3 Reasons Your Workouts Aren't Producing Results, And How to Fix It

3 Reasons Your Workouts Aren't Producing Results, And How to Fix It

If you're tired of working out and seeing little or no results, then you need to read this...

(Especially if you're a man over 30.)

And this isn't just theory ...

I've been weight training for more than 20 years, I've competed at a high level in powerlifting, and I'm bigger and stronger today than ever...

Despite being considered somewhat "old" by powerlifting standards.

But this article isn't about powerlifting, it's about how to maximize your results from working out AND continue making gains in your strength and your physique for many decades to come.

Because, you see, I've been around long enough, and exposed to so many strength athletes, that I've uncovered where the common mistakes are made (mistakes that make the difference between great success and disappointing failure), and how to fix them.

This knowledge is what's enabled me to keep going strong all these years... ...And if you stay with me until the end of this article, you'll know how to kickstart your results, too... Permanently.

Reason #1: Your Training Program Sucks

I don't mean to be crass... I respect that you work out.

But you might not be working out effectively (or efficiently)...

And although great workout programs will vary depending upon your specific goals, they all incorporate certain universal truths that I will highlight here.

If your workouts don't look like this, your program probably sucks:

  • Heavy weights: Plain and simple, you need to challenge yourself, and the best way to do that is by lifting heavy.  Just going through the motions is not enough to stimulate gains in muscle and strength.  Because what constitutes "heavy" is relative, the rule of thumb I suggest is to select weights that only allow you 1 or 2 reps in the tank (that's 1 or 2 before failure) after you've finished each set.  So, for example, if you're going to do a bench set for 8 reps, choose a weight you can only do 9 or 10 times.
  • Multi-joint, compound lifts: When it comes to getting the best bang for your buck, the big lifts (squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, etc.) are the hands-down winners.  They will produce the best results in muscle growth and strength gains, consistently over time.  To mix things up, each of these main lifts has a great number of variations that will keep the lifting interesting, and prevent your body from adapting.
  • Err on the side of Shorter Rest Intervals: Generally, as the weights go up, the time you need to rest between sets also goes up, so this might seem counterproductive...  But it's not.  I'm not suggesting that you only take 30 seconds between sets of heavy squats.  I *am* suggesting that you don't B.S. with your gym buddy for 10 minutes between sets.  Reducing rest intervals amplifies the training effect and also leads to greater increases in your body's natural testosterone production (something which is extremely important for maximizing results).

Reason #2: You're Not Feeding Your Body What It Needs

I'm not talking about a "diet".

The most common nutrition mistake that lifters make is simply not eating enough nutrient-dense foods, and too many avoid critical nutrients like healthy fats and yes, even carbohydrates.

If you're over 30, in particular, a diet rich in key nutrients is essential to support your endocrine system and optimize critical hormone levels (testosterone).

Therefore, you should not think so much about "avoiding bad foods," but instead adopt the attitude of "scarfing lots of good foods."

These would include:

  • Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc.): Fish is high in protein and omega-3 healthy fats... This fat won't make you fat; instead, it'll make you muscular and strong.
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc.): Nuts are also high in healthy fats, in addition to containing high levels of magnesium and zinc, both of which boost testosterone, especially in people with these mineral deficiencies (which is roughly 75% of Americans).
  • Eggs: High in protein and vitamin K, eggs are an excellent choice for lifters... And despite what you've heard about eggs and cholesterol, they're actually heart-healthy.  The cholesterol that eggs have been linked to raising is HDL, which is "good" cholesterol.  Additionally, they have a lowering effect on LDL, or "bad" cholesterol.  So eat up!
  • Dark green veggies (broccoli, spinach, kale, etc.):  There's an old saying: "Meat for strength, vegetables for health".  While that's certainly true, vegetables aren't "just" for health... They're also for strength (Popeye sort of had this right).  Veggies like spinach, broccoli, kale, collard greens, etc. are high in key micronutirents like magnesium, for example, which as mentioned above, supports muscle and strength by upping your testosterone.

Reason #3: You Have Sub-Optimal Testosterone

Remember a time when you could just "wing it" in the gym, eat lumberjack portions of almost anything, and "voila!"-- your gains were rapid and practically effortless?

I'll bet you also remember when all those extra calories did nothing except build more muscle (while now they seem to just create more stubborn body fat -- a bigger belly, love handles, etc.)?

There's a scientific explanation why those days are behind you, and it involves your endocrine system and the key hormone, testosterone (T).

You see, testosterone is really the master male hormone.

It plays a central role in regulating how much muscle you have, how strong those muscles are, and whether you're destined to be lean and sculpted or fat and flabby.

This is the key hormone that packed muscle on your body, broadened your chest and shoulders, deepened your voice, and stimulated body hair during puberty.

It's also crucially responsible for your sex drive, the frequency and quality of your erections, and even sperm count.

And the problem is, after age 30, your testosterone starts dropping off significantly...

Scientific study after study concludes that as a nation, testosterone is on the rapid decline.  One study conducted by the New England Research Institute revealed that 1 in 4 American men has clinically-low testosterone!

This is based on a study involving over 1,500 middle-aged male participants.

Other studies conclude that, on average, you lose at least 1% of your testosterone every year over age 30 until you die, which leads to losses in lean muscle of 3-8% per decade.

It's no wonder, given the universal decline in this critical champion of muscle and strength, that your workouts just aren't having the impact they once did, and why you can't simply eat lots of clean, protein-rich food like you used to and watch the muscle stack up seemingly on command.

So, what's the solution to this epidemic?

Well, there are a number of things that you can do to dramatically reverse the downward spiraling of your natural testosterone production as you age.

They are:

  • Lift weights as suggested above: Lifting weights naturally increases testosterone production, particularly right after a workout.  Research conducted by the University of Southern California has concluded that lifting heavy, using compound exercises and shorter rest intervals, just as outlined in #1 above, maximizes this rise in testosterone produced by weight training workouts.  This is yet another reason to challenge yourself in the gym!
  • Plan well-balanced nutrition: Much too often, lifters restrict calories and/or avoid important macros like carbohydrates in order to get lean, and these strategies are counterproductive because they kill your natural T production.  Low-calorie diets and nutrient deficiencies really stress your endocrine system, and the result is low T.  Instead, focus on eating the foods listed in #2 above, and don't exceed your calorie requirements, but also don't let your intake drop below a 15% deficit.
  • Supplement with T-enhancing herbs and micronutrients: In many cases, low-T is a function of common micronutrient deficiencies, such as with regard to zinc and/or magnesium.  In such instances, mega-dosing these minerals will have a dramatic effect on your testosterone production.  Also, there are a number of herbal supplements with proven benefits on your natural T production...I strongly suggest supplementing your diet with them regularly because they can be very powerful in restoring youthful T levels.

NOTE: Want to know exactly which herbs are the best for raising your testosterone naturally (in the least amount of time)?  Click Below to download a free reference guide on the 5 ultimate testosterone-enhancing herbs:


Supercharge The Impact Of Your Workouts <==


  • Hi Keith — Thanks for reading, and sharing your story…I’m always inspired by guys who’ve been at it longer than I, and still prioritize being fit and strong. Much respect to you. Now, to your question… you’re certainly on the right path. Quality protein is critical, BCAAs (either via the protein or supplemental) are critical, and optimizing your natural T is crucial as well. For protein, check out this blog series I wrote some months ago, which will clarify what you should be looking for (and even what to watch out for): http://emergentnutrition.com/answered-your-most-burning-questions-about-building-musclestrength-with-protein-introduction/ My company has a protein drink mix called SYNERGY-XP that is ideal for building muscle and promoting health… It has a clean, all-natural formula. You can check it out on our product page of this site. For vitamins and minerals, I’d use a really good quality “superfood” powder, which you could add to your protein shake or juice drinks. Finally, for a pre-workout supplement…You’d do very well with simply a high-quality protein shake plus additional BCAAs about 30-45 minutes prior to your workout… Then, another protein shake plus BCAAs in the 30 minutes following your workout. Check out this article on peri-workout nutrition for more details: http://emergentnutrition.com/peri-workout-nutrition/. Best of luck, and feel free to hit me up any time, Keith.

    Todd Henry [Emergent Nutrition]
  • Thank you for this piece on lifting and what to do about low T.
    - very informative!

    Javier Gonzalez
  • First I would like too thank you for your timely article. I’am 55 years young and weights around 170 lbs who is fairly heathy to start a workout program. My main concern, I would like to get my weight back up to 190-200 lbs Maxs of solid muscle. I know thru some research I must increase my protein intake, but I’m not very much of a meat eater, such as red meats, chicken every so often, but do eat salmon and can tuna on a occasions. I consume a lot veggie of all kinds as well juicing. I’m looking for a pre-work out supplement before my work, along with protein after to increase calories for maximum gain. There so many brands on the market, picking one with the proper amino, vitamins and minerals really would help my program, any input from will be greatly appreciated, looking to here from you real soon, thank you for your time….

    Keith Johnson
  • Thanks, Javier!

    Todd Henry [Emergent Nutrition]

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published