hi i'm Tae!

dedicated student at Stanford.

lover of life.

fitness enthusiast.

aspiring surgeon.

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workout wednesday: why am i not seeing results?

Happy Workout Wednesday!! I hope your week has been going well so far and you've been hitting the gym (or life) hard!!

Today I want to talk a little bit about how to get (and keep) your muscle gains. If you find yourself working hard in the gym, but still seeing no results, hopefully this post can help you out and give you the tools you need to succeed. Here are my top 4 reasons why you are not seeing results.

Why Am I Not Seeing Results?

Reason #1: YOU DO NOT HAVE A STRUCTURED AND FOCUSED EXERCISE PROGRAM.

So this is one of the most important factors that will go into your body transformation. It is super important to have a clear idea of what exercises you're going to do in the gym BEFORE you get to the gym. You want to make sure that your head is in the right place and that you've got a set goal that you're focused on achieving. Often times, people go to the gym just to go to the gym. And what I mean by that is, they go with the intent to exercise, but don't actually have a plan of what to do or what muscles to work once they get there. As a result, most of their time is spent walking around, thinking, or doing exercises but not to the fullest extent. So, if you're trying to get results, figure out which part of your body you want to transform (yes it can be the whole thing!). Then, come up with a program so that you're working each part of your body on a specific day of the week. Try to plan some exercises that you will do (the internet is a great help for this!) and decide how many sets and reps are necessary (usually 6-10 for heavy lifting, and 10-15 for lighter weights). Now, once it comes time to start your program and get in the gym, you'll know exactly what you came to do and you'll get it done efficiently while giving max effort!!

[preview of my advanced workout program that i'll be releasing soon! yes, i actually use this as my daily program!]

Reason #2: YOU DO NOT EAT CLEAN

I know a lot of people believe that after spending 2 hours in the gym, they've earned a juicy burger or 4 slices of pizza. Because the two will cancel eachother out, right? WRONG.

Nutrition is SO SO SO important to seeing results from any sort of exercise!!! Sure the gym is where you work and stress your muscles, but AFTER the gym is when your muscles go through the recovery and building process. So the foods you're putting into your body directly affect how well your muscles will be able to grow.

So..what should you eat? What shouldn't you eat?

I want to go into more detail about that in a future post, but for right now I'll give you the simple answer: cut out processed foods as much as possible!! Processed foods include anything that comes in a box or bag, or that has more than 5 ingredients listed in its nutritional facts. Obviously, there are certain processed foods such as whole grain bread, protein powder, maybe your favorite crackers that you do not have to cut out completely. Just try to limit your intake of these foods, and if you do eat them, try to eat the most healthy version possible (least amount of added sugars and saturated fat)! Your body needs pure, clean food to perform well in the gym and recover well after the gym.

Reason #3: YOU DO NOT CONSUME ENOUGH PROTEIN OR CARBS

Another common myth among dieters is that carbs are a big NO NO for weight loss. And while reducing carb consumption (in addition to other things) can lead to weight loss, it is not a necessity; in fact, it's probably better NOT to limit carb consumption too much.

If you are trying to lose weight, please please do not cut out carbs completely. Carbs are the principal energy source for our bodies, so cutting out carbs will leave you feeling sluggish, tired, and with no energy to do what you need to do in the gym. With regards to nutrition and losing weight, you really just need to eat at a calorie deficit, meaning you are burning more calories than you are consuming. Obviously these calories should come from whole food sources (see #2 ;)), but losing weight is really about your body having to burn its own fat stores for metabolic energy.

Anyways! If you're trying to gain muscle, or if you're trying to lose weight while simultaneously toning up, you need to make sure you are eating enough protein AND carbs. While protein is the building blocks of new muscle, carbs provide the energy for those building blocks to move! If you're trying to gain muscle, you should eat at LEAST 1g of protein/lb of your body weight. Your post-workout meal (within 1hr of exercise) is one of the most important meals of the day because it is when your muscles are really working hard to recover and grow stronger from your workout. It is imperative to eat at LEAST 20g of protein in this post-workout window!! And you want to follow this protein intake with lots and lots of carbs (good carb sources include fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, etc.).

Just remember: GOOD CARBS ARE NOT THE ENEMY and PROTEIN IS NECESSARY FOR MUSCLE GROWTH!!

Reason #4: YOU ARE INCONSISTENT WITH WORKOUTS AND UNREALISTIC WITH RESULTS EXPECTATIONS

This point kinda goes hand in hand with #1. Consistency is so key to seeing results from a fitness regimen. Many people get discouraged when they've been going to the gym off and on for a few weeks and don't see any results.

First, it takes time to see results. Several months for serious gains. And that's okay! But you have to remember that what you're doing isn't for nothing! Your body will respond, it just needs time and the necessary tools to get it to where you want it. However, it is so important that you are consistent with your workouts and your eating. Often times, we fall off our programs because we get discouraged or we have moments of weakness. Or, more commonly, something comes up that needs our focus, and suddenly we can't go to the gym one day or we can't eat as well as we'd hoped. That's just life! And that is okay! But you've got to be able to get back on the program and make sure that one day doesn't turn into 2 or 3 or a whole week! The body responds to consistency, so you've got to make sure that week after week you're hitting the gym and achieving your nutrition goals. And if this sounds boring to you, switch it up! Mix up the exercises you're doing or try something new so that you're never doing the same exercise as you did the day before, or the week before. Yes! That is possible! There are so many different exercises out there...you just gotta find them!

So this was a pretty brief overview of why you may not be seeing results while you're on your fitness journey. Of course, there are MANY other factors that can play a role, but I feel that these are the 4 most significant. Most importantly, these are the 4 changes I have implemented that have worked for me! I hope these tips help you out! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

[images via: {eat clean}{protein}{carbs}]

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