WANTING TO ADD MUSCLE? DON’T MAKE THESE MISTAKES…
Sometimes it feels like you’re doing everything you can to maximise gaining muscle tissue, but you just can’t seem to put mass on. You are more than likely doing the majority of things right, but one or two aspects of you training, nutrition or lifestyle might be holding you back from reaching your full potential.
Here are some of the common mistakes I see that may be stopping you from packing on the muscle:
- Not varying your training – Sticking to the same type of training week in, week out may mean you’ll hit a plateau and stop progressing. I highly recommend that you change your training every 8-12 weeks depending on how your progressing. You could vary your training split, exercise selection or rep range.
- Not overloading your muscles – Sticking to the same weight and rep number every week will definitely not give you the muscle gain you’re looking for. Instead aim to either get an additional rep each session or increase the weight slightly, so that you are always overloading your muscles.
- Doing the easy exercises – So many people will always go and do their favourite exercises, which are often the easy ones, like bicep curls, bench press and ab crunches. Unfortunately, the easy exercises may not be the quick way to gain muscle, as they don’t stimulate much muscle tissue. So I recommend you incorporate those exercises that you find challenging, maybe include some barbell squats, Romanian deadlifts, bent over rows or barbell military presses in your next workout.
- Not eating enough calories – Regardless of what people may say it is pretty well researched that to optimise gaining muscle you need to be consuming more calories than you are burning – simple! So, are you actually eating enough calories to offset your daily calorie expenditure? You may need more calories than you think if you are training 5x a week, have a manual job and have a hectic lifestyle.
- Lack of recovery time – It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to train every day and not take time to actually rest and recovery. This big issue here is that you need days off from smashing the weights to repair your muscles and allow them to adapt and grow.
- Too much partying – This is something I was guilty of for the best part of my first 10 years of training. I would go out at uni sometimes up to 4-5x a week and drink far too much alcohol. It was only a couple of years back that I actually stopped going out every week to have a few drinks. If you can relate to this then it might be worth knocking it on the head for a bit or dramatically reducing your alcohol intake. Alcohol will massively impair your ability to gain muscle tissue and kill your motivation to smash the gym.
For help gaining muscle and bulking up, then why not check out our Bulking Plan, which includes 12 weeks training over 2x 6 weeks phases and also your own nutrition plan.
Compound exercises are those that involve multiple joints and muscle groups. For example a bench press works primarily the chest, but also the triceps and shoulders, with movement at the elbow and shoulder joints.
We strongly recommend you incorporate compound exercises into your workouts and here are some of our reasons why:
- Save Time – Working multiple muscle groups at the same time means you can perform less exercises to work the muscles you need to.
- Add muscle – Compound exercises raise the levels of hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone, which can help with gaining muscle tissue.
- Gain Strength – Heavier weights can be lifted with compound exercises, causing more muscle fiber recruitment and allowing you to overload your muscles.
- Burn Calories – Multiple muscle are working at the same time, so thee is a higher demand for energy, meaning that more calories and burnt.
- Functional Moves – The exercises can be tailored to replicate everyday movements or sport specific movements.
- Improve Your Core – You are forced to keep your body in the correct position through each rep of a compound exercise, so the muscles of your core are constantly worked.
WEAK BODY PARTS – TRAINING TIPS!
Are you struggling to grow a particular muscle group or bring up an area of weakness to balance the rest of your physique? We all have certain muscles that just do not seem to respond or grow no matter how hard you try.
If you can relate to this then here are some points to consider when it comes to your training:
- Technique – Are you performing each and every rep with the correct form and technique to actually work the muscle the exercise is intended for? Focus on lifting and lowering the weight with the muscles you want to work and avoid using momentum to cheat and swing the weight up each rep.
- Intensity – Are you just going through the motions or are you actually training to take the target muscle to failure? Your muscles will only adapt and grow if you provide them with the stimulus to grow.
- Variety – Are you performing the same exercises in the same order with the same repetitions week in week out or are you varying your training? Your muscles will quickly adapt to the same type of training, so varying the rep range, weight, tempo, exercises is a great way to shock your muscles into growth.
- Frequency – How often are you hitting these stubborn muscles and are you giving them the same amount of attention as the rest of your body? Prioritising your weaker body parts and training them more frequently may be all that is needed to bring up these weaker areas.
- Volume – How many sets are you performing on your lacking body parts? Performing a higher number of sets focusing on these muscles will provide them will more stimulus to adapt and grow.