You’re not even there in spirit. You might show up and execute all sets and reps, but you’re doing it without any attempt to improve since your last workout.
You choose your favorite muscle groups and then fail to do the ones you don’t enjoy doing, usually by procrastinating them into Sunday. And then you say, “Oh well, I’ll start fresh on Monday.” But on Monday you don’t start with the muscle groups you neglected, and work your favorite ones again, resulting in complete lack of stimulation of your weak spots for weeks.
You go work out at the happy hour time when everyone else is working out. You do this subconsciously so you have an excuse to avoid the compound moves since everyone is doing them, and the racks where you perform those compound moves are busy.
You don’t time yourself between sets, so they end up being 5-minutes long and you’re not a powerlifter trying to max out on singles. Then at 45-minutes into your workout, you’ve got to go, and you’ve only done 10 sets.
You allow yourself to exercise only when you’re in the mood for it, but sadly you’re not in the mood that often.
But your muscles hurt when they are finally starting to get challenged.
You get wasted on cardio when you’re trying to pack some meat on those wheels.
How do you know it’s too light? You’re not worried that if you lose focus you’ll get hurt. If you’re not getting hurt when you lose focus it’s not a heavy enough weight.
You’re doing half reps, and fail to do more than two reps when the set is supposed to be hypertrophic around 10. But your ego says, “Keep trying and some day you’ll make 10.” Yes, but in the meantime, pick a pair of bells you can actually handle!
You have issues with taking performance-enhancing supplements like creatine, caffeine, and protein, for no obvious reason and that means you refuse to take advantage of them. Conclusion: You’re missing out on muscle-building options.
You go through your routine like it’s a list to check off, instead of analyzing how the exercises and reps feel, take notes, and then change what needs to be adjusted to improve.
You’re so concerned with not gaining an ounce of fat while you’re getting those muscles to grow that you actually don’t grow at all. You defend yourself by saying your strength is going up, but if that means one rep on one set in one month, it’s not much to brag about. Also, you can gain strength without gaining an ounce of muscle.