Fitness, Health

7 Reasons You’re Not In Amazing Shape (And How To Fix Them)

If you’ve tried every diet going and no matter how hard you train, you can’t get the body you want, you’re not alone. Thousands of men are in exactly the same position – spinning their wheels in the gym, but getting absolutely nowhere. It’s the most frustrating thing about fitness – busting a gut, but seeing few or no tangible results for all your efforts and endeavour. It’s almost enough to make you stay in bed and eat your weight in Pringles.

Ultimate Performance, worldwide personal training experts, has helped thousands of men in this same position finally get in the best shape of their lives by introducing a few small tweaks and changing to their lifestyle, their nutrition and the things they do in the gym. There are 7 things they see more than any when people first start their body transformations at UP that have been stopping them getting the physiques they want.

How many of these are you guilty of?

1. You don’t sleep long or well

Sleep is hugely important for body composition. Why? Your body goes through three vital phases when you sleep that are essential for optimizing fat loss and muscle building.

Firstly, while you’re sleeping, your body digests and absorbs a good portion of food you ate during the latter stages of the day – an essential process the body needs to repair itself.

Secondly, the liver processes a lot of toxins while you’re asleep. Not being able to detoxify properly, whether through poor sleep or liver dysfunction, means your body won’t be able to burn fat efficiently.

Finally, sleep is when repair and regeneration takes place and is the time when you build lean muscle and replenish energy stores (often from your fat cells). If you’re not getting enough quality sleep every night, you will never be as lean as you could be.

Killer workout in before heading down to Anaheim, for #UFC214. Pumped I finally have a day off to go support the fighters & the company tonight. I’ll be sitting front row tonight living vicariously thru the fighters since years ago I fantasized about competing in the octagon. Training for years to hopefully, one day become UFC Heavyweight Champion. Then reality smartened me up because remembered, I really really really really never liked being punched in the face. As a matter of fact, I hate it. 😂 Cant wait to see these warriors tonight – men and women – leave it all in the cage. #UFC214 #MyPreFightWorkout #INeedSomeWaffles

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2. You don’t eat enough

To burn fat, you must be in a ‘calorie deficit’ – that’s a fact. However, it’s not always quite so simple, as your metabolism is flexible. This basically means it can speed up or slow down. If you’re eating too little, your body will quickly adapt and slow down your metabolism (that’s why when you ‘crash diet’ you lose a lot of weight initially and then weight loss grinds to an abrupt halt).

Being in a daily calorie deficit of greater than 500 calories could result in your body reducing its metabolic rate. Your body will attempt to match your calorie intake as a way of ‘surviving’ – your body thinks it’s in the midst of a famine and will adapt quickly to hold on to valuable fat stores.

3. You don’t train enough

If you don’t have the body you want or you’re struggling to get in better shape, ask yourself: ‘Am I training hard enough?’

You need to train hard and push your body to adapt – training once or twice a week just isn’t going to cut it. You don’t have to kill yourself for hours on end seven days a week; far from it. If you train hard and smart, and with the right intensity, you can make great progress with just three sessions a week – many of our clients at Ultimate Performance will testify to that.

But that has to be three sessions a week, consistently; no ifs, no buts. Turning up to the gym for those three hours and giving 100% and pushing yourself further and harder every single session. That is how you get the results you want with your physique.

4. You have a ‘cheat meal’ at least once a week

You’ve eaten well all week – time for a weekend treat. This is the mindset of so many people – they’re good for five days of the week, then as soon as the weekend comes around it’s takeaways, ice cream and beer all round.

Cheat meals aren’t inherently bad, but there has to be some thought to it if you want to get in shape.

Have you trained hard enough to earn it? Will an 18-inch pizza push you into a calorie surplus for the week which means you’ve gained weight? Do you have an intolerance to any of the ingredients which is going to affect your body composition?

If you’re in the cycle of cheating once a week and you’re not progressing at all towards your physique goals, it’s maybe time to consider how this is affecting your results. Maybe try cutting back on the cheats, monitoring what you’re eating or ensuring that you’re not just on junk food binge ‘autopilot’.

5. You do cardio over weights

Cardio has its place in an effective workout – but it shouldn’t be the primary form of training if body composition is your goal. If you want to get in better shape, build a bit of muscle and lose some fat, you shouldn’t even consider touching traditional cardio (running on a treadmill or exercise bike) until you’ve lifted weights for three to four hours a week.

It’s not that cardio is bad for weight loss – it’s not. But for better body composition, it should always be lifting weights first, interval training second (HIIT) then any other cardio third in terms of priority.

6. You do something different every workout

Yes, variety in training is good. But your body will adapt far more quickly and you’ll see far better progress if you give it a consistent stimulus. So don’t go changing your workout or your training programme every week – you will never properly progress.

Equally, if you’re still doing the same stale training routine after six months, your body will have long since adapted, your progress will have plateaued and you really need to change things up. Many people benefit from tweaking their workouts after a three to six week cycle.

7. You worry about the small things over the big things

Take care of the big things, before you start worrying about the minute details of training and nutrition. It’s so common for people to worry about the intricate complexities of nutrition or training after reading something on the internet.

But rather than worrying about the small stuff, most people would see the most benefits from ensuring they are doing the basics right. They don’t eat protein at every meal or drink enough water. They don’t do resistance training when working towards fat loss or get enough good sleep at night. Take care of the big things day in and day out and only then worry about the finer details.

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