Fitness Articles

8 Reasons Why Your Workout Isn't Working

Sneaky Reasons Why You're Not Getting Results

We all know how fantastic working out is for your health. But what happens when your workouts aren't delivering the results you want? Or you're not getting the results you think you should be getting? While any kind of physical activity is good, some workout plans are better than others and—as you might suspect—a lot of other factors come into play when trying to lose weight and tone up. So if your workout isn't working for you, one of the following eight reasons could be to blame. Find out how to turn that around and get the results you deserve!

1. You're not working hard enough.
If you have been exercising consistently for several weeks, months or years, it's definitely time to increase the intensity and start pushing yourself. As you work out more and more, your body adapts and becomes more efficient at doing that certain activity. This means that over time, the 30-minute workout that was challenging for you three months ago doesn't provide the same results. In fact, you're actually burning fewer calories and your body is no longer changing if you're still doing the same old thing.
Get-Results Remedy: In order to get results from exercise, you have to regularly push yourself beyond your fitness comfort zone. Whether you increase the frequency, intensity, or duration of your workouts, you have to switch it up. Not sure where to start? Try adding an extra day of cardio onto your routine, testing out a new group exercise class at the gym, adding another loop around your walking track, or bumping up the incline and speed on the treadmill. Remember, when it comes to exercise, change is good—and that change should be challenging!
2. You're working too hard.
Yes, you can actually work out too hard and too much. If you're someone who goes all out in every workout, or rarely to never takes a day off to rest, you could actually be breaking your muscles down instead of building them. If you always feel tired and sore, have unexplained headaches, insomnia or just a general lack of motivation and an inability to complete your workouts, you may be overtraining.
Get-Results Remedy: Take three to five days off of exercise altogether. It may be hard for you to do this, but know that you must allow your body the time it needs to rest and recover. Get plenty of sleep each night and fill up on nutritious foods. Then slowly ease back into your routine, making shorter, less intense workouts part of your workout plan. And remember to always take one to two rest or easy active recovery days a week!
Continued ›
Page 1 of 3   Next Page ›

Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites, and A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • Get "Burn the Fat and Feed the Muscle" by Tom Venuto. It has changed my life! Do everything he says even if you don't understand it. You will lose bodyfat, inches and change your body composition. - 11/23/2015 10:26:16 AM
    Moderate exercise is essential for health but please dont think of it as a way to lose weight
    unless you are able to really sweat for hours each week. I have found that working out in the gym increases my appetite significantly!
    Just be more active generally and stop eating so much. - 11/21/2015 3:25:06 AM
  • I was also at my wits end about weight loss. I was going to the gym regularly but nothing seemed to happen. First key was changing my diet. I am not dieting, I am just making better choices. Now that I have tweaked what is working for my body right now, I am ready to start exercising again. I talked to several trainers as well as friends that are doing well with their weight loss. Just about all of them said that making sure that your body is more flexible is what has helped them. A lot of them are incorporating yoga or pilates in their workout and having great success. I have lupus and my joints and muscles are not the strongest. I have started doing yoga as a form of strength training. I have not started seeing any results (just started) but in just a few days I have noticed that my joints and muscles don't ache as much and I am more relaxed. I am learning that as my body changes my exercise must change as well. Keep up the good work. Don't give up. Just try new things and see what works for you. It did not take a few months to get to where we are and it will take several months or maybe years to get to where we are at our best. The trick is to keep going. Slow and steady always wins the race. - 11/12/2015 10:49:04 AM
    I agree with @Lexie05. I have done everything I can think of, including seeing a nutritionist once a month since March 2015. I still stay the same weight +/- 1 pound. I'm giving it until the end of the year, and I'm just going to have to live with where I'm at right now and accept my weight for what it is. - 9/8/2015 2:46:46 PM
    There comes a time in each fitness routine when you kind of know it's not working anymore. It's like the bad boyfriend or girlfriend you don't want to break up with. You're perfectly happy with the routine, comfortable in the scenario and not looking forward to change. On the other hand, you really want to be happy but are just having a hard time moving forward. Watch this video of Tummy Tuck Surgery in Mexico -
    lY5 - 7/21/2015 7:47:37 PM
  • "I don't work hard enough." Yes, I know I don't, but that is because I can't work any harder than I already am. I have back problems, so walking for more than 15-20 is out. Treadmills are too hard on the back. So by the article's standards, I'll never lose weight because "I'm not working hard enough". Thanks a lot for the non-encouragement
    . - 5/22/2015 1:03:13 PM
  • I like many people have become frustrated about not seeing changes in weight and my clothes are tight. I bought a flex band 3 months ago and have started about 2 weeks tracking calories eaten on my fitbit app. I eat right, exercise -cardiovascular and weights at home, but I can't lose a pound in 3 months. I've lost 1/2nd on waist and hips, but pants are still snug. I am 59, but metabolism is pretty high and I never sit still very long. I do 10-17,000 steps per day, but why won't any pounds come off????

    I am not heavy, but feel better and clothes shouldn't be as snug as they are with all that I have been doing lately. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you - 4/19/2015 7:31:43 PM
    My biggest challenge is changing my diet. I feel like I'm hungry a large part of the day, but I know I am getting way more calories than I need. - 3/3/2015 12:17:43 PM
    Just what I needed to keep on track!. Logging and consistency in what we put in our mouths and exercise is so important. I, unfortunately work real hard for a day or two in the gym and then become unmotivated because I hurt so much.
    Thanks so much! - 11/22/2014 3:25:11 PM
    wow this was really enlightening and am happy my friend told me about your website. Everything is broken down so you can understand and follow and sooo many suggestions. Thanks for being here!!
    - 11/21/2014 6:27:36 AM
  • Good stuff, learned a lot thanks for posting this :) - 1/11/2014 4:00:59 AM
  • Ugh! - 12/12/2013 6:49:55 PM
  • I loved the information especially the part about sitting all day. Well that is my job. I am a receptionist and I sit all day. I get one break a day and that is the hour that I get for lunch. What I need to do is eat and then find me an empty office so that I can work out, which is hard since there are areas of the building that are off limits. I have been teasingly asking the finance team if they can put a treadmill or something in the budget for next year. I get told that is a good ideal but I would really like to see it happen.
    I do get out when the weather changes though but right now I am stuck just sitting during the day. One thing in my defense is that I do stay active until its time for me to go to bed. I am somewhat new to the exercise routine but now I am taking it seriously and want to do the best I can to get results. - 12/12/2013 3:30:20 PM
  • This was a very helpful article, which I really needed to read! Thanks for all the great information and tips! - 12/12/2013 12:07:12 PM
  • I agree that swapping sleep with exercise is my biggest curse. Starting today, naps are a no-no. When tired during the day I will force myself to go for a walk, jump rope or lift weights. - 11/3/2013 12:42:06 PM

x Lose 10 Pounds by January 6! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.