What you're doing thats affecting your results.
1. Using Too Little Resistance or Not Increasing Resistance
Using the same tiny weights will not stimulate further improvements. Whether your goal is to increase strength, build or restore muscle, increase metabolism, or improve health, increase weight when you are able to perform 15-20 reps with no problem. Failing to increase and challenge our muscles can stagnate progress. In fact, performance improvements can actually decrease if the same training load is used over a long period of time (Zatsiorsky & Kraemer 1995). Sometimes we just tell ourselves its too heavy, when in reality our bodies are stronger than we think.
Cheating occurs when you are using weight that is too heavy for you, but you continue to use it while sacrificing form. Otherwise known as "ego lifting". Swinging to get the weight up during bicep curls, bouncing the bar off your chest during bench press. This usually leads to injury and limits the gains. To avoid this, learn the proper form with help from a professional, then start at a low weight and slowly increase.
Although you should push yourself, sacrificing form in the meantime is not beneficial. A good tip to remember is the concentric movement trains the nervous system while the eccentric movement trains the muscle. For example, curling a dubmell up fast and slowing down the downward motion.
3. Starving Yourself in Hopes of Losing Weight
The word diet creates so much fear in people. It really isn't that scary. Your diet is what you feed yourself. Doesn't mean it has to be restrictive. Everything in moderation. Food is fuel. Many people have a hard time finding that balance because it isn't easy, myself included. Dieting doesn't mean that you can't enjoy food ever again, or that you will always be hungry. Find a nutrition plan that works for you. Listen to your body. Are you stress eating? Thirsty? Remember when you starve yourself, usually you end up binge eating later and then it becomes a vicious cycle that's hard to break.
As an athlete, we were put on a scale every Monday. After years of this, it makes it hard to be normal again, if that makes sense, and not rely on the scale or a coach to approve of your weight. This is what I struggled with after college, and honestly it's never easy because food is life. LOL. But what helps is thinking of food as my fuel. What does my body need?
A good place to start is using this BMR Calculator to figure out your daily caloric needs. Subtract 250-500 depending on how fast you want to loose. Be sure to get an ample amount of protein, keep up on weight training and keep a healthy heart with some cardio and you'll be fine. I like to track my food once every 3-4 days. As soon as you Start implementing nutritious foods into your diet more often, you'll notice you'll start craving them too. I mean look at that salad. MMMMM
4. Bouncing Around Diets/Routines
Have you ever started workout program or a nutrition program and given up after one month? That's the problem. If this happens, its time to reevaluate the program instead of immediately bouncing to the next. We can't treat your nutrition and training like dating in LA. LOL.
What are your goals? Was the program too restrictive? Or did you expect to lose 20 pounds in 1 month?
I get we want to push ourselves, but setting unrealistic expectations is not smart. Stick with the program and make small adjustments as you go. Bouncing around from program to program will only leave you helpless in the end once you've tried everything and still aren't happy with results. The key is CONSISTENCY. And we all know what consistency is from my article "How Long Until I See Results?"
5. Not Celebrating Little Wins
The key during a fitness journey is realizing that our big goals aren’t going to happen overnight, in the next week or maybe even the next year but this is okay. We tend to focus on the end goals rather than the small and significant steps we take to get us to that goal. Let's face it, we know what we want and we want it now!
This is why it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate small wins. When you move up 10 pounds on the lat pull down. When you made it to the gym 3/3 days you said you would.
Celebrating these minor wins keeps your spirit up. Sometimes our big goals migt take us years. Not having a win in years sounds dreadful. Acknowledging yourself actually releases chemicals in the brain that make us feel good. Surround yourself if people that will lift you up, but most importantly clap for yourself.
6. Working Out During Illness or Injury
I one hundred percent agree that you need to get proper amounts of rest when you are feeling sick. Sickness leads to weakness. Working out when you’re ill will leave you tired without giving you the expected benefits. If you're feeling sick, listen to your body, it needs to focus on using energy to fight the sickness not rebuilding muscle. Same goes for an injury. Rest and recover when your body needs it. This will help you recover sooner and prevent the situation from worsening.