Mission Muscle | No Go: When Exercise Doesn’t Work


In this month’s edition of Mission Muscle, veteran and guest fitness blogger Linton McClain talks about what to do when your workouts aren’t working.

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No Go: When Exercise Doesn’t Work

By Linton McClain
Personal Trainer, Superior Body Sculpting

You are waking up earlier. You are following a consistent exercise plan. You have asked for help and advice. You are trying to eat better. It’s just not working for you and you are not sure what to do. What should you do when exercise doesn’t work for you?

Believe it or not, it’s common for you to struggle with your fitness routine as a military member. It’s only a matter of “if” and “when” it happens. As a military member you are accustomed to structure and discipline. Time and time again, our ability to function as a unit has set us apart from every military force around the world. With that said, your struggle with fitness begins when you lack the structure and discipline to maintain high standards of fitness.


Fitness was, and still is, a very high priority during your weeks at bootcamp. Rigorous exercise was a part of daily living. Additionally, exercise was mandated and often enforced as disciplinary action. We struggle with exercise in the military when the daily fitness standards are not enforced. Any person would find less production when transitioning from a stage of extreme accountability to a lesser degree of accountability. Some people thrive when they are being held accountable. Others may thrive from motivation and inspiration. For you it may take a combination of accountability and motivation.

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From experience, we all know that exercise is not strictly enforced on the same level after bootcamp. You have a job and new assignments to complete. Unfortunately, a lowered standard of fitness has significant impact on your ability to maintain a high level of fitness. It’s important to know your limitations, strengths, and abilities. It would be in your best interest to work on your fitness goals with the right type of accountability and motivation. Are you self-­motivated? Do you need a person or group to help you focus and stay in shape? Find what works best for you in order to keep yourself on track with your accountability methods. Will your exercise program work with more accountability?

Education and Training 

Where did you learn how to exercise? Like most things in life, you probably used “mimicking.” We have come a long way in our lives using this technique. In most situations there simply isn’t enough time to get formal education on every single thing you need to know. Mimicking is necessary in the way we learn, but can be problematic when learning to exercise. Mimicking can be a real problem as damage caused from exercising incorrectly can be irreversible. Permanent damage to the body is highly probable without proper education and training. Proper form and technique also help you to make every repetition and every second count. Your form and technique could be terrible while you may feel you are giving your all and doing your best. This is obviously not a good situation to be in.

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You will be surprised at how small tweaks in form and technique can change the experience and effectiveness of the exercise completely. We get education and training to operate dangerous weapons and machinery. Why don’t we do the same when operating our body at dangerous levels? Without training and education there’s no way to set realistic fitness goals and avoid injury. This is why health professionals such as personal trainers, fitness instructors, and nutritionists are important. Make the investment and gain the proper knowledge to build your body effectively. Will the proper education and training help your fitness progress?

Realistic Goals 

You will be in a great position to set realistic goals with accountability and the proper training. We see it in our leadership on a daily basis. How many times have you watched your supervisor set realistic goals and make calculated decisions under pressure? Their training and experience are the difference between theory and reality. You set realistic fitness goals in the same manner. You need proper training to know your body. You need experience and accountability to know how your body reacts under pressure. The only goals you should make are goals in which you have experience. You will find that goals quickly become unrealistic when they originate purely from emotion. There is a simple method to setting realistic goals. Take something you have already tried and do it better. Do you know enough about your body to set realistic goals in fitness?

Maybe your exercise program is not working but it’s important to understand why. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to maintain a proper intensity and focus without accountability, education, and goals. It’s always important to be able to properly assess your situation. A proper assessment will make for a more realistic approach to any situation. Most exercise programs work “if” they are the right program for your goals and your lifestyle. With an accountability partner you can stay on track. You can properly measure your progress with fitness education. You can increase your chances of success with realistic goals while avoiding disappointments.

Let’s make goals for your lifestyle and the life you want to live. If you have any questions regarding health and wellness please email me at sbsculptme@gmail.com or visit our website at sbsculptme.com

For more information on health and wellness visit www.sbsculptme.com.

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