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  1. #1
    Registered User isneaker's Avatar
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    6 months in, not a lot of results. Help!

    I am a woman in my early 30's, 5'4" and 138 lbs. I work seasonally in construction and had been putting in 7 hours of hard labor 5 days a week. I didn't want to lose momentum when the season ended, so I joined a gym and work out 1.5-2 hours a day, 3-4 days a week. I started at the gym six months ago, with a goal of losing fat in trouble spots and building muscle. I look trim and have a lot of muscle but they aren't defined and I would like to fix that. I have been doing 40-50 minutes of cardio, followed by weights. My problems are

    1. I'm not losing fat in the problem areas
    2. I am getting only slightly stronger, and muscle definition is not improving
    3. I use the heaviest weight I can handle, and do reps until my muscles give out, but I am never sore the next day, which makes me feel like nothing is happening.

    It feels like all the time I have spent at the gym is wasted. Am I exercising ineffectively? How can I be using my time and energy better?
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  2. #2
    Registered User psilocloud's Avatar
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    Lift then cardio not cardio then lift
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  3. #3
    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by isneaker View Post
    1. I'm not losing fat in the problem areas
    You can't pick where the fat burns off. If you need to lean out, eat in a calorie deficit and over time it will happen.

    2. I am getting only slightly stronger, and muscle definition is not improving
    Follow an established lifting program. There are many that you can find online for free (Fierce 5 over in the Workout Programs section is a good one) or that are in books that don't cost much (Starting Strength, Strong Curves, etc.) A good program is going to guide you so that you progressively get stronger by following the plan. It sounds like you're not following such a plan which, as you alluded to, means that you are exercising ineffectively.

    3. I use the heaviest weight I can handle, and do reps until my muscles give out, but I am never sore the next day, which makes me feel like nothing is happening
    Soreness or lack thereof does not indicate that you are exercising effectively. You usually get sore the first few times you do an exercise or work a muscle. After the first few times, soreness either minimizes or goes away entirely. Stimulate, don't annihilate if you want good progress. A lot of people get hung up on doing more and more and more difficult exercise and they end up spinning their wheels. Follow a good program to the letter when you are a beginner and you'll see progress.
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  4. #4
    Focus on yourself kimm4's Avatar
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    You don't mention anything about your diet/calorie intake which is key to the entire process.
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  5. #5
    Registered User isneaker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by spradish View Post
    You can't pick where the fat burns off. If you need to lean out, eat in a calorie deficit and over time it will happen.



    Follow an established lifting program. There are many that you can find online for free (Fierce 5 over in the Workout Programs section is a good one) or that are in books that don't cost much (Starting Strength, Strong Curves, etc.) A good program is going to guide you so that you progressively get stronger by following the plan. It sounds like you're not following such a plan which, as you alluded to, means that you are exercising ineffectively.



    Soreness or lack thereof does not indicate that you are exercising effectively. You usually get sore the first few times you do an exercise or work a muscle. After the first few times, soreness either minimizes or goes away entirely. Stimulate, don't annihilate if you want good progress. A lot of people get hung up on doing more and more and more difficult exercise and they end up spinning their wheels. Follow a good program to the letter when you are a beginner and you'll see progress.
    Thank you! This is what I needed!
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  6. #6
    Registered User marnied87's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by isneaker View Post
    I am a woman in my early 30's, 5'4" and 138 lbs. I work seasonally in construction and had been putting in 7 hours of hard labor 5 days a week. I didn't want to lose momentum when the season ended, so I joined a gym and work out 1.5-2 hours a day, 3-4 days a week. I started at the gym six months ago, with a goal of losing fat in trouble spots and building muscle. I look trim and have a lot of muscle but they aren't defined and I would like to fix that. I have been doing 40-50 minutes of cardio, followed by weights. My problems are

    1. I'm not losing fat in the problem areas
    2. I am getting only slightly stronger, and muscle definition is not improving
    3. I use the heaviest weight I can handle, and do reps until my muscles give out, but I am never sore the next day, which makes me feel like nothing is happening.

    It feels like all the time I have spent at the gym is wasted. Am I exercising ineffectively? How can I be using my time and energy better?
    OP I'm in the exact same position. Mid 20's, 138lbs and just a bit taller than you 5'7. It's been 10 days since you posted this. What program did you end up choosing? I'm terrible at following diets, I've always fluctuated between 132-138lbs when I diet. Albeit, I don't go to the gym as often as you.
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  7. #7
    Carbs are my friend... vandalgirl59's Avatar
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    Diet. As Kimm4 said, you're diet will play a HUGE part. Even if your training was on point (which it's not), it'll boil down to what you are eating. Are you tracking what you eat? Weighing and measuring? Or just 'eating pretty healthy'.

    To the above poster, same thing. If you're 'terrible at following diets' then you will not achieve the results you want. Period. It sucks, yes, but that's the honest truth.
    ~Impatience never demanded success~

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  8. #8
    Registered User bodywurkz's Avatar
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    Although I'm not the OP, I'd still like to thank everyone for responding. Initially, I plan to follow the egg diet for the next 2-4 weeks to get some pounds off and shrink the stomach (vacation didn't help <lol>). Additionally, I've moved to a new office building which is ideal for walking so I plan to log 3 miles a day. I'll start planning and tracking all of my food intake, most likely using myfitnesspal. Although not my thread, I would appreciate any diet recommendations.
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