I Have Been Working Out for a Year and nothing's Changed...What Am I Doing Wrong?
There could be a number of reasons why nothing has changed despite training for over a year. The issue could be how you are training, your nutrition, stress, recovery or how you are measuring change.
Training issues range from not using proper technique and range of motion on exercises, exercising too hard or too often, exercising too little or not using enough resistance, using the same weights and same routine, going through the motions and not concentrating on the muscles you are working or not using the right exercises or the right program.
Nutrition plays a major role in how the body adapts to exercise. Eating whole foods and getting enough protein to help muscles rebuild and get stronger is critical to making changes in how you look and feel. The quality and quantity of the foods you eat combined with the proper training will determine how quickly your body will change. Eating more calories than you need or eating a lot of highly processed or fried foods will cancel out most if not all of the training you are doing.
Chronic stress can send you running to the refrigerator to drown yourself in comfort foods. The types of foods we choose under stress and the extra calories can derail any positive changes from our training. Stress can also release hormones which promote hunger and fat storage. Learning to manage stress can
The body needs time to recover so our muscles can adapt to training. Exercising too hard or too often just breaks down our muscles and leaves little time to repair and grow. Taking a day of rest or doing light exercise like walking or riding a bike at a leisurely pace can go a long way to helping our body recover and change. Also, getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night aids the recovery process.
Some changes that occur with exercise and weight training are not readily visible. For example, your bodyweight may be the same as when you started training, but you may have reduced fat and increased muscle. Your resting heart rate and blood pressure may be lower, your endurance and strength levels may have increased over time. Is it easier to climb stairs, carry groceries or do yard work than is was a year ago? There are many ways to measure changes from training. Be careful not to focus all of your intention on just one variable People who exercise are less likely to die from any cause than people who do not. Just getting up off the couch and doing some kind of training improves your health even without weight loss or other visible signs of change.
If you feel that you are stuck in your training and not making any progress, see a personal trainer to help uncover the reason why you are not seeing the changes you want in your exercise program.
Here are some more resources from Strength for Life to help: