This awesome article is a guest post from Ashley Sotelo.
Ashley Sotelo is a pro-active health enthusiast; she does research for various leading health companies–focusing mainly on the different alternative treatments available for chronic illnesses. Writing health articles has grown to become her passion, becoming the author of roughly a hundred of such articles and currently writing at BRI Nutrition whose sole purpose is to provide natural and safe supplements. When she is not writing or engaging in her regular fitness routine, she could be found curled up in a nook and reading her favorite books.
So here you are burnt out from months (or maybe years) of going to the gym, yet it seems that your body has not achieved its desired physiological change. Let’s face it; exercise demands a lot of sweat and time, so when you don’t see results, it hurts.
Now you start wondering, where did I possibly go wrong on my exercise routine
Before you get to read about everything you are doing wrong with your exercise routine, let us first consider some basics of physiology
First of all, you have to understand that exercise is simply a way of physically stressing your body—just enough to stimulate the body to adapt its metabolic processes to your activities.
Why do I use the term, “adapt”?
You need to keep in mind that our bodies cannot think for themselves. Our bodies simply learn to adjust or adapt to the change in our physical routine by burning (or storing) excess calories accordingly. If you go weight-lifting and if you do it right, your body adapts to the physical stress by burning your stored fats and changing them to muscles. The same thing goes with aerobic exercise programs.
The body adapts to the stress from your aerobic exercises, which results in lower blood pressure, increased metabolic rate, lower working and resting heart rate, to mention a few. As you now understand, the body only changes when you give it a reason to.
Put simply, your exercise program is not working because it isn’t giving your body enough reason to change. Let us look into the details of your exercise routine and see where you could improve.
1. Exercise is not necessarily enjoyable
There are things that we love doing because we find them simple. When it comes to the body, however, you should not always go easy. For exercise to work, it has to be uncomfortable. Of course, you should not go for an intense workout immediately without giving your body a warm-up. However, you should not just content yourself with doing warm-ups for the rest of your months in the gym.
Warm-ups are not the real deal if you want to work out.
Remember that if your body does not experience any physical stress, then you are simply wasting time and effort (plus dollars!) in that exercise routine. After all, what reason are you giving your body for it to change? So, if your idea of exercise is simply trotting around the gym like a beauty queen (or king, whatever) and doing a little workout, you will never achieve your desired gym results.
2. Exercise is not always about sticking to a routine
Yes, you need to follow a certain routine under your exercise program, but you should not keep following the same routine for a long time. If you are still lifting the same weights and still doing the same number of bench presses for the same duration, then you are not stimulating your body to change. You are merely maintaining your current level of fitness.
If you want to improve your physique, then you need to progress constantly in your workout methods. If you don’t change your program regularly, your body won’t change as well. However, if you are already content with how your body is now, you may opt to maintain your fitness routine.
3. Too much exercise is not effective
You have heard the saying that goes, “Too much of everything is never a good thing”. That saying is especially applicable for those who go to the gym.
Some people think that straining their bodies to breaking will speed up the results that they want to see in their body. However, what they are doing in reality is simply stressing out their body without allowing it time to heal. If you keep on stressing out a body that is already under so much stress, do you think you’re going to get anything good out of it? You and I know that is highly unlikely.
In fact, rigorous physical training can lead to muscle fatigue, which may result in serious medical conditions.
You could work out at the gym seven times a week yet still find that the one who only works out thrice a week is in better shape than you. Why? Your hours at the gym only serve to push your body to change, but it is only when you are not working out that your body begins to adapt. So, please, do not go too far on your exercise program.
Remember that the quality of your exercise—not the quantity—will determine how successful you are in pushing your body to change.
4. When you exercise, mean it!
Your motto in the gym should always be “No pain; no gain”. As I have mentioned above, you need to resist the urge to go easy on yourself during a workout. Try your best not to fall into the category of individuals who do work out but do not exert the effort that they need to exert to achieve their body goals.
If you feel that you do not have enough energy to perform the needed exercise routine, you may consider taking natural testosterone boosters to help you boost your energy levels at the gym.
Aside from such ineffective gym goers, there is another group of individuals in the gym that you should not become part of—the wankers. “Wankers” is an Australian term that refers to those who just go through the motions of the gym life.
What do I mean by that?
If you have enrolled yourself at a gym, you will notice that there are not less than ten people who are also enrolled in a program but who just stroll around most of the time. You will see them in their gym attire (complete with a towel on their shoulder), pausing once in a while from their easy workouts to admire how they look in the mirror. Several minutes later, you will see these individuals chatting with each other over a few cups of coffee—that is how they spend most of their time in the gym.
Now, do you think such wankers will get results from their going to the gym? Well, they will, but they will gain fat instead of muscle.
Again, keep in mind that while you should not overly strain your body, you should not go easy on it either. If you exercise and you mean it, you can be sure to see results just months after you start working out.
5. Check your exercise program
You may be religiously going to the gym yet also be religiously following the wrong exercise program without realizing it. Call it ignorance, laziness, lack of professionalism, or whatever you want, but some gym instructors do fail to set exercise programs that are appropriate for an individual.
You see, each person has a different physical capacity and a different fitness background. You can’t just take the same exercise program as your gym buddy, who may or may not be older than you.
Your gym buddy’s training program should not be your training program.
You should keep in mind that a proper exercise program should be one that takes into consideration your age, body type, body goals, current fitness status, medical conditions, and training background. If your gym instructor gives you an exercise program that you are sure he or she just got somewhere online or from a magazine, you need to be wary.
Your gym instructor should be one who fully knows and understands what he or she is doing, so you should choose your instructor wisely. Why pay for an average exercise program when you can go for something better than that; an exercise program that is ideal for you?
6. Fitness is not just about exercise
True, exercise is an essential activity in achieving physical fitness. However, exercise is not the only thing that you should look into when you want to be physically fit. You also have to consider your lifestyle—your calorie consumption, most especially. Let’s say that you are doing your exercise right, but you also load your diet with unhealthy calories such as soda and other junk foods. Do you think that you will become physically fit? Hardly!
You may see results from your serious workout at the gym, but such results can only be average at best.
Are you training to become leaner? If you are taking in more calories than your body can burn, you cannot expect to find yourself thin even if you are doing your exercise right. Conversely, if you are training to become a bodybuilder and yet do not consume enough calories, you cannot expect that you will gain muscles even after undergoing intense workouts.
You also need to consider your daily habits.
Do you habitually sleep late at night, smoke cigarettes, or consume too much alcohol? Remember that bad habits cannot bear good results.
If you want to be physically fit, you need to live healthily as well.