Real Reason You’re Not Getting Results at the Gym

Working hard in the gym but have nothing to show for it? Read this and I’ll tell you why.

Blonde Girl Tired on Bench

Most people commit some, or all, of these deadly sins then wonder why they don’t seem to be making progress. 

In this piece I’ll tell you where you’re going wrong.

5 Reasons Your Stint at the Gym is a Short One

1. You don’t follow a plan

Be honest, are you a chaos trainer? Chaos training involves moving around the gym and wildly doing ‘a bit of everything’. Just this morning I witnessed a guy move from machine to machine, workout station to workout station, with clearly no idea what he was trying to do and no real plan of action.

Bicep curls, seated row, bench press, sit ups, it was like he’d thrown all the exercises he knew into a random workout generator and this was the result. 

And you’re probably doing the same. 

Every time you go into the gym you should have a plan, a clear cut routine with set exercises, reps and progressions.

Generally your program should last 4-16 weeks and are split into smaller phases with progressions and slight changes.

2. You pick the wrong exercises

That plan we just mentioned should be right for you and have the optimal exercises for building muscle and torching fat. 

That body builder who you like, yano the one with 20 years of experience behind him, that trains 6/7 days a week and has the time and resources to spend 4 hours focusing on arms alone, yeah his program isn’t right for you. 

Neither is a plan that has you focusing on vanity muscles.

If you’re heading for the bicep curls first then something has gone horribly wrong. 

The bulk of your training program should revolve around heavy compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses and rows. 

A compound exercise is a multi-joint exercises that uses more than one muscle at a time and therefore requires a greater degree of muscle fiber activation.

These are perfect for really challenging and changing your body and supercharging your progress.

3. You don’t track your progress

You have a plan, and it’s a good one, maybe even designed for you by us here at, so you know it’s right. 

But having one isn’t enough, you need to track, record and monitor your progress (it’s also a good idea to take measurements and body photos too).

You’ll get stronger, your muscles will grow bigger and you will progress faster by ensuring you’re progressively overloading the muscles every time you walk into the gym.

This means lifting heavier weights, completing more sets and reps and ultimately challenging yourself a little more each week. 

Take Marvin for example, I worked with him last Christmas and in one of our first gym sessions he told me he could squat 90lbs, that’s what he always did.

He showed me and he was correct, 90lbs, done and dusted.

Well over the next 12 weeks we took his squat from 90lbs to 290lbs.


We had a plan (we fixed his form) then we progressively overloaded his body, week by week he grew stronger and more confident before reaching his highest weight. 

We couldn’t have done this if we didn’t track his progress, we needed to know what he could do, what he’d done last time and then we could try a little bit more. 

Tired Weightlifter

4. You’re a slave to your phone

How long do you rest for in between sets? C’mon now, be honest. 60 seconds? 90 seconds? 5 minutes?

I see it every single day in the gym; people complete a set then work their thumbs out even harder, scrolling, tapping, prodding and clicking.

What starts out as picking a new song can quickly become wasted minutes of browsing social media or checking your messages.

Don’t fall into that trap. 

Leave your phone in the locker and cut your workout time in half. If you need your phone for music, put it on airplane mode, get your playlist loaded and don’t touch it.

Rest periods should be short and sweet, enough to jot down your set, reps and weights, get some water, then get ready to go again.

Give this one a try and you’ll quickly see an improvement, not only in the quality of your workouts but also how long you actually spend in the gym.

5. You eat like a lunatic

No amount of cardio, HIIT or the most elegantly designed workout program can undo the effects of a bad diet

If you are what you ear, then that pizza and beer may be a bad choice.

We all know that you need to eat well if you want to look good, but what most people don’t understand is how energy balance works, and as great as a workout may make you feel, as sweaty and exhausted you are when you leave the gym, it won’t be enough if you stuff your face and consume your body-weight in alcohol. 

I advise my clients to follow the 80/10/10 rule.

That’s 80% of their nutrition comes from good clean sources, meat (such as grilled chicken or steamed fish), green leafy veggies and complex carbs such as oats.

10% comes from foods a little more questionable, this may be chips, sweets and snacks.

With the last 10% coming from outright junk, yeah you read that right. 



Well because you need to have that balance to keep your sanity.

Invariably every now and then you’ll want something a little naughtier and that’s ok because you’re only human.

You’ll want a beer or want a slice a pizza and there’s nothing wrong with that, it only becomes a problem when this becomes the norm and you’re doing it more often than you should.

I don’t believe in cheat days or rewarding yourself with food, but that doesn’t mean one meal a week can’t be higher calorie and more enjoyable than the rest.

Long term this will actually help you to be more consistent with your nutrition and stay on track.


So first things first, if you haven’t got a plan, get one.

Not a generic bodybuilders plan, but one right for you.

It should be based around heavy compound exercises and be manageable for you. 

Next, stick to the plan, track your progress and monitor your results, both in and out of the gym. 

Once you’re in the gym time is of the essence, don’t waste it playing on your phone, be strict with your rest periods, be consistent, work hard and leave. 

Finally eat for the results you want.

If you keep eating junk and drinking like a college kid on spring break your results won’t come, no matter what you do in the gym.

If you need help with your plan or want us to build one for you, just get in touch and we’ll build a program that will fast track your results in no time. 

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