1 big reason why you’re not gaining muscle

Not sure why I chose this picture…
I guess I’m doing something and not just talking about it?
Anyways it’s in Vegas, doing a bit of a dance number – good trip 🙂
  1. You’re working your tongue and jaw not your hips and quads.

Talking is an epidemic that has been attacking the muscles of gym-goers for years. Gyms have become areas to socialize almost as much as they are areas to workout and get in better shape. If you’re spending any time talking while you’re working out, odds are it’s too much. Get away from it now, please!

When you’re in the gym, your time is precious, especially when you don’t have the time to talk because of a busy work schedule, family life, time with friends and time to relax.

Talking takes away from the intensity of a workout, it takes your eyes and mind off of the clock giving your body too much rest and your muscles not enough work. Talking is a huge reason as to why you aren’t gaining like you should be. I know the gym can be a place where you meet a buddy for a lift, but ask yourself how bad you really want 10,20,30 lbs of lean muscle, ask yourself how bad you want the confidence you’ll have with your knew body and make the decision, “do I want to talk or train?” There is no both.

Intensity can make pretty much any program work. It’s the one thing that should be a constant with all your workouts.

Treat your workouts like you’re going in to a fight. Be focused, be intense, lift the absolute most weight you can as many times as you can – keeping the reps and sets in mind –  and you’re going to be successful.

Some programs are obviously better than others, but in the end you decide what you’re going to accomplish and talking to your buddy will get you nothing. If you want to talk pick up the phone.

Actually I’ve been seeing people on the phone while they’re working out which is pretty useless, and needless to say they weren’t in the best shape.

Next time you’re at the gym try to limit yourself to 10 words. Even wear headphones to distract people from trapping you in a conversation. You’ll find that your workouts are more intense and quicker.

You’ll also be a lot happier with your results.

  • Thanks for sharing this article.

    I have wondered if I’m being rude. I’ve not made any attempts to befriend with anyone at the gym even though I do often see familiar faces now that I’ve been going to the same gym for the past 9 months at about the same time of the day. Part of it related to the fact that I have a hearing loss, which in itself poses a challenge to understanding what people are saying. Also, I’ve been enjoying working out with my hearing aids off as it’s quieter and less distracting with all the music, metal clanging, grunting, and what not. That leads me to not hear anyone at all!

    Just yesterday, at the gym, I crossed path with a guy who I haven’t spoken with for about a few months. I just so happen to see in the mirror that his eyes were looking at me and his lips were moving. So, I instantly just turned one of my hearing aids on to catch the rest of his greeting. I just exchanged it promptly and politely. And, I didn’t bother carrying it further as I was not really expecting to chat with him and was focussed on with what I was doing at the gym. I’m sure he was too focussed on what he was doing.

    And, when I was on sent on the road to attend a conference for about a week earlier this month, I went to the gym and happened to see someone from the conference. She wanted to chat. Being polite I did while I was doing my thing. Then, I realized that the intensity of my exercising really faltered as she kept hanging around. Finally she left and I got on with it. To the least, it wasn’t a great one. Now, I know what you mean about talking at the gym.

    • Chad Howse

      Hey Jonathan, you sound pretty dedicated. I hope you’re getting some good results, if you need a hand or a sample workout just let me know.

      But ya, people coming up to you for a conversation can ruin a workout, so much of a good workout is being focused and intense and people can definitely get you off track.

      Even if people are talking to me I keep my eye on the clock and start lifting when my rest period is up, even if they’re still talking. If they don’t get it I just let them talk away and say a lot of “what’s?”

      I try not to be rude but I’m not going to let them get in the way of a good workout, I wouldn’t do it to them so just try and be kind, but don’t let them get in your way by any means.

      Best of luck!


  • Hey Chad,

    Thanks for your reply!

    Well, I’ve been making progress. I don’t know how good it’s been. In the fall of 2008, I completed a learn how to run 4km course over a 8 week period. I found myself weighing 160lbs. I’m 6′ 1.25″ tall. Then, I decided that I wanted to continue exercising and did so by signing up for some 1-to-1 training of doing various stuff at a gym. Then, in late January 2009, I started the Built for Show (BFS) routine as described in Nate Green’s book. I’m now about a month from being done with the entire BFS routine. These, I’m wiggling back and forth between 187lbs and 190lbs. I’m pleased with my progress so far, but I want to keep making more! It’d be awesome if I could be buff like you someday.

    Luckily, at the gym, I don’t know of many people. Maybe 5 at most, but they’re not often there when I’m there. I don’t go out my way to say hi to them because I wouldn’t want to be a deterrent to their workout like they would be to me if they were to start chatting it up with me. I appreciate knowing what you thought.