10 Reasons You’re Not Building Muscle
Trying to pack on the muscle isn’t a simple task for anyone regardless whether if you’re skinny or naturally bulky. The last thing you need therefore is simple mistakes holding you back from making serious gains. So if you’re getting frustrated from being stuck at the same weight, check out these top 10 errors most guys make when trying to build muscle:
If you are a complete novice, the results from the first phase of your training program are ones which you don’t see. For example, your coordination improves with each exercise. In addition your neuromuscular efficiency increases, which is the communication between your brain and muscles. Avoid looking in the mirror every day – be patient and the results will follow.
This applies to both diet and exercise. Make sure you’re lifting weights at least three times per week and that you’re eating enough every day. Like most things in life, consistency is key for any long term change. While missing a day here or there won’t affect you dramatically, making a habit of it might.
Training logs are just as important as the program. In order to maximize muscle hypertrophy, keep a note of all your weights used, repetitions completed, the tempo of the exercise and the breaks between sets. Logs are also a good way to look back and see how you got injured or over-trained.
For athletes and people trying to build muscle, you need to be eating between 1.3 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Alternatively, for people who are trying to maintain a healthy weight, 1.0 to 1.2 should be sufficient. Eating a variety of protein sources such as fish, poultry and eggs which contain different amino acids are all highly beneficial to your muscle-building goals.
Get rid of the randomness and stick to an exercise plan. This is by far the best way to increase muscle size and improve strength. Random training could make you stronger if you’re a beginner, but in the long term a strategic routine is the key to maximizing gains.
Don’t be that guy in the gym who only does half or quarter reps. Half reps are only going to get you half results. Learn how to perform full reps for each exercise you do. You’ll maximize gains in the long term if you stick to progressing full range of motions with lighter weights, than you would with heavy weights using half reps.
If you’re looking to gain size and strength, then cardio workouts should not dominate your routine. Of course don’t be afraid to slot in some sessions, but your number one priority should be lifting weights at least three times a week.
Lateral raises, front raises and curls are all great workouts but are often performed at the wrong time. You should be focusing on the big compound lifts at the start of your routine while you’re not fatigued. Do exercises like squats, deadlifts and presses at the beginning and save isolation workouts for the end.
Spending too much time in the gym is detrimental to your training. It will lead to tougher recovery between sessions whilst also increasing stress levels. Beginners can get a lot of work done in a 45 to 60 minute session if proper breaks are taken between sets and they’re focused.
Whey protein can help increase your daily protein intake while creatine builds strength and size. However, you still need to do the work in the gym. Avoid looking for a magic formula – stay focused on your diet and exercise.
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About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.