Are you frustrated with your body because you can’t seem to get any stronger or gain any muscle? You are not alone. I understand why people stop working out with trainers, or stop working out all together. They don’t see results. They don’t see results, so they think the idea that will change their muscular size is to do even more reps. Bad idea. Some of them add more exercises or do more sets. Even worse. The equation is quite simple. Add more protein, and put more of a demand on the body (muscles) than it is used to.
Go back to training using the old school moves. Deadlifts, squats, bench presses, lat pulldowns. Keep doing this, and your body will start to change.
Ok, right now you are saying “I eat more, and go to the gym, but why am I still looking at toothpick legs?!” You might be eating more, but you are either not eating enough protein, or not eating often enough, or just not eating enough calories for how much energy you are putting out. The other issue is even easier to conquer. You are still banging out too many reps at the same angle, and not adding enough weight. Those methods of training are great for muscular endurance. Not gaining size.
First, lets attack the diet.
*You should be eating enough calories to have energy. Eat according to two things. Your lean body mass, and your activity level. That is a basic start.
*You should be eating approximately 1-2 grams of lean protein per pound of lean bodyweight.
*The average ratio should be 3,2,1. 3 Parts Carbohydrates, 2 Parts Protein, 1 Part Healthy Fats.
*If you are following a low carb diet for fat loss, then you better be eating about 30-35% of you diet in the form of healthy fats. Otherwise, you will poop out, and not have the energy to lift.
*Eat often. Approximately every 3-4 hours. Protein should be spread out between 5-6 meals/snacks and should be in every one of them.
Secondly, let’s talk about growing your muscles.
*Always do a warm up set first. Get the blood flowing.
A warm up set for example on bench pressing would be 10 reps with the bar only.
*To build a muscle, you have to tear it down first. You tear down in the gym, and build it while at rest.
*Make sure to hit a muscle from more than one angle. Working shoulders? Don’t just do shoulder presses. Start with the hardest move first as in an overhead barbell shoulder press. Then move to lateral cable raises, then upright rows at the end. For balance and growth, hit every angle, and hit it hard!
*Keep reps low. Lift a weight that you can lift for approximately 6-8 reps, after the initial warm up set. Any higher reps will not create growth, but will create endurance.
If you have been squatting with 125 lbs for 3 sets of 12, switch to 3-4 sets using 135-140 lbs but go for 6-8 reps. The last 2 reps should be difficult. Better yet, try adding a bit more weight in the middle set for 3-4 reps, then take off some weight for the last set aiming for 6-8 again. Challenge the muscle.
*Use one warm up set of very little weight. Then go for 3-4 working sets. Do this for each muscle group.
*Focus on form above all.
*After each set, walk around for 1-2 minutes. You want full recovery and strength back to get you focused and ready to tackle the heavier weight of the next set. Never rush through this.
*Visualize the muscle group you are working on, and squeeze each muscle as you complete each rep.
*Add more weight when this becomes easy, or easy enough that you could do more reps.
*All bodies adapt. In order for them to change you have to force them to do something new. Be patient. Give it time. Feed your muscles so that they will repair and grow.
Above all, never forget the most important thing in the training world.
“Your next workout is only as good as your recovery.”
Eat right so that you can train hard.
Sleep at least 7-8 hours. Muscles grow when they are resting, not when they are being used.
In health and strength,