Written by RevolutioniZe Nutritionist, Rebecca Desousa
Nutrition and Dietetics, Penn State University
The Real Reasons you Aren't Developing Muscle:
Putting on muscle mass is not an easy task! Are these common mistakes keeping you from growing?
1. Not training with enough intensity. You do not have to train every exercise until failure, but if you want to add muscle you must push out of your comfort zone. If you are not struggling, you are probably holding back on your potential to grow. For at least one set per movement, go hard and heavy and get a spot if necessary.
2. You keep adding volume and extra workouts, and not allowing time for recovery. Keep it simple. “More is better” is not always the case. Make the most of each workout. You do not have to be in the gym for hours, use your time efficiently. Learn the proper training protocols, volume, rest periods, intensity, and recovery time for your goals.
3. You isolate too much or too little. Every workout should include at least one or two “big lifts” and a single-joint move. Structure your workouts to include both compound and isolated movements.
4. You are testing your maxes too often. Master lower weight and form, then work on mastering heavier weights. Working on maxes and getting strong is fun, but you do not have to do it every day you are in the gym.
5. You are not consistently eating enough, simple as that. Sometimes it is harder for someone trying to gain weight than trying to lose weight. It is super important to keep track of your macros and figure out where improvements can be made. Remember the importance of consuming the correct ratios of proteins, fats and carbs. Your protein intake is going to be a huge component of your muscle recovery. Your carbohydrate intake is going to be a factor in your muscle recovery AND your body's primary source of energy. The correct amount of carbohydrate intake around your workouts will allow for optimal performance. You are not growing in the gym. You are breaking down muscle in the gym. Food, recovery time, and sleep, allows those muscles to heal and grow.
6. You are trying to do it alone. If you are new and unfamiliar with this territory it might not come easy to you, so use your resources and communities to get the help you need to reach your goals.
7. You aren't hitting all your large muscle groups. We often see, men especially, focus solely on trainig biceps. Remeber to train your LARGER muscle groups. Your triceps and biceps will be stimulated while you are working your larger muscles. Perform the correct volume and training protocol for muscle groups such as legs, chest, back, and shoulders. Development through the back and shoulders, will also enhance the illusion of a more tapered, inverted triangle waist line. If you are looking to develop more glutes and legs, recognize that these muscles are MUCH stronger than you think. Grandually increase your strength over time, in a smart fashion, to unlock your fullest potential and allow these muscles to shape. Do not be afraid to push outside of your comfort zone. Your legs are stonger than you think!
8. You are doing too much cardio. EXCESSIVE cardiovascular exercise methods can counter your efforts in hypertrophy training, or muscular development. This, coinciding with under-eating for your energy requirements, is super detrimental to your hopes and efforts of muscular growth.
9. You are impatient. You are not allowing yourself enough time of consistent training and adequate caloric intake to develop muscle. This often happens when a client can not decide if they want to go through a muscular development phase, or a fat loss phase. Decide what you want, create the action plan, and stick to it. Muscular development is not something that can be rushed. It takes TIME.