Most people in the gym want to build muscle, it’s that simple. But many of us make some pretty serious mistakes while there and inhibit our ability to reach our potential and hold us back.
Doing the Wrong Exercises
It’s very easy when building muscle to focus on the wrong thing. Sure doing 1500 biceps curls again sounds like it’ll do you good, but it should come as no surprise that other muscles will suffer if you don’t work on them.
Make sure to include variety in your sessions. Work on your back, on your core, on your butt etc etc. Compound movements like chin-ins, presses and deadlifts are your back-to-basics exercises that can provide impressive results and shouldn’t be left out of your workout strategy.
Not Eating Enough
Building muscle requires huge amounts of calories and that doesn’t just mean loading up on protein. Carbohydrates are critically important in the initial stages of muscle recovery as well as for providing you with energy, which can allow you to perform well at the gym.
Without being in a calorie surplus, building muscle becomes extremely difficult. Calorie counting is a great way to track this so that you don’t go too far the other way and over eat!
Not Eating Enough Protein
Protein is of course one of the key parts of all of our diets, but even more so for athletes and bodybuilders. Keep unhealthy snacks to a minimum! As the primary macronutrient required for muscle protein synthesis (the process wherein muscles rebuild and fibre reknit) protein needs to be consumed in fairly large amounts if you’re hitting the gym a lot.
To repair and rebuild your muscles effectively you should aim for around 1.5g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight, although the less exercise you do, the less protein you need. The ideal way to top up your supply of protein is with a good quality protein powder from the likes of Reflex Nutrition or SCI-MX.
Overtraining is one of the classic mistakes even the most disciplined athletes make. Knowing when to give your muscles a break is key to making bigger gains. Infact, overtraining can have a serious detrimental effect on muscle growth and the fibres become successively weakened.
Further, excessive training can cause burnout and upset your body’s stress hormones which can lead to further injuries and even illness.
Relying on Quick Fix Tools
While some forms of supplements like SARMS and protein powder are well documented to help with muscle growth, plenty of others come with their fair share of snake oil. The key here is to do plenty of research before purchasing any supplement, after all it might save your body and your wallet!