6 Reasons Your Workout Progress Is Slow

Were you once making great strides in your workout program, but over the last few weeks, you feel like you’re hardly moving forward at all?

It’s time to re-evaluate your approach.

Far too often, people find themselves stuck in a very serious rut – a rut that could have been entirely prevented if they would have seen it coming sooner.

If you go more than two or three workouts without seeing any further progress, this is a sign that something needs to change.

Let’s talk about six very good reasons why you may not be seeing the workout progress you’re after.

Women's fitness photo by Monte Isom

Why You’re Not Seeing As Much Progress In The Gym

1. You’re going through the motions 

If you simply hit the gym and go through the motions, don’t be surprised if success eludes you.  Working out is more than just moving weight around. You need to feel the muscles contracting every step of the way.

Mind-muscle control is huge for seeing ongoing success, so make sure that you are giving this the attention it deserves.

Related: 6 Great Exercises To Gain Muscle

If you don’t feel the muscle you are targeting contracting and relaxing throughout the exercise, you aren’t maximizing your benefits.

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2. You’re not using a challenging weight 

Another big reason that you may not be progressing is that you aren’t using a challenging enough weight. This is a big one for girls. They fear getting big and ‘bulky’ and lift light weights, doing 20+ reps per set.

This is not going to get you the results that you want. You must challenge yourself. Pick up a weight that has you fatiguing between 10-15 reps. If you can go any higher than that, you need to lift heavier.

3. You’re not tending to your nutrition 

Moving along, make sure that you’re never underestimating the importance of good nutrition.  Nutrition will make or break your workout progress.

Remember: it’s the foods you eat that determine whether the muscle is built or fat is lost, so if you aren’t structuring your diet correctly, you’re missing out.

It’s also equally important that you pay close attention to what you eat before and after your workout sessions, as this will help fuel the activity and kick-start the recovery and repair process.

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Related: The 19 Best Foods For Athletes

4. You’re training too often 

If you’re doing too much training, that too can cause you to sacrifice results. Remember, your body needs time to rest and recover. If you aren’t giving it time, you are just breaking yourself down each and every time you hit the gym.

Eventually, you become so broken, you need time off. Your body simply won’t let you keep doing this to yourself.

Overtraining is a very serious and real issue, but something too many people overlook. In some cases, for the very motivated individuals, when fatigue sets in, they push harder, thinking the problem is themselves.

Really, it’s your body telling you that you are just doing too much and it needs time to repair itself. Listen up, or you will pay the price.

5. You’re doing too much cardio 

Speaking of training too often in the gym, if you are also doing a high volume of cardio training, this too could be what’s preventing you from seeing the success you want.

Remember that while some cardio training is beneficial, too much will actually counteract the strength gains that you could be seeing.

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Keep cardio moderate, especially if muscle building is the goal.

6. Your sleep is off 

Finally, don’t miss out on your beautiful rest. Sleep is the primary time that you will go into deep recovery mode, so you must make sure you are getting enough.

Aim to sleep at least seven, if not eight hours each night for optimal performance and progress.

The Takeaway

Not seeing the workout progress you had hoped for? Take a look at your current approach. Are you making any of these mistakes? If so, it’s time to make a change so that you can get back on track to seeing results again.


Shannon_ClarkShannon Clark has a degree in exercise science and is an AFLCA certified personal trainer. She has written on the topics of health, fitness, and nutrition for the last nine years. Her insights are regularly published on BodyBuilding, MyFitnessPal, and FitRated.com. FitRated is a leading fitness equipment review site offering insights on equipment, workout plans, and weight loss strategies.

Photo by Monte Isom

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