If you're going to the gym, you should at the very least be getting something out of it. But, if you're not seeing definition in your arms or that coveted peach-shaped booty, you're probably wondering, “What am I doing wrong?”
To get out of your workout rut, you may need to start lifting heavier, increasing your reps, or relying on more compound movements. We've compiled a list of common gym mistakes to help you save time while getting better muscle-building results. We'll also show you how to modify your routine to increase strength and muscle mass.
Check them out.
1. You're doing the same old, tried-and-true moves.
We love squats and lunges, bicep curls and overhead presses, but it's time to branch out. There are two reasons why doing these movements repeatedly does not work: first, muscles need time to recover and heal before they can build. There is no recovery time if you repeat the same movements. Second, your muscles respond quickly to exercise. Our bodies essentially figure out how to do less work while continuing to perform the same routines. Changing up your workout routine will keep your body guessing and your muscles growing.
Another reason why your routine is not working is that you're not doing your pre-workout correctly. You need to make sure that your muscles and body are prepared for what's coming. Using BlackWolf as a pre-workout supplement helps a lot. It is loaded with scientifically backed ingredients, at clinically effective dosages. This means your body gets just the right amount of everything to guarantee you a pack-leading performance every time.
2. You're stuck using the same weights.
If you graduated to a 20-pound medicine ball a long time ago and are still lifting the same weight, it's time to upgrade. Additional stress on your muscles is necessary for them to repair and rebuild, which is what makes them stronger. If repetitions one and ten feel the same, increase your load (i.e., the weight you're lifting). Lifting heavier loads also allows you to accomplish more in less time. Focus on exercise sessions that are shorter and more effective.
3. You’re stuck doing the same reps.
It is not always necessary to increase your load. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, doing more reps can be just as effective for increasing strength. In a study of men who did full-body resistance training, those who performed 20 to 25 reps with lighter weights saw equal strength gains as those who lifted heavier weights and completed eight to 12 reps, proving that you can get the same results by lifting until your muscles are fatigued. The advantage of structuring your workout the way you want it is that you're more likely to stick to your routine — and consistency is what will help you build muscle.
4. You’re way too focused on cardio workouts.
If you're a firm believer in putting cardio first and strength training second, you might want to reconsider. Examine your fitness objectives. If you want to lose body fat and gain lean muscle, you should incorporate weight training and avoid long steady-state cardio sessions because the two work against each other. To maintain your cardiorespiratory fitness and ensure maximum calorie burn, two or three days of high intensity interval training (HIIT) can suffice. And if certain activities, such as running longer distances, are meaningful to you, you may need to rethink your goals, which is perfectly fine.
5. You're not varying the level of intensity.
Speaking of HIIT, if you go into the weight room and do the same exercises at the same speed, you might be able to kick it up a notch. A study published in Physiological Reports found that doing eight weeks of high-intensity, low-rep resistance training improved strength and lean muscle mass gains more than moderate intensity, higher-rep workouts.
Participants in the high-intensity group performed four sets of three to five reps at 90 percent of their one-rep max. They took a three-minute break between sets. The moderate-intensity group performed four sets of 10-12 reps at 70% of their one-rep maximum. In contrast, they rested for one minute between sets. Why are the results better? The authors claim that the multi-joint movements used by the high-intensity group (deadlifts and bench presses) improved strength gains and recruited more muscle fibers.
Muscle building takes a lot more time than most people realize. It's a slow, almost excruciatingly slow process that can be discouraging if you don't see the desired muscle definition. If you’re not seeing any progress after a considerable amount of time, then you might be doing something wrong. Analyze your routine to find out what you’re missing and check out the tips above.