10 Reasons why your body shape might not be changing

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1. You’re ONLY doing cardio work (running, bike, cross trainer etc). Cardio is great – keep the heart rate up, blood pumping round the body, so benefits the lungs, hormones and state of mind, but cardio ALONE, isn’t great.

There isn’t really any stimulus for the muscles, and when there is, it tends to be the same muscles groups repeatedly.
Also, operating often with a high heart rate, releases adrenaline and cortisol, your stress hormone – the body knows NO different to from this to daily stressors with regards to hormone release. This can affect immune system, long term energy if continued for too long/too often.
Done often, you can break muscle tissue down which will further reduce your body shape, and make you look ‘puffy’ or skinny fat as the phrase is known – due to a lack of muscle.
Longer duration (upwards of 20mins) cardio is fine occasionally, but don’t use it as your main or repeated exercise.

2. You’re not adding in interval training.
This can be via cardio or bodyweight training.
The main difference to the above is the intensity. You’re looking to work at a higher rate that you CANNOT sustain for long periods (we’re talking a max or 2-3mins), which you then need to reduce the intensity to recover and repeat for a number of times.
This form of training doesn’t elevate adrenaline and cortisol
for long periods like the above, plus it buts more ‘challenge’ on the body and it’s muscles/nervous system, which can yield great results.
Because of it’s intensity you’d only look to do 2-4 seasons per week.

3. You’re not using challenging weights.
Your challenging may well be different to ‘my’ challenging if I were training you! In fact imagine I WAS training you – look to get that extra 2 repetitions out per set, but under control. Rep ranges for sets changes based on where you’re at an trying to achieve, but ideally you’d be looking to work for 12-15 reps and the last 1 or 2 per set IS getting pretty challenging!

4. You’re using the same weights as last week, and the week before!
Like the above, you HAVE to stimulate the muscles. If you’re still lifting the same weights as 2 weeks ago, there no long is any stimulus or reason for the muscles to change.
Ideally you should be looking to increase weights each week, but only by a small increment.
“Do/Use the same, Stay The Same!”

5. You’re not doing FULL body exercises
Your body works as a unit, so train it that way.
Lunge and overhead press.
Lift a weight from the floor, do something with it and repeat
Carry challenging weights
Throw Challenging weights
Run Fast uphill
Jump up and down, side to side
Get on the floor and get up
Exercise doesn’t have to be like colouring by numbers!

6. You’re not eating right
Yep food is enjoyable, but it’s fuel for the body.
You can’t out train a bad diet – so you HAVE to put as much importance on food preparation and planning as you do with anything else if you want your body to change.

7. You’re changing things too often.
Workouts, Food ideas, goals etc.
Give something a good 8 weeks, plan for it, and follow it through – NOTHING happens in a week or 2, both good and bad!
Also, don’t rely on the advice or things your ‘friend’ is doing. Sure advice is great and can sometimes work, but it’s unlikely they’re an expert and as we are seeing it’s more than food and exercise that brings results, and both your body AND mind will operate differently to them!

8. Know WHAT you want to achieve AND the steps you need to take.
So often people will have a vague goal, but they won’t know what needs to be added/reduced or changes each week, possibly day to get there – if your objective doesn’t excite you, it’s unlikely you’ll stick to it.

9. SLEEP!
As said, workouts should be the stimulus, food will be the fuel, then Sleep is where the magic happens …. I said sleep! You’ll rest and repair your body and hormones, but only with quality, unbroken and a decent length of sleep.

10. Reduce daily stressors.
I said above about Stress and hormone impact – if you’re hormones are out of whack you can forget a healthy body and mind. Daily stress is often self produced, in our own heads, but you MUST reduce this.
It will have a HUGE knock on effect to food choices, internal dialogue, Gut health, immune system, sleep and therefore your body and results.

Find yourself stressed and in ‘threat mode’ often you’re body will switch to your Sympathetic Nervous system, also known as Fight or Flight – this hugely shifts your hormones and bodily functions from the Parasympathetic “Rest and Digest” state where results and improvement happens — Yep, intentions are great, but chemical reactions are in charge!
It’s why I invest HEAVILY in myself and my studies around self improvement, Mindset and Health, and it reaps dividends with the clients I work with.

It’s NEVER just about exercising and eating right, as you’ve probably gathered from the above, past posts, and likely in your own trials 🙂

So, which ones need some improvement ……..?

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