Not seeing progress in the gym? You’re probably making these five mistakes

From not eating enough protein to not tracking your weights

Man holding head in hands at the gym
(Image credit: Getty)

You’ve been training four times a week and cleared up your diet, but you’re still barely seeing any progress in the gym. Why? 

For starters, it’s important to remember that progress is never a linear process, especially when it comes to the gym. You’re always going to see fluctuations, with some days better than others, which can be down to things as simple as a lack of sleep. But fitness app founder, Krissy Cela, has shared some basic mistakes that you could be making, which is really throwing your training off course, more than you know. Sort these and let the changes begin.

 1. You’re not progressively overloading 

This is where you either increase the volume of reps you do per workout (even if it’s one), or increase the weight. It’s key to increasing muscle size and endurance. Without putting additional stress on the muscles and tearing the tissue, they just won’t grow.

2. You need to eat more protein

Studies have proven that consuming enough protein helps us feel fuller for longer, which can stop you from snacking, and also helps with recovery. Foods high in protein include lean meats, eggs, yoghurt, tofu and cheese. No clue where to start? Here's a breakdown of how many grams of protein you should consume a day. But another quick way you can easily incorporate more protein into your diet is with a protein powder.

3. You’re not tracking your weights

You may think you have an amazing memory and can remember it all in your head, but you won’t. Why is it important? Knowing what you did the previous time you trained gives you a goal to beat the next time you do it, which will help you with your progressive overloading. 

4.  You have zero structure to your training plan 

As with any goals in life, you usually set out a structure to get where you want to be. You can’t just completely wing it and it’s exactly the same with your workouts. Structure gives you targets, and reaching those targets makes it easier to see where progress has been made.

5. You’re not doing any compound exercises

Compound exercises are movements that target multiple muscle groups – like your squats, deadlift, bench press and military press — and making your body use several muscles at the same time will increase its overall strength. Isolation movements — which are exercises that just target one muscle group, like bicep curls— are great for increasing the size of one muscle group and targeting muscle imbalances, but your body will respond better if you incorporate the two.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.