Building muscle is fun – so do so many people treat it like a boring job?
Earlier, we talked about consistency when bulking, and how you always need to keep the protein and calories high.
When it comes to training, consistency is also important in terms of getting to the gym frequently. But within your workouts, too much consistency (doing the same thing over and over) can lead to plateaus, yielding frustration.
Here are five training mistakes to avoid in your efforts to build muscle:
Doing the same exercises over and over
But as for everything else, are you stuck in a rut? Week after week, are you finding yourself doing the same movements?
If so, sit down, do some research, and work some variations into your plan!
First, you’ll prevent the repeated bout effect. This happens when the muscles are sensitized to the same movements over and over. We know that it happens, but interestingly, we don’t know why it happens. But it does, so keep your muscles guessing.
Second, you might not realize that you’re completely missing certain muscle fibers by avoiding certain variations. Not all bicep curls function the same way – you have two different heads to hit. Your shoulders have a surprisingly large amount of different fibers. Make sure you target all of them over the course of time, and work on what’s lagging.
You’re not changing your rep range
One thing that bodybuilders have been doing for years is periodization, which is when you change rep ranges over time to accomodate a strength phase and a hypertrophy phase.
For instance, one popular workout plan is the HST, or Hypertrophy-Specific Training, which slowly moves you between 15 reps to 10 reps to 5 reps, two weeks at a time. Not everyone likes that specific plan, but the point is, keep your muscles “guessing” by moving rep ranges.
The lower-weight, high-rep exercises get your joints prepared and boost endurance, and really allow you to feel a great squeeze out of the muscle with a high time under tension. The high-weight, low-rep muscles brings the strength and boosts your ability to move the mid-range sets up for more muscle growth.
If you’re stuck in a 3×10 mode over and over, do something — anything — to stop the madness now!
You’re afraid of gaining fat
Some of us are stuck in this mode where we want to build muscle, but we’re not willing to sacrifice some of our leanness.
For most of us, it’s extremely difficult to put on muscle without adding at least some bodyfat. It requires perfect nutrition balancing, constant monitoring, a genetic edge, and insane levels of dedication.
When we try to “gain muscle but add zero fat”, what typically happens is that we limit our muscle gains instead, often because the carbs are too low.
As a recommendation to skinny or “skinny-fat” people, when it comes to building muscle, err on the side of a little extra fat. As long as you’re under control, you can always lose it in time for summer.
Cardio? Good. Too much cardio? Not so good.
Meanwhile, you might be doing too much cardio. There’s nothing much wrong with cardio, but if you’re doing too much, it could be stealing from your precious time in the weightroom. Furthermore, at some point, cardio can become catabolic.
Avoid doing too much cardio during bulking season, but don’t ignore it either. 3-4 times per week for 30 minutes is plenty, or two HIIT workouts can work as well.
You’re not doing all of your compound lifts
Don’t be that guy who does nothing but bench press and tricep pushdowns, but you’ll never see doing a deadlift, squat, or anything else interesting.
Isolation exercises are great – how else are we going to hit our biceps? – But avoiding the big boy exercises for whatever reason it may be is simply going to hold you back.
As with everything else, there’s a balance that needs to be made between forces. Nothing adds mass and makes an athlete like a squat, and nothing builds a bicep like a bicep curl. Do them both. And stop skipping the legs in general.
Every workout should contain at least one or two big compound lifts.
It’s better to squat light than to not squat at all… and your numbers will go up before you know it (especially after a month of using Nitramine).
You’re head’s not in the game
There’s not much we can say about this – it’s up to you to figure out. Much of it is mentioned in our post, Five Reasons Why You’re Having Weak Workouts.
Here are some ideas:
Some people work out best alone. Some need a training partner or personal trainer.
If you’re chatty in the gym, then schedule longer workouts. A “60” minute workout with 30 minutes of chatting is not a 60 minute workout.
Some gyms work for you. Some just don’t. A better gym is worth a slightly further drive.
Personal issues need to be kept at the door. Girl problems don’t belong in the weightroom. Ain’t nothin squats can’t fix anyway.
Sometimes, your music needs a refresh. Find an hour to find some new stuff.
Some people work out best first thing in the morning. Flat workouts after work? Get to bed early, turn off the TV and all the gadgets, and try early morning workouts for two weeks – you might just like it.
On that note, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep can easily ruin your diet, as discussed on the Pyroxamine site.
And at other times, you need a new pre workout supplement. That’s where Myokem Nitramine comes in, which is a top-rated focus enhancing pre workout.
Nitramine is the basis of this site, and below you can find the best deal or get a free sample.
Chances are, it’s multiple issues. Turn off the TV, take a good look at your situation, and build a new plan, a new playlist, and grab a new pre workout. Keep em guessing.