Sometimes you feel like you are giving everything you have to trying to reach your physique goals but, still, you just aren’t seeing the results you want. The no-nonsense truth is, you’re either lying to yourself about your effort, or you are just doing it wrong.
Here are 5 of the most common reasons you aren’t reaching your physique goals:
1. You Are Not Consistent
I don’t care how advanced your training program is or how perfectly structured your macros are on paper, if you don’t put the plan into action CONSISTENTLY you will never see the results you want.
As with anything in life, consistency is the #1 deciding factor in reaching your physique goals. Yet the key to consistency is not doing things perfect all the time, that’s just not possible. But if you give up on your diet because you messed up one day or stopped training because you missed the gym one day, you will never see results.
Even if you mess up one day or even one whole week, just pick up where you left off the next day/week. No need to digress or start over, just KEEP GOING forward; in the end, that carrying on and going forward will be the deciding factor to your success.
2. Your Plan Is Not Sustainable
I’ve touched on this before but crash diets and extreme training methods without proper periodisation and built in recovery will only lead to fatigue, injury and broken hearts. You must set up a plan that is sustainable long term if you ever want to reach your goals.
Dropping fat and building muscle is a process and takes time. Make sure your plan incorporates balanced eating habits (it’s OKAY to enjoy some junk food every now and then), periodised training, progressive overload with time, calorie cycling, carb cycling, strategic refeeds. These are all factors to consider when building a plan for long-term success.
3. You Aren’t Training Properly For Your Goals
If your goal is to build several pounds of muscle, why are you running 5 miles on the treadmill instead of lifting weights? If your goal is fat loss, again, why are you running miles on a treadmill instead of lifting weights and performing high intensity training sessions.
Look, unless your goal is to become a world class endurance athlete, stop the endless hours of cardio. To build muscle you need to lift weights. To burn fat you need to boost your metabolism and workout at high intensities. How do you boost your metabolism? You build muscle!
I see so many clients afraid that they will “get too bulky” if they start weight lifting, but this is simply not the case. Building muscle increases your metabolism and allows you to burn more fat even when you sleep. Incorporate HIIT and weight lifting and you have High Intensity Resistance Training, a method of training with super sets and circuits that will allow you to burn up to 200% more fat several hours after a training session has ended.
4. Your Diet is Too Restrictive and You Don’t Cycle Calories
As I’ve mentioned before, a highly restrictive diet will only lead you to short-term weight loss (most likely not even fat, but muscle) and eventual weight regain. Calories REALLY matter. At the end to the day calories in (energy in) VS calories out (energy out) is the main deciding factor for weight loss. However, if you drop your calories too low (even if you aren’t that hungry) you will put undue stress on your body, raising cortisol levels and down regulating your metabolism and damaging your hormones.
Now, you still need to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight, so this does not mean you should eat higher amounts of calories every day. Perhaps one of the best ways to maintain a higher metabolism and higher energy levels while protecting your hormones is to cycle your calories.
To do so, you will tailor your caloric intake to your daily activity level. It’s a no brainer - why would you eat the same amount of calories on a day you hangout and watch movies with your family as you would on a day you smash a 1-2 hour leg work out?
In general stick to higher calories, higher carbs on lower body training days, moderate cals/carbs on upper body training days, and low cals/carbs on rest (or cardio only) days.
5. You Aren’t Getting Enough Quality Sleep
Again and again research has shown that those who get too little sleep or do not take the proper measures to ensure a quality night’s sleep greatly affect their hormones, energy levels, calorie intake and mental and physical performance.
Our bodies don’t grow in the gym; we grow and improve when we get proper rest and recovery time. You can have the best training regimen and nutrition plan in the world, but if you are not getting enough sleep or if the sleep you do get is not of good quality, you won’t recover properly and therefore you will greatly hinder your progress toward the physique you want.
Going to bed at a regular time, using meditation to fall asleep, blocking out blue light before bed, keeping your room pitch black and cool and using natural sleeping-aid supplements are just some of the best ways you can improve the quality of your sleep, maximise recovery and reach your physique goals faster.