Do you wonder why your workouts are not producing the results that you want?

What’s Wrong?

What are you doing to sabotage your workouts? There must be something that you can fix that will bring you the results that you want.  You are dedicated and it just seems like you should be seeing bigger muscles and more strength gains.



You Are Not Stretching and Warming Up

I always thought stretching and warming up was a complete waste of time. Then I had a trainer who insisted on it and I started to see better results from my workouts.  I also had fewer injuries and pain.

Most guys who have successfully built a great body know the importance of warming up and stretching before their workout.  A warm-up does not have to be long.  A warm-up can be as simple as running on a treadmill for 5 minutes…….just enough to elevate your body temperature.  You could also do some jumping jacks and burpees.  Anything to get your body temperature up.  Five minutes is probably all you need to achieve this.

Turns out that stretching your muscles can make or break your fitness goals. Stretching before a workout can greatly help in preventing injuries, especially if you’ve been sedentary all day.

Because the thought of doing a series of stretches feels like a mini-workout before your actual workout, don’t resort to just doing a few half-hearted jumping jacks or touch-your-toes.

The best thing to do is a few dynamic stretches instead of static stretches.  For instance, do a forward lunge with a twist, and then do 10 knee tucks (lifting your each knee with your hand), either standing still or walking.  Next do 10 straight-leg high kicks with each leg, trying to kick your outstretched hand.  Finish with 10 pushups and 10 jump squats.  Both of these last two (2) are a little harder, so work up to those if you can’t do them just yet.



You Don’t Have a Plan

It doesn’t sound like it’s that important, but it’s the ole failing to plan saying. It is true that a one-month or two-month plan will get you closer to your goals than just going to the gym and deciding what you’re gonna do when you get there.

Have you seen the guy come in the gym, wander around and then start at the first machine that catches his attention?  He’s got no plan and will never achieve his goals, if he’s got any. Failing to have a plan when you enter the gym can result in nothing but burnout or quitting from lack of results.

Having a plan and goals are the only way you’ll ever achieve anything at the gym. It’s true in many areas of life and particularly true at the gym. Having a plan will keep you from overtraining and undertraining. This is one of the most important reasons for having a workout plan. you could be training the same body part too often or not enough. You may also be working out too long and doing too much cardio to achieve your goals. There are lots of websites that will help you plan a workout.  Two of the most comprehensive

This is one of the most important reasons for having a workout plan. you could be training the same body part too often or not enough. You may also be working out too long and doing too much cardio to achieve your goals. There are lots of websites that will help you plan a workout.  Two of the most comprehensive are:

There are others but those are two sites that I go to regularly to get information on working out.



You Train Too Long

You’re convinced that the longer you spend at the gym, the more good you’re doing.


Past about 45 minutes to 50 minutes, you’re probably doing more harm than good.  There is a point of vanishing returns when it comes to weightlifting.  Those guys that spend 2 to 3 hours at the gym are only hurting themselves if they’re really working out that whole time.  Sometimes, these guys are texting their girlfriend, talking to all their gym buddies or doing innumerable wastes of time.

Going past 45 to 55 minutes per workout can put the body into a negative hormonal state, and serious overtraining can cause adrenal fatigue and performance decreases in the long term.

If you concentrate on your workout for the day, push hard on every exercise and don’t chat with all your gym buddies, you don’t need to spend much more than 30 to 45 minutes at the gym.  On heavy days you may need a little more time because you’re going to want to rest a little longer between each set.



You’re Doing Too Much Cardio

This is a common mistake that many guys make in planning a routine to increase muscle and decrease body fat. They are under the wrong impression that they need to spend 45 minutes on the treadmill.  That’s too long.

Too much cardio can result in minimized strength, muscle atrophy, and even fat-loss plateaus. If you are on a strict diet plan and combine it with an overdose of cardio, you can lose muscle tissue.  This is not what you’re aiming for.



Chatting, Texting and Talking on the Phone

All of these can kill your workout, distract you and keep you from doing your exercises in a timely manner.

I see way too many gym guys texting or talking to their buddies, which keeps them off any kind of a schedule that is needed to keep your muscles stressed.  Save your social time for the lobby or locker room.  Stay focused during your workout.  You should be timing your reps and your rest.  Don’t let anything detract you from that.

One technique to keep others from talking to you is to wear headphones, whether you’re listening to music or not.  Some guys use music to keep them motivated and going strong.



Not Eating Before Your Workout

In the past, it was thought that exercising on an empty stomach was beneficial, but now experts believe that your body needs fuel before a workout to get a good workout.

There are some experts who will swear that doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is a good thing.  There are reasons to believe this, but cardio exercise is different from weight training.

A certain amount of glucose is needed during a workout, so if your blood sugar level is too low, your body will start taking glycogen from the muscle once it runs out of the available glycogen and blood sugar. This will sabotage your muscle’s ability to grow stronger and bigger.

The solution is to eat a banana, some fruit with yogurt about 45 minutes before your workout.



Your Form is Bad

This is one thing that many guys don’t think will sabotage their muscle gains.  It will, and if you correct this one thing, you may have solved many of your muscle gain problems, not to mention muscle imbalances that you may correct with correct form.

If you’ve been working out for a period of time and you’ve never analyzed your form, that would be the place to start.  You may have developed some bad habits that need correcting.  If you’re new to the gym, then making sure that you exercise with good form will serve you far into the future.




You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

You’ve heard this one many times before and even here on this website, but it is an essential element of getting stronger and bigger muscles.

Growth hormones, which help us build muscle and burn fat, are active when we sleep and not active when we are awake.  And you have to get a minimum amount of sleep for this to work properly.

Seven (7) hours is the minimum amount of sleep you should get.  Eight (8) is better, but it all depends on your body.  You may need less or more.




These are the top eight (8) reasons most guys are not achieving their muscle gains.  They are unknowingly sabotaging their efforts by doing one or all of these things.

There are lots more but these are the ones that I propose, that if corrected, would make a difference in your body.

If you have comments or want to share your own experience, please do in the comment section below.  We welcome all comments.

See you at the gym.

Published by "W" Tucker

I've been a fitness enthusiast for many years and want to encourage guys over 40 to get and stay in shape. It makes life better, and makes you look and feel better.

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  1. I love reading your blog posts, they are spot on! One thing that really annoys me at the gym are the people who are more concerned playing with their smartphone, than they are about working out. I love the image of the guy with his phone leaning against the wall. Well, back on point now. All of your reasons are great. I see people at my gym doing cardio for over an hour. How do I know? Because they are doing it when I walk in and when I leave an hour later. If I am at the gym for more than an hour, it’s very rare. I get in and get out. Eating after a workout is so important as well as getting enough sleep. This is all such a great reminder and some basic stuff that people often forget about. Thanks for sharing. I will check back soon!

    1. Steve, I so appreciate your comments.  You sound like you are a veteran and know what you’re doing.  Yes, I can’t help but write about some of my pet peeves which I included in this article.   The guys that do nothing but chat are the ones that probably can’t figure out why they’re not getting any bigger or stronger after they’ve been going to the gym consistently 5 days a week.  Thank for your feedback and experience.

  2. It seems that I have been sabotaging my workouts this whole time. I would have never thought about the importance of warm ups until I came across this post. In the past I wanted to gain more muscles but I did not see any results. So that may have been the reason. I like how you explained everything as well. This year my main goal is to run. I do about 10 push ups and 10 sit ups before I run. Would that be considered a warm up? I would like to know what you think. Thanks in advance.

    1. Kendrick, yes, 10 push ups and 10 sit ups are probably enough for you to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing.  You might add 10 burpees.  

      Now, you’re aware that running is going to lean you out.  I’m assuming that’s what you want?  I ran for many years and was very lean,  It’s impossible to gain muscle when you’re a runner.  Now, you can tone your muscles with weight training, but you’re not going to add any significant muscle size.  

  3. Hi There, I am Not a workout savvy person but when the age is calling and some age-related body sores and aches are now piling up doing exercise must be the only way that I needed to start right now, my question on your article number 4 – it says spending for 45 minutes in treadmill that’s too much for doing a cardio exercise, well I am a 45 y.o Female, so how much is the right rate for a 110 pounds to stay on treadmill? am sorry just only happened got stumble on this site and read your article just only getting serious on focusing on maintaining my health and committed to coz I am a newbie in a workout world and I guess keeping your website are truly beneficial for me to use this as my ultimate guide … thanks x

    1. If you’re just getting into working out, I would suggest that you start with some body weight exercises paired with 30 minutes of cardio.  My comment about not doing cardio for more than 45 minutes is geared toward the guys in my audience that want to gain muscle.  It doesn’t necessarily apply to our situation.  What folks don’t realize is that steady walking on a treadmill has minimum benefits.  The ideal cardio workout involves HIIT or regularly varying your cardio workout.  For instance every five minutes on the treadmill ramp the speed up so you’re running for 1 or 2 minutes.  Do that every 5 minutes and you’ll have an inifinitiely better cardio workout.  That’s the best for weight loss and for your heart also.  Any more questions, I’m happy to answer.  If you want to email me directly, I invite you to do that.  

      Thanks for the comments and questions. 

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