Chest and triceps on Mondays, skip legs. Sounds like a perfect workout routine right? Not quite. There are many indicators that something might be wrong with your training split, for instance, that you have been exercising for a couple of years and you still look pretty much the same.
But there are also less conspicuous clues that might fly under your radar frequently that can cause your entire fitness journey to fall apart if you don’t change your ways quickly. With that in mind, here are the 10 most important signs telling you that your fitness routine sucks.
You’re Not Sure What You’re Supposed To Do
Periodization, volume, frequency, intensity. Do any of these variables exist in your training program, or is it just bench on Mondays and every other day is shoulders and arms? Wandering aimlessly around the gym doing whatever you feel like doing at the moment is one of the best and most effective ways to stay small and weak for the remainder of your lifting career.
You need a plan of attack, so make sure you have a good training split in place with attainable goals, following a prescribed number of sets and reps. The exercises you do should also be geared towards achieving your goals, whether they are strength, muscle size, or endurance.
You’re Training Every Muscle Group Once Per Week
The idea that training every muscle group only once per week is enough to get your body to grow and realize its full potential is a myth that needs to be busted once and for all. The only thing you need to know is that muscle-protein synthesis drops 24-48 hours after a workout, so why in the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger are you waiting a whole week to train chest again? Hit every muscle group at least twice per week.
You’re Not Seeing Progress
In the fitness world, progressive overload is the name of the game. If you haven’t seen progress in over three weeks, then your fitness routine sucks. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can break your plateaus: simply up the weight, cut rest times, or add more sets and reps to your exercises.
You Still Exercise In Your Cotton Shirt and Sweats
Proper training equipment is the hallmark of a great athlete. Not only does performance clothes enhance your effectiveness in training, it’s also designed to keep you safe and healthy throughout your fitness journey. Be sure to have durable men’s running tights at hand along with breathable performance shirts, and for those heavyweight sessions use wrist wraps, knee sleeves, and a lifting belt.
You’re Eating Like an Amateur
If you want to look like a bodybuilder, you have to eat like one. It’s as simple as that. The same goes for runners, powerlifters, and even CrossFitters. Use a calorie calculator, manage your macronutrient intake according to your goal, try new diets like the no carb diet plan and you will see results in no time.
You’re Trying to Get Big with Isolation Exercises
Doesn’t it get a bit boring curling 10lbs dumbbells into infinity day in and day out? Isn’t it about time you got properly huge and filled out that “smedium” express shirt like a man? Well, isolation work alone won’t help you achieve the size you’re after. Instead, focus on heavy rows, squats, presses, and deadlifts in order to slap some mass on that frame.
You Think Cardio Will Get You Lean
Realistically, cardio is good for two things: increasing your cardiovascular capacity and boosting your metabolism to a small degree. If you think that cardio training alone will get you lean, you are sorely mistaken. So make sure you eat right in order to score a six-pack and use weight training to elevate your metabolism the right way.
You Switch it up Once Every Full Moon
The body, as well as the mind, tends to get lazy if you keep presenting it with the same challenges on a daily basis. If you want to see real results, you should change up your exercises every couple of months, so that your body doesn’t have time to adapt to the new stimulus.
Who Needs to Warm up, Right?
A great way for your entire workout to suck is to skip your dynamic warm-ups. Sure, you technically could go straight into your working sets, in which case your muscles, connective tissue, and your CNS will not be able to keep up. This can also lead to injury, so make sure you warm up for at least 10 minutes if you want to reach the next level.
You Don’t Cool Down or Stretch
Finally, proper cool-downs and mobility work are essential to a successful athlete. No matter if you are lifting heavy weights, sculpting an enviable physique, or trying to beat your time on the track, your future performance and health will depend on your joint and ligament health. So don’t skip your mobility and flexibility drills after every training session.
There are many ways your fitness routine could be holding you back without you even noticing. Fortunately, you can use this checklist to upgrade your training and diet regime and take your workout to a whole new level.