You’ve been training hard in the gym, yet you aren’t making any progress, or at least, less than you had hoped for.
This story is common, however there are a few likely reasons as to why.
Read these top tips to ensure you are getting the most out of your workouts.
Firstly, you probably aren’t training at the intensity required for change to occur.
If we look specifically at muscle gain (or hypertrophy training) we need to be training towards muscular fatigue. Often, we have ‘more in the tank‘ then we think and we aren’t pushing our muscles far enough for change to occur.
Specifically, the stimulus and stress is not high enough for our body to adapt and grow.
If you are following a specific program but progress is slow, re-consider the intensity you are working at.
At Bloom Allied Health we like to prescribe intensity a few different ways, depending on the person. Commonly, we will use RPE or RIR.
RPE stands for ‘Rate of Perceived Exertion’. We use a Modified Borg Scale and will prescribe an RPE out of 10. E.G – this lift should feel like an 8/10 (10/10 means you could not do one more single rep if your life depended on it).
Alternatively, we will use RIR. This stands for ‘Reps in Reserve’. In other words, how many more reps are left in the tank when you finish your set? E.G when you finish this set you should feel like you only have 2 RIR and you could absolutely do no more than 2 reps.
If intensity is not your issue, perhaps you need to consider your nutrition.
Your progress in the gym is absolutely dependent on your nutrition. If you are not fuelling your body for growth, it won’t occur as quickly as you would like. In the initial stages of training, you might see a spike in your progress but as time goes on, you will notice that your nutrition completely influences how well you train, recover and grow.
Protein is the first consideration when looking at diet. Sufficient protein intake will ensure your muscles are recovering at a cellular level. Without adequate protein, our body will lack the building blocks to recover and grow.
Secondly, carbohydrates are important for replenishing glycogen stores and ensuring there is enough energy for the body to repair and grow. Sufficient carbohydrate intake will help to reduce soreness and improve ongoing progress.
Lastly, fats should not be forgotten. Fats are needed at the cellular and neural level for ongoing recovery. Without fat in our diet, our hormones suffer and our recovery will be slow.
Lastly, we can’t forget about sleep.
Sleep is paramount to successful recovery and growth. This is true not only from a training perspective, but also looking at long term health and wellness.
Good sleep positively effects every single aspect of our life, including brain health, hormone function, weight management and chronic disease risk.
Sleep is the king of health and should be prioritised when starting a new training program.
Ideally, adults should aim for 7-9 hours, with athletes often requiring more.
We hope this information helps!
If you are struggling with progress in the gym, reflect on these points and see if changes to your routine can be made.
Sometimes a diary can help to manage these considerations. That way you can note down your training intensity, diet and sleep patterns. From there you can review any ‘holes’ and act accordingly.