This Isnt Working

When it comes to weight training, it takes at least six weeks of consistent training to begin to notice physical changes in your body. That's six weeks of consistent training. Oftentimes people think they're training intensely when in fact they're pushing themselves while they lift but taking a ton of time between sets. In other words, make sure you're following our guidelines before you assume that you're making little or no progress. However, if after six weeks of diligent gym work you don't notice a change—even if it's slight—you may consider tinkering with your routine. A few ways you may alter your routine are as follows:

> Vary the number of reps. Generally speaking we like a range of 10 to 12, but that's not written in stone. Try decreasing the weight by 5 percent to 10 percent and bump up your rep range to 12 to 15.

> Decrease the amount of rest between sets. If you are resting for two minutes, decrease it to one minute. You'll probably have to decrease the weight by a few pounds, but you'll find it really challenging.

> Change the exercises. Most freeweight exercises we showed you have machine equivalents and vice versa. Try mixing it up for a while. Remember that the more you keep your muscles guessing, the better off you are.

To make gains in strength and in your appearance, you must continue to put stress on your muscles. If you are constantly doing sets of 10 reps with 10-pound biceps curls when you could clearly do an eleventh repetition, you're not going to see much of a change. Getting strong means using as many muscle fibers as possible during your exercise. The last few reps should be difficult. Once it becomes easy, you must increase the stress on the muscle by upping the weight you lift—that is, if you want to get stronger.

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