Learning from failure - why you're not seeing results from your fitness routine

There are any number of reasons you might not be seeing results from your workout. Whether you’re hitting the gym or exercising at home, we all fall victim to this trap at some point. It isn’t lack of effort or dedication. It’s much simpler:

Static, stagnant sameness.

Or, in other words, it’s everyone following the same standards set by the American Heart Association for adults (which is 30 minutes of cardio five times per week, and strength training twice per week.)

I’ve seen new exercisers doing the same thing their friends who are in “really good shape” were doing because, “If it works for them, it must for me, too!” Some saw an exercise DVD on a late-night infomercial promising results that weren’t meant to be. Others were doing the same exercises they learned in high school, some as long as 30 years ago!

As I said before, the problem isn’t effort. The problem is trying to do the same thing over and over, rather than customizing it for you and your specific capabilities.

Related: always head for the elliptical but aren’t seeing results? You need to lift weights! Read the full cardio vs weights discussion here.

Doesn’t the definition of crazy run along those repetitive-without-results lines?

I’m not talking about moving your workout to a different day of the week, or taking a group exercise class similar to the one you took yesterday, or even using the stepper instead of the treadmill. I’m talking about truly customizing your exercise based on you – on that specific day, at that specific time, for that specific set, during each rep.

I came across this concept again and again throughout my fitness education. (And in reviewing my Resistance Training Specialist notebook “Custom Fit Exercise®: Must consider the individual before you can consider the exercise!”) Here are some key things to remember when establishing your fitness routine:

  • Know your limits. It’s important to first determine what you can do each day, set, rep, and minute based off of your current capabilities. Then, you can progressively nudge your capabilities in a positive direction. By switching up your routine, you continuously stimulate your capabilities in a way that moves you toward your goals.
  • Don’t expect to get results if you’re doing something that doesn’t work for you. You need to find the correct stimulation for your individual capabilities, which I guarantee are not the SAME as anyone else’s. (Seek assistance from a qualified trainer for help with setting machine handles on any fitness equipment.)
  • Evaluate your skills prior to exercising. In order to know your current capabilities, you must know how to assess them. Check your range of motion (ROM) prior to any exercise. Is your shoulder feeling wonky? Are your hips tight? Do your heels come up in your squat?

Related: want to try out a free personal training session on us? Click here!

Bottom Line

Always determine how far you can move yourself through space with an exercise to learn how to perform that motion. If an exercise exceeds what you can do, adjust to match your current ROM capabilities. Or move onto something else. Don’t hurt yourself pushing for a move that isn’t going to happen that day.

To get a better understanding of how to truly customize what you are doing with exercise, drop in to see a Resistance Training or Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist near you!

Post written by an FFC contributor.

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