Building muscle takes time and effort. There are no shortcuts if you want to do it properly. But what happens if you are working hard at the gym and not seeing the results you hoped for?
Why You're Not Building Muscle
The good news is that more often than not, the reason why is easy to fix. Read on for a few simple tweaks to your routine so you can hit your targets. It's time to stop worrying about why you're not building muscle!
The Wrong Diet
One of the main reasons why men and women don’t gain muscle quickly is because their diet isn’t optimized for muscle gain. Whereas many workout programs are designed to encourage a calorie deficit with weight loss as a target, eating insufficient calories is bad news if muscle gain is your aim.
In the first instance, start monitoring your calorie intake using an app like MyFitnessPal. This will help you to keep tabs on how much food you are consuming in relation to your gym sessions. Next, look closely at the kind of food you eat. A poor-quality diet consisting of pizza and fries won’t help you gain muscle.
Ditch the sugar and fast food and start eating healthy foods, such as lean meat, avocado, and coconut oil. Your daily diet needs the right balance of carbs, protein, and fats. These form the building blocks for muscle gain.
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You Don’t Train Consistently
The only sure-fire way to see results in a bodybuilding program is to train consistently. Hitting the gym when you feel like it is fine if you have no targets, but our bodies respond to exercise best when we have a consistent routine.
Create a solid workout regimen that targets different muscle groups on set days. Aim to work every part of your body at least once a week. If your job or personal life makes this difficult, work out at home in the early morning, so you are not missing out on a training session.
Too Much Cardio
Cardio fitness is great if you plan to run a half-marathon, but too much cardio at the expense of lifting will slow down or halt any muscle gains you make. Always prioritize weight-training days and dial it back on the cardio sessions.
It’s okay to schedule a cardio day if your plan has the space, but be careful not to lose your rest days, as these are equally important.
Your Lifting Technique is All Wrong
Technique is all-important in weight training. The wrong technique will lead to injury and poor results. Many inexperienced guys lift weights that are too light and then wonder why they are not seeing the gains they want.
Lighter weights combined with high reps won’t give you results. You need to lift heavier to build muscle. It should be a challenge, not so easy that you barely break a sweat.
Work with a personal trainer if you are not sure where to start. Let them devise a program for you – it will be safer and you’ll better results from your sessions.
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of rest days and sleep. Our bodies need time to recover after a tough session lifting weights. Sleep is when your torn muscle fibers repair and grow stronger.
If you don’t get enough sleep, your body won’t recover sufficiently for the next session, and this is how injuries occur.
Keep a fitness diary so you can monitor your progress. This makes it easier to spot where you are going wrong if you don’t get the desired results.
Now get to it!