Why is My Workout Not Working – BoomerMuscle
January 5, 2017

Why is My Workout Not Working

brain benching

Why my workout not working, you ask?  Sadly, the numbers indicate that many people’s workout programs are failing.

  • 67% of gym members never go: Statistic Brain:  
  • 46% of people who had downloaded fitness apps no longer used them: researchers at NYU.
  • Many will quit their workout routines within two weeks of their New Year’s resolutions, and about 50% will quit by June: researchers at the University of Scranton.

People start off with serious commitment. They want to get stronger, look better, lose weight. But many just give up.


You can Google for days and find nice little lists of reasons. In fact, you can read more on my list, directly below,  by clicking here:

  1. Intimidation
  2. Fear of Failure
  3. Your aching weak spots
  4. Lack of motivation
  5. Scheduling is difficult in your life.
  6. Lack of Passion

However you want to slice a list, I think there is a basic disconnect with many of the training programs being promoted today. I think it’s especially problematic for aging Baby Boomers as we sort through the philosophies of today’s gurus.

What the Gurus get wrong:

  1. Lack of Periodization: This is all about constantly mixing up your workout routines rather than focusing on the same basic routine on specific days. Fitness gurus who argue for Periodization claim the body needs constant variety. It’s BS.
  2. Lack of Muscle Confusion: Basically a subset of the above. Again, today’s gurus will try to convince you that your muscles need to be constantly confused in order to respond to stimulation. This is also complete BS.

Those are good reasons it might take 12 DVDs to package a workout routine, or why you’d need to hire a personal trainer to continually explain to you what you need to do.

Complexity is the Problem

Complexity is, in my opinion, one of the biggest reasons today that people are sabotaged in their workout programs. Albert Einstein, no slouch in understanding complexity, said it nicely:

“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” 

It’s in the best interest of the Gurus and the fitness companies to keep you in a state of awe and confusion. Lots of scientific-sounding jargon and in-your-face attitude makes it all seem credible somehow. Don’t be fooled. For every good point, there’s a pound of BS tossed in.

Other gurus will knock things like:

3. Don’t Do Isolation Exercises. For example, they will tell you that doing triceps pushdowns can’t possibly work to build muscle. Again, this is BS! It’s part of the current era fitness culture that thrives on complexity and variety. Compound movements in weight training, jumping up on boxes, flipping giant ropes and tires and so on.

4. Don’t Use Machines. Here, their complaint is that machines restrict your motion to the specific area of intent and for some reason that’s bad. Your muscles don’t think or ponder these issues. They just do the work and it does not matter how you create resistance: machines, barbells, dumbbells, resistance bands, bodyweight — they all work just fine.

Repeating more of this crap is not helpful for anyone, so I’ll leave it there.

Brian Patterson @ 60

I’m living proof to the contrary on those points. Isolation exercises are great ways to target and build specific muscles. Machines are just as effective as free weights and often safer to use. Today at 60, I have more muscle mass than I did in my 20’s. And I rely on breaking all 4 of those Guru ‘Rules’ noted above.

I focus each workout on a specific muscle group. I use isolation exercises to really hone in on specific muscles. I rarely change my routine and instead focus on consistency. Simplicity — and simply showing up and doing it. It works.

Check this Simple Workout plan you can do at home with minimal equipment, or in a full gym setting.

Our muscles do not have independent brains. They do not think or judge. They simply respond to what our actual brain tells them to do.

The muscles don’t have an opinion on anything. You can’t confuse something that cannot think. But you can easily baffle the crap out of people if you pile on the complexity.

The problem is all in our heads. Don’t let the complexity peddlers get to you. Keep it simple.

Why do you think people quit on their workouts? Please share below in the comments. Or drop me a line: Brian@BoomerMuscle.com

Brian Patterson

I've been resistance training for nearly 50 years. As a younger man, I used to believe in using ever-increasing amounts of weight. Until one day in my mid-50's, my aching joints could not take the punishment any more. I had to develop a new way of working out that was effective, but free of pain. I found it. It works great. I'd like to share it with you.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Brian Patterson - April 3, 2019 Reply

Hi David,
Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment. I’m glad you found the site interesting.
It’s inspiring to hear how active and engaged you are in health and sport, good on you!
I agree that runners should pay some attention to building muscle. Sometimes, some runners seem a bit too thin, if that’s even possible. Clearly, getting too bulky might be a detriment, but as you say a toned body is a win-win.
Best of luck to you in all your endeavors. Please feel free to use the site at will and check out the BoomerMuscle Facebook page. It features content not shared on this site, with lots of current articles from around the world.


David Atkinson - April 3, 2019 Reply

Hi Brian
I am 67 years old and in addition to being a full time university lecturer in nursing, I am also a running coach and recently qualified as a personal trainer, and I have to agree with you that there IS a load of BS in all the training/advice and even in the myriad of ‘essential courses’ various organisations say you ‘must have’ to be an effective personal trainer!
Whilst running (ultras/endurance events, such as the Marathon des Sables, which I completed when I was 60, and the Fan Dance race-SAS selection event when I was 63 and again at 64) is my first love in my own personal fitness, I fully support the view that muscle and resistance training is not only essential to improve general health and fitness (particularly as you get older) but also greatly assists in other sports such as running. The aesthetic appeal of a well toned body with at least SOME muscle is also a win-win as although that is not the first goal, it helps to look good for as long as you can!!

Many thanks Brian for the honest no BS advice and clear website-if only all in the business were as altruistic as you! Keep up the great work!
best wishes

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