9 things that will set back your progress for sure
There are times when you might think you are doing everything right: your diet is OK; your training is OK; you get enough rest; still something is wrong. One of the worst things is that when your efforts don’t seem to pay off the way you would expect it. You follow your diet every day. You do your best in the gym... but what if the devil is in one of the small details? Below you can read about a few small things you may have to consider before you started to swear hard in front of the mirror, because, what you see is not what you could (and want to) see, based on your efforts!
1) Skipping breakfast
We have seen it numberless times: guys showed us their training and diet plans. Almost everything was perfect in the diet, as well as the supplements and the training routine... except for one error: no breakfast. You wouldn’t believe how frequently this error comes up. The reason is usually something like “I have no appetite in the morning” or, “if I eat in the morning, I would completely lose my appetite until noon” etc. Stop! If you take this sport seriously and YOUR goals REALLY matter to YOU, there’s just no such a thing that you do not feel like eating. True, if you eat the same every day for months, you will most likely get fed up with it at some point. But you can get used to it after a while. Especially if you don’t tempt your brain by eating junk every now and then. You don’t feel like eating meat, rice or anything that would help you build muscles? Then you should not wish for muscles either. No, this is not Sparta, and we are not in the movie 300. But you have to live with it: if you are unable to eat by a plan, following a certain system, you should not expect any significant results either. As for the “I have no appetite in the morning” people, it is usually revealed that they drink a cup of strong black coffee or two, on an empty stomach. A little bit of tannic acid on an empty stomach? No wonder you have no appetite! But let’s say you are not like that: you don’t drink coffee. You simply have no appetite, that’s all. The best you can do is make breakfast a habit. Many people cannot eat solid food in the morning. In this case, have a protein shake with oats. It’s not a big deal. You can consume it quickly and easily. And, most of all: it is equivalent to a full meal.
No need to deny: there is something in it. But you don’t need to accept it unconditionally. It should always depend on your activity level and diet whether you need carbs or not at a given time, let it be 11 p.m. or 4 p.m. If you go to bed at 3 a.m. (e.g. because you have been working), it’s not a good idea to have your last meal with carbs at 6 p.m.Take it easier and don’t be afraid of eating carbs in the evening. You can eat less carbs than what you eat during the day, and choose more complex sources. Doing so, you can fuel your muscles without being afraid of gaining a whole lot of fat.
6) Consistency, overdriven
Sticking to your routine, your diet and your bodybuilding-related theories obsessively, over the past 20 years. You might look good. Moreover, you might look awesome. But you might have not shown anything new over the past 15 years. You keep on eating and doing the same things over and over again. And there is nothing wrong with it, provided that this is your choice, and your actual goal is to maintain your current physique. But if you end up as the grumpy old guy in the gym who always has a smart comment to everything (which everyone in the gym has heard at least five times already); while you are striving to progress constantly; well, this might be a result of your rigid attitude. It’s a miracle that you have not quit this sport yet. Well, once you fall in love with iron, it’s like being in a relationship with abad bitch: you want it because you enjoy doing it, but frankly, you are freakin’ tired of it and you know that you profit nothing from it.
Make sure your meals have a balanced nutritional profile, and there will be no problem. You don’t need to consume essential fatty acids in extreme amounts. And, although you can never have too much of omega-3, it’s better to split up your daily amount into several smaller portions during the day.You can play tricks with fats, too, especially when you eat less carbs. It’s absolutely OK if you add some extra quality fats to a late meal with protein. Doing so, it’s not necessarily a problem if a meal doesn’t contain carbs at all.
8) No specific goals
Manager workout. You and your fellow colleague go to the trendy gym where your employer pays your membership fees. You go over each machine, talking nonstop.Zero effort; you do some flies or jerk around on the cross trainer, while you have no idea what you are doing and why. Do you want a better physique? Do you want to be muscular? Do you want to lose fat? Whatever your goal is, visualize it; imagine it and PLAN each step towards your goal, from compiling your diet plan and training routine to implementing the whole program. You will NEVER get along if you have no concept of what you are doing. You may be aware of this fact in all the other areas of life, so you can make it in the gym, too. The rules are basically the same; only small scale. And if you can discipline yourself, be stable and consistent in bodybuilding, you can use this attitude in other areas of life as well. No wonder they say sport does not only educate your body, but your mind and personality as well.
You should always have a goal. If you just hang around aimlessly, you are destined to fail.
9) You are not doing your best at the gym
You can often see guys who look good and might even work with heavy weights. But you can never see a slightest distortion on their faces while they are working out, not even at the last reps of the last sets. (Maybe they are using Botox.) This is incredible.
This may be a hybrid of “consistency, overdriven” and “you never reach failure”. Let’s say your workout is going on awesome. You finish your leg workout in an hour, which would otherwise take you about 1.5-2 hours, because you would rest for 5 minutes between sets. Now you are in a better condition and your strength levels are higher, but you are still doing the same routine, even though a lot of new opportunities have opened up to you, to make your workout harder. In the past, say, you could do 6 squats with 100 kilos; now you could even do 12, still you are putting the bar back on the rack after 6. Why? Why are you so complacent? Why aren’t you doing an extra rep or two, if you could? Just because you have calculated at home the exact percentage of your 1RM you have to work with today? Or what the heck? Or, just because 12 reps are considered ideal, does that mean that you don’t need to do any more? The worst thing you can do to yourself is not doing something, even though you could. Doing so, you are seriously limiting your own opportunities for the future.
In the beginning, you could fight; but now, it’s impossible to get you out of your comfort zone. This is not good. If you regularly work below your skill level, then something is wrong with your head. Still a lot of people keep wallowing in this warm and cozy “puddle”. You wouldn’t believe the questions these people ask from us. They must have too much time and excess energy. For example, they ask us what they should increase, the weight or the number of reps... and we get a lot of questions like this all the time.
Increase everything. As much as you can.
And why isn’t it 10 things? Because I could mention 110 things you could sabotage yourself with, but these may be the most common. There is a certain segment of our readers who are quite experienced and have gone through a lot of things in this sport. They either watch these incredible smart asses in silence, or they troll a bit with them every now and then, to amuse themselves. Because we are often discussing really self-evident matters. And there is another segment: these are the guys and girls who read our articles and understand them as well, more or less, still something is not clear to them. We communicate with them a lot, and we settle the things in their minds. And finally, there is a group who read everything but understand nothing, and they are not afraid to ask. And, believe it or not, their questions often shed the light on things that interest people who got stuck on a plateau for some reason. What is even more stunning is that many of these people actually have a pretty good physique. Life is unfair, isn’t it? :)
Sometimes a little fine-tuning is all you need to start the “engine”. If you feel something is not right, sit down for a while and think. Think it through: what are you doing now, and what should you do in order to reach your goals? You can spare yourself a lot of energy with this simple troubleshooting method.
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