7 Major Muscle-Building Mistakes You Should Avoid
One of the most common answers to the question “What’s your fitness goal?” is to lose weight and gain muscle. Which is perfectly normal, given the fact that everybody wants to be lean and healthy.
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While losing fat is mostly associated with dieting, building muscles often confuses people. Therefore, if you embark on a muscle building journey, it’s good to know what to do or not to do and how to do it. Let’s take a look at some of the major muscle building mistakes you should avoid, in order for you to have the desired results.
You’re not eating enough
Your workout program may be the best out there but, unfortunately, it won’t bring you the gains you hope for all alone. A good workout needs to be supported by a proper diet.
After training, your body transforms glucose into glycogen to enable the recovery and growth of your muscles. If you don’t provide your body with the right amount of food, you are depleting it of the calories required for the muscle growth process.
How to fix it: Consume high-carb foods after workout. Don’t leave out protein. A four-to-one carbohydrate-to-protein ratio amplifies the glycogen storage by 130 percent, compared to high-carb meals alone.
You’re not sleeping enough
Although many overlook it when thinking about building muscles, sleep is extremely important if not crucial. After nutrition, it is the second thing that stimulates your body to recover and replenish the depleted muscle glycogen stores.
Poor sleep can determine an increase in your stress hormones, facilitating the deposit of fat, reducing your energy levels and ultimately affecting your performance and muscle growth.
How to fix it: Specialists recommend 7- 8 hours of sleep to re-energize and improve metabolism. It is the best timeframe for the growth and anti-inflammatory hormone to help muscles recover.
You’re not hydrating enough
Your body’s muscle cells consist of protein and water. When your body uses the protein for energy, the nitrogen in the molecule is removed so that it can be converted into glucose. This process alone requires a lot of water.
Therefore, if you want to build and gain more muscles, you should make sure you are drinking plenty of water and give your body the amount it needs to hydrate your muscle cells.
How to fix it: Drink half of your weight in ounces of water a day. If math is not your forte, stick to the recommended quantity of 8 to 10 daily glasses of water.
You’re training too much
If you’re trying to match a bodybuilder’s training routine and workout six days a week, twice a day, in hopes of becoming like one, then think again. Surprising or not, training too much can seriously affect your muscles’ ability to properly recover and grow.
After training, muscles need to heal first, so putting them to even more stress is a sure way towards injuries and even immune system problems.
How to fix it: Don’t do any intense training for more than two days in a row. Take at least 1 day off after workout to allow your body to fully repair itself and be able to optimize muscle growth and improve your future performance.
You’re focusing on isolation exercises too much
In the world of bodybuilding, there’s the group that advocates multi-training and the one that preaches isolation exercises. But guess what? Just like there’s black and white, there’s also grey.
Which means that the key to muscle building is a combination of the two types of movements. Therefore, you create a synergistic effect that provides you more mass from multi-joint exercises and overall symmetry and muscle growth from single-joint movements.
How to fix it: Include both multi and single-joint movements into your every training routine. Try squats, presses to activate large amounts of muscles simultaneously and curls or flys to target individual muscles.
You’re skipping leg day
Every gym has its share of ginormous Hulk look alikes prancing around on spindly legs. You don’t want to be one of them, do you? In order to have a symmetry between your upper and lower body, you need to train your quads, calves and hamstrings as well.
Focusing only on biceps and triceps does not stimulate the production of testosterone and other growth hormones so that you can gain more lean muscle and bulk overall.
How to fix it: Replace benching with barbell squats, curls and dumbbell lunges to develop mass in leg muscles easier and consequently build muscle onto your entire physique.
You’re eating your carbs too late
When you’re working out, you need energy. Nothing new here. And one way to get it in the form of glucose, is from carbohydrates. These can help your overall performance and consequently muscle building results.
Unfortunately, many people believe that when you go through the muscles-growth stage, you need to eat a lot. Including late in the evening. But the closer to bedtime you eat these carbs, the most likely they will be stored as bodyfat.
How to fix it: Ensure most of your carb intake from meals early in the day. This helps replenish your glycogen stores depleted overnight and provides the energy your need for training.