Maybe you’re the proverbial hard gainer and have been working out for years to make muscle. On the other hand, you may have just started trying to build a massive physique. Either way, you’re trying to achieve the same thing; you want to make muscle grow to the point you’re sporting massively ripped quads, huge arms, and shoulders that’ll fill an open barn door. You’ve seen pictures. You know it can be done. Hell, maybe you’ve even seen guys in your gym that are hoisting the tonnage you’d like to.
It’s no secret. Your muscles respond to overload using ancient, primeval forces that literally force them to grow. It’s an adaptive response that your body uses to ensure survival. If it’s confronted with something it can’t handle, it responds by increasing muscle size and strength in an attempt to overcome adversity. The key to making muscle is to make your body face the challenges that will initiate these internal changes. The most effective way to accomplish this is to incorporate some form of resistance training.
You can’t just go about it willy nilly, however. Sure, at the beginning, almost anything you do will be almost guaranteed to produce some results. Early on, you can get away with almost anything and still make impressive gains. Why start that way though? There are certainly some mistakes you need to avoid, lest you keep yourself from making the muscle you should be. If you want to maximize your results, and your muscle mass, here are some things to avoid.
1 – Overtraining. This is probably the most common training error for those attempting to build muscle. It’s understandable, really. People get excited and want to pack on as much rock hard mass as possible. Unfortunately, more isn’t better when it comes to weight training. Like anything else, balance is essential. You’ve got to balance your desire to make muscle with your body’s ability to recover. The recovery period is when you actually make your muscles grow. If you train too hard, you’ll not give your body the time it needs to recover and get stronger.
2 – Not enough sleep – You don’t gain mass when you’re training. No, your muscles actually grow when you’re sleeping. That’s when recovery takes place and you start making progress. Insufficient sleep will definitely stymie your efforts to make muscle. Try to get at least 7 hours a night if possible. If you’re older, you may need even more.
3 – Concentrating too much on too few body parts. When it comes to making muscle, you’ve got to spread the wealth. Ever had a friend who was built like a kite? A huge upper body with beanpole legs is a common look among those who train this way. Yeah, they may have a great set of guns, but if their back and legs have been neglected, it can take months or years to bring everything back so they have symmetrical muscle development. Don’t overemphasize certain body parts at the expense of others. You’ll regret it later, if you ever figure it out. If you don’t figure it out, you’ll be the butt of many jokes behind your back.
4 – Poor nutrition – It’s like this. You can’t eat like crap and expect to maximize your muscular gains. Not only is poor nutrition bad for your overall health, you can expect to languish in obscurity if your subject your body to the abuse the wrong diet. You don’t need to actually go on a diet, and you don’t need to overload on expensive supplements either, although you may benefit from a few well selected supplements. You need enough protein to feed those muscles you’re trying to build. If you’re training hard for muscular gains, you’ll need more than if you are running a marathon or sitting on your fat behind. You also need plenty of carbs to fuel those brutal workouts. Make sure you’re using good, complex carbs for energy, not processed sugars and flour products. Don’t cut the fat altogether, either. You need it for things such as proper brain function. In addition, you can trick the body into storing fat by eliminating too much fat from your diet.
Avoiding these four mistakes, combined with the correct training program will make muscle like you never dreamed possible. Letting even one of these creep in however, can halt your progress in its tracks.
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