Why Am I Not Seeing Progress In The Gym After 3-6 Months?
May 28th 2019
Are you struggling to improve your lifts in the gym? When you first researched about resistance training, you probably read that the first couple of months were supposed to be full of progress and gains. However, for you, there seems to be a reverse effect - you cannot seem to make any progress. In this article, we will dive into by you are not getting any results in the gym even though you have dedicated at least 6 months into lifting weights.
6 months in the gym with no results
It is not uncommon to experience no results after several months of hitting the gym. One or a combination of the following reasons can be why you are not progressing:
- You do not have a clear goal to work towards
- You are not consistent
- You are not working hard enough
- You are in the gym too much
- You are not eating properly
- You are not enjoying the process
You do not have a concrete goal to work towards
One year from now, what are your strength training goals? If you cannot answer this with precision, you are not concentrated. You lack some direction on your path.
That may be okay in other areas of your life, but it will not be acceptable in the strength training world. You must know what you want. Otherwise, you will simply lack urgency in accomplishing what it is you want to do.
A quick solution to this issue is to write down your realistic goals for the year. Then, break down the year into small sub-goals to measure your progress. Staying analytical and calculated will remove any emotions that will tempt you to get off your path.
You are not consistent
You may have a workout program but are you going on the exact days you should be? If the program said to go 3 times a week, are you doing that?
This is a common issue for many beginner lifters. They will verbally acknowledge that they should be hitting the gym more. Yet, when it comes down to actually going to the gym, there are at least ten excuses you can use in order to hamster your way out of going.
- “I am too tired”
- “I have soooooo much exams to study for. It is Finals week!”
- “I had a tough day at work today. I am too stressed out.”
- “Maybe next time…”
The list can go on and on. There are a million reasons why you may not be able to go to the gym, but you only need one reason to start going.
You are not working hard enough
You have to be honest with yourself - are you pushing yourself? If you want a certain PR in the gym, do you think that you can get there without pushing your boundaries and limits? For a few lifters, this may be possible. But do not expect that to be the norm.
You need to be prepared to work hard, very hard. You will need to work harder than you ever have before. Being soft, being weak will not get you far in the gym.
You are in the gym too much
Contrary to the last point, this is the extreme version on the other side of the spectrum. You will not make progress if you are spending too much time in the gym. This can fall into one or both of these categories - spending too many hours at the gym and/or spending too many days in the gym. As a beginner strength athlete, typical programs are usually 3-4x a week, usually around 1 hour per session. As you become more advanced, your frequency and duration at the gym can go up but it usually depends on your sport and preference. However, if you are not a world-class athlete and are spending 4+ hours at the gym, get yourself back home and start relaxing. You are only wasting your time by staying at the gym longer than you should.
All lifters need to remember that you grow and develop strength and size OUTSIDE of the gym, not while you are working out. Working out helps provide your body with the stimulus necessary to signal growth and repair.
This is why is it exceptionally important that all lifters treat their nutrition and recovery with the utmost importance. The foods you eat and the sleep you acquired are the building blocks needed in order to synthesize new muscle fibers and to develop maximal strength.
You are not eating properly
Are you eating enough protein a day? If you are not eating enough protein, your body has no way of synthesizing new muscles. Binging on sweets, processed foods, cakes, and other non-essential food items are going to slow down your progress.
But it also depends on your goals as well. For me, I have been implementing a partial carnivore diet and I have been loving the effects of eliminating 99% of my carbs at breakfast and lunchtime. I do feel a lot brighter, fuller and stronger from just making one lifestyle adjustment.
For all strength training beginners, shoot for at least 1g of protein per 1lb or 1kg of bodyweight. This will give you a nice range in order for you to meet your daily requirements. So, I just weighed myself this morning and weighed 166lbs. So, my daily protein intake should be between 75g-166g of protein.
Not enjoying the process
Imagine you are playing a different sport like basketball. From a very objective point of view, all athletes do is dribble the ball and shoot at the hoop. Fairly simple right? Not quite.
As someone who played basketball for over 10 years, there are many different drills and technique training sessions I must endure every day in order to instill in my body the muscle memory associated for proper growth and development. This involves daily practice for basketball as there is a lot of technique that needs to be ingrained into my muscle memory. The point I am trying to make is that I loved the grind of working on my craft and seeing the improvements in my game over time. The same has to be true for your weightlifting experience.
If you go to the gym and not enjoy the process, your time there will be short-lived. I can guarantee that. Why else do you think there are so many unused New Years resolution gym memberships? It is very easy to have an idea and be motivated to go to the gym. You know how good it is supposed to be for your body. You know it is the right thing to do if you want to improve your health. However, in order to develop this new habit and to continue having success build on top of itself, you need to be able to continue going to the gym. And there is absolutely no way you would be able to force yourself to go to the gym on a consistent basis if you did not enjoy the process.
This is one reason why I strongly encourage all my readers to dive deep into strength training. Strength training has changed my life for the better and it involves more than just the physical gain that is most commonly recognized. There are a ton of resources I had to go through to experiment and determine what is the best course of action. As a strength training beginner, I would suggest that you read my two reviews of two general strength training programs, Greyskull LP and Starting Strength.
Nobody likes to feel like they failed. However, failures are the greatest teachers in life. At the time, it stings so much that we rather avoid the pain and confront it. I invite you to challenge yourself to be critical about why you are not getting any progress at the gym. Are you eating enough? Do you have a gameplan of what to accomplish? Do you have goals? Be honest with yourself. There is no race against anyone else but yourself. You want to be better than you were yesterday. Otherwise, you are better off dead if you cannot continue growing.