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Why am I not achieving my goals?

As a Personal Trainer this is a question that I hear day in, day out.

In all honesty there are probably a million individual reasons why people aren’t achieving what they would like too and there are also a million different things that people are trying to achieve. However, often people are guilty of at least one of the six main reasons that I offer to people not achieving their goals. You may be guilty of more than one and there may also be other problems with your training, but by addressing these six issues you should be somewhat closer to the goal that you’re training towards.

In my opinion the six main reasons people fail to reach their goals are the following:

  • 1. A lack of knowledge
  • 2. A lack of effort
  • 3. A lack of consistency
  • 4. Trying too hard
  • 5. Only concentrating on one piece of the puzzle
  • 6. A lack of variety

Let’s have a look at these in more detail.

A lack of knowledge

There is a reason that Personal Trainers have to go on intensive courses that take months to complete and it’s because there is A LOT to learn about the body. Even once you become a fully qualified Personal Trainer the learning never ends. New information and research is always being released and in reality there is still a lot to be discovered about the human body.

Therefore the number one reason a lot of people fail in their attempt to achieve their goals is that they don’t really know what they are doing. They may have seen what someone else in the gym is doing, or read a few fitness magazines, but few people actually know the science behind what they are doing and so are just hoping they happen to try a method that works for them.

This doesn’t mean that everyone has to become a Personal Trainer to achieve their goals, and let’s be honest not even all qualified trainers seem to know what they are doing, but you should take the time to research the best training methods for you (not your best friend or the bloke you chat too down the gym, YOU)!

A lack of effort

Once people have armed themselves with the knowledge they need, I have found that a lack of effort is the next hurdle that people fall over. Achieving a long term goal whether it’s too lose fat, build muscle or improve sporting performance, takes time and effort. I often observe people that I have prescribed exercise programmes too, and their biggest problem is a lack of effort. Some barely break a sweat when they’re on their own and I have seen a lot of people actually make the routine easier for themselves.

Now not everyone wants to be in peak physical shape and not everyone wants to train as hard as they physically can and I completely understand this. Everyone has their limits and their comfort levels and you should train at whatever level feels best for you. I have an appreciation for anyone that strives to be healthy and would never knock someone for trying, but you must be honest with yourself. If you only feel like training twice a week and don’t put much effort in to it when you do train then you have to limit what you expect to achieve. If you want to look like an athlete then you have to commit to the same amount of training as an athlete and if you can’t then you should re-evaluate what you would like to accomplish. Again I will never knock someone’s goal and I will never tell anyone they must train twice a day, six days a week or they’re wasting their time, but I will tell everyone that you have to match your effort level to your goal. If you find you’re not where you want to be, you must consider whether you are putting enough effort in, and if you feel you’re committing as much as you can and you’re still not there, then it’s probably time to re-evaluate your goal.

A lack of consistency

So you have all the knowledge you need and you’ve found the necessary level of effort required, but you’re still struggling to achieve your goal. The next problem people face is consistency. I have seen countless people have really good training plans, put in lots of effort for the first week and then I won’t see them again for two weeks. They come back, work really hard for a couple of weeks and then disappear for a month. Unfortunately, regardless of the effort you put in, if you do not stay consistent then you are unlikely to keep seeing an improvement. As they say ‘use it or lose it’.

Trying too hard

This is a problem that I certainly encountered when I first started training. You get all the knowledge you need, you’re full of enthusiasm and you decide you are going to hit the gym everyday for two hours until you see the results you desire. A month down the line however, you’re tired, beaten up and haven’t achieved what you expected. A lot of people suffer with this and the fact is you’ve overworked your body and so it won’t respond as you want it too. For example if you’re trying to build muscle, but you don’t allow your body to recover between workouts, then you are just further breaking down a muscle that is trying to recover and so therefore you are restricting the amount of growth you can expect to see.

Just because you are training hard and often doesn’t guarantee you results. As we always say at aps – Train Smart and then Hard.

Only concentrating on one piece of the puzzle

Ok so now you’re knowledgeable, you train consistently and you train hard, but not too hard. It’s likely now that you’re seeing some good results, but what if they’re still not living up to your expectations. Well so far this blog has mainly focused on the training element of the puzzle and this is how most people approach their training. You may have the perfect training sessions, but there are two other elements that you need to be aware of – Rest & Nutrition.

As we spoke about earlier if you’re training hard, but not allowing your body to recover you are going to limit your results. The same can be said for poor nutrition. If you’re not consuming the right foods then your body won’t be able to recover from all of your training and it is also likely that your body isn’t functioning as well as it could during your training. To remedy this make sure you’re putting as much time, effort and consideration into your rest and nutrition as you do to your training.

A lack of variety

Right. So we have the knowledge we need, we’re consistent, we put in the correct level of effort and we’ve taken care of our rest and our nutrition. What’s likely now is that you’ve achieved some terrific results but all of a sudden they have come to a stop. If this is the case you suffering from what is known as a plateaux. Your body has basically worked out what’s been happening and has adapted enough to be able to cope. It is now your job to change up what you’ve been doing and force your body to adapt again. There are many ways to add variety to your workouts. It can be little things like changing the tempo, number of reps or number of sets of the exercises you’re doing.

You could look to change the exercises you do, the number of days you train or even the days you train on. However you do it, adding some variety to your workout will force your body to continue adapting and changing, plus you get the enjoyment of trying something a bit different which can help you stick with your training over the long term.

Hopefully, if you’re asking yourself why it is you haven’t been achieving your goals, you will be able to find one or two things in this blog that you can use to change up what you’ve been doing and get back on track.

If you have any further questions or want some help achieving your personal goals then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Stay Healthy

Matt

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