5 Reasons You’re Not Seeing Results in the Gym

5 Reasons You’re Not Seeing Results in the Gym

Read time: 7 minute read

Spinning you wheels and not getting the results you seek in the gym or your lifestyle routine? If so, you are not alone, so I thought I would dedicate this post to all the ladies out there who are busting their butts but can’t work out what’s missing!

Essentially, results come from consistency, adequate training with progressive overload and plenty of recovery, and for most people, really good nutrition.

Let’s start with the first, consistency.

 

  1. You’re not consistent enough

Consistency is key, and the main reason results fall short. This probably comes more under ‘mindset’ but without it, you can’t get results. Building a body is a long-term endeavour, it can’t be fast-tracked or skipped, you just eat and train, train and eat, and be patient.

All professional bodybuilders can attest to the time and dedication it takes to build a physique, particularly one that turns heads. On the plus side though, a body built over the long term is something you get to walk around in.

The reason people fall short on consistency is because they chase the fads – fasting, no carbs, double workouts, HIIT sessions. These things have benefits yes, but when it comes to the long-term results, eating well, and eating a lot of good food, daily and consistently and pairing this with a solid weight training regime is the only way.

There are outliers, yes, those who do this kind of thing and look great, but this is not why they look great. If they look good with these methods it’s their genetics that have allowed it.

 

  1. You’re following poor programming, or have poor program balance

Training should always be a strength-based development program with cardio as a ‘topper’. Cardio should never be the focus – including HIIT. This is not the way to build a strong, lean physique.

Programming should be progressive and not random, so you need to follow a program which is within your capabilities and where you aim to increase strength in each exercise over a period of time. The program that follows that will be more challenging in either exercise order, volume, load or all three, but it won’t be completely different from the first one if your focus is to get results.

I believe the ideal time period for a program is 8 weeks if you’re in the first year of training, as you can progress a lot more quickly within that first year. I even do 4-week blocks for brand new clients. Once established and stronger all over, I find 12-weeks to be a great time-frame to commit to each program.

If you break it down over 12 weeks, it takes around 2-4 weeks to find the ideal weight and learn a new exercise, and then 8-10 weeks following that to really push your capabilities with those exercises. Just as you start to get bored or plateau, it’s time to change in up. This is where patience comes in, changing your program all the time because you’re ‘bored’ or ‘impatient’ will only hinder your long-term progress.

 

  1. Inadequate nutrition

Changes in body composition are even more dependent on food intake than training. If you don’t eat enough you will have inadequate nutrition to recover and build muscle from your sessions, but if you eat too much you will gain body-fat.

You also need to determine what kind of constitution you have – can you handle dairy, processed foods, gluten and wheat, or not? For some people, a whole-foods diet is essential for progress but for others they can be more flexible. You need to work out where you fit here and stick within reasonable boundaries if you want your body to respond positively.

I always try to get my clients eating as much food as they can, whilst still feeling good, and not gaining body-fat. For some women this is 1700 calories, and for others it’s 2300. Everyone is different and unique differences are uncovered not with a calculator, but with consistent tracking, patience, and check-ins where we look at weight, measurements, photos, and strength progression.

This applies even when dieting – you want as much food as you can get away with, and you don’t want to be eliminating food groups unless your body tells you they need to go (and there are professional ways to approach this).

 

  1. Improper technique

Back to training – you can’t build a physique if you don’t have good technique.

I get that is feels good to enter a gym in your first week and put a 60kg barbell on your back, but if you’re not doing it properly all you’re doing is ‘impressing’ the people around you whom also have no idea and sabotaging your results in the long term.

Most women don’t naturally have the structure for weight training, they need to build it. This means developing the glutes, hamstrings, abs and back muscles to a point where your posture is sound, and those muscles are working just as hard as (or harder than), the muscles that are naturally developed like the quads and traps. See my post on the posterior chain here, to dive a little deeper into that.

Some women take 12+ months before they can squat 60kg, and others take 3 months. Some need to do months of mobility and postural correction whereas others need minimal. If you want to learn good technique, you need to hire an experienced professional. Just because someone has a gym or 300K followers on Instagram does not indicate experience – it indicates cash in hand and time spend on their phone, posting things that trend and interacting with other accounts.

Research someone’s history and understand the industry is very new, and the more years spent mastering their craft, the more you’re going to get for your money. The overall point here is, good technique will have you burning more calories, and building way more overall muscle (in all the right places) than poor technique will. So don’t skip the fundamentals and again, be patient.

 

  1. You are training too much!

Lastly here we have over-training. It is not that common to over-train in a way that is damaging for athletic performance but it does happen, particularly when there is poor programming or if you aren’t eating enough to fuel your activity.

Where I find it most common is amongst gym people who are trying to change their body composition. Doing ‘more’ is not always the answer. Well, it’s rarely the answer. It is crucial to choose an exercise load that your body can handle, and that you are nourishing for. If you eat as little as you can, and train as much as you can in the hopes that this will ‘speed up’ progress, you are misinformed.

My philosophy with my clientele is always to give them as much food as possible, and as little training as possible, that is needed to get results. I never through extra training in, particularly cardio, in the hopes that they will get more out of it as this just isn’t the case Long story short, over-training can leave you falling behind on your goals and it just isn’t worth it.

 

What to do if you’re doing any of these things…

Stop. Reset. Restructure your approach. Seek professional help if you must but avoid continuing down a path that isn’t working well for you! Send me an email if you want more information about any of these topics.

Want to master this topic? Check out my super-affordable mini-course on Female Training

Jen x

Pre and Post-Training Nutrition

Pre and Post-Training Nutrition

Read time: 4 minute read

PRE AND POST TRAINING NUTRITION: How does it work and how important is it really?

The purpose of pre and post-training nutrition is to provide your body with the most effective nutrition to support your training and body composition goals, increasing the availably of those nutrients at the time you need it most. These two nutrients are protein and carbohydrates; protein as a building block, and carbohydrates as fuel.

Meal timing aside just quickly though, as I want to make it clear there are things that are way more important, and need to be prioritised FIRST in order to maximise your chances at overall success:

  • Adherence and consistency when it comes reaching your macro targets,
  • The quality of your training and training methods, and
  • Your overall health and stress levels.

Without these things in check, it won’t matter what time of the day you eat what nutrient. So, overall health and consistency first, and perfectly timing your meals second!

Now to answer the original question; how do I best time my meals?

Here is a very simple run-down of how you would approach your nutrition before and after training, for those ready to give it a go:

 

PRE-TRAINING:

  • Eat a carbohydrate and protein rich meal, with lower fat. This could be something like lean meat with rice or potato, oats with whey protein.
  • Make sure to leave at least 90-mins to digest the meal before you train.
  • If you are training first thing, and you’re not ‘dieting’ you can train fasted
  • If you are dieting, I recommend you have a small protein-meal before you go to the gym, to avoid stressing your body out too much (especially for females). Something good for this could be protein custard, a protein yogurt, or similar.
  • If you’re training at night, then carbs and protein can be consumed pre training really easily

POST-TRAINING:

  • You want to eat something that is higher in carbohydrate and protein, but lower in fat and fibre, as the faster this meal is digested, the better for muscle recovery.
  • Think – white rice or potato with lean beef or chicken, or rice cakes with jam and a whey protein shake in water.
  • The higher your choice of protein is in the amino acid Leucine, the better this will impact your muscle recovery. This can be found in the largest amounts in lean meat, egg whites, and whey protein supplements.

Meal timing is great if you’re wanting to just just that little bit more from your nutrition and training. If you’re not quite there yet, and you find all this timing info overwhelming, then it is completely OK not to get this right in the early stages. You will still make progress. Many of my clients have competed (and won) without worrying about meal timing at all!

The image is chicken breast with jasmine and wild rice, and some pomegranate seeds – delish! There’s a little spinach in there (I had too much in the fridge!) but this is a pretty good option for pre or post training 😉

Hope this is helpful. Leave any questions in the comment section below and I’ll answer them for you.

Want to master this topic? Check out my super-affordable mini-course on Nutrition

Jen

Strength Training isn’t Just About Getting A Bikini Body

Strength Training isn’t Just About Getting A Bikini Body

Read time: 2 minute read

Strength training isn’t just about getting a bikini body. When I began lifting weights I was focused only on physical goals but it wasn’t long after I started that I realised how diverse the benefits really were!

Curves, improved body composition and muscle tone are all amazing benefits but there are so many others, like how your confidence improves with muscle and nervous system adaptations regardless of body composition changes, or the benefits to your health in mobility, posture, circulation, bone density, immunity and mentality.

Becoming a stronger woman physically helps you become a more powerful woman internally and over time it teaches you that you can do anything you set your mind to.

You don’t have to be an athlete to begin weight training, you just need to be committed to the idea of becoming a stronger, healthier and more powerful version of you

Want to master this topic? Check out my super-affordable mini-course on Body Love

 

 

Same Weight, Different Body – Lisa’a Transformation

Same Weight, Different Body – Lisa’a Transformation

Read time: 3 minute read

This is a perfect example of what happens when you approach fitness goals with health as a top priority, and also why you can’t rely on scale weight to track progress. On the left she is 58kgs, on the right she is 70kgs

In 2014, Lisa was eating about 900 calories per day with almost ZERO carbs, and her training routine involved weights AND cardio sessions daily. On the right in 2017, Lisa is doing 5 weights sessions, three cardio and her calories are (on average) 1800 per day. Carbs are around 170gms per day.

Physical changes aside, Lisa is healthier, stronger and happier in her fitness journey compared to when she started. She is also an awesome, very dedicated personal trainer….

Can’t wait for her to hit the stage for a second time this April!

Whether your goals are strength, health, or body composition focused, it is ESPECIALLY important for women to focus on training balance and a healthy metabolism for sustainable results. Patience, consistency and optimal health are key

 

 

 

 

 

Transformation is yours for the taking. 

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