Muscle burns fat. But, when you are trying to build muscle, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. You may not know where to get started. So, why not start with what not to do? Here are some factors that can delay or stall your muscle building progress:
1. Overspending on gym memberships.
You may think that they only way to get a good workout is to go to a gym: they have stack-pulley, computerized, and hydraulic machines that you could never afford. And they’re safer, right? Not necessarily. Often, the low-cost exercises that you do at home are much more effective and safe. If you are considering a gym membership, you may want to save yourself the expense.
From working with relatively inexpensive free weights (such as Powerblock dumbbells) to doing squats and lunges with absolutely no equipment, you can get a great muscle building workout. The best equipment you have is your body and a few free weights.
2. Letting your body get bored.
It is easy to see results immediately after starting a muscle building program. Be careful of becoming complacent, however. It may not work as well as you progress.
Doing the same exercises all the time doesn’t challenge your body. In fact, your body becomes so efficient at performing the moves that it works less hard. Your muscles will not be challenged enough.
When your body becomes used to doing the same workouts, it needs to use fewer calories. To avoid this problem, don’t let your exercise routine become too routine. Add some variation and/or intensity into your sessions. This has two benefits: one, you continue to build muscle, and two, you don’t get bored.
3. Not doing any cardio.
Cardiovascular exercise is an important part of building muscle, yet it is something that many people trying to gain muscle mass usually ignore. Focusing only on weight training can halt your results.
Cardio has multiple advantages, including preventing your body from gaining fat and helping your body recover from rigorous weight training. To get the maximum benefit from your cardio, do it immediately after your weight training session when your body is primed for fat burning. Also, limit it to high intensity intervals totaling no more than twenty minutes.
4. Not resting enough.
Taking breaks from your training regimen is vital because muscle repairs itself and grows during these rest periods. Training four or five days a week is optimal, because it allows days off to recuperate.
Muscle fatigue and injury are other problems that will cause you to build muscle much more slowly. To avoid this, work different muscle groups during each workout. Try working on your arms and back one day and your legs and abs the next. This will allow muscle to grow.
5. Not paying attention to what you eat.
Food is fuel, and many people who fail when building muscle do so because they are not adequately fueling their body. To put your body into muscle building mode, eat properly.
One of the best things that you can eat when you are trying to build muscle is protein. This is found in lean meat, fish, eggs, poultry, and dairy foods. Within thirty minutes after you workout, eat a snack that is high in protein.
6. Giving Up
Some people take longer to build muscle than others. The biggest mistake that you can make is to give up because you are not seeing results.
Maybe you need to reevaluate your workout routine and diet to determine what you can add/subtract to get results. Maybe you are laying a good foundation for muscle building and your body will start demonstrating the progress you’ve made if you just give it a little longer.
Whatever the cause of your stagnation, don’t quit. If something is not working, change it. But don’t stop; it will only put you back where you started and you won’t have the body you want.