7 Reasons you’re not Making Progress in the Gym

Even though we have information overload about gym stuff; how to train, how to progress, should you do X or Y exercise, do ab crunches actually work for getting abs etc.

Most people mess it up and never really make long term progress in the gym.

Couple that with an unwillingness to ask for help and you’ve a recipe for never the making progress you could have with some guidance from an experienced coach.

So, here’s a list of why you might not be making progress;


Overload refers to doing slightly more over time.

This isn’t just about lifting heavier weights, it can mean;

  • more reps
  • more sets
  • more reps at a certain weight
  • more weight
  • weight moved faster
  • weight moved slower
  • more time etc.

The key is knowing how to programme this principle of ‘overload’ in your training plan.

Even personal trainers struggle with this so it’s no wonder people don’t have a clue about it that are regular gym-goers.

You need some form of overload built-in consistently over time, without it, you’ll be doing point 2;


Yes, there’s a difference.

By exercising I refer to doing any workout at all to tick the box of ‘doing a workout’

Sure, that might suit some people, but again – you’re not going to make long term progress without training.

Training refers to training for a specific goal which doesn’t have to be rocket science;

I.E: A goal to get stronger and leaner

A goal to gain more muscle

A goal to perform better for a sport

Because without training, you’re likely to do point 3;


You never stick to anything beyond a few weeks jumping from programme to programme

I used to do this about 10 years ago, searching online for something that was going to ‘change the game’ for my training,

I’d follow one bodybuilder’s plan, followed by two weeks later following another thinking I was going to make progress

When in fact, all I was doing was making a shite of my training because I never stuck to anything long term.

If you’ve a habit of not sticking to things, you need to trust the process more.

Bunny hopping also refers to being a HIIT Whore


A HIIT whore is someone that follows lots of fitness ‘influencers’ HIIT workouts because they are all the rage right now

Newsflash; they’re not.

HIIT workouts tick boxes 1,2 & 3 above as a start

Just because they are hard and you’re getting a sweat on, does not mean you need to do five of them a week to make progress

That’s miserable in my eyes.

But again, everyone to their own I suppose, some people enjoy them.

But the key thing here I’m saying is; you don’t need to do them to make consistent progress.

There’s only so much stronger you can get by doing endless reps of bodyweight squats and burpees at home.


I get it when it comes to having a coach – you think you can go it alone just fine so you don’t see the point in having one

Think of it like this;

If you haven’t made the progress you know deep down you can make, having a coach (if they are good at what they do) will guarantee that progress if you’re willing to stick to the plan

They will be your guide dog when it comes to training and nutrition helping you build lifelong habits whilst also getting in the shape of your life

Not to mention the accountability being the biggest factor of all.

Having a coach or coaching team is a no brainer, especially if you’ve never truly invested in one.


Why is it when people start back at the gym or eating better that you want to go 100% or nothing?

It’s backwards when you think about it;

“I haven’t trained in a gym in over 6 months, I’m not sleeping great and work is stressing me out. So, you know what, I’m going to start hitting 5 workouts a week now.”

Before you know it, you realise that it’s next to impossible to stick to that so you give up.

For the love of God; do less.

Do what you can stick to.

Sometimes two workouts per week repeated consistently whilst enjoying them will be all you need when you go through busy or stressful periods.

Over time you can add to that if you;

A: Want to in order to make faster/better progress

B: Can manage it

C: Will actually enjoy it so you can stick to it


Don’t get this twisted, training can get hard, it’s never a handy walk in the park.

It has to be if you truly want to get stronger, fitter, leaner or bigger,

Consistency can also be hard when life throw’s curveballs – that’s why it’s super important to follow a plan you can actually enjoy and stick to so when shit gets tough, you still follow through.

But a big problem in this day and age is people not embracing the hard graft it can be at times,

I’m not going to bullshit you and say it’s easy, it’s not.

You need to set your expectations to realise that graft is PART of the process.

I believe it also says a lot about your character if you tend to give up when the going gets tough or life get’s busy,

You’ll always be busy,

Things will always get tough,

So what’s it going to be?

Take the easy route and just stop the gym?

Or attack it head-on & find a way to keep consistent because it adds so much value to your life?

It’s your choice.

Above all, expect the hard shit because it’s part of the game.

Anyway, I hope that helps.

If you want to take things further and get coached by a team of professionals with your training & nutrition, click here: https://docfitness.ie/getstarted/