Breaking Through Fitness Barriers: 6 Common Obstacles

It could be overwhelming not to see results even after sweating hard. Learn about common pitfalls that might be hindering your fitness progress.

By URLife Team
20 Mar 2024

Achieving fitness goals can sometimes feel like navigating through a labyrinth of conflicting advice and strategies. What works wonders for one person might yield minimal results for another. In this dynamic and highly personalised journey, the key lies in discovering what truly works for you and embracing it wholeheartedly. Fitness isn't a one-size-fits-all endeavour; it's an ongoing exploration of what your body responds to best.


With that being said, there are common mistakes that many of us tend to make, leading to frustration and lack of results. Despite our unique differences, certain pitfalls consistently hinder progress in our fitness journeys. Keep reading to know what are the common mistakes and how to address the same to achieve optimal results.


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Make Your Muscles Stronger; Not Only Bigger

As mentioned by Andy Galpin, a human performance scientist, in his podcast “Assess and Improve Fitness”, if you're not seeing the results you want from your workouts, it might be because getting stronger involves more than just building bigger muscles. Strength is about how well your body moves and uses its muscles, not just how big those muscles are. When we talk about getting stronger, we're talking about improving how efficiently your muscles work together and how effectively they can perform tasks like lifting or pushing.


Sometimes, people focus too much on making their muscles bigger without paying enough attention to how well those muscles are actually working. This approach, called hypertrophy, is all about increasing muscle size, but it doesn't always lead to better strength. So, if your main goal is to get stronger, it's important to make sure your workout routine emphasises how your muscles move and work together, rather than just making them bigger.


To improve your strength, your workout routine should focus on things like making sure the right muscles are activating in the right order, and that your body mechanics—the way you move—are efficient and effective.


Related Post: Five Ways In Which Strength Training Boosts Your Health


Consider Circuit Training Instead of Muscle Group Isolation 

We all must have heard from the gym enthusiasts that today is my leg day and tomorrow is chest. This is where they are talking about muscle group isolation training. Muscle group isolation training, also known as body part split training is where you train one muscle group per day. This form of training may not always yield optimal results because training each muscle group only once a week means they're not stimulated frequently enough for optimal growth. Muscles typically benefit from being worked at least 2-3 times per week to maximise growth and strength gains.


Also, splitting your workouts into single muscle groups often leads to excessive volume per session, which can lead to overtraining and decreased recovery. Not only that, but focusing solely on one muscle group per day may lead to muscular imbalances, where some muscles become stronger or larger than others, increasing the risk of injury.


Incorporate Proper Nutrition 

Half the battle of achieving fitness goals lies in what we eat. It's common for people to hit the gym regularly, burning off calories and breaking a sweat, but if we're not fueling our bodies properly, all that effort goes to waste. Good nutrition is essential to support the hard work we put in during workouts.


Opting for a diet rich in protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats is key to enhancing our workouts. Swapping out pasta for quinoa, snacking on raw green beans instead of chips for a satisfying crunch, are all smart choices that can lead to better results.


Another myth to dispel is the idea that we need to stick to three square meals a day for proper nutrition. In reality, it's better to aim for five to six smaller meals throughout the day. This approach ensures that our bodies receive a steady stream of nutrients to support our energy levels and muscle recovery, ultimately leading to improved performance and results.


Related Post: Bulking and Cutting: Ways To Get More Muscle Definition


Spice It Up with Variations

Just as our taste buds crave variety, our bodies thrive on it too. Imagine eating the same lunch every single day for a year – eventually, you'd grow tired of it and long for something different. The same principle applies to our workout routines. Our bodies need to be challenged with new exercises and approaches periodically to prevent boredom and stagnation.


It's recommended to switch up your workout every three to four weeks. This time frame allows your body to adapt and make progress, but just before it becomes too comfortable, you introduce a new routine to shake things up. This sudden change shocks your muscles, pushing them to work harder to keep up with the new demands. You'll be amazed at how quickly you start seeing results when you regularly change your workout routine every few weeks.


Consistency and Intensity is the Key

Without enough intensity, our bodies may not respond as effectively to exercise, leading to lacklustre results. Think of it like this: if you go through the motions without really pushing yourself, you're unlikely to see the changes you desire.


To ensure optimal progress, it's essential to dial up the intensity of your workouts regularly. This means challenging yourself to work harder, whether it's by increasing the weight you lift, pushing through an extra set, or shortening your rest periods between exercises.


Without sufficient intensity, our muscles won't be adequately stimulated to grow stronger and more defined. So, if you find yourself plateauing or not seeing the results you want, consider ramping up the intensity of your workouts.


Related Post: 7 Ways To Boost Post-Workout Muscle Recovery


Do Not Overtrain 

When we work out, our bodies respond by producing more adrenaline, which is a natural and healthy reaction. However, failing to give our bodies enough time to recuperate after intense exercise sessions can lead to elevated stress levels, potentially resulting in weight gain and insomnia.


Pushing ourselves too hard without adequate rest can lead to exhaustion, hindering our performance and leaving us unable to reach our personal goals. 


Moreover, it puts us at risk of injuries to muscles, ligaments, and joints, both physically and emotionally draining us.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Achieving fitness results requires a holistic approach that encompasses various factors, from exercise routines to nutrition, rest, and recovery. Failing to see desired results may stem from common mistakes such as inadequate intensity, lack of variety in workouts, poor nutrition choices, ignoring the importance of rest and recovery, and overtraining. By recognising these pitfalls and making necessary adjustments to our fitness strategies, we can overcome obstacles, maximise our potential, and embark on a journey toward sustainable health and well-being



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