As I often say, even the best training program, won’t work if you do not perform it right. I often receive messages from people, who share their programs with me, but they complain how they can’t achieve the results they are training for. Sometimes, the exercises in their program are perfectly structured and everything seems great… just written on a piece of paper. But in reality it does not work like that! Why?
Sometimes I meet with these people and I train with them. And in 9, out of 10 cases, it turns out just the way I supposed it. They do not perform it right! What does that mean?
1.They do not perform the movements with proper technique
I will never get tired of repeating, no matter how boring I become, that technique should be first! Once you learn to perform the exercises with good technique, everything else is just a matter of time, persistence, consistency and patience. Often times, people fool themselves that they are doing squats or lunges and they have absolutely no idea, how far from the truth they are. When I see how they perform a squat, it usually has nothing to do with what it is supposed to be.
When you perform an exercise with a bad technique, it usually leads to the fact that you are never doing it with a full range of motion and you are loading your body in a way, that will just guarantee you an injury but not an adequate loading on your muscles.
There is a big difference if you just bent your legs a little, or if you squat ass to grass, meaning all the way down. By squatting “ass to grass”, you activate a lot more muscles, the squat becomes more demanding and a lot harder. Thus, even though squats are one of the best exercises you could do, even if your piece of paper, “says” that you have it included in your program, if you fail to perform it right, you will just wonder, why is everybody loving this movement when it does not work. But the problem as usual, will be with you and the way you perform it, not in the movement itself. The same is true for all other exercises!
2.You are not training hard enough
Yes, I said it! You can’t imagine how often people come to the gym and state “You should keep in mind that I do not sweat.” And when the workout is at its end, they are covered in sweat and astonishingly say “Oh, you even managed to make me break a sweat.” Tell you the truth, “the secret” is not that I have magical abilities, which make you sweat. I am just not allowing you to hang around the gym and I am “taking care” of the intensity in your workout- making you pick up weights that will challenge you and not weights that will allow you to just swing the dumbbells around.
I don’t allow you to turn your rests between sets in a nice, long chat. I do not let you quit in the moment when you are about to leave your comfort zone.
3.You are not increasing the weight on the bar
I often hear people, who claim how you should constantly change the exercises in your program, so you could have progress. Personally, I do not include so many different movements in my workout routine, and my progress is still obvious. The problem is that most people do not use adequate weights and even if at the beginning, the exercise was something new for your body, and if it used to be demanding and provide a stress, that led to some positive changes, there comes a time when this will stop. And then you should increase the weight. If you fail to increase the weight or change the reps, sets and rests, you will hit a plateau. That’s why you should pay attention to the different variables, that you could manipulate in order to have progress, without switching up your exercises too often.
As always we can’t skip it. If you eat crappy food… well, this is the way you are gonna feel. It is no coincidence, that people say a person is what he eats. Even though, if I give it a thought I should be a pork or an egg, but you understand what I mean!
If you don’t eat clean, real food, you are probably not gonna have enough strength and power to work out with high intensity. Junk food, makes you feel as though you are sick. If you haven’t tried clean eating, probably you haven’t realized this yet. But I assure you that when you eat clean for a while, and then you eat some junk, you will understand what I am talking about.
5. You work out way too much
Yes! This might be a problem as well. If you work out too much and if you exhaust yourself, and then you do not recover properly, you might hit a plateau.
As a friend of mine, used to tell me back in the days when I constantly over trained: “Unplanned rests, lead to forced rests.” The sooner you realize it, the sooner you will learn when you need to take a break, in order to feel good and energetic to work out with high intensity, so you can progress.
5.The problem is really in your program
The reasons above, might be in the bases of the lack of progress you are experiencing, even when your program is outstanding. But because this rarely happens, as most people choose their exercises, without putting much thought behind the reasons “why am I doing this”, and they perform them with the only goal to feel tired… the reason for your lack of progress might be the program itself.
Make sure that you structure your workouts properly. That your workouts consist of basic, compound movements. That you train your whole body and that you do not neglect your lower or your upper body!
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And one picture from my workout yesterday! 🙂