of examples, but let's use a young, high school athlete who is relatively new to lifting. They decide to start following the latest routine out of Muscle & Fitness
, wanting to get bigger and stronger. Now if you happen to be a guy looking to build a bigger chest and upper body, maybe this program does the trick for you. But if you are that high school athlete who is more serious about improving their game and athletic abilities, the same routine will likely have little to no carry over into on-field performance. Sure maybe it will help you look good, but last time we checked looking good doesn't make you a better athlete.
Another common training mistake among young or inexperienced trainees is applying advanced training techniques when they aren't necessary. Young athletes often look at elite level athletes and try to follow their training program. The elite are few and the majority of athletes don't need highly specialized training to see results. Especially young athletes. Young athletes can benefit tremendously from focusing on the basics. It's pretty amazing what can be accomplished with appropriate programming of basic movements such as sprints, jumps, medicine ball throws, Olympic lifts, squats, deadlifts, presses, pull-ups, rows and any of their variations.
Training programs will do exactly what they are designed to do. That said, if you decide to follow what your buddies do or what some article says your favorite athlete does, be our guest. Chances are those choices will be very limited in their ability to improve you. The mistake here is not having a training program tailored to your goals and needs. Before you decide to train with someone or follow a program, ask yourself these questions:
- Was an assessment performed to understand if my body is prepared for the training ahead?
- Is my injury history accounted for and understood?
- Is this training program tailored to reach my goals?
- Am I going to learn proper lifting technique to minimize my injury risk?
If you answered "no" to any of the above questions, you should seek out better guidance. Just because a training program worked for someone else, doesn't mean it will work equally as well for you. Again, this is why it is so important to identify your goal(s) and have a knowledgable trainer or coach to program them correctly.
And for those athletes who want to get bigger or look better, don't stress about it. It doesn't need to be the focus of your training. As an athlete, if your training, nutrition, and rest is on-point, physique becomes a BY-PRODUCT of your training. There is a reason why NFL tight end, Vernon Davis, and numerous other athletes look the way they do. Their primary training objective is to improve their athletic performance. The training that is required provides them with their physique.
These considerations have implications for both the athlete looking for improved performance and the individual who simply wants to look better.
#2 – Recovery Isn’t a Priority
If you have read enough of our articles, this will sound like a broken record to you. The importance of recovery can’t be stressed enough. Want to know if you have a great coach or trainer? They will educate you on recovery and it will be planned as part of your training.
The primary goal of training should never be complete exhaustion. If you are gauging the quality of your workout by the level of your fatigue, you are missing the point. And chances are, you are missing out on results. Sure you may be seeing results, but could you be seeing more?
Yes, training may produce soreness and fatigue, but it is not the objective. The goal is improvement and to see results. Contrary to soreness and fatigue, results are less commonly achieved. Results are not achieved during your training session, they occur when you are recovering. Away from the gym, the track, or the field.
This is exactly why your recovery strategies, just like your training, must be planned out from week to week. This not only includes how you plan to monitor work/rest ratios during your training, but how you plan to recover between sessions. With many people, it can be difficult to get them to rest properly. Unfortunately, the majority of us have been essentially brainwashed to believe that MORE exercise is always BETTER. That you need to push yourself harder, and to push yourself to exhaustion.
While yes, there will be times when training will be physically and mentally challenging. It will produce a high degree of fatigue in order to deliver gains, but this cannot be the norm. As a trainer or coach, it is your responsibility to monitor your clients and athletes. To know when to push and when to back off. You must find the right amount of recovery they need, and stress the importance of them sticking to it.
Staying true to guidelines of proper rest and recovery is needed for the body to supercompensate to the stress placed upon it. It’s critically important to realize that progress does not occur when you are working out; rather it occurs when you are recovering after that training.
Your results depend on it.