About 10 years ago, I started trying to get stronger. Ever since I hit puberty, I had been fairly good at sports, so I expected it to be a breeze. Just put on a little weight on the bar every week and train like a maniac, and I should get there. How hard could it really be? Fast forward 2 years later and I was not a lot further along that path. Sure, I had gotten a little better, but was nowhere near the level I had expected. The only logical explanation of course: everyone else was on steroids (just kidding).
Looking back now, after hitting 30 a few months ago and slowly feeling the first side effects of biology, I am suprised I even made any progress during those 2 years. There are numerous things that went wrong, but I was just not able to see for myself. I would sugercoat them, negate the impact of some behaviors, tell myself I could get away with things, but on the other hand I could not understand why the progress was not there. If I could do it all again, I'd get some form of guidance by an experienced person quicker. Not only can it help you know what do do, it will also save you years of trying by yourself (and often failing) and possibly some injuries with it.
That being said, I'd hate for you to make the same mistakes I made. And those are not suprisingly also the mistakes 90% of our clients tell us they made before they come to us for Personal Training.
Here is the honest checklist of why you are not making progress!
1) You're not actually doing the program or putting in the effort. Yes, this one is pretty basic, but it's the most common pitfall. People tend to underestimate the times where they go off-rails. That 1 cookie a day turns into 5 a day, the occasional half-assed workout becomes a regular habit, ... Solution: find someone to keep you accountable: either a friend, family member or coach.
2) Ego over technique. On the opposite side of the spectrum, some people try to push their limits too far, with poor posture and execution as a result, which then again can lead to stagnation and even injuries. Solution: be patient and give yourself time. Master technique first. Quoting Gray Cook: "Don't add strength to dysfunction"
3) Lack of sleep. This one is a topic for a whole other post, but just believe me when I say that sleep is so critical, it is the most potent and legal "drug" any athlete can take to improve performance. Solution: get in bed for at least 8 quality hours per night, on a regular basis. There is also no such thing as "catching up on sleep during the weekends".
4) Eating like a 5 year old. You are what you eat. I'm guessing you don't want to turn into a snickers bar, so eat appropriately. If you say you're eating really healthy foods and restring your calories but you're not losing weight, something is off. Solution: be honest with yourself: is that occasional cheeseburger actually occasional or regular?
5) No plan, or not sticking to one. If you don't know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere. Solution: pick a plan, and commit to it. A lot of things work, but not committing will always fail.
Fitter in 4 Weken!
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