You’ve been working out for a while now. You’re sticking to your routine, you haven’t missed a session, you’re eating more and even bought some of that protein powder stuff that everyone seems to be taking. Why then haven’t you gained a single pound of muscle? Chances are its because you are making at least one of these common mistakes…
You’re Not Getting Enough Rest
You don’t build muscle in the gym; you build it while you are resting. If this is the first time you have heard this, than I guess you’ve been living in a cave somewhere with your fingers in your ears. If you have already heard this a million times before, that’s because it’s true and you need to take it very seriously.
Remember, when you’re pumping iron, you’re just breaking down the muscle fibres in order for them to repair themselves bigger and stronger. They do this when you are resting and recovering.
Experts agree that 8 hours sleep is the target you should aim for and definitely nothing less than 7. Anything less and you are really shooting your-self in the foot and are destined to keep living in ‘no-gains-ville’.
You’re Wasting Your Time With Isolation Exercises
While isolation exercises definitely have their uses, gaining a ton of mass in as little time as possible is definitely not one of them. Compound exercises are what you need to be doing to get big; it’s as simple as that. More muscles are used, more muscle growing hormones are produced and more lean muscle mass is added.
Your Form Is Terrible
We know, this one doesn’t apply to you – your form is fine and your just reading this one to humour us. But wait, people with bad form don’t always know they have bad form, otherwise they would have done something about it, right?
Maybe your form is ok, but wouldn’t you like to know for sure just so you can cross it off the list as not being one of the reasons your not getting results? Besides, it’s easy. Most gym instructors would love you give you some free advice. Better yet, most personal trainers often give you a free session to see if you like it. Use that session to ask all the questions you like and get yourself lifting like a pro.
Do it right or don’t do it at all ok? Working out with incorrect form is going to get you nowhere and get you there fast.
You’re Working Out In The Wrong Rep Range
You may have heard that your muscles can’t count. It’s true, they can’t, but they do respond to the length of time that they are under load both eccentrically and concentrically. Counting reps is a good way to track how long you are working your muscles under load.
We have addressed in detail what the optimal rep and set range for hypertrophy in our article here – but in short, you should be working out in the 6-10 rep range for 3-6 sets.
You’re Not Working Hard Enough
Similar to our prior point about rep range, there is a reason that we don’t have massive legs just from walking around all day. You need to push your muscles past what they are used to so that they repair themselves bigger and stronger.
But how do you know you have done this? It’s not just a case of seeing if you are sore the next day. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is not always an indicator that you have pushed yourself hard.
It’s also not a case of spending hours in the gym. Experts agree that an optimal workout should be under an hour, but you should make sure you are absolutely exhausted by the end of that session. Compound exercises will help make sure of that.
You’re Not Eating Right
Working out hard and often is not an excuse to then go and eat whatever you like – This is an all too common mistake made by new lifters and they often just end up putting on fat rather than muscle. Hard gainers who can eat as much as they like with gaining an ounce of fat are not of the hook either. You can’t build muscle by eating crap food. . Yes, you will need to increase your calorie intake to put on mass but this needs to be good calories, such as whole foods full of good fats and proteins.
As a general rule, unless its whole fruit, your really shouldn’t be eating anything with sugar in it and that includes those protein and energy bars that when you look at closely, are just full of sugar. You can get your protein elsewhere.
You Don’t Have Clear Goals
Ok so this one isn’t an exact science but ignore it at your peril. The thing is history has shown time and time again that people who know what they want to achieve more often than not end up achieving it and those that don’t just seem to float about and not get anywhere.
Being specific is important here. Saying you want to get bigger or stronger is not enough, you need to make these measurable numbers and break them down. They need to realistic too, none of this 100lbs of extra muscle in 6 months.
Again, we can’t give you the exact formula here, you’ll just have to trust us a bit when we say it is imperative that you set yourself training goals. It is pretty safe to say that there are no professional athletes out there that don’t set goals, so that says it all really.
Getting Results Is No Mistake
These are some of the biggest mistakes that beginner and long time lifters make. Everyone is different but each and every one of these mistakes is more than capable of stopping you from getting results.
You could be one of the lucky ones and these are just slowing you down rather than stopping you completely, but ain’t nobody got time for that either. Address these areas and watch your body transform fast.