Here are four suggestions to buck that trend and get the muscle-building process moving.
1. You’re under-recovering, not overtraining
Think about the effects weight training has on your body. Just lifting weights does not result in muscle growth because you are breaking down your muscles. Only when you aid your muscles in recovering from your gym training will you start to experience improvements.
There are numerous ways to recover. According to me, everyone should focus on these three key areas of recovery if they want to increase their muscle mass as well as improve their overall health.
How well you perform at the gym and whether you gain weight depends on what you feed your body before and after your workouts. You will feel bad if you eat poorly. Your muscles will heal from the weights and grow back fuller and stronger if you eat foods that give your body enough nutrition.
Mobility isn’t just for yoga practitioners. A greater range of motion is advantageous to everyone. You put yourself at risk for injury if you lift weights without making any effort to maintain and improve your joint range of motion. Consistently including mobility exercises in your program can aid your body in recovering from exercise and increase your general health and strength.
Sleep is something you can’t fake. Period. Although everyone’s schedules are different, you should make an effort to get at least seven hours of restful sleep each night. You won’t do as well in the gym if you’re exhausted and sleep deprived compared to if you’d gotten a full night’s rest. When you train after a poor night’s sleep, no amount of caffeine will help you; occasionally, you can get away with eating poorly and yet have a nice workout. Cortisol levels will rise as a result of sleep deprivation, which will result in more body fat and less muscular growth. Get to bed, then!
2. You’re more concerned with testing than with building.
Keep your ego outside the gym since it is preventing you from building muscle. Many people believe they must raise the most weight possible. Instead of training to increase their strength, they want to see how strong they already are. They place more weight on the bar than they can bear, miss a number of reps, and fail their set as a result. You are on the wrong track if you approach every workout as a competition. You will gain muscle and become stronger if you approach your workouts like building pieces that fit together to accomplish a bigger objective.
You must take volume into account in your training program to achieve that. The overall weight you lift throughout a workout is referred to as volume. It’s a crucial component of your development and a great example of why pushing the maximum weights doesn’t necessarily result in the maximum benefits.
Imagine you arrive at the gym and it is bench day. You start your workout after placing 135 pounds on the bar. You perform 10 repetitions in the first set. You complete seven reps on the second set, and four on the third set before needing help getting the bar off your chest. You’ve performed 21 reps successfully, which is a total weight of 2,835 pounds (135 x 21 = 2,835).
You didn’t warm up before reaching your working weight, therefore you weren’t ready to perform three sets of ten repetitions with 135 pounds. Beyond that, though, a lighter load on the bar would have been preferable. Assume you perform at least a few warm-up sets and reduce the working weight to 125 pounds. You complete the first set, getting 10 repetitions. You successfully complete 30 reps with 125 pounds and 10 reps on each of your second and third sets, for a total volume of 3,750 pounds, excluding the warm-up sets. As a result, you lifted 915 pounds more weight (3,750 – 2,935 = 915) by using less weight on the bar.
3. You prioritize machine and isolation exercises over compound lifts.
Exercises involving seclusion have undoubtedly their place and time. I’m not the only one who enjoys performing pushdowns, bar curls, and lat pulldowns. It’s also true that a sizable fraction of gymgoers prioritizes isolation exercises while ignoring compound lifts. Consider your workout as a three-course meal if your objective is to gain muscle. The warm-up serves as your appetizer, the compound lifts as your main course, and the isolation workouts as your dessert.
Compound lifts are multijoint workouts that work for several muscle groups simultaneously. These include naming a few, squats, presses, deadlifts, and pull-ups. Complex workouts will increase your strength and help you gain muscle, and the more muscle fibers you can activate the stronger you will be. Whether it’s a compound lift or an isolated motion, the more muscles you use throughout the action, the more weight you can lift, and the more weight you can lift, the more your muscles will grow.
Without a strong foundation, you can’t gain muscle, and doing curls won’t make you stronger. By forcing your body to use its maximum number of muscle fibers to generate force to move an external load, you can make yourself stronger. If all of your attention is on isolated movements, all you are doing is pumping blood. Focusing on large, complex lifts will cause you to activate more motor units, which will increase your strength, size, and gains.
4. You Don’t Have Enough Variation In Your Routine Variety
In exercise is essential for muscular growth. When you initially started working out, the day after you felt incredibly sore. Your muscles were adapting to the new exercises because you weren’t used to doing them. Your muscles react to new motions whether you are a beginner or an experienced trainer.
I can assure you that if you enroll the world’s finest bodybuilder for men in a ballet class, he will experience new levels of muscle soreness for at least a few days. That’s because his muscles are challenged to work differently when they are forced to perform in a way that they are not accustomed to.
Even so, the muscles grow bored easily, so if you’ve been doing the same exercises, lifting the same weight, and working out at the same intensity for a while and can’t recall the last time you saw benefits, try introducing some new exercises. To keep your muscles challenged and from becoming bored, you should sprinkle various workouts throughout your regimen. This does not mean that you should perform something absolutely odd every other day.
Using the same exercises but performing them in a different order during your workout will give your routine more diversity. If you always begin your leg day with squats, give lunges or hip thrusts a try. If you typically begin your chest day with bench presses, try starting with an incline press to give your muscles a different stimulus.
Important Ideas For Gaining Muscle
Here are some key ideas to help you mix up your workouts and encourage gains:
- By consuming enough food, practicing mobility exercises, and obtaining enough sleep, you may help your body recuperate from working out in the gym.
- Work out with weights you can lift for the full number of sets and repetitions and think of your workouts as building bricks for a bigger goal.
- Do isolated workouts to assist you to get better at the primary lifts, and concentrate on executing compound lifts.
- By adding diversity to your exercises, you can get your muscles to operate in new ways.