22 Nov What To Do If You Train Hard, But Your Results SUCK…

You train hard, right?

You’re putting in the effort and most of the time your workouts are pretty damn good.

You probably feel like you’re doing the right things.

But, unfortunately, your results suck.

Well, maybe they don’t suck, but they’re not as good as you’d like.

What do you do?

Where are things going wrong?

Here’s a simple 4 step formula to help you get clear and move forward.

Keep in mind that plateaus are normal, they’re part of the process, and they’re a big part of the path to making gains.

It’s keeping consistent long enough to breakthrough those plateaus.

This formula can help you to excel in your training (if you honestly take the time to do this).

And, it can also help you in any other area of your life, beyond just training.

And, I’ll give you my specific personal example of how I’m using this method right now in my own approach.

These 4 steps are a “framework.”

Let’s take a look.


If you’re regular reader, you already know how important it is to always know your #1 training goal at all times.

But, this is where people get stuck, they aren’t clear on exactly what they want.

Sure, we can have multiple goals, but we have to know the one big thing we want to achieve at any given time.

One goal, one focus.

You can everything you want, just not all at once, you have to FOCUS.

Point A to Point B.

What specifically is your point B?

If your results suck, it’s possible you aren’t clear on point B.

And, it’s also possible you’re making much more progress than you think.

If I asked you right now, “what is your primary training goal – what’s the ONE BIG THING you want right now?

How would you answer this question?

You have to know what you’re training for.


Right now my #1 goal is to improve technical proficiency to support strength with the Olympic lifts.

That’s it.  This is my #1 goal right now, today, as I write this.

So, skill development with the lifts is my focus , but I can quantify progress and results with analysis of the lifts and with load and volume of work.

Yes, I have other goals, but this is my #1 goal and my FOCUS.

Can I measure my big goal? Yes.

You should be able to measure your desired outcome.


Next, you have to do the right things that match your primary training goal.

Assuming you have your big goal, are you training randomly or are you following a program or at least some structure moving you towards your goal?

Are you doing a ton of exercises and working on a lot of different things at once?

Or, are you focusing your efforts on the most important exercises and skills that match your training goal?

Are you optimizing nutrition and recovery methods to their fullest so you can achieve your goal?

Do you have the right habits in place?

Do you need coaching or help with programming?

There’s a lot to consider here, but the bottom line is staying focused on the right things and avoiding distractions.

Relentless focus is the key.


Currently, I’m doing a very simple program that’s focused on just 3 exercises.

The 3 exercises are the snatch, the clean and jerk, and the front squat.

This is the focus, that’s not to say it’s all I do.

For example, the kettlebell work is supplemental to my primary goal.


This step is critically important.

Let’s assume you have your big goal and you have your plan (you’re attacking the right things).

You have to notice what’s working and what’s not.

If your results suck, have you paid attention to the details and taken the time to analyze what is effective in your approach?

This is a key skill and key learning to MAXIMIZE your progress.

I should also mention here that if you have a result you’re working towards and you haven’t achieved what you want, you also need to ask this important question.


Progress is progress, no matter what.

Progress is a step closer to your desired outcome, correct?

Just because you didn’t achieve a specific result, doesn’t mean you haven’t made progress (*this is very important to understand).


What’s working:

  • The program I’m doing (it’s simple and focused)
  • Self assessment with video analysis
  • Consistency of training
  • Having patience with the lifts
  • Continued study (putting in extra time to read and watch the OL techniques and then take action with what I learn) 

What’s not working (or could be better):

  • Need to re-assess program effectiveness in the coming weeks
  • Better identify technique faults (and fixes)
  • Spend more time on drills/progressions/regressions


The final step is probably the single most important step for getting results, if you’ve gone this far.


There’s are great quote we need to understand about the word persistence.

INSANITY: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. ~Einstein

That’s a great definition of insanity because if what we’re doing is not working and we just keep doing it anyway, it’s just crazy.

Yes, we need to be persistent with what it is we want to accomplish, yet we need to realize what’s working and what’s not (step #3).

Whatever it is we’re working to accomplish (our #1 goal) we need to relentlessly pursue that until we accomplish it.

But, we MAY need to make adjustments along the way if the results aren’t progressing as we want.

Make the right adjustments.

Make sense?


I’ve been working at the Olympic lifts for some time now and I could have quit a while ago because, quite honestly, they didn’t come naturally to me.

But, I’m totally committed to learning these lifts because I believe they are the ultimate display of strength, performance, and athleticism.

It’s not only something I WANT to do, it’s something I HAVE to do.

For me, it’s a must.

I’ve made many adjustments in my journey with these lifts to learn how to do them with better skill and movement proficiency, yet I still have a long way to go to be at the level I want.

Persistence and the unwillingness to give up has been a major factor in the forward progression with these lifts.

Adjustments and actions I’ve made along the way were:

  • Attending additional workshops/seminars
  • Additional time reading, learning, and observing technique
  • More time with deliberate “practice”
  • Technique regressions
  • Video analysis


If you think you’re training hard and NOT getting the results you want, I highly encourage you to go through these 4 simple steps right now.

Write out your answers as I’ve done here with my examples above.





Thanks for reading and the most important thing here is to TAKE ACTION.

This is a proven formula for success – and not just in training.

Scott Iardella MPT, CSCS writes about strength training methods to optimize health and performance. If you enjoyed this article, join a strong community of passionate fitness enthusiasts by subscribing below. 
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