5 Reasons You’re Not Getting Stronger
You’re snapping a quick sweaty selfie in the mirror after your latest workout, and suddenly, you start to notice those #strengthgains you wanted aren’t quite showing up yet. As annoying as this may be, it’s actually a common occurrence among many new gym-goers, but luckily, identifying the problem is usually quite simple. So, here are a few reasons why you might not be getting stronger just yet and some easy tips you can follow to encourage your body to pick up the pace.
Reason #1 — Your Weights Aren’t Heavy Enough
If you’re pumping iron and can easily get through every last rep without feeling even the slightest bit out of breath, then it’s likely that you’re not using enough weight for your workout. Our bodies are designed to adapt to the stress we put on them, which means we’ve got to work harder to encourage our muscles to grow when we want to build strength.
The last few reps of any exercise with weights should always be challenging, and over time, you’ll probably have to increase your weights as your body gets used to the added stress on your muscles (weight). Our certified 9Round Exercise and Nutrition Specialist, MacKenzie Rowand, CSCS, NASM-CNC, says, “a good sign that you’re using the correct amount of weight is when you can get through 8-12 reps with proper form, then maybe one or two more before you need to take a break.”
Reason #2 — You’re Not Consistent Enough
One of the biggest setbacks that can stop you from getting those #strengthgains is a lack of consistency when it comes to your workouts. You can’t possibly expect to see a change in your muscle size and definition if you’re barely making it in to work out once a week. Strong results require good discipline, which means showing up to crush it right on schedule. But that doesn’t mean you have to work out every single day!
At 9Round, we recommend starting out with just three days a week to help you build a new healthy fitness routine. This provides a solid goal to aim for during the week to help keep you accountable, and it also helps prevent you from pushing yourself too hard in the beginning while your body adjusts to your new workouts. Then, as you adjust to the workout and get used to your new schedule, you can start to increase your number of workouts to 4, 5, or even 6 days a week. However, we always recommend taking at least one rest day per week no matter what fitness level you may be.
Reason #3 — You Aren’t Fueling Your Body
Nutrition plays a major role in helping you reach your health and fitness goals, so it’s important to make sure you’re fueling your body correctly throughout the day, especially if you want to build strength. A well-balanced diet includes plenty of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. For muscle growth, the key ingredient here is protein. Getting enough protein in your diet can help you accelerate the muscle growth and repair process, which will in turn help you build more muscle mass.
Skipping out on protein during your meals will not only slow down this process, but also reduce satiety, or how full you feel after each meal. So, make sure you’re including lots of healthy, high-protein sources in your meals and snacks to prevent hunger and encourage muscle growth.
Pro Tip: You should aim to consume your protein-packed meal or snack within an hour of finishing your workout, as this will give your body the nutrients it needs to kick off muscle protein synthesis.
Reason #4 — You’re Not Getting Enough Rest
While most people understand strength gains happen in the gym, they often forget that they also happen later on while you’re sleeping. Getting enough rest each night (at least 7-9 hours per) is crucial for your body’s recovery period — a.k.a. when your muscles are working to get bigger and stronger after a tough workout. Making sure your head hits that pillow every night can help you maximize your results over time. And when you feel like you can hardly walk after a KILLER CHOW on Monday, be sure to take some time off with an active rest day to ensure your body has plenty of time to heal and to prevent injury.
Reason #5 — Your Workouts Are Too Repetitive
If you’re repeating the same workout every single day, then you’re likely going to hit a plateau in your fitness journey. Mixing up your workouts can help you avoid this, so you can keep growing stronger and progressing toward your goals. It’s easy to change things up by trying new moves, speeding up your timing, increasing your number of reps, or lifting heavier weights.
But the joy of exercising at one of our local 9Round studios is that we help you do all of these things by changing our workouts daily and encouraging you to work harder to reach those ideal fat-burning zones with our PULSE heart rate monitor for max results. Keep in mind, you can always ask your Champion Trainer to suggest modifications for a round to make it more challenging, so you can keep making those #strengthgains!
Get a brand-new workout every day when you join the world’s largest kickboxing community — the #9RoundNation! Sign up for a free introductory workout with the link below and head to your local 9Round studio for a KILLER workout that combines cardio and strength training for max results in just 30 minutes. We can’t wait to kick it with you soon!