There’s nothing worse than the feeling of putting it all in your workouts but not getting anything in return. If you feel like you’ve not made any progress, then you’re in the right place. The motivation that was once there is now gone, and your results just aren’t the same. If this is an adequate description of your current situation, then here are five reasons why you might be in a workout rut.
Not so much a problem for beginners, although it is a very serious issue. Overtraining is a serious condition that can potential cause health problems. High volume and stress over a long period of time can cause overtraining, eventually leading to injuries and backwards progress. A poor diet combined with too much gym time is only asking for a disaster. Giving yourself adequate recovery time is vital if you want to continue seeing gains. Some common signs of overtraining are:
- Tiredness and loss of motivation
- Feeling sick
- Muscle pain
- Loss of strength
Over to the other end of the potential issue is undertraining. This one is, for obvious reasons, a more common issue for the general fitness population. Not working out hard enough is no good—you might as well not even bother going in the first place. If your muscles feel no work, strain, and time under tension, then they’re not being worked. If you aren’t breaking your muscles down, they won’t heal and grow stronger and bigger. You’ll not see results and end up eventually giving up. Some common hints that you’re undertraining are:
- Having boring workouts
- Not breathing/sweating while you’re at the gym
- Having the same routine causing lack of motivation
- No progress
- Wasting time at the gym
It’s not about how much weight you can lift. It’s not about how fast you can lift that weight. It’s not about how much bigger you are than the lifter beside you. Poor technique will usually cause your progress to stall. It’s simple: if you’re not doing it right, then it’s not going to work! Perfect form should always be a priority. It also helps prevent injuries. An injury can stall your progress long-term, and there’s usually nothing you can do about it. Better safe than sorry.
People hardly think that their progress is stalling because of their eating habits. It’s usually the number one cause of slow progress, though. Not having enough energy to fuel your system will only cause you to get weaker. If you’re on a bulk, then a good tip is to up your carbohydrate intake by 40 grams each day. Add about a cup of brown rice to do this—it’s a complex carbohydrate that will release energy slowly throughout your workout.
Again, another key element when it comes to health and fitness that a lot of individuals are unaware of: water. Water is essential for an endless list of bodily functions. If you are feeling thirsty before you’re about to step into the gym, then it’s too l ate. You’re already dehydrated. You must make sure that you never feel like you need water. From the second you wake up in the morning, you should remember to keep yourself hydrated by drinking enough water. Certain supplements such as creatine will increase the amount of water it holds, meaning you will have to consequently increase how much water you drink. Common symptoms that show you’re not getting enough water are:
- Obviously, feeling thirsty
- Feeling tired
- A dry mouth or throat
- Headaches and stress
- Decrease in appetite
- Darker urine