So you’re at the point where you have been working out for over three months. You feel like you’ve put in the work required but the mirror isn’t showing the results you were promised. Now you are staring at yourself and asking why you can’t gain muscle no matter what! Don’t fret! Almost everyone has been through this phase.
There may be just a few modifications that you need to make to break through. Have a look at the top 5 reasons we believe might be hindering your muscle growth!
Diet for Muscle Gains
Diet is important, and it usually solves most of your problems in and outside of the gym. If you want to put on mass, your focus needs to be 85% diet, 15% working out.
In our experience, a diet is much tougher to establish and maintain than a gym routine. You must learn recipes, macros, techniques, reheating methods, portion sizes, to name a few. On top of all that, you must fight the urge to eat junk food. Junk food will absolutely corrupt your gut biome and slow down your muscle building. Your metabolism will also slow over time because your body is being fed food that is highly processed. Create good habits and it will become easier to resist junk food.
The key here is to always have food readily available. People tend to make irrational decisions when their body is in starvation mode. This is why bodybuilders meal prep. Aim to make mealtime faster than fast food!
- Focus should be 85% diet, 15% gym
- Create healthy habits with clean food. Cravings will go away the longer you go
- Bad decisions are made when you are hungry! Meal prep so that decision time is simple
Gain Muscle by Eating Protein
Protein is the most important macronutrient for building muscle. An understanding of how much protein you need each day will ensure that you’re eating enough to get what your body needs. A good rule of thumb that most bodybuilders suggest is 1g of protein per lb of body weight per day. As your stomach gets used to that amount, start bumping it up to 1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Try out this calculator to see where you land.
Many people trying to gain muscle will use fitness apps to track their macronutrients starting out. Once you become educated on the macros in foods, you can discontinue using the app and intuitively eat. Those who are well-practiced will be able to hit their macros every day. Many bodybuilders eat the same thing every day. This ensures the correct macros are achieved without much thought needed. We call this “eating like a dog.” Get it? Dogs eat the same meal every day.
Using Too Many Machines
A majority of people who are new to the gym are drawn to only using machines This is because the machines seem safe, easy, and may provide the same benefit. Do not fall into this trap! Compound exercises like the bench press, deadlift, and squat are essential in taking your training to the next level. Many muscle groups are used in these lifts all at once. By using free weights, many people can go beyond their limits compared to if they were using machines. This will not only make you stronger but also more toned.
Not Sticking to a Plan/Distracted
Prepare a strategy for the day in advance. Before going to the gym, develop or purchase a plan of what exercises you will do. In the plan, you should include exercises that you already know how to do, but also a few that you would like to develop proficiency in. Without a plan, you may become distracted or cut your workout early. Having a to-do list ensures that you are on track during your workout, and it holds you accountable for completing all that you set out to do.
Go into battle with a plan of attack
Low Sleep Affects Muscle Gains
The human body is a complex machine that needs all the right conditions to thrive. One of these conditions is sleep, which is one of the most pivotal aspects of building muscle.
Lack of sleep can lead to an increase in cortisol levels and blood sugar levels, making it harder for your body to build muscle tissue. It also leads to increased insulin sensitivity, meaning you’ll store more fat than usual if you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation makes your muscles weaker so there’s no point in skipping out on restful nights just so you can work out longer.
Getting the body you want and staying healthy is a process that takes time, patience, and knowledge. You need to be able to establish what your diet needs are for you to get enough protein without getting too many carbohydrates or fats. With food readily available at all times it will take some of the decision-making out of mealtime so people don’t make impulsive decisions when they’re starving. It’s also important not to neglect free weights while working on muscle confusion by switching up exercises every few weeks. Sleep is crucial as well because lack of sleep can lead to an increase in cortisol levels which could result in slower weight loss progress due to increased insulin sensitivity. As we mentioned before, having a plan ensures that exercise doesn’t become distracting or cut short, which is why it’s important to develop a routine. Implemented correctly, these five tips are guaranteed to help you out!