You may have started the year off with grit and determination, only to find your motivation diminishing as you fail to make real progress with your workout. Never fear, Matt Boyles of Fitter You Global is here!

Matt kindly goes through the 7 main reasons you may not be progressing in the gym and how to overcome them.

1. You don’t have a plan

Not having a plan is the number one cause of getting to the gym, faffing about a bit, getting on a treadmill and going home after 20 minutes. It doesn’t need to be complicated, it doesn’t need to be ground-breaking, it just needs to be something you can follow and stick to.

2. You have a plan, but you’re not tracking what you’re doing

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Ok, you’ve got a plan and you’re getting your workouts done but things don’t seem to be happening. Are you keeping track of what you’re doing?

When we work out, extra blood and oxygen floods our muscles, leaving other organs like the brain depleted. If you’ve ever felt a bit slow or forgetful during a workout, that’s GymBrain©. And with the greatest willpower in the world, you’re not going to be able to remember every rep, weight, exercise you did, so scribble it down or save it in your phone. That way you’ll be able to start increasing what you do each week, and the desired progress will start to happen.

3. You have a plan, but it’s not right for you

Ok, you’ve got a plan and you’re keeping track of your numbers but… Hold on, what is 70% of my 1RM and what the hell is an offset RDL?!

Stick to the classic moves, especially if you’re starting out, and you’ll find the plan easier to stick to and you’ll develop size and strength. They’re also reassuring as you will have seen/done them before so will know what to do, which equals one less thing to worry about.

4. You have the right plan, but you’re not going for it enough

So you’ve ticked the above box, and you’re keeping track of an appropriate plan, but it still seems like things aren’t happening as they should. You might not be going for it enough, and this is where a PT or a gym buddy comes in handy.

By ourselves we don’t have a sounding board to sense-check what we’re doing, and another person working out alongside can help to push you (safely), more than you might be able to yourself.

5. You have the right plan, you’re going for it when you’re working out, but you have no accountability

This comes down to carrot vs. stick. Yes, you have the carrot of building a stronger body and mind, but if no one else cares, or has sight of what you’re doing, there’s no stick to be pushing you forward. Accountability means you have to explain why you didn’t turn up for your 7am gym session with your friend.

Accountability is why PT programmes work so well.

6. Also… You don’t have a goal or ‘know your why’

A good PT will help you find these, even if you don’t know them yourself at first. This isn’t the most crucial of the reasons, but if you’re in a funk or stagnating, taking a step back and looking at why you’re exercising in the first place – ie. do you want to be able to play with your nieces and nephews without getting out of breath – can really help you to focus.

7. The gym is too busy to do what you want to do so you end up on the treadmill for 20 minutes

I hear you on this, and it can occasionally feel like you can’t do anything you want to do there. There are various solutions: Google your specific gym and it will tell you when the quietest times to go are; try working out at home, as there’s no one else there to hog the dumbbells; change your gym – they’re everywhere now so you may well be able to find one that is quieter when you’d like to go.

About the author

Matt Boyles is on a mission to help as many gay men, all around the work, feel comfortable in their own skin and be happy with who they are. Check out his Fitter Confident You 12 week programme, which includes workout plans for home or the gym, easy to follow nutrition coaching, meditation, accountability and his unique Confidence-Boosting Challenges.

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