5 Major Mistakes Holding You Back In The Gym

Not seeing the results of your hard work? Here are five possible reasons why.

By Dan Welden

You workout everyday for what seems like hours. You want to get ripped but seem to be making little to no progress, yet you go out and see others that appear to be growing in mass or gaining definition far faster than you. So you ask yourself, "What the hell am I doing wrong?"

Here are 5 mistakes that may be holding up your progress.

1. Not eating before and after you workout.

Yes, I get it. You want to lose weight, but starving yourself is not the solution. Think of your body like a vehicle. It needs fuel to operate. Additionally, if you are trying to gain muscle mass, you need to provide your body with adequate nutrition. You’ll want a protein packed meal before and after every workout. I would recommend eating approximately an hour before your workout and drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes after your workout.

2. Not changing up your routine.

Many individuals fall into the habit of following the same routine for months. We’re comfortable with what we know and many of us are fearful of looking awkward trying something we have not mastered. However, when you do the same routine over and over, your body becomes accustomed to the exercises and growth tends to slow down or stop all together. To continually stimulate muscle development, you should consider switching up your routine every month or two. This includes trying new exercises, adding sets, even trying new group classes at your gym. By attending a group fitness class you can learn some new moves and maybe even meet Mr. Right.

3. Overtraining

Some people will spend hours at the gym and actually start to see muscle mass and strength decrease. You could be overtraining. This can also happen if you train the same muscle group everyday. I usually recommend alternating muscle groups. One day focus on the upper half of your body and the next day focus on the lower half.

4. Alcohol

It’s fun to let loose on the weekends and have a drink or ten, but alcohol has a number of detrimental effects on the body including significantly lowering your testosterone levels. If you’re going to have a party night, try to schedule it to where your rest day is the next day and limit it to once a week. If you’re the type that drinks everyday, stop and find a new hobby. You’re not going to get the results you want and you’re damaging your body more than you think. It catches up to you, if it hasn’t already.

5. Lack of sleep

NYC is a city that never sleeps. I often find myself getting minimal sleep due to my chaotic schedule and social obligations. I personally have noticed and impact on muscle development and have proactively taken steps to get in a few more hours of sleep a night. We should all aim to have at least eight hours of sleep per night. Many of us are up doing things that are not great for our body anyway. When we workout, we are basically breaking down our muscles. When we sleep, the muscles repair. So it is essential to get the appropriate amount of rest each night. This may require a significant lifestyle change for some. Aim for minor lifestyle modification and progress from there. Start with minor changes, like going to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal. Add 15 minutes of sleep every week until you get that extra hour or two you need to hit at least eight hours a night.