Before taking the plunge and going solo with my personal training career, I did what all budding PT's do and I worked in a local gym.
For 5 years I did all the things that comes with a gym instructors role.
I gave new members inductions and showed them the ropes.
I wrote programmes for specific goals.
I helped people improve their technique.
And I answered LOTS of workout and diet questions.
It was great. I loved it.
To be able to work in a job that you are passionate about isn't really work.
The gym was always full of people looking to get in shape and improve their fitness.
These people were in there for hours at a time, day after day.
They were working hard, they were getting stuck in.
But not many of them saw the results they were looking for.
Not many of them achieved any real changes.
What was going wrong????
Mistakes in the gym
Here are the 4 areas' where I think people were going wrong.
1) Diet - Specifically, not eating appropriately for your goals. If weight loss is your goal you need to be in a calorie deficit and consume less calories than your body requires, and conversely, if you are trying to add muscle you need to be eating in a calorie surplus.
2) Progression - Most of the time I saw people doing the same workout every time they were in the gym,
Doing the same exercises, using same machines, lifting the same weights, day in day out.
It was like Groundhog Day, and working out like this will not help you reach your goals.
3) Consistency - Not everyone makes this mistake, some people are in the gym like clockwork, but missing training sessions or only adhering to a diet plan occasionally will put the brakes on your progress in a big way.
4) Technique - If you are lifting weights with poor form and using bad technique you are risking injury and missing the specific benefits of the exercise.
You should be able to feel the muscles you are targeting working,
You want to select a weight that makes it a challenge to complete your set, but allows you to lift with a controlled tempo and perform the exercise using a full range of movement,
How To Maximise Your Results In The Gym
So now you know what to look for if you're not seeing the progress you want,
How do you go about fixing the problem??
1) Diet - Decide on your goal. Fat loss or muscle gain.
Calculate your daily calorie requirements, (there are plenty of apps available that can help you do this)
Track your diet,
Hit your daily calorie targets as accurately as possible for at least 2 weeks.
Make adjustments based on your results if and when they are needed.
2) Progression - Follow a structured training programme for 4-6 weeks (I prefer 4 week cycles, otherwise I get bored).
Work out 3-4 times per week.
Use big full body moves like squats and deadlifts, alongside upper body pushing and pulling exercises.
Increase the amount of work you do in each workout by a small amount. Try to Increase the weight you lift and/or the reps you perform each workout. These changes will add up over time and force your muscles to adapt.
Your goal should be to improve over the 4-6 week cycle in all your chosen exercises.
Then change your routine or parts of it.
I keep squats and deadlifts in some form or another in my workouts constantly, but then I mix and match different variations of upper/lower body movements)
3) Consistency - Aim for 3-4 gym session each week. It can take up to 8 weeks before you start to notice any physical differences in your body. But perseverance will pay off.
Stick to your diet plan even over the weekend. Cheat DAYS will ruin your hard work from the week, Carefully planned cheat MEALS will not.
4) Technique - If you're not confident performing loaded exercises or don't feel the muscles you are targeting working then ask the gym instructor to check your form.
Or hire a PT for a session or two to help make any corrections.
If any of this sounds familiar to you then hopefully these suggestions will help you identify where you may be going wrong.
It can be very frustrating, trying your hardest to make progress and not seeing the results you deserve but...........
Follow These Guidelines And Success Will Be Yours!!!