Nothing is more frustrating than working out at the gym without seeing results on the scale.
If you’re wondering what it takes to actually see a little weight loss already, Crunch Assistant Fitness Manager Daniel Fudim and Group Fitness Instructor Shola Roberts can help. Here are their answers to five of the most common reasons why women don’t see results at the gym:
Question: I work out regularly, but stopped losing weight. How do I start seeing results again?
“If you work out regularly but have stopped seeing improvements, you’ve reached a plateau,” says Fudim. “Your body has adapted to your training regime, so it no longer has to work hard to cope.” What does he suggest? “The overload principle [that a greater than normal stress is required for adaptation to take place].” To do this, keep your body guessing with combination moves, and always change up your routine: “Start with major multi-joint muscles (like a squat) before going onto isolation exercises (like a bicep curl),” suggests Fudim.
And no matter how much time you have, make sure you’re routine is full enough: “A good weightlifting routine only takes an hour of your day, “Fudim says. But it should include: 8-12 reps per exercise, 5-8 sets for large muscle groups, and 2-4 sets for small muscle groups.
Question: I go to the gym, but have trouble pushing myself. What are some ways to stay motivated?
“Have a plan before you go to the gym,” Fudim says. “Write down what you want to do in the order you want to do it in.” Keeping track of timed rest periods also helps to keep you on track with your program. Also, “Find reasons that you enjoy your workout and don’t dwell on the fatigue and discomfort that comes with working hard,” Fudim suggests. “Be proud of yourself when you have completed a new skill, lifted more weight or had a harder workout.”
Question: Every New Year I get a gym membership, but never end up going. What can I do to stick to my resolution?
“Join a gym with a friend or co- worker that already has a membership,” suggests Shola Roberts. “Go with that co- worker during a lunch break, or make plans to meet your friend there after work,” Roberts suggests. “Once you’ve broken that ice you can develop your own rhythm.”
Question: How do I avoid getting too muscular when lifting weights?
Lifting weights is all about resistance and gravity, and “The goal in weight training is to find the right amount of weight that will allow you to lift just what you are able to,” explains Fudim. If you’re concerted about getting too muscular, go by this rule to determine your maximum amount of weight: “If you are doing ten repetitions of a specific exercise, by the tenth rep, you should just barely be able to complete it.” Staying within that weight range ensures you’re working toward a lean, toned look.
Question: I’m uncoordinated, how can I overcome my fear of going to a group fitness class?
“Get a gym buddy!” says Roberts. “Once you have a gym partner, it alleviates any pressure or judgment that you might feel when trying the class for the first time. It becomes more fun and less of a chore.”