At some point, we have to stop and think why we all had the bad experience of making slim to no gains muscle ?!. All the late nights at the gym pushing out the last few reps while sweat drips down your arm. Or that last mouth full of oats. It can be incredibly depressing to put so much effort in what seems pointless.
Now, before you give up, step back and examine what your actually doing. Most people go to the gym basically on autopilot – with their workout soundtrack blasting through their headphones and body pumped with a pre workout drink. They don’t actually realise where they could be slipping up.
This article will cover three possible reasons to why you are messing up.
Not Eating a Surplus:
Firstly, let’s look at nutrition.
It is pretty common knowledge that eating a surplus of food makes you gain weight, with protein being the culprit of muscle development. Yet, I hear time and time again people saying “no matter what, I can’t gain weight/muscle. The honest truth is – unless you cystic fibrosis (which is highly rare), you simply aren’t eating enough.
This was my problem several years ago. I thought I was eating more then enough food because it seemed like I lived in the fridge. Yet when I checked a calorie calculator, I found out I was around 500 calories off maintenance – meaning I was steadily LOSING weight. If it seems that you could be in the same boat, I urge you to check out a calorie calculator and a weight gain calculator to get a better idea on how many calories you need to consume on a daily basis, including what split of carbohydrates, fats and proteins is ideal.
Secondly,following a professionals routine.
When getting in to body building, a common mistake is to go straight to the deep end and search for professional routines, thinking, “if it’s working for them, it’s got to working for me too,but you’re wrong. The fact of the matter is, bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman have had years of experience to get these bodies. Doing a lying dumbbell supination’ is not necessarily the best choice for a beginner.
It is widely recommended to start off with simple compound exercises such as deadlifts, bench presses, squats. As well as push ups, pull ups etc.
Note: A great basics workout program is “Bill Starrs 5×5″.
Once you have a good balanced full body strength level. You can then move on to some of the other exercises/routines to target specific muscle.
Remember this – If your struggling to do 120 pounds on the bench press, don’t assume it’s just your chest which is lacking. It’s most likely your shoulder and triceps too.
Finally,sticking to the same routine for too long.
If you have been on the same workout routine for 3 or more months, it might be a good time to switch it up.
By doing the same thing for a long period of time, it is generally accepted that your muscle get used to it and become some what adapt. In most cases, this is called a plateau. A muscle plateau is when it seems like your muscle building and/or strength progression has halted. By switching up the exercises and intensity, your muscles wont know what’s happening. They will scream “What is this!? I was comfortable where I was..” (Now – if you do hear your muscle talk, please check your pre workout for any hallucinogens).
So now, my advice for you is to first, check how many calories you need as apposed to how much you are currently eating; and change accordingly (even if that means going to McDonalds as a treat). Second, pick out a routine which you believe will help you out with your goals. And third, change your routine if you have been on it for three or more months.