Does Being Inconsistent In The Gym = Zero Gains?
February 24th 2020
If you are inconsistent with lifting weights in the gym, is there any hope to still make any progress?
As a beginner, it is almost forced on you that you need to maintain a strict schedule.
After all, if you never lifted weights before, you need to develop consistency and habit.
But what if life gets in the way?
What if work is very stressful and you cannot maintain a strict schedule?
What if you run out of more excuses for why you cannot maintain a strict schedule for lifting weights?
After all, you have sleeping schedule, eating schedule, having fun schedule, etc.
Why not have a weight lifting schedule?
Inconsistent weight lifting
You know that you need to be more consistent to have better training results. Making progress slow and steadily over a long period of time is one of the best ways to get results from the gym.
Excuse #1 - Life gets in the way
If life gets in the way of you lifting weights, then you must accept that you will not make optimal progress.
If that is okay with you, then we can all move forward.
The problem with this is that people want to not put in the hard work in the gym but still expect results to come just because they hit a few sessions.
That is definitely not how it works.
And you can clearly see examples of this in real life.
When has anything good ever came from just doing the activity a few times?
Can’t think of anything?
Because there is none.
Partial solution - Lifting when you can
Maybe you can find a program like 5/3/1 but instead of spreading your workouts out 4 times a week,
You would do 2 workouts in on week and 2 workouts the next week.
Not optimal but you are at least getting in some work done.
And you should be progressively overloading as well.
This can work with full body splits or upper/lower splits.
Why does it not matter?
Because you are still hitting the gym but you will have a lot more rest in between workout sessions.
Unless you are skipping weeks at a time, then days at a time, only you can be in charge of your progress.
Do not blame any program for your lack of progress.
You know you have to be more consistent.
Better solution - Early morning workouts
According to Arnold, some of the all-time greats got all their workouts done before heading to work.
Whether you are working construction, a battery tech, or a broker, lawyer or doctor, if training is important to you, it should be the first thing that you should do in the morning.
And for those individuals who claim that they get things done better at night, let me ask you this:
Are you giving it 100% of your effort and energy at the end of the day as you would in the morning?
I would answer no for myself.
In fact, I believe nearly 100% of lifters would agree that they can give more effort in their workouts if they happened in the morning.
So, if you know what to do theoretically, what is stopping you from taking action?
Another solution - Make lifting a part of your life
If you could tell me that there was a way I can improve my strength and physique without working hard, I am pretty sure everyone would take that option without any second thoughts.
But that is in fantasy land.
And this is reality.
The reality is that if you want consistent results from weight lifting, you will need to make lifting a part of your life.
This means you value lifting and will place it over other priorities.
I absolutely hate it when people say that it is okay to skip workouts for special events such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, get-togethers, etc.
It kind of drives me insane.
Your oath to your strength and self should be one of the highest priorities.
This means that you treat your training with importance.
And your training was likely planned months in advance of all these events.
So, just because something “comes up”, that does not mean you should throw away everything else and skip training.
It should be the opposite way around.
Your training should be done first and then everything else in life should fall into place.
It is only at this point that you can treat training seriously enough so that you can make progress.
I have inconsistent results, can I change that?
Only if you change your schedule.
Your results will be in direct proportion to the effort, intensity, and planning of your workouts.
As a result of your strictness, you are rewarded with long term strength and size progress.
If you are wondering why your strength seems inconsistent but you have not been hitting the gym consistently, you know you have to get on a strength training program.
You know you have to stop flaking when it comes to going to the gym.
I am 100% confident you did not skip out on a midterm or final in college.
So, why do you disrespect your workout time by not treating it just as serious?
Solution - Take your workout one day at a time
Whether you go 2x, 3x or even 4x a week to the gym, if you find difficulty in maintaining a schedule, you may need to view your training a little bit differently.
Instead of viewing your workout schedule as a whole, you should tackle each day independently and have training tunnel vision for a little bit.
So, if you have a Monday workout, just try to get through Monday completing the workout.
When the next day hits and you rest, relax.
And if the day after has a workout session, it will be a high priority to complete the workout for that day.
You get the picture.
Do not get overwhelmed and try to keep a leveled head through all of these times.
I understand that it is difficult to start a new habit so it is best to try to break down your workout into its smallest parts.
Wrapping it up
There are no benefits to being inconsistent in the weight room.
So, why even bother bringing it up?
If you are of the opinion that some sporadic progress is better than no progress at all, then accept that you will have sporadic results that may not be explained.
Because no one else is willing to give working out half an effort.
They put a lot of sweat, blood, and tears into this endeavor.
Only you can make it right by changing your mindset and schedule around to accommodate lifting weights.