Are you working your butt off at the gym but not seeing results?

It’s easy to become disheartened when you’ve been working hard and feel like you’re getting nowhere, but instead of quitting, make sure that you aren’t making any of these simple mistakes:

1. You stop as soon as it starts getting tough

Working out is tough, but nothing worth having ever came easy. If you stop as soon as the exercise begins to feel even slightly tough you will never see the results you crave. Obviously if the pain is coming from an injury then you must definitely stop (or adjust your workout to be more suitable), but otherwise stopping when you feel like your muscles are just starting to work is pointless.

Your muscles are working hard because you’re pushing them and that’s what’s going to make them grow and give you the coveted toned appearance. Anyone can do a workout and stop when it starts to get tough, but the only way you will achieve the results you want is if you push yourself past the pain barrier and work as hard as you can.

2. Your weights aren’t heavy enough

There’s a common misconception that women shouldn’t lift heavy weightsignore that!

For both men and women…if the weights you’re lifting aren’t making you work hard then they aren’t doing anything. Women, if you choose not to lift heavy weights for fear of getting ‘too big’, please stop worrying – lifting heavy weights will increase the strength of your muscles, but unless you have an abnormally large amount of testosterone (or steroids) in your body, it won’t increase the size of them by a large amount so you don’t have to worry about getting bulky.

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If you lift heavy weights and follow a clean healthy diet then your muscles will become stronger and more dense, and you will burn fat; resulting in the toned appearance.

3. You’re focusing too much on how you look

If you spend your whole workout worrying about how you look while doing the exercises then you won’t be putting enough effort into the workout. Put quite simply, if you still look good at the end of your workout then you didn’t work hard enough.

While exercising we all sweat, we all pull very strange faces and we all either make absurd noises or swear a lot. It’s practically impossible to look good during a proper workout, so don’t fight the inevitable because the only person who’s bothered by how you look while you workout is you…and if anyone else is bothered then they clearly aren’t paying enough attention to their own workout. So stop worrying and go for it, you’ll see results much sooner if you do.

4. You’re exercising too much

This may sound silly but if you workout too much then it can also hinder your results. When you lift weights you are actually making tiny tears in your muscles (don’t worry – it’s ok), and when you rest your body repairs the muscle and rebuilds it stronger than before, so rest days are vital. Missing rest days can actually make you more prone to injury too because your muscles need the adequate amount of time to recover.

I workout on average five days a week and that gives my body time to recover after I’ve pushed really hard.

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5. You’re not consistent with your schedule

Busy lives can often get in the way and make it hard for us to find the time to workout but if you are repeatedly taking time out of your workout schedule then it will take much longer for you to see results. It’s unfortunately not as simple as making up for missed workouts; doing an extra three workouts this week won’t make up for missing three last week. You need to be consistent to see results.

6. You haven’t cleaned up your diet

Working out regularly will only produce results if you also follow a clean healthy lifestyle. It’s no good spending hours in the gym if you then eat junk when you get home – all you will be doing is eating more calories than you burned during your workout.

I’m a big fan of everything in moderation so obviously have treats occasionally, but a workout doesn’t give you a free pass to basically inhale a tub of ice cream.

7. You’re expecting too much too soon

If you started working out with the hope that you would look like a fitness model within a week then you were only setting yourself up to fail because (sadly) you aren’t going to see results immediately. You will undoubtedly feel better and healthier within days but the abs you crave will take far more time to achieve. Setting unrealistic targets will only make it harder for you because you’ll repeatedly feel disappointed, when you in fact should celebrate your achievements, no matter how small.

Don’t expect miracles; don’t be upset if you measure yourself after one week and don’t see a difference because it takes time. Don’t get disheartened because once you start to see results it will be one of the best feelings ever. Keep going and remember that you get out of this what you put in.

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8. You’re doing the same workout you’ve been doing for months

If your workout routine used to produce results but lately you’ve not been getting anywhere with it then it’s time for you to switch it up. There’s no specific time frame after which it’s recommended that you should change your routine, but a basic guide is if you start to feel like your workout is getting easy and not in any way pushing you then it’s time to change it.

When you do the same thing repeatedly your body starts to become more efficient at doing it, meaning that although you struggled initially and it worked really well for you, your body will begin to adjust to it, making it harder for you to burn the fat. By regularly changing your workouts you will keep it fresh and your body won’t know what’s coming so won’t be able to adapt to it, meaning you will see results.