So, you’ve spent the last few months in the gym lifting heavy weights and working your a*s off (allegedly), but you’ve got nothing to show for it? Then, it’s very likely you’re making the mistakes described in this article. There are several things which could explain why your muscles aren’t getting bigger and why you aren’t making any progress. Fortunately, all of these things are completely under your control.
In this article, we’ll describe in detail all the reasons why you’re not gaining muscle at the rate you should be gaining and the changes you need to make in order to start seeing results and build an impressive physique.
Your workouts consist of mostly cardio
This doesn’t mean that you should eliminate cardio completely. It is very important for maintaining low body fat levels and keeping your heart healthy. You get bonus points if you bike or jog, considering that outdoor exercise is related to increased energy and improved mental health.
However, in regards to building muscle mass, running on the treadmill won’t improve your results dramatically. Each component of training, minus the cardio, can help you with muscle hypertrophy, which is a scientific term for gaining muscle. Cardio exercise tends to expend calories and puts the body in a caloric deficit, which is a great strategy for getting shredded, but not for building muscle mass. Why You Should Stop Doing Endless Cardio if You Want to Look Good !
The weights you’re using aren’t heavy enough
The small dumbbells lurking in the gym’s corner were a great place to start as a newbie, however, if you’ve been in the lifting game for a while, you know that progressive overload is the main precursor to gaining new muscle mass. You cannot continue to build muscle by using the same weights over and over again.
There are a plethora of exercises to choose from, either free weights or machines, but if you’re not constantly increasing the weight even by small increments, you won’t be giving your body a reason to grow, no matter what exercise you do. If you want to continually gain new muscle tissue, you have to break it down using a weight that is challenging enough to create micro-tears in your muscle fibers, which after a period of rest, get repaired and become denser and stronger.
You don’t get enough quality sleep
The micro-tears that occur in the muscle fibers need rest in order to rebuild themselves and become stronger, which in the end results in a bigger muscle. When does this process occur, you may ask. It occurs while you’re asleep. Here is what happens to your body and mind when you don’t sleep enough
This is why it is essential that you rest adequately and feed the muscles between workout sessions or you will only break them down which will result in them becoming weaker. In the long-term, you increase the risk of becoming over-trained, which can ultimately lead to injury, and even more trouble falling asleep.
You aren’t consistent with your workout routine
If building serious muscle mass is your top priority, then the most efficient method to do this is by doing 3 intense resistance-training sessions and 2 light-intensity sessions each week. Consistency is very important in a workout program, targeting at least each muscle group twice a week in order to optimally build muscle.
If you want to switch some exercises, it is suggested that you, for example, use sumo squats instead of conventional squats, step-ups on a box instead of lunges and then going back to the former. This type of variation can be pretty effective in building new muscle, however the weights you’ll be using still need to be heavy enough for you.