Why You’re Not Getting Results From Your Workout Routine

Hi friends, hope you’re having a wonderful day! It’s been a productive one around here with the gym, story time with P, and taking out more fall decorations. I’m a little short on pumpkins, so I think a trip to Home Goods is in order. (<— the Pilot is in meetings today, so maybe he won’t see this. muahah.)

So for this afternoon, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the reasons why you may not be getting the results you’re after. As a personal trainer and instructor, I LOVE chatting with clients and participants about their routines to see what tweaks they can make to become stronger and more efficient with their time. I’ll never forget the time I talked with one of my spin girls about kicking it up to the next level to find out she was doing HIIT every day. That’s why she hit a plateau!! Ahhhhhhh.

So let’s dig in to some of the obstacles that could be keeping you from hitting your goals. If you need any advice or insight in the comments section, we can share ideas with each other, too. 🙂 

Why you might not be seeing fitness results.

Why you’re not getting the fitness results you’re after: 

You’re still finding the sweet spot of activity level/routine and fuel. So much in life is about finding the happy grey line, and the same goes for health and fitness. You feel satisfied but not overindulged. You feel active and energized but not worn down. You feel calm and centered, yet driven and powerful. It’s a dance of finding the perfect balance for you, which can look entirely different than it does for your best friend or partner. The only way to find the best combination of training and nutrition is through education mixed with trial and error. You can find a starting point and tweak it to adjust for your own personal needs. It took me a long time to learn how my body reacts to different nutrition and fitness plans. 

Little lion lunch

You need a plan. I’m notorious for kicking it into cruise control with my own workouts and the classes I teach. When I’m not working on a specific plan (like Summer or Winter Shape Up, post baby bod advanced, etc), I used to simply walk into the weight room and do an impromptu circuit workout. More recently, I got back to basics with a more traditional muscle groups split, so each of my strength sessions have purpose. It can be really helpful to have a set plan in place to propel you towards your goals and also ensure that you’re training efficiently. If you’re looking for something to do right now, check out this fall fitness plan! I spent some time putting it together, and I’m so happy to hear so many of you are enjoying it so far. 

Consistency is lacking. Consistency can be one of the trickiest parts about maintaining a new fitness or nutrition style, because there’s a lag in results from when you start. When I first changed my lifestyle, this really used to get under my skin. If I started a new eating plan (back in my dieting days), I would adhere to it as prescribed for the first week. I wouldn’t notice a single change. Then, the following week, because I felt so deprived, I would go after a tray of brownies. The next morning, I would have lost a pound. (Back when I weighed myself and thought weight was a valuable indicator of health, which it isn’t, but I digress…) Then I was like, “SEE THE BROWNIES WORK, but that stupid diet didn’t!” and would just go back to what I was doing before hahah.

Here’s the thing: you have to give anything time to notice results from your work. We live in a culture where we want immediate results and gratification, but it’s so important to remember that slow and steady wins the race. This is also what creates sustainable results. Like I said in this post, if you can dramatically change your figure in 7 days, you’re doing it wrong. I find that by eating intuitively and exercising according to what my body craves, it’s much easier to maintain consistency. 

working out

(Photo: Arielle Levy)

If you want to lift a heavier weight, PR in a race, complete a fitness event, etc., you have to put in the time and lay the bricks for a solid foundation. As far as consistency goes, I have some ideas for this upcoming fall that we can all use to create a consistent plan and can’t wait to share them with you. 

Time. Time is such a tricky one. I believe that if something is a priority, you make time for it, but also that if your day is full and you really can’t add anything in, it can be tough to shuffle things around. For this one, I think a great route is to plan and prep as much as you can. This way, you aren’t spending as much time in the moment for what you need to do. If you have a plan in place for your workout, fill your water bottle, get your gym clothes together, and plan a time to go in advance. If you don’t make it, try an at-home workout, even if it’s just 10 minutes. For nutrition, meal prep is HUGE. I notice that I make much better choices (and uh, eat vegetables) when I plan our meals in advance and take some time to bake and chop on Sundays. 

So, tell me friends: what’s something that has kept you from getting the results you’re after? What’s something that you’ve accomplished lately?? I’d love to hear what you’re up to, especially if you’d like to share some successes in the comments section!

See ya in the morning with a WIAW post. Not-so-spoiler alert: it includes these bad boys.




Finding motivation

Things that could be standing in the way of your goals 

5 things that almost screwed up my fitness life

Is fitness for vanity ok?

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  1. Fantastic post as always.

  2. I’m keeping myself from getting the results I want. For a while I was eating some form of dessert every single night. I’m working on getting into a better routine of getting enough sleep so that I can exercise before work. If I wait until after work, it sometimes doesn’t happen. I also made an accunpuncture appointment so that I won’t be reliant on sleep pills to actually sleep.

    As an aside, I know you like lulu. I just got the run swiftly tee and it rides up a lot when I’m running. Am I wearing it wrong? It’s the same size as all my other lulu tanks but is my first tee.

  3. Kelsey Halena says:

    Yes! I was nodding my head so much during this post. It has taken me a long time to get where I am now in terms of finding a balance and what works for me… I’ve learned I need something sweet every day (in chocolate form particularly), and I think I tend to eat more fats than many people do… In the form of eggs, coconut oil, almond butter, etc. but I really feel like it’s gotten me better results… Probably because I’m actually satisfied and not feeing deprived so I don’t have the insane cravings I used to.

    I think 5 days/week of working out is my sweet spot for exercise… after a few days of workouts, my body is craving a break and if I hit day 4 or 5, I can definitely feel my muscles needing a break. It has taken a lot of time to listen to what I need, but I think I’m getting a hold of it slowly but Surely!

  4. Still learning the importance of eating adequately for my high activity level.

  5. I’m not seeing the results I want cause I love to workout but. Y eating doesn’t match that. I have always struggled with eating and have never found a happy median. I always eat too much of the wrong thing and too little of the right thing or I’m either eating everything in sight or barely anything.

  6. You are totally talking about me in this post – with almost all of them. Especially the dieting/weighing in one – I have such a hard time sticking to something long term – especially if the meal plan is strict – that I end up binging the next week. So frustrating. I have been doing the 6 small meals / day for a little bit now, and I think (hope) I have finally found my sweet spot. I don’t feel deprived – I don’t crave sweets nearly as much as I usually do – I am getting in adequate fats and carbs (and of course protein) and I am actually enjoying it.
    But you are right – you certainly have to try out several things until you find something that works for you.
    Loving your blog as always Gina – you are the best 🙂

  7. It took me SO long (years!) to figure out how to just eat intuitively (no more dieting) & that being so restrictive (I’m looking at you, “low-fat fad” & no desserts) actually didn’t work in the long run. It almost seems like I figured it out by accident. I just started giving myself grace & allowing myself some splurges here & there without totally overdoing it, & I realized that I DIDN’T gain weight. In fact, over time I lost weight & was a much happier person to be around. At the same time, I discovered that a 30 min. walk was just as effective as an hour, & that I didn’t need to exercise twice a day & that rest days are actually beneficial (who woulda thought?!). Now my week looks like healthy eating 90% of the time (because that’s what my body craves) w/ guilt-free(!) indulgences on the wknd if I so desire. I exercise because it makes me feel good, & I enjoy it. I mix it up (Body Pump, Body Flow, running & biking w/ some walks mixed in there, too) & try to take at least 1 rest day a week.
    This is such a great post & such a good reminder that what might work for your bff might not be the best fit for you. I truly believe that you can’t out-exercise a poor diet (nutrition is so important!) & that we each need to find the type of exercise(s) we enjoy (not everyone is meant to love running or Crossfit or yoga… maybe swimming is your thang).

    • Fitnessista says:

      our stories sound so similar! it’s amazing to realize that when you do LESS, sometimes the results are much better (and the sanity/happiness is the best part) 🙂

  8. Anna Becker says:

    We travel a lot, and I find that I do very well at home, but when we are on the road there is always an excuse for skipping my daily exercise. The weight I’ve packed is a testimony to eating out and not being consistent, as you pointed out, with exercising. So I have renewed my commitment to my healthy lifestyle. I have gotten a folding bike to take with us, and am going to make better choices when eating out. Health is a lifetime commitment – you either make it or you don’t. And I’m renewing my commitment to my health.

  9. Hi Gina, love this post! Do you think a meal plan/prep post can be in your blogs future ? 😉 Would love to get some ideas on weekday meals and what you prep on Sunday’s and what gets thrown together then on the day of.

  10. milania dela cruz says:

    you are so on point with this. dieting doesn’t work. you have to eat what your body craves to maintain consistency. that’s what I need to do again! honestly my diet is like yours, sometimes I eat vegan, then vegetarian, the also meatarian. I did the raw vegan and it lasts for several days then i’m back eating everything bc I deprive myself. grrrrr

  11. Tara Kutlesa says:

    YES on the brownie thing haha!! This has happened to me so many times. I wonder if our body just relaxes and lets go of some water weight or something? It is so strange.

    I currently have started a training program and am eating far more protein and 6 meals a day. I have also been eating mindfully = eating less because I’m not binging. I’m trying not to weight myself, as the program suggests, but it is difficult when my pants felt tight this morning. It made me want to cave and give up (it has only been 2 weeks).

    I guess i need to remember that it will take longer than 2 weeks for me to be able to tell if this program is working for me, right? Also, I have been doing a lot of extra cardio and maybe I should ease up a bit.. but I’m a sucker for the more is better thing.

    Also, all the other women in the program are eating around 1500 calories and I feel best with 2000 so I have been doing more cardio to balance this out. Not sure this is the best method.

    Well, any insight would be appreciated – this is probably for a Part 2 of this post! Love your honest and knowledgeable posts – thank you 🙂

  12. For me, my lack of results came from not loving the workouts I did and the food I ate. It takes quite a while to figure out what type of exercises I loved doing, and for awhile, I was doing this and that and getting bored so quickly. When I finally realized that I love me some weightlifting that I alternate with some kickboxing for cardio, that’s when I started big-time results.

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