Muscle Building, one of the most common goals for both males and females. There's millions of articles and videos expressing the best ways to do it, but what are the biggest mistakes people make? Lets take a look...
Low food intake and lack of nutrients
Protein. Yes is extremely important to growing and maintaining muscle mass, each individual needs different amounts depending on their goal, but also what amount of muscle they currently have too. A simple mistake people make when trying to build more muscle is have too little protein intake. Our bodies are either catabolic (breaking down muscle) or anabolic (maintaining / building muscle) there's no middle ground. Therefore when you consume too little protein, your muscles will be dipping in and out of the two, leaving it's optimal chances to grow at a low. On the other hand, if you was to eat protein every 2/4 hours throughout the day, you are always staying in an anabolic state, which means more nutrients and more growth.
Carbohydrates are also important when building muscles, any food you eat will eventually be broken down into sugar and some stored as glycogen within the muscles for energy. So when you finish a training session, you would have used and depleted some of these glycogen stores within the muscle which need to be replaced! This is where carbs come in handy to help replenish and repair muscle tissue, as well as protein to stimulate as much recovery and growth as possible. Depending on your personal bodyweight, fat percentage and intolerances, the amount and types of carbs you eat would obviously vary.
Thinking more about the weight than what you're feeling
Typical bro science will state to build muscle you need to go as heavy as possible for 4-5 sets with 4-6 reps. Is this wrong? No! But is this the only way to build muscle? Also not. Too many people focus on what works for others and copy it, which is fine, but could also be disastrous. Let's use the example just mentioned above. Heavy weight, 4 sets of 6. What happens if you feel your joints more than your muscles? What happens if you really find it uncomfortable and painful doing such heavy weight? Some may say man up, others realise that other options are available. The key with muscle growth is to stimulate the muscle group you want to grow, push it's boundaries and force it to grow through training! You can do this with 15 reps, 12 reps, 8 reps and 6 reps. Don't think there's one way to build muscle!
Leading on from this, it's important to focus on the muscle!!! Can you really feel it working, stretching, contracting and squeezing? Or is the weight so heavy your shoulders are getting pumped and can't feel much in the chest after doing bench press? Focus on what you can feel! Weight increase is extremely important for muscle growth but don't be so focused on the amount of plates that you ignore what you're actually trying to stimulate! Mess around with your sets, reps and weights to see what feels best and responds best to YOUR BODY!
Lack of Consistency
Building muscle for both males and females take time. Years. So why do people expect to gain muscle when they make the appearance at the gym in May, just for summer training, only to leave the hard work until next summer...? That's called laziness. You need to be dedicated, structured and disciplined to build muscle, it's not a few months and here you go, it's years of training, pushing and developing! So the inconsistent approach to building muscle really will only take you so far. Being honest, some people are lucky, great natural body shape and genetics that could get away with it, so lucky them! For majority of people, that is not the case, so consistent training regimes with progressions and correct nutrition will be the only way to pack on some good muscle. If you know you can't be bothered to train regularly and eat well consistently, then be honest with yourself not to be disappointed for the lack of muscle gain that you didn't work hard for.
Do your research on simple nutrition basics for muscle gain, see what works well with your body and tweak here and there to make it optimal to you personally. Don't allow yourself you be sucked into others training styles and competitions of who lifts the most. Focus on yourself, work hard with the weight you need and let your muscle growth do the boasting for you. Lastly, don't be lazy! Work your ass off! If you want muscle, you have to earn it! Don't be disheartened with slow results as it's a slow process, give it time and watch your body develop muscle very nicely!
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All articles are written by Luke Teuma, Founder of Lean With Luke.