• Courtney Ustrzycki

10 Reasons Why Your Workout Isn't Working

We've all done it... stared at ourselves in the mirror right after a workout, searching for those immediate results. No matter how much we hope, workout results will never appear overnight. There are many factors that can progress or hinder your results from the gym, but remember that you cannot out train a poor diet. The following tips may be factors that are hindering your progress and reasons why your workout isn’t working.


1. You Haven't Adjusted Your Diet

Exercise is necessary, but if you're not eating a healthy and nutritious diet, you could be setting yourself back. Even if you're doing all the right exercise routines, nothing can out train a poor diet. From my experience in years of yo-yo dieting (intermittent fasting, paleo, organic, clean eating, ketosis), I have learned that flexible dieting is what has allowed me to constantly progress with my fat loss and muscle growth. For more information, check out my website: www.courtneyforlife.com.


2. Focusing Too Much On Cardio

Cardio is great for getting the blood flowing and burning calories, but too much cardio won't help you gain any definition. A good workout routine consists of a combination between strength, resistance, cardio, and flexibility training. Incorporating workout routines that involve moderate to heavy weights, and using your own body weight, can help create muscles and give definition.


3. Not Doing Enough

If you are not feeling your workout still, long after it's over, it may be a sign that you should amp things up a bit. When exercises begin to feel easy, that means you are making progress! Great job. It also means, it's time to start pushing yourself a bit further. Continually progressing in weights or varying elements such as reps, sets or tempo are what will give you optimal results.


4. You Have The Right Idea, But Not The Right Form

When it comes to the most effective workout, it's important to remember that form is better than speed. If you rush through a routine, you might become sloppy with your posture, or footing, which results in not working your muscles properly. Practicing good form also prevents injury down the road! 


5. Only Focusing On One Area

Ever see those guys with huge upper bodies and chicken legs? It's because they are placing too much emphasis on chest and arms, while neglecting their lower body. For well-rounded results, focus on exercises that target multiple parts of your body at once, like lunges or squats. If you are going to focus on one area per day, that's absolutely ok, but make sure you are constantly switching it up and providing your body with change. 


6.  Relying On Crunches To Give You Dream Abs

Crunches are a great start to working out your abdominal muscles, but you shouldn't spend all of your time on them. Studies show that planks, ab bikes, and many other core exercises are actually a better way to strengthen your core. Similar to every other muscle in your body, exercising will build your muscle, but peeling off the fat comes with diet. Think of this: abs are made in the gym but revealed in the kitchen. It makes sense! The problem with just focusing on crunches, is that they actually only target a small area of your abdominal region.


7. Not Getting Enough Rest

One of the most important things to remember is that your body needs rest. Even if you can't cram 8 hours of sleep into your everyday schedule, try to get as much as possible. Resting is especially important after a hard workout, to ensure your muscles have enough time to repair, and for your body to replenish energy.


8. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

One of the most essential things you can do during your workout (and throughout your entire day!) is hydrate. When you work out, your body is depleting nutrients while you sweat, so it is extremely important to replenish those nutrients by hydrating. Even though sports drinks may taste better, and help quench thirst during a hard workout, they are also filled with sugars. Water is always the best way to go! Also, your body will tire out faster when you aren't hydrated, which is cheating yourself out of a good workout. Drink up!


9. Miscounting Calories

We all love to watch the number under "Calories Burned" increase on the exercise machine at the gym, but you can't rely on that number too much. Fitness machines are only estimating how many calories you have burned, and even a fitness class instructor can just give a basic idea. This is because people burn calories and fat at different rates. When we think a ton of calories have just been burned off, it sometimes signals to our brain, "Hey that means I can have a treat, or maybe another helping of pasta." It is important to eat until satisfied, but don't let your mind trick you into thinking it's ok to have that extra food just by looking at calories burned!


10. Doing The Same Routine 

Try spicing up your workout routines! Not only does it give certain areas of your body a rest, but it also makes your work outs more fun and exciting. Hiring a personal trainer will not only hold you accountable for your appointments when you would otherwise just skip out on the gym, but can also help you build a training program that will be custom for what you need, and understand how to push you a little more than if you were on your own. A knowledgeable trainer will provide mobility and strength training in the majority of programs, and maybe even the best ones will be able to properly help you with your nutrition as well! Again: www.courtneyforlife.com


Originally written: February 3, 2016


Information from this article was obtained from a website (where unfortunately I cannot remember where) but it was written by someone else, with my little additions here and there.



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© 2019 by Courtney Ustrzycki. Photos credit of Georges Schemagin (video) & Workout Magazine Mexico. All rights reserved.