You go to the gym regularly. You put in your 45 minutes to an hour every visit, so you’re doing a great job, right?

Stop fooling yourself.

Look at your results from the past few months. Have you seen improvements in muscle size, weight loss or strength?

If the answer is no, you’re probably taking shortcuts or not putting in enough effort while you are at the gym.

Though it is great that you are consistently making it to the gym and working out, there are things that you can check to ensure that you are making the most of your time and seeing subsequent results.

Watch your form
Take the time to check your form while you are performing each exercise. Are you targeting the correct muscles with your movements? Are you keeping proper tempo with each rep? Are all joints in the correct positions? If you are unsure, check with a fitness professional or a reputable website for guidance on how to perform each move properly. Exercises such as barbell, dumbbell or jump squats are common examples of an exercise where the exerciser does not go deep enough toward the floor to get full benefits. Always check your posture and confirm that you are keeping your body in proper alignment for the exercise you are performing. If your form starts to break, stop to avoid injury and then assess what caused the break in form.

Check your speed as well. Are you rushing through your exercises? Are you allowing for enough time with your muscles under tension? Remember that slowing the movement on the eccentric contraction will also help you build muscle quicker (lowering the weight back down in a bicep curl, for example). Speed depends on the exercise too, because Mountain Climbers, for one, should be done quickly.

Not challenging yourself
At the end of each set of repetitions, are you breathing hard? Do you actually need to rest in between sets? The last few repetitions should be a challenge and after each exercise you should be catching your breath.

Unsure of whether or not you are upping your weight from session to session? Start tracking your exercises, sets and repetitions from day to day. You should be getting stronger and able to lift more or perform more reps the more often that you exercise.

Change it up
Don’t follow the same workout plan from day to day either or week to week. Challenge yourself and try a new machine or exercise that will keep your body guessing and results materializing. Your muscles need to be challenged in order to grow as well. If unsure about a new exercise or machine, reach out to professional for assistance and advice.

Ultimately, your time is at a premium. Make the most of your trip to the gym to work out by performing exercises properly, with significant effort and enough variance that you will see the results for the time that you spend exercising.