Are you feeling frustrated about not seeing progress? Or feel like you're stuck in a plateau? Or you've been working out for months & "nothing" seems to be changing?
If you've been doing random youtube videos, going to different group fitness classes, doing workouts off Pinterest or making up your own thing and don't have experience programming workouts you may not be pushing yourself hard enough! We all get a little stuck sometimes and that's ok.
Here are 5 signs that you may not be training hard enough AND how to train harder!
1. Not increasing the weights you're using - have you been doing the same exercises, with the same number of reps & sets, with the same weights for more than 3-4 weeks? It's time to take it up a notch and increase your weight. I recommend doing a warm up set at the weight you're comfortable with and doing your 'main' sets at an increased weight. You may need to reduce the number of reps and/or sets but as you get stronger this new weight will start feeling easier. This process of increasing weights/sets is called progressive overload and you need it no matter what program you're following!
2. Are you easily distracted when working out? Whether you're interrupted by your phone, your dog or cat or that cute guy at the gym if you're rest periods go on for minutes or you just can't seem to stay focused on your class or workout, you're not working hard enough! Hard workouts take concentration and the ability to stay focused on the task at hand also improves mental toughness. Leave your phone on silent or put it in the other room. Set timers for rest periods & stick to them or challenge yourself by advancing the exercise or trying a new class.
3. No days off! You don't feel like you need rest days or feel like you can keep going for hours when you've finished a workout. You may also find yourself jumping from exercise to exercise with very little rest. Are you just going through the motions? or are you truly pushing yourself past your comfort zone? You don't need to be sore all the time, but you should feel like you've done something and that a day off would be a good idea!
4. You know that face you make when something is REALLY hard? or that sound you make when you have to push or think really hard? When was the last time you made that face or sound in a workout? I've seen my clients make some really funny faces, and heard the strangest noises and I know they are giving a lift or exercise everything they've got! You don't need to be working this hard all of the time, but if the last 2-3 reps of a set don't feel REALLY hard, you're not working hard enough.
5. You never do the same workout twice. Like ever. I'm all for variety, but to truly build strength and improve movement patterns you need to do a lot of the basics a lot of the time. Dedicate 2-4 days of strength training and work in variety by trying classes or doing other types of movement (boxing, yoga, running, hiking) on the other days. This is why having a structured program & coach is so beneficial, they take the guess work out and adjust the exercises, recommend reps & weights to match your progress.
Bottom line, no matter what type of movement or exercise you're doing
you have to put the effort in
you have to increase weights periodically
you have to lift HEAVY
Don't get me wrong having light weeks/recovery weeks/rest weeks are important for progress but when you're working hard you should be working HARD. If you related to one or all of the things above, have you considered coaching? A coach will help you adjust the plan to fit your schedule, make adjustments based on your ability & performance and take the guesswork out of your training. Not only will it save time, but you may see results faster, plateau less and a great coach will teach you how to push yourself.
Why not set up a consult with me to see if coaching is a good fit for you? I have 5+ years of experience with clients aged 18-85 both in the gym and at home and can help you reach your goals! email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click contact me to set up a no pressure consult.