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Markus started in the supplement industry in 1999, selling sports nutrition to his friends. His focus on the health and fitness lifestyle lead to immediate success and in 2005, he started Magnum Nutraceuticals. He still trains 7 times per week and has appeared on countless magazine covers around the world.
5 Reasons You Are Not Getting the Best Results in the Gym
It’s just so frustrating—you put time and effort into your physique, but you can’t see any improvement. We’ve all felt this way at some point in our fitness journey. The good news: You are still in control! More good news: your lack of results are probably due to one or more of the five factors below. Let’s uncover the problem and create a solution to get you back on the gains train.
I hate to be Captain Obvious, but diet is almost always the answer. Are you eating too much? Eating the wrong things? Drinking your calories? Having too many cheat meals?
Beginner-level solution: Remove 15 percent of the bad stuff from your diet this week and see how you feel. In two weeks, drop another 15 percent of the garbage. Replace the bad stuff with good stuff.
Advanced Solution: Talk to a coach. They don’t charge as much as you think. A good coach will ask the right questions and get you to journal everything you eat. They can put you on the path to success.
How is your relationship with working out? With food? Maybe it’s not great. Do you dread workouts? Is eating healthfully a chore? Do you think the universe owes you a better body for the time you’ve put in? Guess what? Your negative mind-set isn’t helping.
Beginner-level solution: Take a moment to find your why: Why are you going to the gym? Change any negative answer into a positive. For example, change “I hate my body” or “because the doctor says I have to” into “I like how working out makes me feel for the rest of the day” or “I like setting a good example for my family” or “I like how I look when I’m in shape!”
Advanced Solution: Start every day with five to 10 minutes of thankfulness. Take some quiet time and list everything you’re thankful for. A few to get you started: “I’m able to exercise. I have people who love me. I have food to eat.”
If you begin your day this way, you’re starting on a positive note, and it will improve your entire day. Suddenly, you’re watching for more things to be thankful for. You’re not just a happier person—you’re a magnet for positivity! And this includes positive results in the gym.
No matter what your body is doing, it needs water. Failing to meet this basic need will not only inhibit weight loss and muscle building but also impair your organs, energy levels, and immune system. But adding H2O to the mix yields incredible results: more energy, better focus and no falling asleep at your desk at 3 p.m. Most importantly, you’ll see your strength and endurance go through the roof.
Beginner-level solution: Start drinking 10 glasses per day. Schedule an alarm on your phone if you need a reminder—it helps! In the beginning, you’ll be running to the bathroom constantly. Don’t worry, your body will reset in about a week and you won’t have to worry about making a photo finish to the toilet!
Advanced solution: Drink even more on high-volume workout days. If you’re new to this, do the beginner solution first. Go slow and listen to your body. There is such a thing as taking in too much water and doing so too fast.
Cortisol, our main stress hormone, can destroy your gains when in excess. Too much cortisol will also cause added water weight, increase fat storage (especially in the midsection), lower energy, and disrupt sleep quality, and it can even actually catabolize muscle tissue. It’s exactly what you don’t want if you’re trying to lose fat and gain muscle. In these uncertain times with COVID-19 affecting our entire world, we’ve all felt that cortisol spike. But it’s up to you to get your stress under control if you want to make changes to your body.
Beginner-level solution: Identify your top stressors and create solutions to minimize or eliminate these. If that’s not always possible, find ways to manage your stress through meditation or prayer. If necessary, limit your social media and online news consumption to set periods of time only—it’s called “doom-scrolling” for a reason!
Advanced Solution: Make lowering your stress a top priority. Is it time for a vacation (or a staycation?) Do you need to take up a new hobby such as yoga? Do you need to find a new job or exit a terrible relationship? Does your relationship with your spouse or kids need work? Counseling is great for this.
You Aren’t Challenging Your Body
I’m going to tread lightly here because I can tell some of you just got defensive. “Challenging your body” doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t lifting heavy enough, brah. But maybe your workouts are stagnant. When is the last time you changed your routine? Are you as sore as you used to be? When is the last time you changed the machines you used, the gym you train at, the order of exercises, or your rep range?
Beginner-level solution: Try something new! Go to a spin or yoga class. Go for a hike or a run. Re-evaluate your program—change up the rep range, the machines, the order, the muscle groups you work together (try squats and shoulders together).
Advanced Solution: Get a coach or swolemate to look at your plan and change it up. Make some of the changes listed above and try shortening and timing your rest. Ever tried pauses? Try a two-second pause at the bottom of your squat or bench—that will shock your body. Challenge your partner and make it interesting—first to tap out on the new program buys dinner!
Take a moment to decide what changes you will try and commit to them for a week. Any change is a good change if your body is refusing to change. I’d love to hear about your progress. Connect with me on Instagram (@markuskaulius), and if you’re looking for more guidance and support, join in the #markuschallenge (it’s on my Instagram page). It’s free, and you will quickly be surrounded by positivity, love, and encouragement from me and my community.