Sometimes when trying to pack on the muscle, it can feel like you are running on a hamster wheel. You are doing the same thing your trainer and everyone in the gym is doing, yet you cannot seem for the life of you, to gain any muscle! You have read all the work out magazines, bookmarked all the exercise and nutrition websites and you even hired a professional trainer to design you work out. So where are you going wrong?
Here are the top 5 big mistakes that make your muscle building efforts fail.
1. Inconsistency with your workout
This is probably the single largest mistake every muscle builder makes when they are trying to get in shape. You train consistently for a month then you stop and then pick up 3 weeks later and you assume you should be able to pick up from where you left off. Every time you pause your exercise, your body also hits pause on your muscle growth and confuses your metabolism. This means that the next time your start working out your body will start from scratch, while you expect it to simply pick up form where you left off.
Even if you get a professionally designed workout that you do not follow ritualistically, you will not gain muscle. Completing a work out is not only good for your muscles, it is also an excellent work out for your self-esteem, develops your character and trains your mind to be consistent. Every time you quit on a workout because it is too hard or you simply do not have the time, you are simply making excuses and you will eventually end up not getting the body you want.
Stick with it even when it gets hard and you will be amazed at the results.
2. Over training or Under training
Your parents probably told you that doing too much of a thing can be poisonous. Well as most parents are, they were right! Training too frequently does not give your body a chance to recover and recuperate. Instead what happens when you work out without adequate rest periods is, you over work the muscle and it begins to tear down and get used as energy by the body. This will definitely not produce the results you were hoping for.
The other extreme is also just as bad. You want to gain muscles, but you are not willing to put in the effort then you wonder why you are not getting ribbed. Well its simple, you are not giving your body the challenge it requires to make your muscle grow. You may be increasing your endurance but unless you vamp up the training, add some squats and Romanian dead weights to the mix, you will not get those girls to turn their heads.
3. Doing the wrong workout and using an improper form
Most times when you want to build muscle, you need to perform heavy weight work outs and not just cardio. In fact, you will be better off if you minimize on cardio and instead train for strength, by doing barbell lifts, bench presses, dead lifts and squats. The key is to track your workouts and train progressively. You can start with smaller weights and as your body develops resistance, progressively increase the weights and intensity of the work outs.
Working out using an improper form also seems to be a plague among most gym goers. They perform squats with their toes instead of using the full heel, or they round their backs while trying a deadlift. Sadly, unless you find out the right form to use when exercising, you will not realize that you are even doing something wrong. A key indicator however, is pain. If you feel pain when performing a routine (Not fatigue, pain) there is a high chance that you are going about the work out in the wrong way. Also ensure that you do not change your routines or exercises to frequently. Doing this does not give the body part being trained a chance to grow adequately.
4. Not eating for the part
Often, when small people complain about their inability to gain muscle, it is because they are not eating appropriately. It is advised to eat proteins on a regular basis, however, even those have a limit. Studies have shown that past the daily required limit of between 100 and 130 grams per day, there is really no correlation between further protein consumption and muscle building. Instead, Make sure that you have a healthy mix of proteins and carbs which can be burned down for energy during your workouts. Unsaturated fats such as the kind found in cashew nut are actually very essential part of the diet and should always be included in your meals.
It is also very important to eat on a regular basis. Instead of 1 or 2 heavy meals a day, increase you eating times to between 4 and 6 times a day. This will ensure your metabolism is always humming and you always have the energy you require during work outs. Also make sure to consume an average of between 10 to 15 glasses of water per day. It is an essential part of every body process and hence you should always stay hydrated.
5. Not knowing your limits and having unrealistic expectations
Most muscle builders begin muscle building with an unrealistically hyped up expectations and goals. An overweight person who expects to lose 75 pounds in 5 weeks or a newbie who expects to do 200 bench presses on his first day is simply setting himself up for failure. You need to set up realistic goals and be patient, persistent, dedicated and you will eventually build the right body for you.
However, even as you train you should know your limits. The secret to the best trainers is that they train until they feel they can simply not do one more set of a certain work out. They do not have a certain number of sets or repetitions which they intend to achieve, instead they listen to their bodies and work out until it says “STOP! I can’t take anymore.”
Always start your work outs with a long term goal in mind, but remember to appreciate the small achievements. They eventually build up to make you stronger, more ribbed and better looking than you could ever have imagined. Avoid the above mistakes and you will be well on your way to looking and feeling great about yourself.
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