5 Reasons you’re not adding Muscle

gains muscle biceps back

Does it feel like you have reached a plateau? Gains are slow and you don’t feel like it? Don’t worry, we all had that. 

Here are my 5 things that you need to stop so as to Reverse that trend and add gains –

Overtraining

Some would say that there is no such thing as overtraining. But yes, there is. There is Science to back me up here. Our muscles can only take an hour or maximum an hour and 20 mins of shock. So working out for 2 hours or 3, will only make you lose muscle mass.

The best is if your workout comprises 45 – 50 mins of lifting and 15-20 mins of cardio and stretching. You pack on serious muscle while burning fat.

Under-recovery

Fitness or bodybuilding isn’t just that hour you spend in the gym. It is mainly the other 23 hours you spend outside of the gym. If you want to increase muscle and increase strength, you need to let your body recover.

Now recovery consists of 3 things –

  1. Nutrition – Food you eat. The cleaner and healthier food you eat, the faster it replenishes your muscles. Thus increasing gains.
  2. Sleep – Sleep is the most important source of recovery. Your muscles recover the fastest when you are asleep. You need to have at least 8 hours of sleep every day. Eat clean and have slow release protein before going to bed, and watch how your muscles will love it.
  3. Daily habits – If you like partying, that is your choice. But know this, ALCOHOL slows down muscle recovery SIGNIFICANTLY.

Ego lifting

There is a saying “Quality over Quantity”. This is where that saying applies. If you are ego lifting and testing yourself and your form is dodgy, you can forget about your gains. Leave the ego out of the gym. Focus on your form. To earn respect in the gym, you do not have to be the guy who stacks up all of the plates on to the leg press machine, grunts and moves it just an inch, and then walks around with an Imaginary Lats Syndrome. Focus on your form, and show your muscles gains – that is how respect is earned.

Perform more Compound Movements

Everybody loves Isolation exercises, because they are easy. For example push-downs, bar curls, and lat pull-downs, and I know this because I was one of them. I would do sets and sets of those exercises while neglecting compound lifts like Squats, Deadlifts, Clean and Press or Pull Ups. If your goal is to add muscle, think of your workout as a three-course meal. Your appetizer is the warm-up, your main course is the compound lifts, and dessert is the isolation exercises.

Compound lifts are multi joint exercises that incorporate more than one muscle group at a time. Compound exercises not only add muscle but will make you stronger, and the stronger you are, the more muscle fibres you can engage. The more muscles you engage in a movement—whether it’s a compound lift or an isolation move—the more weight you can handle, and the more weight you can handle, the more your muscles are going to grow.

You do not have variations in your workout routine

Now when I say variations in a workout, it can mean  several things. From new movements and mixing up exercises (Supersets, Giants sets, Normal sets), to grip placement or feet placement. 

You need to keep shocking your muscles. Our muscles have a memory, believe me. If you keep working on the same routine and same exercises with no variations, your muscles get used to it just like you have gotten used to your normal daily routine.

If you have been doing any of these 5 things, stop now and you will overcome that plateau with ease.