Motivation. It’s what propels you forward in your fitness and weight loss journey. It’s what prevents you from throwing in the towel and ordering a pizza. It’s what prevents you from falling into your old habits and “default settings”. But even for the strongest willed of us, motivation can be difficult to maintain. Why else do you think most of us have given up on our New Year’s Resolutions before the start of March? Our progress at the gym, however, isn’t always obvious. In some cases, it’s not even perceptible for a long time. Which is why it’s so important to know how to track your weight loss and measure yourself. Your hard work and diligence may be hard to sustain if it doesn’t feel like it’s paying off. And if you’re making the same mistakes every time you hot the gym (or step into the kitchen), you may find yourself disappointed with your perceived lack of progress…
You’re sacrificing technique for weight
This is easily done, but can be a serious detriment to your workouts. Your exercise regimen more than likely contains some degree of strength training. And if you’re lifting weights, technique is everything. Sure, machines can reduce your risk of injury if your technique isn’t spot-on, but technique is still important, even if you eschew free weights for machines.
Even something relatively simple like leg curl technique can go awry if you don’t adhere to the proper methodology. It’s important to ensure that you’re always getting the full range of motion to engage the muscle. Lift up as powerfully as you can, hold for a second and then slowly bring the weight back down, controlling its descent.
When you pile on the weight for the sake of faster progress, your technique will inevitably go out the window. Which may in turn lead to even more frustration.
Your clothes are holding you back
You are what you eat when you’re trying to get in shape. But you’re also what you wear. When you’re in the gym, how you dress is about more than just looking goof. It’s about ensuring that you have the range of motion to engage your muscles properly with the right technique. This will help you to build a strong foundation upon which you can later build by adding more weight.
If you’re in the habit of wearing the same clothes to the gym as you’d wear for painting and decorating, maybe you need to treat yourself to some new gear.
You’re not eating enough
When you’re trying to get in shape, it’s tempting to view your diet solely in terms of what you’re not eating. But a good diet isn’t just about eschewing junk (indeed, cheat meals can be useful for boosting your metabolism and managing cravings). It’s about loading your body with nutrients and (it’s not a dirty word) calories. If you’re not eating enough, you may find that you can’t build enough lean muscle mass to support your goals. Which brings us to…
You’re dedicating too much time to cardio and not enough to strength training
Finally, if you’re trying to burn body fat, it’s likely that you’re spending a lot of time on the treadmill and / or elliptical machine. But while this is helpful to keep your heart healthy and burn calories, it shouldn’t be all you’re doing at the gym. You should also be lifting weights to boost your metabolism and ensure that you burn more calories even when you’re idle.