“Why am I not a lean, mean machine?” Now that’s a question several readers may have found themselves asking from time to time? Neil McTeggart explains that there are many possible reasons that you’re not getting the results you want in the gym…

1. Your routine is sh*t.

A gym routine needs to tick a number of boxes. Progressive overload, frequency and intensity are the main ones. Progressive overload is when you progressively, over time, add weight to the bar or in some way increase the amount of work you do. Other examples include increasing reps or completing the same work in less time than before. If your workout looks the same as it did 6 months ago, you too probably look the same as you did 6 months ago.

2. Your diet is sh*t.

So you have your training on track but your diet makes Willy Wonka shake his head in disgust. Until you go full on at some serious healthy eating you will never realise how important nutrition actually is. Eat like a caveman and less like a vegetarian school girl with a sweet tooth. If it swims, flys, farts or grows its probably not too bad.

3. You think you’re advanced.

If you’re a guy and your belly hides your willy, you don’t need wrist curls. In fact, even if you have abs and can see your bits you still don’t need wrist curls. If you’re a girl trying to isolate the upper nebulus of the jebulum muscle but can’t lift your bodyweight then you’re probably not advanced. Advanced is when you have spent years perfecting the biggies like the squat, bench, deadlift, chin and row and use isolation exercises to overcome plateaus or tackle a weakness. The skill of any trainee is to pick the minimum amount of exercises yet create the maximum of amount of stimulus and change. Start as a beginner and work your way up.

4. It’s not just weights and diet.

Other factors come play a part in creating a free range human that looks super buff. If you get two hours of sleep, live on coffee, crack open the wine every night and stress over everything, you will struggle to get lean. Sleep has a serious knock on affect and increases cravings, stress hormones and the inability to deal with insulin. Keep coffee pre workout and wine for the weekend. Also don’t be one of those guys who wakes up to drink protein or do fasted cardio. Its better to sleep on and perform harder workouts when fresh.

5. Invest in advice.

This really grinds my gears. Guys who choose to spend a months wages on the latest pills and powders but wouldn’t spend a penny on actually learning what to do in the gym. A good coach is gold dust and a good supplement is just that – a supplement, after your coach has already improved all of your other weaknesses from posture and diet to lifts and lifestyle.

My top recommendations include

a) A scoop of whey and a cap of Omega-3 oil mixed in a smoothie with veg, berries and almond milk. Blended up this is an awesome combo.
b) Creatine works well added after training and is one of the most studied and effective supplements in the world.
c) ZMA before bed aids recovery and without recovery we have no improvements!

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