Are you attempting to gain muscle but not seeing any progress? Poor planning or a lack of knowledge could be sabotaging your efforts. Muscle building requires discipline and accountability. There could be a variety of reasons why you aren't gaining the muscle you desire. Here are five examples:
Too much cardio
This is a hotly debated topic. The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic (cardio) activity per week to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you don't have high blood pressure or cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity five times per week. These guidelines are the industry standard. However, if you're looking to gain lean muscle, strength training should be your primary focus, with some cardio thrown in for good measure. Low-impact cardio burns more calories than strength training, and if you do a lot of cardio, you'll need to refuel your body properly to keep building muscle.
Not enough rest
Overtraining is frequently misunderstood; it does not refer solely to workouts. Other physiological, emotional, environmental, and chemical stressors can contribute to overtraining. Overtraining is caused by a combination of factors, including excessive exercise. All of these stressors can lead to fatigue and overstimulation of your central nervous system, resulting in slower recovery and a negative hormonal response.
When we are under stress, our bodies produce the hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol in the body can cause systemic inflammation and even testosterone deficiency. My advice is to get enough rest and sleep, at least 6-8 hours per night, and to limit strenuous exercise to no more than five days per week. It's also important to keep in mind that other stresses in your life can have a negative impact on your performance.
Too much weight
If you want to build muscle, you must use a heavy enough weight to stimulate growth. A common misconception among women is that lifting heavy weights will make you “bulky.” Women should discard this notion because it is false. In order to increase strength and stimulate growth, you must use a heavier weight than your body is accustomed to when building muscle.
However, it is critical that you master a move with a lighter weight before progressing to a heavier weight. If you're using bad form or momentum to lift the weight, or if you're experiencing pain other than typical muscle soreness, the weight is too heavy and you risk injuring yourself. Remember that a physical therapist or an experienced personal trainer can be a valuable resource for ensuring proper form and technique, so don't be afraid to seek assistance.
A registered dietitian can give you the best advice on dietary specifics, but the general rule is that you must consume enough calories in your diet to achieve anabolic growth. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will enter a state of catabolism (molecule breakdown) and defeat the purpose of strength training.
Protein consumption should range between 1.4 and 1.8 grams per pound of body weight per day for those attempting to gain muscle (multiply your weight in pounds by the appropriate number in this range). If you do 1 to 3 hours of moderate/high intensity exercise per day, the recommended carbohydrate intake is 7 to 10 grams per pound of body weight per day.
It should be noted that it is preferable to obtain nutrients from whole foods rather than supplements. Our bodies are designed to break down organic materials (lean meats, greens, etc.). Check to see if you're adhering to the recommended dietary guidelines. To build healthy, lean muscle, you must consume more calories than you burn through healthy meals.
The final and most important factor preventing you from seeing results is a lack of planning. If you want to achieve success, you must plan your meals and workouts ahead of time. It is extremely difficult to construct a house without a blueprint and the necessary materials. The same is true for your body. Plan your meals and workouts for one to two weeks at a time to ensure you're getting enough nutrition, working out enough to stimulate growth, and taking time to rest. It is critical to keep track of your workouts and nutrition.
Finally, look for workouts that you enjoy. Find something you enjoy that is also in line with your training objectives. Being “motivated” to go to the gym is insufficient because it feeds off your emotions and the ups and downs of your life. Instead, stick to a plan, be consistent with your workouts, eat a healthy diet, and get after it.