IT’S a vicious cycle indeed. After the feasting in December, we resolve to look good in time for summer. With enough grit and hard work, it is likely that we hit our targets. But sometimes, we fall off the mark and come up just a bit short, or sometimes miss the mark by the widest of margins. We’ve given it our all, but sometimes, we just can’t seem to hit that sweet spot. But why? Here are some possible reasons:
You’ve hit a plateau—So you get off to a rip-roaring start and see initial results fast. You’re there, but not quite. So you continue with your program but find yourself stuck. You’ve officially hit a plateau. This simply means your body has managed to adapt to your exercise program and has become so used to it that it no longer responds to the same amount of effort. The fix? Mix things up a bit. Lift heavier, run faster or longer. Give your body an unfamiliar workload different to what it has been used to in order for it to respond, so you can be on your way to destination fitness.
You’re not eating enough—You work out as hard as the next guy but can’t seem to grow muscle. Take stock of what you are feeding your body. If gaining muscle is the agenda, you must not starve yourself, but rather, feed your hungry muscles for them to grow. You cannot grow muscle by eating next to nothing. Make sure you are ingesting enough calories, and these include carbohydrates, protein and fat. Shoot for 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight every day—from whole food sources and supplements—to complement your lifting sessions.
You lack a system—Going at it on your own without the proper knowledge of what it is you are doing will hardly yield a positive result. If you work out when you feel like it, skip on days when you aren’t up to it and try to eat healthy every now and then, only to binge the next day, this simply means you are not following a system that could potentially give you your ideal body. Commit to a system that is tried and tested. Whether it involves intermittent fasting, keto, a simple calorie deficit, or a full-on hardcore bodybuilding program, stick to a system that is science-based and proven to work.
Wrong exercise form—When lifting weights and using exercise machines, there is a method to the madness. Oftentimes, people pick up a dumbbell and make up their own exercise. This can either result in injury, or at best, yield no results. Remember, an exercise is meant to target a specific muscle. For it to work, the movement must be executed correctly. Improper form may lead to minimal or zero results. You end up wasting your time. Ask a trained professional how it’s done. Online research is a big help, with various exercise channels on Youtube waiting to show you how to do it right.
In any case, if you’re not finding your mark, keep in mind that every day is a fresh start. If you want to see results, it’s never too late to light that fire from under you.