So this is it, you finally decided to get in your best shape, to conquer your lack of confidence and start working out. You went to get your membership at your nearest gym open 24/7 to make sure you can't give yourself time excuses. You stuck to your routine and start to feel stronger, but don't see any muscle gains?
You may be part of the 2% of underweight people in the US, but before jumping to that conclusion, I suggest looking at other potential reasons why you're not building muscle.
Before we start, I want you to realize that you're on the right track. A whopping 67% of gym memberships is unused, meaning you're part of the strong minded community of dedicated people who want to commit to their goals. This means that you should give yourself props for sticking to your plan!
Common Mistakes When Trying To Build Muscle
There has been a lot of controversy over this word, but it's a real thing. Everyone has a different body, a different background and a different lifestyle. That being said, one should consider all these factors before starting a workout regime.
Just because you decided to look like The Rock by this summer doesn't mean you can suddenly start to workout 6 days per week and reach your goal in time. You would most likely get depressed and burn out within the first 8 weeks. Evaluate your body, your recovery time needed, your schedule and your food intake, then factor all that into your workout plan.
This is a real thing too, just because you show up at the gym frequently doesn't mean you're going to see results. If you never push yourself to failure during reps, you're just working on your endurance. Your muscle fibers must break in order to rebuild into bigger and stronger ones. If you fail to push your muscle to exhaustion, it will never get to the next level and grow.
- Exercise types
The most efficient exercises to build muscle are called compound exercises.
Compound exercises are the hardest and most annoying exercises, the ones no one really want to do. These are the exercises that don't require a machine.
Here is a list of compound exercises you should do:
- Barbell row
- Barbell and dumbbell chest press
- Barbell squats
- Shoulder press
- Power clean
They may be the most annoying and the hardest ones to perform, but they are the best to build muscle fast. Because these exercises are performed without a machine, the motion required to do each rep require your body to engage more muscles to perform it with proper form.
Which leads us to our final common mistake and probably one that even some self-proclaimed experts still do.
- Your form is off
There is no point in continuously increasing your reps, sets or weights if your form is going to suffer from it. There is no shame in training with light weights, everyone has to start somewhere. Take the time to master your form and make sure you keep the same intensity on each rep. It is preferable to do less reps with proper form and intensity.
Is Your Diet Adapted To Your Lifestyle?
Nutrition is a major part of muscle gain. You must make sure you eat enough proteins to feed your muscles so they can grow. If you don't give them enough, your body will break down your muscle to make up for the lack of protein. Basically, workout too much without eating enough and you'll lose muscle.
Eating protein-loaded food alone is not enough though, your body should be fed all the necessary nutrients on a daily basis. Make sure you get your count of carbs, vitamins, fluids and veggies everyday! A consistent and balanced diet is mandatory to your muscle growth.
What about supplements?
Supplements can be convenient but cannot make up for an unbalanced diet. Beginners should first figure out a diet plan they can stick to before implementing supplements in their routine.
Is your mindset right?
Another key component of success in achieving your fitness goals is discipline.
You must plan and above all act on your goals. Mediocre efforts will give you mediocre results, it's as simple as this, if you want it you must go get it. Doing the extraordinary just means doing something out of the ordinary. Ordinary people are lazy, don't commit to their goals and don't do the extra effort to get out of their comfort zone in order to attain them. Everyone you see succeed has done so by accumulating a series of consistent efforts planned to progressively lead them to their expected results. Find the strength to do more than ordinary people and you'll become as extraordinary as you want!