Does it sometimes seem like you spend endless hours in the gym? Training hard, sweating loads and not seeming to see the benefits? It's very common but it may be down to a few factors. See if these tips will help you push past that barrier!
1. Same Routine
Most people are a victim of sticking to the same routine, same sets, same reps, same weight same equipment. Think about it this way, why doesn’t your stamina increase even though most of us walk everyday? Because our body is used to walking and until we run, only then our body starts to have to adapt and change. Your muscles are the same your body will get used to the same time under tension, the same movement pattern and the same intensity. When this happens you hit whats called a plateau, this is where you stop making progress. So change your programme, what machines / equipment you use, the sets and reps, training systems and see your body push past this barrier.
2. Poor Nutrition
From experience I can tell you I have worked my bum off in the gym and then wondered when the size was meant to pile on. But I didn't eat properly, I wasn't eating enough, I wasn't eating enough of what I needed to supplement how much I was training and this wasn't complimenting how hard I was working in the gym. So now I always say to people when you take your eating as serious as your training only then will you really see a huge improvement.
3. Muscle Variety
Do you always train the same muscles? Chest, abs and arms? I know a lot of people who do. But they wont make progress for long… Working the body equally is ultra beneficial for overall strength but for also changing you overall body shape. If you only work chest and arms but not much back or legs and shoulders your body will looks the same and theres major muscle groups that compliment the others to make the body shape look even and in proportion! So work everything equally and particular train your weak points / muscles most!
4. Training for a Pump and Not for Growth
This is more common than you think, these are very very similar but very different too. For example I could lift a moderate load weight and do 4 sets of 10. Feel a great pump and see my muscles have blood in them. But at the same time, I haven't really pushed my body out of its comfort zone, or had to struggle slightly. This isn't saying you need to push really heavy, all it means is that remember you always need to challenge your body and change whats its used to not just get a pump with a weight that works you a little bit, make your body grow permanently.
5. Lack of Technique
Muscle contraction is the most important thing when it comes to building / toning a muscle. You could work your whole body to a high intensity, but if your technique isn't great and your aren't really focusing on contracting the muscle. It will take you longer to see the benefits. For example: A bicep curl, lifting a relatively heavy weight and finishing all reps with a little bit of a struggle, great. If when you're lifting the weight you're arching your back, pulling through your shoulders, only coming down half way, leaning back and letting your elbows pull forwards in order to get the weight up, think about how much of the actual bicep was used to perform the curl, or was it everything but the bicep?
Try and change all these factors and see which one you may be a victim of! keep changing things, making it fresh and never let your body get comfortable!
Keep Training Mean, Stay Lean.
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All articles are written by Luke Teuma, Founder of Lean With Luke.