We all want to build muscle, either to look bigger, stronger or just leaner. The thing is, most of us will be going about building muscle in completely the wrong way. It is far from an easy process, but with the following points you can avoid the most common mistakes.
These five points will help you balance your workout schedule and at the same time quicken your muscle building process.
1. You Train Too Much
You want to Build Muscle? you want to be lean? so training hard for hours is the best approach, right? WRONG!
You need to give yourself rest, it’s that simple. The average person cannot recover from training 6 days per week. 3 to 4 days heavy lifting is more than adequate… Train hard for 4 days per week, and give yourself plenty of rest, and plenty of nutritious healthy food
2. You are Not Getting Enough Sleep
You can train as hard as you like, but without good quality sleep, you won’t grow. It’s as simple as that. While you’re in the gym, lifting heaving weights you’re breaking down and damaging your muscles fibres. Quality diet and sleep are a must if you are to give your body a fighting chance to repair and grow. Try snacking just before bed to ensure your body has enough protein and carbs for muscle repair while you sleep.
3. You Don’t Eat Enough
If you want to Build Muscle you have to increase your calorie intake and eat for lean muscle. Not from burgers, pizza and chips, but from wholesome nutritious food. Pasta, potatoes, wholemeal bread and fruit. Most people drastically under estimate the amount of additional calories they need to Build Muscle Mass. The bigger you get the more you have to eat to support your new body mass. If you find it difficult to add size, try GOMAD.
Also try cutting back on the Cardio. Long drawn out cardio sessions will start to eat into your muscle gains. If you really want cardio try using HIIT instead. The High Intensity nature will ensure you get the maximum benefits without spending too long in the gym, and preserve Muscle Mass.
4. Your Form is Terrible.
Trying to lift the heaviest weight you can lay your hands on in the gym is both dangerous and counter productive. Concentrate on form first by picking a weight you can lift comfortably for 15 – 20 reps. Now slow your motion down, 3 – 1 – 2 (3 Seconds to lower the weight, pause for 1 Second then 2 seconds to raise).
This approach will ensure your muscles are under tension for the optimum amount of time to stimulate new muscle growth, plus you reduce your chance of injury and don’t look like a jerk when you try and lift 10 lbs more than you are capable of.
5. Your Workout Lacks Variety
I change my workouts every 6 – 8 weeks. I like to keep my muscles guessing. As soon as they get used to a rep range, weight or workout regime its time to switch it up. Your body quickly becomes used to a routine. Ideally you should be increasing either the rep range or weights every week per exercise. If you don’t you simply will not grow, and will not build muscle.
I have even started performing a week of exercises in the 8 to 12 rep range, followed by a week of 5 x 5 strength training. I get the best of both worlds, and my body is kept guessing, it never knows whats coming. My Muscles have to grow to accommodate the ever changing loads and reps I subject them to.