So, you’re a self-proclaimed gym junkie: you’re hitting the weights 5 to 6 times a week hoping to maximise not just your strength, but your muscle gains. But despite your best efforts, you’re still not seeing that muscle development you’re wanting.
But before you throw your hands up in frustration and give up completely, listen up! This is a relatively common occurrence for those who are new to the notion of gaining muscle, and there could be a number of factors contributing to your lack of results.
Just showing up to the gym and expecting to see muscle gains instantly could be your first mistake. Really, there are no short cuts when it comes to building muscle. It takes hard work, consistency and a lot of dedication to achieve your muscle gaining goals. But there are some other factors that could be contributing to your lack of growth. If you've been training for more muscle but haven't seen any gains, you're probably guilty of one or more of the below mistakes.
You Don't Eat Enough
Muscle gain isn’t all about the weight you lift and the calories you burn. Half the magic of growing lean muscle is connected to feeding your body in a way that promotes this muscle growth, so eating enough is crucial.
Take this analogy: In order for a plant to grow, you have to feed it. Simple. But it’s also about feeding your body with the right foods for muscle mass. Your body needs just the right amount of nutrients, includes protein, carbs and fat. And if you’re not getting enough of one of these nutrients, then your muscles can’t repair and grow to the best of their ability.
You could be lifting weights for 2 hours a day, but if you’re not eating enough calories, you won’t be seeing any gains. In fact, if you work out too frequently without fuelling your body adequately, your muscles will likely start deteriorating.
You Don't Eat Enough Protein
Now that we’ve established that you need to eat enough calories, let’s focus on eating enough protein. Many people, both women and men, don’t consume enough protein each day to match their activity levels and if this is you, this could be a contributing factor in your limited muscle development.
Without protein, your body won’t obtain enough amino acids to assist in muscle building, repair and development. Making sure you eat enough protein every day, especially after a tough weights session, is absolutely vital for achieving the muscle growth you’re hoping for.
Some of the best sources of protein to consume for building lean muscle include foods such as eggs, natural yogurt, lean meat, white fish and nuts, which will all encourage muscle recovery and growth.
You Don't Up Your Weights
When you start to lift weights the goal is to gradually add more weight over time as you grow stronger. Often what occurs however, is that once people grow comfortable with a certain weight, they stop there and never push themselves to “up-it”.
This is a common mistake and will almost always lead to a plateau in muscle gain. To continue developing your strength and building muscle, you’ll need to keep increasing your weights so you’re constantly pushing your body outside of its comfort zone.
If you can do 10 reps of any exercise relatively easily for around 3 sets, it’s probably time to consider increasing the weight. We know, we know, it’s hard – but remember, no pain no muscle gains!
You Don't Rest
Most people assume that you have to pump iron at the gym every single day in order to grow muscle. This is however, a myth.
It’s actually on your recovery days and during sleep when your body undergoes the process of muscle growth and repair. Overnight, your body’s human growth hormone or HGH is at its peak. This is when your body is able to recharge and can begin to get bigger as a result of all your hard work during the day.
So when you’re training hard for muscle growth, aim to get at least 7-8 hours of shut eye each night, to really give your body the rest it needs to undergo all those muscle-building processes!
You Aren't Consistent
You might hit the gym or eat all the right things but, are you doing it consistently? Maybe you’re a gym junkie but then you fall short on the balanced diet. Or maybe you hit the weights room 6 times a week for 3 weeks and then don’t go for 10 days straight. Well, this could be the main reason why your muscles aren’t growing.
A key part to achieving your muscle growth goals is consistency. Being consistent with your nutrition, diet, training and rest will give your body the optimum chance to grow.
Many people are under the impression that going to the gym frequently is enough to see big muscle gain, but there are so many other factors involved in the process. Yes, your workouts are hugely important, but you also need to take your nutrition, sleep, calorie intake and recovery into account if you really want to hit your goals. To really build your muscles takes determination and commitment in a range of areas, not just the gym.
If you’re really interested in taking the next step in your fitness journey but don’t know where to start, give us a call at 30 Minute Personal Training. Our Personal Trainers will work with you one-on-one to help you achieve your fitness goals and be the very best possible version of yourself!