If you think you’re going to reach fitness goals and not make a few (hundred) mistakes along your journey…HA! The fact of the matter? You’re going to go through some trials and errors until you find your own personal groove. Learning the ways in which your body responds to a fitness regimen will take time. Months, or even years for some.
This shit isn’t easy most of the time, but I know you already know this. There’s a lot to learn. You’ve got to figure out how to decipher proper nutrition habits best tailored to your goals. On top of that, there’s executing a deadlift properly. And then everything in between. Stay the course. Learn what works best for you and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your fitness goals.
Get Ready to Make Some Changes
If you’ve been working out for a while and are not seeing changes, take a look at your daily habits. Ask yourself, “Are these contributing to my fitness goals?”
I’ve often worked with many women, who say they’re doing the work but aren’t seeing much change. After diving a bit deeper into their habits, there are always a few common underlying factors that are hindering their goals. It all comes down to recognizing what’s working and what’s not working. Then adjusting those daily habits to better help you succeed.
We all start a fitness journey with a goal. But sometimes setting that goal and hitting the gym just isn’t enough. If you’ve been training and working your heart out, but aren’t seeing much change, consider tweaking your existing workout routine or other daily life habits.
Here are 7 reasons why you may not be hitting your fitness goals:
Lack of Consistency
Whether it’s to lose weight, gain muscle, or increase fitness performance, exercise must be performed regularly. Changes in fitness performance and physical appearance come with following a consistent routine. Inconsistent exercise patterns and skipping workouts can hinder progress toward fitness goals. Also, establishing a consistent routine and workout habits makes it harder to want to skip workouts.
With consistency comes better performance. The more committed you are to showing up for each workout, the more you give yourself an opportunity to practice and work on mastering movements and crushing goals.
Setting unrealistic goals or timelines can lead to frustration and disappointment. This can result in decreased motivation to continue exercising. Thinking you can grow your glutes substantially in 3 months is an unrealistic goal a lot of women have. With consistency, your glutes can grow and you can change their appearance drastically. But most people don’t take into account how long it can take to grow the largest muscles in our body. For most, it can take several years for significant changes to take place. Depending on a number of different factors like nutrition intake, the volume of workouts, and genetics.
The stress and frustration that come with failing to meet unrealistic expectations can impact mental health and overall well-being. Therefore, it is important to set realistic, achievable fitness goals and to give yourself time and patience to reach these goals. This can help to maintain motivation and reduce the risk of injury, burnout, and frustration, so start small and work your way up from there. Remember this is a one-person marathon, not a race.
This is a big one. A balanced diet is crucial to supporting exercise and achieving fitness goals. Period. There’s no half-ass-ing this or trying to cheat your way around it. Fat loss and muscle gain happen with the intake of nutrient-dense foods. When you aren’t meeting your body’s nutritional needs, you risk throwing away all that hard work you’re putting into the gym.
Inadequate nutrition consumption can result in decreased muscle mass, impaired recovery, reduced metabolism, and poor hydration. A balanced diet that provides adequate macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) is crucial for fueling the body, building muscle, and recovering from exercise.
Poor Sleep Habits
Here’s one I struggle with every so often, being the night owl that I am. Sleep plays a vital role in recovery and muscle growth, and lack of sleep can impact fitness progress.
Today, there are a number of factors that influence our poor sleep habits. Blue light from the use of our devices at night interferes with our bodies natural sleep patterns. Or if you’re a busy mom like me, you may be using the night hours to get work done. If you’ve started a workout routine, it’s important to know how poor sleep habits can have several negative effects on your fitness progress.
Poor sleep can hinder fitness progress by decreasing your energy levels and endurance. Thus making it hard to recover from muscle soreness often attributed to strength training. Speaking of, strength training requires focus as you move your body through movement, often while using weights or machines. Lack of sleep can negatively impact cognitive function, making it more difficult to focus and stay motivated during exercise.
Insufficient Recovery Time
I know how exciting starting a new fitness program can be. You’re setting goals for yourself and igniting a fire driven by will and determination. You can almost see yourself hitting those goals and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get there. But this can sometimes result in overtraining. Overtraining without proper rest can lead to injury and limit progress.
There has always been this assumption that in order for us to hit fitness goals, we must be working out every day. I believe we should move daily, even for a short duration of time ranging from low to high intensity. I don’t believe we should ignore the signs our body shows us during our fitness journey. Recovery day is important for your growth and progress. In fact, I schedule a recovery day into my weekly routine. Depending on how I’m feeling, I may include a low-intensity exercise on that day, or use that day to stretch.
Lack of Variety
Doing the same exercises repeatedly can lead to boredom and a plateau in progress. This means your body eventually adapts to the same routine, preventing you from making any new gains in your training. Your body naturally moves in a variety of planes of movement, in many different ways. If you are only training in one type of way, or are repeating the same exercises because you feel ‘safe’, you may be doing yourself a huge disservice.
Let me start by mentioning how including a variety of movements in our routine can affect our mental growth. Fun fact, did you know that you can open up new pathways in the brain just by performing a new exercise? That may be the science nerd in me, but I think it’s freaking awesome that we can do that simply by moving our bodies in new ways.
Also, if you do the same workout every day, your body will eventually adapt to the routine, and you may stop seeing progress. The key is to change up your routine every so often whether that may be to include varying exercises like a squat to a jump squat. Or change up your entire movement type with new ways of moving the body, like yoga or plyometrics.
Neglecting Strength Training
How or why anyone would neglect strength training in their fitness routine is beyond me. If you’re looking for a well-rounded program that results in significant physical changes then strength training is an important factor.
Focusing solely on cardio can lead to imbalanced fitness and a lack of progress toward strength-related goals. The fact of the matter is, most women start a fitness journey because they want to either make physical changes in their bodies or improve their overall wellness. Whether your goal is any one of those or anything in between, strength training is an essential component of any exercise routine, and neglecting it can greatly hinder your progress.
Strength exercises can aid in both fat loss and muscle building. When paired with cardio activity it can help you reach your fitness goals while improving your overall well-being and athletic performance.
Small Changes Lead to Big Results
Often making lifestyle changes can become overwhelming. Start with one or two simple changes on this list and work your way up from there. You are a work in progress and with a bit of discipline and a lot of commitment, you will be smashing your fitness goals in no time.