If you’ve been working out for a few months and are seeing little or no results, it might be that you aren’t training with enough intensity. Okay, before you get all worked up saying that I don’t know how hard you train or anything just keep reading. So maybe I’m wrong and you might be training balls to the wall every single time you’re in the gym, but why aren’t you seeing any progress? If you’ve read my last article on proper eating and you have been eating enough, yet not seeing still not seeing results, I’m hoping to help you here.
So back at it, why aren’t you seeing any progress? I ask this question because most people I know that go to gym make the single biggest mistake that can cripple their muscle gains and that’s: not tracking workouts!
You might be saying, “John, I don’t need to keep track of my workouts, I keep track of everything I do in my head.” I’ll be honest with you, about 90% of people in the gym do not log their exercises that they do and how much weight they lift during each exercise. If you do not keep track of how much weight you lift in every single workout, you will not make muscle gains as fast as you could be. Let me tell you why.
This all goes back to why muscles grow. Muscles grow because they adapt to stress loads that you put on your body every single time you go to the gym. If you do not consistently increase the amount of work load on your muscles from week to week, you will not see any progress. If you’ve ever seen someone at the gym that has looked the same for as long as you can remember, this might be the reason why. They have probably been lifting the same weights for months with little or no increase in weight or reps. This is the same guy that goes around telling people that his body has plateaued and he has reached his genetic potential.
This is exactly why it is so important to keep track of your workouts, to see how you are progressing, if it’s not size, it might be strength and numbers will tell you that. The numbers will not lie to you.
For example, let’s use a guy named Barney. Barney has been going to the gym 3 times a week and every single workout he gives it everything he has. He has been at it for a few months and are not seeing much results. Let’s say it is his chest day and he is really looking to increase the size of his pectoral muscles. He decides to start off with bench press, so he loads up the bar with 140 pounds, does 7 reps with the last 2 reps being really hard for him. He does that for 3 sets and moves on to the next chest exercise and continues until he finishes his chest routine. He finds that the workout he just did was great, he was feeling the pump and he goes home to eat and rest in hopes that his muscles will grow.
One week goes by and it’s chest day again. Now in order for Barney’s muscles to grow they must be put under more stress then they were in the previous workout by either performing more repetitions or using more weight. He’s at the bench press and he loads up 140 pounds again and goes to perform the exercise. The first few reps are strong, but he’s really feeling the weight this time, and at around 4 reps he pushes for 2 more finishing the set by performing 6. He continues with 3 more sets and finished with 6 reps again for each set. Now according to the law of muscle progression, do you think Barney made progress in this workout? Not at all, he performed less reps than he did last time he did the bench press. If he had tracked and recorded his workout from last time he would have known that he should have pushed for 8 repetitions this workout in order to continue to make progress. But repetitions are not the only thing that might have affected him. What if he forgot that he did 140 pounds last time and he only remembered doing 7 reps and the next time he only loaded on 135 pounds? or 130 pounds and did that for 7 reps?
This will be why he is not making strength gains or seeing much muscle growth. He has been hovering around the same rep range and weights for the longest time. So I cannot stress it enough, you must be tracking workouts if you want to make muscle gains come as quick as you can. I personally log all of my exercises in my phone. I use my phone as a timer and have an app for it that I log my reps/sets/weight into. It’s fairly easy! Try this out, start tracking workouts today and shoot for beating what you did the last exercise and I PROMISE you will see muscle and strength gains!
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