Going to the gym has been a huge trend in social media lately, and with fit Instagram accounts and transformation pictures plastered all over Twitter and Facebook, it looks easy to transform your body.
But keep in mind that the pictures you’re seeing all over the internet are usually taken after months or even years of hard work and dedication to the gym. It can be discouraging to see these images when you feel like you’ve been working hard but aren’t seeing your own results.
Here’s a breakdown of why you might not be seeing the results you want:
Are you going to the gym consistently? This doesn’t mean going to the gym everyday. It’s actually better if you give yourself rest days to let your body recover. But are you making an effort to go for the same amount each week, for at least 30 minutes? Or do you go sporadically when you’re feeling motivated? If your answer is the latter, there’s good chance you’re not going to see much physical change in your body. Try to set a regular workout schedule and stick to it.
2. Switching up your workout
Maybe you’ve starting seeing some results, but it seems like you’ve hit a wall. If you do the same workout every day or stick to the same plan for too long, your body will eventually plateau. Like anything in life, it’s important to always evolve and change. Plus, doing the same workout every day can get boring. Try doing body weight exercises outside once a week to get your endorphins going and some vitamin D on your skin. If you usually do cardio workouts, try strength training with weights to target different muscles groups.
Yes the saying is true, you are what you eat. It’s also true that your body is made in the kitchen. This means that even if you’re going to the gym for an hour, 7 days a week, but all you eat is fatty, sugary, foods and are under or over in calories, you will not see the results you want. Try to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your diet. These types of foods are important for your workout and have essential vitamins, and minerals as well as provide fuel for your body to support itself and grow. That being said, it’s okay to have things like pizza, or cookies. Just make sure you are balancing out your unhealthy choices with healthy ones, too.
4. Correct form
Quality, not quantity. You could do a million squats or crunches, but if you’re not doing the correct form, you could be targeting the wrong muscles and not seeing the results you want. Or worse, you could injure yourself. You don’t necessarily need a personal trainer to tell you if you’re doing an exercise right. Try using YouTube videos or websites like BodyBuilding.com that explain and have useful pictures to show you exactly how to do an exercise.
My favorite quote recently is “You have to conquer your mind before you can conquer your body.” If you have a negative mindset about going to the gym or feel unmotivated, then chances are you’re not pushing yourself enough to see the changes you’re looking for. It’s easy to get discouraged and quit if you’re not getting results, but if you change those negative thoughts, you can change that pattern. Go into every workout with the goal to do better than the last time you stepped in the gym. Lifting more weight, running for longer, or eliminating the fear of failing are all great goals. If you go into every workout with the mentality to do better than your last performance, you will see change.
If you keep all of these things in mind, I promise you will see results. How long it takes to see those results depends on you. The more consistent, positive, and balanced you are, the quicker it’ll happen. No change happens over night.
I saw improvements in myself with in as little as a week or two from lifting weights. Lifting weights are the quickest form of results. If you add 2 to 5 pounds more weight each time you lift, you will be impressed with how much your body can endure. You can feel yourself growing stronger when you’re able to go from lifting 10lbs to 15lbs in a week. Before you know it, you can lift your own body weight. You can also see quick improvements in your endurance and stamina in 1-2 weeks if you do cardio or HIIT workouts.
I have been going to the gym for a little over a year now, and although I’ve seen some great changes, I know there is always something else I can work on, that I can do better on. Be proud, but never satisfied.