Irfan Aziz talks about the potential loopholes in your workout routine and how to get rid of them to achieve faster results

Tell us whether this sounds familiar to you. You decide to hit the gym to bring about some positivity in your life, you buy the gears, select a savvy gym, choose a program that suits you best and follows your instructor’s words to the dot. And yet after weeks of “doing it right”, you see no result. Familiar territory or what? We dare you to say that this hasn’t happened to you. This is something most of us go through and honestly, things can’t get any more heartbreaking than this. So where do we go wrong? Surely state of the art equipment and trained professionals should be sufficient to help you achieve results, right? not entirely. While they play a significant role without a doubt, what we need to keep in mind that we are all different. The same rule applies to our bodies; they react differently to different routines. So, to help you set the record straight, we have identified three potential reasons why you are not seeing results and how to overcome them.

Lack of proper nutrition
Working out is only half the battle. Eating right is what really gets you across the finish line. You can burn thousands of calories throughout the week but if your workout is not backed up by proper food, all your efforts go to waste. Then there’s of course the presence of sugar in our lives. Be it through that essential cup of tea/coffee we need to make it through the day or the wholesome desserts your mother prepares, it is almost impossible to escape sugar in Bangladesh. This slows the rate at which we see results by ensuring that we take a step back for every two steps we take forward. So how do you overcome this?

The Solution: Make sure that your diet is as comprehensive as it gets. We are talking about increasing your protein intake, kicking carbs out of your life and adding fruits and vegetables to it to give a massive boost to your workouts. Furthermore, revamp your meal plan by replacing the traditional three big meals a day scheme with five to six smaller meals a day. As for the sugar epidemic, we can’t really ask you get rid of tea, coffee or desserts from your life but what we do recommend is that you replace your sugar with something healthier. Zero Cal is a godsend in this regard as it allows you to switch from high calorie to low without any compromises in taste.

Mixing and matching
This is perhaps the most common mistake we find ourselves doing in the gym. Often a time when something works for us, we tend to stick to it, thereby shutting down the possibilities of exploring our options. While the “why fix it when it’s not broken” philosophy works in other aspects of life, it is best to avoid it when it comes to working out. See, the thing is we all need variety in life. I mean would you be okay to eat the same thing for dinner every day for the rest of your life? Or watching only one show on Netflix forever?

The Solution: Change your workout routine every two weeks. It is amazing how easy it is for us to deceive our bodies. If we keep on rotating between routines, the body will trick itself into thinking that we are working out harder and with more intensity even though that is not necessarily true. Try keeping at least 3 separate sets of exercises in order to achieve your results with maximum efficiency. Oh and do make sure that you sweat enough!

You are overtraining
What even is “overtraining” you may ask. Well, more often than not we tend to go harder at our routine than what is required. Don’t get us wrong, we admire your intent but what you need to keep in mind is that our bodies have limits and after a good workout it deserves an even better resting period. Otherwise, you might fall sick or injure yourself or worse develop muscle glycogen depletion. This occurs when overworking the body leads to the burning of muscles instead of building them. Trust us when we say that you do not want this to happen. So how do you know that you are overtraining? Some indicators are: being overtired all the time, not getting good sleep, bad mood while working out and prolonged soreness and stiffness in muscles. If you experience any of the aforementioned then for the love of all that is good and pure, you need to stop!

The solution: Take a more relaxed approach to your routine. We are not asking you to slack off but do take it easy. Make changes to your sets and reps go to the gym five days a week instead of seven or even better, workout every alternate day. Also, make sure that you get plenty of sleep (at least 6 hours a night) and drink plenty of water (at least 1 gallon a day). Working out is as mental as it is physical so remember to keep the mind fresh so that the body can follow suit.

Irfan Aziz is a Sub Editor of ICE Today magazine. He is a pug enthusiast who loves looking at memes, writing and sketching.