20 Jan Why you’re not making progress in the gym
in Strength & Conditioning
Have you ever wondered why you’re not making any progress in the gym?
So you have recently found that spark of inspiration to get back into your routine, change your lifestyle and find the fitness level you so desire.
All the food that you enjoy is now the enemy (Whelp!) and you start saying no to friends and goodbye to your social life. You go strong for two weeks but find the endless hours on the cardio machine tiresome, hard, and heavier and heavier with every step, peddle or row. For some reason no matter how hard you train, you still aren’t making anymore progress in the gym…I’ve been there.
It’s only until now, 10 years later after working in the fitness and health industry as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist that I can tell you you’re missing something – Strength Training.
Before we begin, we aren’t talking about big overhead lifts that you drop loudly. It’s simply incorporating more dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells into your training.
So are you ready to improve your progress in the gym and start to see some real results?
Three main reasons why you should be strength training:
If the first thought in your head is “I have an injury, should I be using weights?”
The answer is yes, yes and very much yes!
To fix an injury, we must load the muscles to be stronger and be able to withstand more. The best analogy I can provide is:
Picture yourself and your body as a cup, and just like that cup, you have a capacity.
Every time we have a stressful moment, over-exert, or lack sleep, we fill up this cup.
When we overfill this cup, an injury occurs.
Now you are probably thinking, “If I do nothing, I can’t hurt myself”.
But if we don’t exercise precisely, and optimally our cup capacity actually decreases and we can find ourselves becoming injured over smaller and less strenuous movements that we are exposed to. With smart and prescribed exercises, we can actually increase our overall capacity and prevent the cause of injuries to our body. We call this Prehab.
We always hear the good saying, “My metabolism is slow!” But what if I told you that you can increase your metabolism?
Guess what the prime cause for increasing metabolism is? That’s right, muscle! If we can introduce strength based protocols, we can increase muscle growth to drive metabolism and burn more calories at rest. What does this end up doing?
Less starving, more room for eating, and building momentum for long term health.
Muscles give great definition; it helps you increase feeling more “you” and more confident.
This might not be your absolute goal, which is why I put it last, but trust me when I say that muscle building is not easy no matter who you are. How do I know? Because low key, I’ve been trying to build myself like the Hulk for many years and have unfortunately failed. But with the added benefit of injury prevention and metabolism, shape is just the bonus!
Key training points to consider:
- Give up the hour sessions on the treadmill or cardio machine.
- Cut your cardio session down to 10 minutes for now, practice strength-based movements instead.
- Increase your cardio back as you feel comfortable after the strength-based movements.
Over this time, you will come through some hardships and difficulties, I did too! But unlike what happened back when I started, we didn’t have the appropriate technology.
Take a step in the right direction
Whether you’re seeking advice to prevent, treat or manage osteoporosis, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist can assist you by guiding you through an individualised, safe and evidence-based exercise program to “bulletproof” your program! Get in contact with your local exercise expert today. To find one near you, talk to your GP or click here to search by postcode.
Written by Sean Koh, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Owner and Director of Momentum Active Remedy.