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5 Reasons Why You Are Not Seeing Results From Your Training

Whether you feel you are in an exercise rut or about to begin a new routine and want to get the most out of every workout, here are 5 reasons why you might not be seeing results you'd hoped for...and how to tackle them!

1. Lack of Progressive Overload

This might be a term you’ve heard thrown around, so here is a quick explanation:

Progressive overload means gradually increasing the resistance, frequency or number of repetitions on one muscle or muscle groups for increased muscle adaptation over time.

So for example, squatting with bodyweight; next time add a dumbbell, or a pause at the bottom or doing more reps. Same with pelvic floor squeezes, we increase the length of time we squeeze and hold for and build up to 10s...this is progressive overload. Placing the muscle outside its comfort zone every time you workout means it adapts to this increased strain and builds in strength and tone overtime.

This is a very basic explanation, but why is it so important? Doing the same thing over and over again means the muscle essentially gets used to it and cant grow. Like if you were learning to read...If you read the same sentence over and over again, you’d never learn new words. By focusing on some sort of progressive overload in every workout, it will help you see and feel a difference in your muscle strength and tone.

To summarise, here are 3 ways you can do it in your next workout:

1️⃣ Add or increase resistance via a band or dumbbell, or increase the resistance you are using

2️⃣ Change the tempo, such as 3s lower into a squat, 3s raise out of squat - this increases time under tension for the muscles, and in turn, overloads them. Or add in a pause or pulse!

3️⃣ Increase repetitions within that weight range from 8 reps to 12 reps


2. Not focusing on mind to muscle connection

A BIG one which I harp on about a lot on my instagram! Going through the motions of an exercise won’t make the muscles work. You have to MAKE them work for you in order to get the benefit!

How do you do it?

Lets take an RDL (Romanian deadlift) as an example. Just going through the motions of it doesn't make the glutes and hamstrings work as efficiently as if you purposefully squeeze or activate the glutes to bring you forward. In fact, you're more likely to use your back if you're rushing it or not activating the primary mover muscle - the glutes.

This reel will help give you a visualisation of what I mean:

Given the limited time we have to workout, make sure the exercises are working for you and targeting the muscles that they should.

Slowing the exercise down can also help promote more mind to muscle connection. It makes it easier to focus on feeling the muscle work on the eccentric (lengthening) and concentric (shortening) phases. Engage the muscle, then execute the movement, and get the most out of every rep!


3. Not supporting your body nutritionally

It is important to note that I am not a registered nutritionist or dietician, so can only give you a basic over view here! First things first, eating a balanced diet day-to-day, including wholegrain carbohydrates, healthy fats, lean protein and fruit and vegetables is really important.

Protein however, is important for everyone and becomes even more so over the age of 30, as we begin to lose some of our precious muscle mass. Particularly again in perimenopausal and menopausal women. When you are training and you are trying to increase muscle mass (or at least strength) it is important to get enough protein in your day-to-day meals and snacks. Protein is the building blocks of cells and contributes to muscle repair.

How much should you aim for?

Although it varies across individuals, we need roughly 1-2g of protein per KG of bodyweight each day. So if you weight 70kg, you should be aiming to eat between 70-140g of protein per day, according to rest/workout days.

To put this in perspective, one scoop of protein powder is roughly 20-25g of protein but other sources include milk (1 pint gives you 20g of protein) and greek yoghurt (6-10g per 100g) - not just chicken breasts! Also, when you eat things like fish and meat in your meals, you get plenty of protein, but its important to get protein into your breakfast and snacks too - such as an egg, protein pancakes or protein balls like the recipe here.

Protein also plays an important role in keeping us full and feeling full. By making sure you get enough at meal times can work wonders in stopping you reaching for snacks between meals and it’s also good for sustaining energy levels.


4. No exercise plan or consistency

Like anything in life, if we have a plan, we are more likely to stick with it. An exercise plan not only takes away the stress of thinking “what to do”, it is often step by step, helps improves consistency and keeps us in line with the end goal. With no plan, it’s easier to just ignore it, not prioritise it or be random and inconsistent with exercise.

A good exercise plan is a one that you can stick to, it hits the same muscles/muscle groups over and over, incorporates progressive overload, it works into your routine, and is doable but also challenging! Put simply, having a progressive plan that you stick too, is when results are guaranteed.

Now let’s talk about consistency with resistance training; it is the number one way to build muscle strength, mass and size. BUT in the throws of motherhood, it can feel almost impossible to be in any way consistence so here are a few ways to help improve it:

1️⃣ Start small - any habit starts in small doses. 10 minutes a few times a week and gradually increase time spent exercising and/or frequency until you’ve established a routine.

2️⃣ Having a plan that delivers results - the more you get from it and see results, the more you will likely continue on that plan - see how these two interlink so much? A plan will help you get the most out of workouts, so every workout counts and builds your strength.

3️⃣ Keep showing up - I’d be lying if I said I was perfectly consistent, I am not. I don’t have specific days I workout, nor times - but I keep showing up 3-4 times per week to do some sort of strength training. Life does get in the way and weeks will go by when you don’t even look at workout plan, that’s ok too. It’s about jumping back in and getting back on the consistency bandwagon and using your plan.

Here are some exercise plan examples, one for each stage of motherhood:

The Advanced Postnatal Challenge

The Pregnancy Program

The Postnatal Program


5. Focusing on cardio and not resistance training

Speeding through reps and workouts will definitely increase the heart rate, but won’t necessarily get the muscles working to their full capacity to see results. This is one reason why permanently doing cardio workouts can often mean that results for muscle gain are slower.

Don’t get me wrong, cardio is great for the body, the mind and the cardiovascular system, however if you want to start seeing results with your training, then tying it in with resistance work is important.

Fitness wearables can often work to our detriment here as well. We can often focus on the calorie burn in each workout - you might work really hard through a strength workout and burn 150 calories, yet when you do a same length cardio workout you burn double. It can feel a disappointing can’t it?

Here is the difference, after a resistance session, the worked muscles will not only continue to burn calories afterwards, but you will also see results with strength much quicker. Focus more on getting the most out of every strength workout with mind to muscle connection, progressive overload and really feeling every rep.

Hopefully you can apply some or all of these to your own exercise routine and if you have any questions or exercise programs, just get in touch or book a discovery call here:

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