When it comes to building muscle, there are many contributing factors. Let's look at what you are doing, which could potentially hold you back in the gym.
1. You do not overtrain, you are not recovering enough
Think about how weight training does your body. By lifting weights, you are destroying your muscles, so you are not gaining muscle by simply lifting weights. You see benefits only when you help your muscles recover from the work you do in the gym.
Recovery can come in many forms. In my opinion, there are three main areas of recovery that everyone should help – not only to build muscle, but also to improve overall health.
What you feed your body before and after workouts will determine how well you will train in the gym. If you eat like shit, you will feel like shit. If you eat foods that provide your body with enough nutrients, your muscles will recover from weight and become fuller and stronger.
Mobility is not only for people who practice yoga. Everyone can benefit from better mobility. If you are lifting weight and do not pay any attention to improving and maintaining the range of motion in the joints, you tune in to injury. The constant addition of moving work to your daily life will help your body recover from workouts and lead to an improvement in overall strength, health and muscle building.
You can't fool your dream. Period. Everyone has different schedules, but you should try at least seven hours of quality sleep every night. If you go to the gym with a feeling of tiredness and lack of sleep, you will not perform as well as if you had a full night's sleep. From time to time you can go crazy with junk food and still have a decent workout, but when you train for a bad night's sleep, there is no caffeine to help you. Lack of sleep will lead to increased levels of cortisol, which leads to an increase in body fat and reduced muscle mass. So go to bed!
2. You focus on testing, not on build
Leave your ego at the gym door, because it keeps you from muscular load. Many people believe that they need to lift as much weight as possible. They want to check how strong they are today, and not to work on building up their strength. They put more weight on the bar than they can stand, and as a result, they miss many repetitions and fail in their set. If you view each workout as a competition, you walk down a dead end street. If you treat workouts as building blocks that work together to achieve a greater goal, you will add muscle and become stronger.
To do this, you need to consider volume in your training plan. Volume is the total weight that you lift during the workout. This is a key factor in your progress and an excellent illustration of why weight gain does not always bring the maximum gain.
Let's say you get to the gym, and this is a bench day. You put 135 pounds on the barbell and start training. On the first set you perform 10 repetitions. In the second set, you get 7, and in the third approach, you manage 4 repetitions, until someone tears the bar off your chest. You have successfully completed 21 repetitions, which is a total of 2,835 pounds (135 x 21 = 2835).
To begin with, you did not warm up before you gained your working weight, and as a result you were not ready to do 3 sets of 10 with 135 pounds each. In addition, however, you would be better off with less weight on the bar. Suppose you do at least a few warm-up sessions and reduce your working weight to 125 pounds. You perform the first set and get 10 reps. You get 10 reps again in the second and third set, successfully completing 30 repetitions with 125 pounds, totaling 3,750 pounds, not including warm-up sets. Thus, putting less on the bar, you have raised 915 pounds more weight (3750 – 2935 = 915), a huge difference in volume.
3. You emphasize isolation and machine exercises on difficult elevators.
There is definitely a time and place for isolation exercises. Everyone loves to do push-ups, curls of the barbell and lats falling out, and I am no different. It is also true that most of the gym population is focused on isolation movements, ignoring difficult lifts. If your goal is to build muscle, think about your workout as a three-course meal. Your snack is a warm-up, your main course is complex exercises, and dessert is an exercise for isolation.
Complex exercises are multipurpose exercises that include more than one muscle group at a time. They include squats, bench press, pull and pull, and these are just some of them. Complex exercises not only increase muscle mass, but also make you stronger, and the stronger you are, the more muscle fibers you can use. The more muscles you use in motion – whether it is a combined lift or movement in isolation – the more weight you can support and the more weight you can support, the more your muscles will grow.
You cannot build muscle without a foundation of strength, and you do not get stronger by doing curls. You become stronger by placing your body in a position in which it must use the maximum amount of muscle fibers to create the force to move an external load. If you focus solely on the movements of isolation, you simply pump blood. If you focus on lifting with large, complex movements, you use more motor units, which leads to an increase in strength, muscles and increased profits.
4. You lack diversity in your routine.
A variety of exercises is a key factor in building muscle. Remember when you first started training and you felt very sick the next day? Your muscles are not used to perform new exercises and adapted to them. Whether you are an experienced trainer or a beginner, your muscles react to new movements.
If you put the best male bodybuilder in the world in a ballet class, I guarantee you that he will feel muscles that he has never experienced at least for the next few days. This is because his muscles are used to doing certain exercises, and when they go out of the comfort zone, they have to work differently.
Despite this, the muscles get tired quickly, so if you performed the same procedure with the same exercises, raised the same weight, with the same intensity and do not remember when the last time you saw the results, try adding a little exercise. This does not mean that you need to do something completely random in a day, it means that you need to scatter new exercises throughout the program so that your muscles do not get bored.
Another way to add diversity to your workout is to use the same exercises, but to change the order in which they are performed in your workout. If you always start the day with a squat, try thigh thrust or lunging first. If you always start the chest day with the bench press, try first to make a bias to create a new muscle stimulus.
Key points for adding muscle
Here are your tips on how to shake your workouts and stimulate achievements:
- Allow your body to recover from exercising in the gym, getting enough nutrition, mobility and getting good sleep.
- Treat training as a building block, a higher goal, and work with weights that you can lift for full sets and reps.
- Focus on doing challenging lifts and use isolation exercises to help improve basic lifts.
- Make your muscles work in new ways and add variety to your exercises.
Bodybuilding.com All Access contains more than 50 training plans developed by specialists, which include these types of training strategies and much more! Join today and start a plan that's right for you!