If you’ve been working out regularly for months now, you probably feel pretty great. But maybe all your hard work at the gym isn’t reflected in the shape of your body or the size of your clothes.
If you aren’t seeing results from working out that you might have been hoping for, one or more of the reasons below could be the issue. And don’t fret! With some adjustments it’s possible to start seeing the change you want.
1. You Aren’t Working Hard Enough
Just because you go to the gym regularly doesn’t mean you’re always getting a great workout. Simply showing up and socializing while you put in the minimal amount of effort will cause you to stop seeing results.
You need to push yourself with every workout if you want to see some changes for the better when it comes to your body. FITDay suggests that you aim for 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate when you exercise. Your maximum heart rate works out to about 220 minus your age. To measure your intensity as you exercise, you can buy a heart rate monitor to wear during your workouts, or you can use the one on your favorite piece of workout equipment at the gym.
2. You’re Only Doing Cardio
Many people assume they need to incorporate lots of cardio into their routines — such as running — to lose weight.
While cardio activities burn calories, but you also need to build muscle if you’re trying to shed pounds. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest (which should sound appealing to anyone). According to SparkPeople, you should make time at least twice per week to either lift weights or do body-weight movements, such as push-ups and squats. As an added benefit, this will not only reduce body fat and improve muscle mass, but also increase the strength of your bones.
3. You Have Been Doing the Same Workout for Years
You need to change your workout over time if you want to keep seeing results.
When you perform the same routine over and over without increasing the intensity of the workout, your body gets used to it and is less prone to change. Instead, start challenging your muscles. If you need help getting started, try our guide featuring four steps to creating a new workout routine.
4. You Haven’t Improved Your Diet
Even if you work out a lot, you won’t see many improvements in your body if you don’t eat well.
You need to not only eat healthy foods, but also avoid ingesting an excessive amount of calories. The same SparkPeople article above recommends that you record the food you eat each day so you can see how many calories you take in. You might even find that you aren’t eating enough calories, which can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to see meaningful results from working out.
5. You Don’t Get Enough Rest
Does it seem like you’re at the gym every day, for multiple hours?
It’s probably a good idea to tone it down a little if you’re constantly at the gym. Experts say the right amount of rest between workouts is when the soreness is gone from your muscles. Your muscles need time to recover or they will just end up feeling tired, overworked and unable to get through a really good workout. Similarly, you need to make sure you get enough sleep — at least 7 hours per night for adults — if you want your body to be at its best.
The good news is that each of these issues can easily be fixed so you can start seeing the results you want.