Why You’re Not Winning

Not getting the results you wanted? Read more below as Hollis Lance Liebman, author of Complete Physique offers tips to get to that next level.

The title of this post is certainly not in reference to you, the individual; rather, this is for the many people who systematically (or not so systematically) put forth the effort; week in and week out, they do the work, eat the food and further restrict and sacrifice, only to see none of the gains they are seeking. What is happening? Or not happening?

Believe me, I understand the frustration. It’s one thing to not expect results when not putting forth the effort, but quite another when it seems all thrusters are firing and the desired outcome is still as far away as ever.

But for every discouraging lack of results, there is usually a solution. Here are two quick solutions I found to continue my gains:

  • In high school, I was stuck at a certain weight on the bench press. I tried lifting more often and for more reps. Nothing. But once I started eating an adequate supply of protein, my poundage went up and I hit an all-time record.
  • Another time, while preparing for my first bodybuilding show, I was eating canned yams but I wasn’t getting lean. Once I switched to fresh yams—those not soaked in sugar—I quickly became leaner.

But those are just a few illustrative examples from my own experience.


The following are 10 action items you can do right now to get back on the road to gains:


1. Pack food. Most people derail when they find themselves at school or work without the proper nutrition for their goals and are oftentimes subjected to inferior choices. Bring what you need with you.


2. Be present. During each and every set, stay present and focused to get the most out of it.


3. Correct order. If you perform cardio before weights, you will be too tired to give your best with respect to resistance training.


4. Have a reason. Everything you do in the gym should be part of a fitness plan; nothing should be guessed. Check your plan and proceed accordingly.


5. Watch for hidden sugars. Sure, your food may be clean of saccharides (another term for sugar), but what of the condiments and sauces, often filled with sugar and physique-negating fats?


6. Mix it up. Your foods, your routine—change them up. Lately, I can’t even stand to look at another chicken breast. So, I switched to chicken thighs and kept moving forward.


7. Have a reward. At least once a week, have a splurge meal or something you really enjoy looking forward to.


8. Keep those pants on display. Looking at a pair of pants you currently can’t fit in will do wonders to motivate. I keep a pair by my fridge. It works.


9. Keep motivated. By any means necessary, stay motivated. A picture on your fridge of how you’d like to look works wonders.


10. Fall in love again. Rediscover a love for this whole bodybuilding thing. What was it that made you want to better your physique in the first place?



HOLLIS LANCE LIEBMAN has been a fitness magazine editor, national bodybuilding champion, and author. He is a published physique photographer and has served as a bodybuilding and fitness competition judge. Hollis has worked with some of Hollywood’s elite, earning rave reviews. Visit his web site, www.holliswashere.com, for fitness tips and complete training programs.