6 Signs Your Workout Isn’t Working For You That Mean You Shouldn't Try To Force It, According To Experts
This morning, I was supposed to get up bright and early and go for a nice jog around my neighborhood to start my day. As soon as my alarm went off, though, I rolled over and promptly decided that my workout would have to wait until the evening, because I was just too dang tired to do anything strenuous. Every once in awhile, it's normal to not be feeling your workout, but what if you hate every second of your routine? There are a few signs that mean your workout isn't working for you, so if you've been feeling meh about exercise lately, it doesn't necessarily mean you've lost your motivation. Perhaps the routine you're rolling with just doesn't suit you, and it's time to search for something that makes you feel your absolute best.
While the occasional off day is a normal part of any healthy workout routine, if you just recently started a new regimen, Geoffrey McBride, head trainer at EverybodyFights NYC, says you might want to be a little patient as your body adjusts. "The basic rule of thumb is that you would need two to three months to see changes in your body when following a particular workout plan," he tells Elite Daily. But if you've dedicated that time to your routine, and you still feel like something's off, he suggests changing repetition counts or weights before ditching the workout altogether.
Don't get discouraged if you think your current routine isn't working for you. Instead, try to look at it as an opportunity to explore the countless fitness methods and regimens that you haven't tried yet, says Sassy Gregson-Williams, certified personal trainer and founder of the online workout studio Naturally Sassy. She tells Elite Daily that she often asks her clients to keep "body journals." In just a sentence each day, she tells them to reflect upon how their body felt during and after a workout. "You can [use] this concept for different classes and workout techniques," she explains. "Slowly you'll see a pattern showing what your body responds best to."
If you're not sure whether your current workout is right for you, here are a few signs to look out for as you sweat it out.
You don't feel any different
According to McBride, the most obvious sign that you might need to switch up your workout routine is when you've been pretty diligent in sticking to the regimen, but you still aren't noticing the changes you want. Whether you don't feel like you're getting stronger, or your overall energy levels aren't improving, if you’re not seeing or feeling the results you wanted after a couple of months, chances are, that routine just isn't right for you.
"You will also find that this will lead to you skipping more days at the gym because you have become unmotivated," he adds.
Your workout is painful
A little soreness pretty much comes with the territory if you're challenging your body. But, according to McBride, "if you are doing a workout that causes abnormal or injury-like pain, you may want to consult your trainer for alternative exercises or routines, rather than power through." And if you're a self-led exerciser, McBride says it's best to stop doing whatever is hurting you during your workout so that you don't accidentally injure yourself.
You aren't getting closer to your goals
Whatever training you do on a regular basis should be helping you reach certain goals, so if your training isn't specific, it probably isn't as effective as you'd like, explains kinesiologist and exercise physiologist Jake Watson. If, for example, you've just been running laps, but your goal is to be able to lift heavier weights, you won't see your strength grow the way you want, so you'll probably become discouraged pretty quickly.
You don't feel challenged
While a workout that's too hard on your body isn't a good thing, it's also a bad sign if your workout isn't challenging your body and your mind enough, says Watson. "If you're dreading your workout because it's not aligned to a greater goal," he tells Elite Daily, "or you have lost the passion and drive due to a stale and stagnant training regime, then it may be worth considering a change."
You're dreading *every* workout
We all have those days when you'd much rather trade your gym routine for a nice movie night on the couch with your SO and some takeout, and that's totally normal. If you're dreading going to your workout class or the gym every day, on the other hand, "that's the biggest sign you haven't found a workout that challenges you in the right way," says Gregson-Williams.
You're too sore
"It's completely normal to feel DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after a good workout," Gregson-Williams tells Elite Daily. "However, if you're feeling like you've pulled or injured a part of your body post-sweat, likely the workout isn't working for you," she explains. "This may be due to the intensity and your current level of strength not matching up, which can lead to compensation and overusing certain muscle groups over others."
So what can you do? If you usually work out in group fitness classes, Gregson-Williams suggests chatting with the teacher about adjusting your technique. If you're exercising by yourself or at home, try cutting back on the reps, or even the weight of whatever workout is really challenging a certain muscle group, until you build up your strength.