I have been working out for around 7 years, I started by taking personal training sessions with a personal trainer named Carla. She has taught me the basics and helped me start, then i was watching everyone at the gym to learn from them and always ask for advice. The only way to progress, is to try, fail and adjust. The thing is that most of the people that workout fail to see results, because they’re not able to identify their mistakes. In this post i will share with you what I’ve learned through my training, and the tips that really helped me grow. Before I start with my tips, if you’re new to working out, it’s better to start with a trainer or a friend that can help you kick-start your journey and put you on the right track. Else, Do you workout with no results? here’s some common mistakes you might be doing
Focus on the move and the muscle you’re training
One of the most common mistake is that people obsess over how much weights they’re doing, so they put much more than they can handle and do the exercise wrong. For example, if you’re doing biceps curl, the only part of your body that needs to move is your hand, you should focus on moving your biceps and not pull the weight with your lower back. This mistake is common more than you think, everyone is doing back exercises when they should be doing biceps, you will be shocked to know that even experienced personal trainers are prone to do the same mistake .
The same logic applies to all the other muscles, if you’re working out your abs, do the move slowly and make sure you’re contracting your abs, make sure you feel the targeted muscle working.
Don’t skip Warming up
Before you start your workout it’s really important to warm up your body, and there is no better way to do that other than to simply walk for around 7 minutes. It will help your body get ready for the exercise and help more blood to your muscles. Yet don’t confuse this with stretching, stretching is harmful before exercise, instead it should be done after your workout.
Too much/Too little cardio
Cardio is often overestimated or underestimated, it’s never treated fairly. The truth is that if you have a desk job like me, a 20 min of high intensity cardio or 40 min of low intensity will help your body make up for all the inactivity. It’s essential for your overall health as well as for your progress, more activity results in a higher metabolism, and that results in higher fat loss and/or muscle growth.
Yet, over training is also bad for you, it has negative effects on your progress and muscle growth. So make sure you’re doing cardio in moderation. My favorite cardio is simply walking at 6.5 speed for 40 minutes after my workout, it helps me cool down and it’s enough to keep my body to be active and burn some fat without burning muscles in the process.
Be active to become fit
You really need to be active to become more fit and that should spread across all of your day and not just your workout session. You’re awake for around 16 hours, your workout session is only around 10% of your day. To actually see results you have also to be active during the other 90% of your day. Here’s a couple things you can try to become more active:
- use the stairs instead of elevators
- take a break from your desk every hour, just walk around or simply stand up, standing up without movement even burns calories
- walk more, you really don’t have to take your car to go to the grocery store that is close to your house
- do your house shore (i don’t like this one but i had to write it)
- Cook and prepare your meals ( click here to get my diet )
Make every workout challenging
As you progress with your training, it’s very important to keep your workout challenging and moderately hard. If you stick to the same workout/weights you will reach to a point where you body has adapted and you won’t be seeing any results. The solution is really easy, simply track your weights and make sure to increase them and the intensity of your workout every while, even the smallest increase will help you become stronger.
Limit your rest time between sets
You need to rest around 1 minute between sets, it really depends on the intensity of your workout and your ability to do the next set. Yet many seem to take some much more than they need, a long rest time will cause more harm to your workout than good.
Yet at the time of writing this post, i found out that there is a huge debate on the rest time in the workout community, some say that 5 minutes is the optimal time to increase muscle growth, while others say that it should be limited to 2 minutes maximum.
A simple math will help us know the right thing to do, if you rest for 5 minutes between sets, it would mean that each set will take 6 minutes and each exercise will take 18 minutes, so to finish a 5 exercises workout for one muscle you will take 100 minutes. Which means that your total workout will result in around 4 hours. An amount that is insane and result in over training.
You’re probably there for around an hour, make sure to make the most of it, listen to your body to know when you’re ready to do the next set.
For optimal growth, every muscle should be trained 2x per week. So instead of working out each muscle separately, it would be wiser to train 2 muscle groups per day, for example: My workout is split into Chest/Biceps day, Back/Biceps day and Shoulders/Legs day. I usually workout 5 or 6 times per week, on the 4th day I restart with day one.
You need 6-8 hours for your body to recover. If you’re not having high quality sleep, your body won’t be able to recover and grow. Make sure to get rested well, to optimize your growth and progress.
Supplements aren’t magic
Supplements do help us with our progress but they’re not magic. You can’t simply take supplements and wait for results, you have to do the work, you have to become more active, workout, and stick to your diet. I can’t start to list all the mistakes that we do with our diets, so i will leave it for a post of its own.
Summary: workout with no results
To sum up everything, make sure you focus on the muscle you’re targeting in your workout, don’t skip warming up, do 20-40 min of cardio, increase your workout intensity over time, stay active during your entire day, sleep 8 hours, try to workout each muscle group 2 times per week and don’t expect supplements to do magic.