You’ve tried every diet and training plan out there, but for some reason, you just can’t get into incredible shape.
Sound familiar? We see this almost every day when new clients come through the doors at Ultimate Performance to finally achieve the transformation of their dreams.
While every UP client is different and every transformation plan we create is individualised to get the best results based on their goals and lifestyle, we often see the same factors crop up again and again that are holding our clients back from their ideal physique.
So, we’ve put together a list of the 9 biggest things that will stop you from getting into the best shape of your life.
1. You don’t sleep long or well
A lack of quality sleep will not directly make you fat. However, it can have a seriously negative impact on your transformation efforts.
If you consistently sleep less than six hours per night, then chances are you will be less motivated to train and will suffer from low energy levels when you do make it to the gym.
You will also be more likely to rely on caffeinated and sugary foods and drinks to help make up for your low natural energy levels.
Establish and commit to a regular sleep schedule, avoid caffeine after 4 pm and stay off technology for at least one hour before your bedtime.
2. You’re probably eating too many calories
If your bodyweight, circumferences and body fat percentage measurements aren’t dropping, and your progress pictures show no visible changes, then you most likely need to control your calories better.
For many of our clients, the biggest issue is underestimating or not properly tracking their calorie intake at business dinners or social events with friends and family.
The best body transformations require 100% commitment both inside and outside of the gym. Extreme results require extreme action, and you will need to be laser-focused in all aspects of your life, seven days a week.
Start tracking your calorie intake using a food diary and look out for where things might not be under as much control as they should be.
3. You always moan about your situation or genetics
Guess what? We’ve all got incredibly busy lives, but everyone can change and have the body of their dreams.
We prove that day in and day out here at UP. People with families to look after, companies to run and a whole host of other situations. All those things are just excuses. You can have excuses, or you can have results.
4. You don’t train enough
To achieve the body you dream about, you need to train hard, and more than once or twice per week.
And guess what?
You can only count the days you actually train. Not the days you planned to train. We have clients come to us all the time, and we ask them in their initial consultation how often they train.
We commonly hear people say “I train four times a week…. Oh, wait, except last week because I got busy at work on a couple of days… Oh and the week before I missed one because I had a dinner to go to… And the week before that I was away on holiday…”
We get spectacular results with our clients who train with us as little as three times per week. We don’t consider that a lot of training, but they train hard, smart, and we support them every step of the way. Most importantly, it’s consistent hard work.
5. You have your ‘cheat meal’ once a week
Saturday night, time to chow down on that massive takeaway and ice cream. Did you earn it? Do you have an intolerance to any of the ingredients? It doesn’t matter, right? It’s cheat night, so it doesn’t ‘count’. Rubbish!
We aren’t saying ‘cheat meals’ are bad, but you’ve got to put some thought into it if you want results.
If you’re in the ‘cheat-meal-once-a-week’ routine, then it might be time to take a step back and consider if it is helping you to get results. Don’t just have it because you read about it online somewhere and thought it sounded good because it involved pizza.
Having a cheat meal isn’t the issue – the autopilot junk food binge is.
6. You’re too sedentary
Most of our clients have sedentary occupations and lifestyles prior to starting their transformation journey.
Even if you’re training three times per week, being active for only three hours out of 168 in the week is not enough. To lose body fat at a good rate, you need to incorporate being active into your daily routine.
It doesn’t sound like much, but small actions like taking the stairs, walking to work and standing rather than sitting, can be the difference between maintaining your body fat levels and fat loss.
Start tracking your steps and aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.
10,000 steps may sound like a lot if you’re only doing 1,000 to 4,000 right now (not uncommon!), but if you start building it into your daily routine, then it’s much easier than you think.
7. You listen to the PT in the gym with six months’ experience and a weekend certification in kettlebells
We only employ career trainers at UP – not kids who didn’t know what else to do with a summer vacation. We make sure that every trainer continually strives for their best and remains among the most educated and dedicated trainers in the world.
If you needed an accountant or a lawyer, you’d look for one with experience, a proven track record and a high level of training. Personal Trainers should be just as professional, and you should expect no less.
8. You do something different every workout
Your body will respond best if you provide it with a consistent training stimulus, rather than changing your workout each time you enter the gym. That said, if you’ve been doing the same routine for three months, you’ve also got a problem.
You should keep the same routine for around six to eight workouts. So, if you have an upper body programme and a lower body programme each of which you repeat twice per week, you should change your routine roughly every three to four weeks.
9. You sweat the small stuff without first taking care of the big things
We get asked all kinds of complicated nutrition and training-related questions on a regular basis. It’s great that people are taking an interest in the complexities of training and nutrition and are smart enough to come to the right people for help.
However, too often we notice people are sweating the small stuff without taking care of the big things. They don’t eat protein at every meal or drink enough water. They don’t resistance train consistently or get enough good sleep at night.
Take care of the big things day in and day out and only then worry about the finer details.