If you’ve amped up your diet and training regimens but still aren’t satisfied with the results you’re seeing, now’s the time to iron out the kinks. If you aren’t seeing the lean mass gains you’ve been searching for, it could be because you are making some of these muscle building errors. Achieving mass isn’t an easy feat, but if you can avoid making these mistakes you’ll put yourself on the path to Popeye in no time at all.
You aren’t eating enough:
“I eat so much”! This is what I often hear clients say when they are feeling disheartened about their gains. In order to gain muscle, your body needs a surplus of calories, an excess that can be utilised during the repair and regeneration of muscle tissue. Essentially, all this means is that you need to be eating more calories than you burn. Muscle doesn't appear by magic. Muscle requires the right amount of nutrients to grow. That includes all three macronutrients; carbs, protein and fats. If you don't eat enough, your body can't use calories for repair and growth. You can lift weights until you're blue in the face, but without excess calories, resistance training won't affect your muscle mass.
You’re skimping on the protein:
Without sufficient protein, your body doesn’t have the required nutrients to actually rebuild muscle fibres. To allow your muscles to recover to their fullest potential and achieve the desired growth, make sure you are hitting both your calorie and protein requirements each and every day. For athletes and those who are trying to build muscle, the recommend amount is 1.3 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
You aren’t training to build muscle:
To build muscle, you must lift weights, yes, but it is so much more than that! You also have to consistently add resistance, so your muscles adapt to the heavier weight. This is known as hypertrophy. If you don't create a workload that tests your body, it won't respond. The purpose of your training when your target is muscle growth should be to achieve micro-tears in your muscle fibres. By repeatedly challenging your body to be able to do more than it currently has the capacity to, this stimulates your muscles to change and adapt to handle this increased load. Progressive overload is key in building strength and build muscle; once you can complete your desired repetition range with ease, it is essential that you increase the load if you want to continue
Where’s your rest?
To build muscle, you need to create muscle and muscle fibre tears. With rest these fibres heal and grow back more or different types of muscle fibres cultivate in their place. Without enough rest, the muscle doesn't have time to repair and grow.
You are inconsistent
If you're not consistent with your nutrition, training, and rest, you'll never achieve your goals. Consistency is applying all the right factors to create the optimal environment for your body to grow.
You’re a cardio bunny
If you're already eating too little, adding in cardio and expending more calories just creates an even greater deficit which actually has the direct opposite result of what you are trying to achieve, making mass gain near impossible to come by. Instead of cardio your focus should be on weight lifting.
Your hormones are out of whack
Many of us are certainly aware that healthy hormone levels, specifically testosterone, are necessary to achieve muscle growth. Testosterone is the king pin in muscle growth and if this hormone is low you won’t see the gains you’re searching for. Low test can present as fatigue, poor recovery, depleted energy levels, reduced strength and muscle mass, and an increase in abdominal fat. A recipe for disaster for anyone who wants to gain strength.
Supplements were left for last because they should be at the bottom of the pyramid. You can spend all the money in the world on supplements but if your training, sleep and nutrition isn’t right, they can’t help you. Get the basics down pat and then use supplements to help in the process. Protein powders and mass gainers can be a great tool in assisting with calories and protein targets. On top of that, to ensure longevity in the gym, opt for fish oil, which may help reduce inflammation and could help your heart, brain, and joints. Check out the ONEST supplement range for your protein needs and X-Factor to help with joints and recovery.
In order to gain muscle, have a plan; execute the fundamentals consistently. Know how and when you are going to train, use progressive overload and hypertrophy. In addition to this, make sure you are constant with your calories, protein, sleep and recovery. Work hard, be patient and the results will come.