5 Signs You Need a New Fitness Plan
We’ve all heard the expression before: stick with the plan. It’s all part of the plan. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.
Maybe the last one is a tad extreme, but you get the idea. Walking into the gym without a plan is like getting in your car with an empty gas tank – you’re not going to get very far. The body needs to be exposed to a consistent stimulus in order for you to see any changes. Simply working out for the sake of working out isn’t going to lead to any stunning transformations.
But not all fitness plans are created equal. A life as a personal trainer has exposed me to the good, the bad, and the ugly of workout routines. Unfortunately there’s a lot more ugly out there than there is good (thanks Instagram), so it can be hard for the general public to figure out if their current fitness plan is working.
We here at UEFP thought we could help guide the masses though. So here are five signs that you need a new fitness plan.
- Lack of Results (or none whatsoever)- You would think this is a no brainer, but you would be surprised how many people go through the motions without ever stopping to think if the actual plan is working. Maybe some just want to keep grinding through it, assuming that results are right around the corner. As a rule thumb you should be seeing progress every 2-4 weeks. Progress can be anything objective – you lost weight, measurements went down, your mile time is faster, etc. Here at UEFP we take clients through a two week window; meaning that we should see changes every two weeks. But keep in mind that progress is progress. Losing half a pound a week doesn’t sound earth shattering, but you’re still moving forward.
- You’re Constantly Sick….or Hurt- Injuries are never fun and shouldn’t be part of a workout routine. But there’s a little bit of a grey area here; it’s quite possible you could be the common thread. If you’re constantly hurting your knee every time you run, it’s probably your mechanics more so than the program. But if a workout routine is constantly giving you aches and pains, and inviting sickness into your life, it may be the case that the plan is simply too demanding for you. It isn’t uncommon for trainers to pile on a ton of work onto a workout to give clients the feeling that a hard workout equals results.
- Getting Worse – One thing that’s worse than a lack of results is a decrease in your performance. If your strength is sapped and your speed is gone, it’s time to jump ship and start fresh with a better routine.
- The Direct Opposite – If #1 is bad, and #3 is REALLY bad, then #4 is the final nail in the coffin. I’ve seen this happen before: one poor sap who played football actually became slower after his summer long workout camp ended. I’ve also come across guys who had the intention of gaining muscle mass but instead just gained a pant size or two. Make sure that the needle is going in the direction you want and not the other way.
- A Complete Lack of Motivation- Let’s just be honest – we all have off days. I like to workout early in the morning, and on some days, I just don’t want to get out of bed. But if you’re constantly avoiding your workout, and making excuses to skip the gym, you’re either not cut out for this fitness gig or your workout routine sucked the life out of you. This usual happens from following a routine with too much work (along with a lack of recovery).
If you’re seeing progress from your fitness plan, then keep on trucking forward. If not though, it may be time to walk your routine through this five step assessment process.