If you’re regularly working out and trying to gain muscle, it can get frustrating when you’re not having any results. After all, going to the gym and having a personal trainer work with you is a huge financial and time commitment.
So, before you start feeling bad about yourself or start thinking all your effort is getting you nowhere, stop worrying. It may be that you simply need to tweak your routine up a little bit to begin melting fat and building muscle.
And, while genetics does play a big role in how easy it is going to be for you to pack on size, you can still pack on muscle no matter what your gene pool is. Actually, you can pack on quite a bit since there are a lot of things you can do to maximize how big you build your muscles. Here are some tips.
Your first step to gaining muscle is to get committed to training regularly. No matter what your genetics or size is, taking time off working out will cause a decrease in strength and size. It doesn’t take long for atrophy to set in.
Therefore, to maintain the muscular development you’ve accomplished, hit the gym and get to work making sure you hit each part of your body a minimum of once a week — twice or thrice a week is even better.
Watch Your Eating
For your muscles to grow, you need the proper amount of nutrients. This includes:
Your body won’t be able to use the calories for growth and repair if you’re not eating enough. And, no matter how much weight lifting you do, when you’re not getting enough calories, no amount of resistance training will have an impact on your muscle mass.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should be eating pizza and ice cream every day. Just learn the number of calories your body requires for a small surplus and plan your meals.
Get Plenty of Sleep and Rest
Everything you do while in the gym build your muscles, but it’s not until you’re sleeping or resting that change occurs. The human growth hormone (HGH) is responsible for this change, and it’s at its highest when you sleep. That’s because HGH is released into your bloodstream by your brain when you sleep. Its release is part of the natural restoration and repair function of sleep.
What’s more when you lack sleep it could lead to higher cortisol levels. Cortisol breaks down muscle tissue. Being sleep deprived is the last thing you want when you’re trying to build muscle mass.
Keeping a training log may be just as important as the training itself. If you don’t track your progress, you won’t know what you did last week or today even. To increase muscle hypertrophy, you need to be tracking everything like:
Breaks between sets
Tempo of the exercise
You can do this by maintaining a training log.
Recognize Every Body is Different
Two individuals can perform the same training, yet have different results. While some people can perform bodyweight movements that jack them up, others use dumbbells and end up having lean, long, defined muscles. Keep this in mind when you’re copying other people’s behaviors. If you’re trying to follow the biggest guy’s (or gals) practices in the gym, remember, what is working for them may not be the best thing for your own body.
Raise the Intensity
Your muscles will not get stronger or bigger if you’re not training with intensity. This is particularly true with gender and training intensity. You’ll see many individuals, particularly women, in the gym going too light. You’re not going to tone your arms by curling five-pound dumbbells. You need to put power in your workouts and not simply go through the motions. Challenge your body going heavy and hard. That’s when you’ll start to see change.
Too Much Cardio
If you’re not getting enough nutrients and calories, adding cardio to your training and exhausting even more calories will making building muscle mass almost impossible. If you’re looking to lose some body fat while you build muscle, then yes, add in some cardio. Resistance training should be your first priority, however. And add in cardio only once in a while.
You’ll find various training methods and programs out there that will help with muscle mass. Just remember, every person is unique and when it comes to muscle mass, what works for one person may not work for another.
But, there are general principles and standards that just about all muscle mass gaining training programs work by. While many programs work with traditional hypertrophy training methods, there are different ways of achieving the same results, if not better. Just stay committed and consistent and you’ll eventually get there.
And, you’ve likely heard this at least once before, always check with your doctor before beginning a new or intensive workout regime.