7 Painful Reasons Why Your Workout is Failing You

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this equation:

busting your butt in the gym+no results= one frustrated you

It’s not fun to pay your dues only to get nothing in return.

And while you may think there’s an ominous spirit taking your results, there isn’t. 

So then what other logical reason is there?

Why aren’t you seeing success with your current workout plan?

Luckily I’ll be able to give you that answer today.

I’m going to share with you 7 reasons why you’re workout is failing you.

Let’s get started.

#1: You Feel Self-Entitled to Results


Tell me if this sounds familiar:

“I just don’t get it. I’ve been working out for years now and I haven’t gotten any sustainable results. I’ve been doing everything right: I ate clean, did circuit training, cut out dairy, and did cardio 5 days a week. What gives? I wish I were lucky like my friend Joey. He sits around all day watching T.V. and eating Cheetos and he’s still ripped! If I had good genetics like that there’s no telling where I’d be.”

My thoughts when I hear something like this:

  1. No you haven’t been doing “everything right” or else you would actually have results.
  2. Joey isn’t special and neither are you.
  3. Nobody other than your therapist cares about your sob story.

Here’s the deal:

Working out guarantees nothing.

Yet you’ve been working out acting like there’s some prize you should get.

As if the receptionist should hand you a $20 bill every time you leave the gym.

To be successful you’re going to go through failure and hard times.

That’s just part of the process. How you react to it and adapt is the key though.

You have to take a step back.

Understand if you’ve been doing the same thing for the past year and look the same—something needs to change.

Leave the self-entitlement and stubbornness at the door.

Believe me I’ve been there.

Coming out of my senior year of high school I wanted to play college basketball.

I thought that colleges would be sending letters and calling to recruit me. I was good enough (or so I thought) for someone to pick me up.

So I just sat there….and waited.

Guess how many offers I received?


Looking back, I should’ve been more active in contacting colleges myself and getting my name out there.

Thankfully I know better than to do that now.

Don’t make the same mistake I did.

#2: You’re Not Measuring Anything


It’s hard to get better and better results without continually making progress.

And how do you know if you’re making progress?

By measuring your workouts!

Sadly most gym goers never do this.

Maybe people don’t go often enough to make it worthwhile, or they think they’ll remember the workout in their head. Wrong idea!

If you don’t like wasting time or effort, then you must record your gym workouts.

Measuring your workouts gives you entries you can look back on and see what went wrong and what went right.

This way you won’t have to say, “I did everything right” with no real proof that you ever did anything.

It’s rather simple to record your workouts.

Just use the note app on your phone or pen and paper and track the following:

  • Exercises you did
  • How much weight was used
  • Number of sets
  • Number of reps
  • How long you rested in between sets
  • Any other additional notes (ex: rested 2 min on this set instead of 90 seconds)

Remember what gets measured gets managed.

#3: You’re Not Getting Stronger

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This reason ties in with the previous one: it’s hard to consistently get stronger if you don’t know what numbers you need to beat.

For example, last week when you did incline barbell press you might remember that you did 200 pounds.

However, do you remember how many reps you did on your first, second, and third set? Not likely.

Now you have no idea what numbers you should beat.

And this is just for one exercise, not to mention you’d have to remember this for all of your exercises.

Even if you do have a solid workout program you’re still just going to end up spinning your wheels.


Once you do start tracking your gym workouts you must strive for progression.

This is how your body grows bigger and stronger. It’s a principal known as progressive overload, which states:

“Continually increasing the demands on the musculoskeletal system in order to continually make gains in muscle size, strength, and endurance.”

Basically if you’re not adding weight to the bar, doing more reps with the same weight, or decreasing rest periods, then you won’t grow.

Consider this:

In the past 3 months how much weight have you added to your key lifts like military press, incline bench press, weighted pull-ups, and Bulgarian split squats?

Now ask yourself how much bigger you’ve gotten in the past 3 months?

Case in point: you need to get stronger to make progress.

#4: You Just Started Calm Down


In today’s fast paced world people want results now yesterday.

This is why you see so many things about getting rick quickly or a diet pill that’ll help you lose 20 pounds.

Here’s the deal:

You know that stuff doesn’t work yet you try it anyway.

Stop looking for the shortcut you know doesn’t exist.

It takes time and consistent effort to see noticeable results.

Be patient and willing to put in the work.

If you started a new exercise program two weeks ago and still haven’t seen success, then you need to calm down.

What kind of large results can you expect to see in such a short time frame?

Give the program a chance to actually work for you.

Yes this means you’ll have to follow the plan exactly as it’s laid out.

You can’t “go through the motions” and then claim it was a bad workout plan.

Program hopping as it’s called plagues a lot of people these days.

They’ll see Workout X and think it’s the solution to their problem.

Then three weeks later they notice Workout Y and immediately jump ship.

Instead, put in the effort and give the workout a chance.

Don’t change up any workout plan for at least 12 weeks.

This’ll help to give the program enough time to actually show some results before you immediately get frustrated.

#5: Did You Completely Forget About Nutrition?


Going to the gym and working out is really only half the battle—you also have to take nutrition into the consideration.

If you’ve been strictly following your workout plan and consistently going to the gym, yet you have nothing to show for it, this could be why:

You need both nutrition and training to achieve your dream body.

I’m not going to make up %’s and say diet makes up 70% of your results and training 30%. No.

You need both just like you need both food and water to survive.

You can train hard in the gym only to completely ruin everything by going to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Or you can eat right but still not look defined because you never lift.

The problem here is a nutrition one since you are training correctly.

Diet is critical for burning fat because you’ll only lose weight by burning off more calories than you consume.

It’s also important for building muscle because the food you eat will be what your body uses to repair itself and build new muscle.

So make sure you’re not only training hard, but also eating right in the kitchen.

#6: You’re Not Working Out Consistently


Whenever I ask someone how often they workout I usually get a response like this:

“5 times a week.”

And I’m always tempted to ask this follow up question:

Now how often do you actually workout?

2 truths:

  1. Most people don’t workout 5 times per week let alone at all for that matter.
  2. People want to seem “good” and “dedicated” in front of a personal trainer. Similar to how people act like an angel in front of a priest.

Here’s the deal:

As humans we love putting on a face for others.

We want to lie to others and ourselves so we can fit in.

We want others to know about the tough times we’ve gone through so they can sympathize with us.

“Man I’ve been working out so hard for the past few months now with no results what gives?”

If you ever find yourself saying something like this stop immediately and ask yourself the following?

Do I have a solid workout program?

Have I actually been working out regularly the past few months?

Have I been working out with intensity and focus when I’m at the gym?

Did I diet correctly?

If you answered yes to the all of the above questions, then you really can ask yourself what in the world is going on…

But you didn’t answer yes to all of the questions or else you’d be getting results.


#7: You’re Workout Plan is Garbage

how to tell if your workout is good

Not all workout plans are equal.

This becomes obvious when you see guys who only work on their chest and biceps.

Or when guys obliterate a single body part with 20+ sets in a workout.

Or when guys train with the same light weight and high reps.

Or when you guys change up their workout every time they go to the gym to prevent “muscle confusion.”

Your workouts don’t need to be complicated to get results.

It’s better to focus on a core group of exercises and get stronger with them.

For example, instead of doing bench press, peck deck, cable crossovers, and flys for your chest just focus on the bread and butter: incline bench press, flat bench press, and dips.

Taking your incline bench press from 150 pounds to 225 pounds will give you a much better return than doing the same weight with 4 different exercises.

This might seem counterintuitive at first—how can 1-2 exercises per body part get me results?

Consider this:

What kinds of workouts have you been doing in the past and what kind of results have you been getting from them?

Exactly my point.

Final Thoughts

A lot of gym goers don’t get the results they expect from their workout.

Part of that is lack of effort.

The other half is lack of knowledge and a proper routine.

You need both to be successful.

Knowing is only half the battle.

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