Wonder why you can't build lean, toned muscle? What does your workout look like? If you see no progress, you're either doing something wrong or dealing with a plateau. Common mistakes, such as overdoing cardio or eating too little protein, can affect your gains. For instance, if your diet is too low in calories, your body won't have the energy needed to build muscle. Don't blame yourself - even pro athletes make mistakes.
From poor nutrition to overtraining, several things could explain why your arms are skinny - or why your bootie is too flat and your shoulders too narrow. Fortunately, it's never too late to get back on track. Here are five common mistakes that keep you from building muscle:
You're Overdoing Cardio
Most gym goers are struggling to lose fat and pack on muscle. The problem is that you can't do both. Before starting a workout program, decide whether you want to build mass or shed fat. If your goal is to build muscle, keep cardio to a minimum. Too much aerobic exercise lowers testosterone, raises cortisol levels, and burns lean mass.
If your testosterone levels are low, you'll find it hard to gain mass and lose fat. Cortisol, the stress hormone, only makes things worse. Additionally, cardiovascular training puts your body into a catabolic state, which leads to muscle loss. It also drains your energy, leaving you sluggish and fatigued.
Is this what you want? Probably not. Limit or ditch the cardio to preserve your hard-earned muscle. Engage in high-intensity workouts, such as HIIT and tabata. Due to its short duration and intense nature, HIIT helps maintain lean mass. Not to mention its fat-burning power!
You're Lifting Too Light
Like it or not, those five-pound dumbbells won't help you build muscle. Unless you're a newbie, bump up the load. Muscle growth requires progressive overload. This means it's necessary to constantly increase the demands you put on the muscles through strength training. In layman's terms, you need to lift heavier and keep your workouts varied.
Lifting the same amount of weight for weeks or months leads to plateaus. Your body adapts to exercise, so it stops making gains. To build mass, use weights that are challenging enough to cause micro-tears in the muscles.
Let's say you're currently bench pressing 80 pounds. Next time you're training, lift 90 pounds. Add another 10 pounds in the next week or so. This way, you’ll challenge your muscle into growth and become stronger overall. Drink CLICK ACTIVE in the morning or before hitting the gym to get the energy needed for a tough workout! With 25 grams of protein a double shot of espresso coffee per serving, CLICK will fuel your gains and boost your energy within minutes.
You're Lacking Consistency
Whether you're training for strength, fat loss, or muscle growth, it takes hard work and commitment to reach your goals. If you only exercise once in a blue moon, you're wasting your time. To build muscle, aim for three intense strength training sessions and two lighter workouts per week.
For example, hit the chest, back, legs, and shoulders during your hardest workouts. Work your biceps, triceps, and traps on "lighter" training days. Refrain from working the same muscle group more than once every 72 hours. Do a full body circuit when you're short on time.
You're Using Poor Form
Don’t make the mistake of sacrificing form for weight! Maintaining good form should be your number one priority. If you fail to perform the movement correctly, you'll either injure yourself or hit the wrong muscles. When trying a new exercise, start with light weights until you learn proper form. Ask a trainer for guidance. Watch online videos and exercise tutorials to see how it’s done.
You're Doing the Wrong Exercises
Not all exercises are created equal. If your workout is mostly based on biceps curls and crunches, don’t expect any progress. Compound movements, such as chin-ups, squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, should account for about 70 percent of your routine.
These exercises help maximize muscle and strength gains by increasing testosterone levels. Basically, they create an anabolic environment that promotes muscle growth. They also allow you to use a heavier weight, which leads to more efficient training. Another advantage of doing compound exercises is that you'll find it easier to stay lean. These movements increase metabolic rate, causing your body to burn more energy.
Be aware that diet, training, and recovery are equally important for muscle growth. If your diet is a mess, you won't get the results you’re after. Ditch the junk from your kitchen, eat clean, and sip on protein shakes to boost your gains.
Start your day with CLICK - The Coffee Lover Protein Drink for greater energy and strength. This beverage contains both fast and slow digesting proteins, which helps fuel your muscles over several hours. It’s ideal for gym goers of all ages and fitness levels, and tastes amazing!