Are You Making These Five Common Muscle Building Mistakes?

I’m not going to beat around the bush today guys.. If you are struggling to build muscle then chances are you’re making one of or even all five of these common mistakes that too many people are making when trying to build muscle.

Mistake #1: Neglecting The Anabolic Hormone Response To Training

When you lift weights, your body releases various anabolic hormones, which help increase muscle and strength gains. These hormones include Growth hormone (GH), Testosterone (T) and Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1).

The type and magnitude of anabolic hormone release varies by individual, but studies have shown that more anabolic hormone release leads to greater muscle and strength gains.

Different training methods lead to the release of different anabolic hormones, but one thing is constant: to obtain a positive hormonal response, your workouts must be intense and programmed correctly.

“How do I know if my workouts are intense enough?” You need to challenge yourselves guys…  You may have hear the saying ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, then it won’t change you’ In order to grow, adapt and respond to anything you need to push your body to the limit. Once you understand what true intensity is., from there you can change rest periods, lifting tempo, and set and rep plans.

Individually, it is fairly easy to determine weights that are heavy and challenging, but without a well-structured training program, strength and muscle gains will quickly plateau, regardless of the  intensity of the workout. Which is why having a specialised training program is key to epic results.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Workout Nutrition

You need protein, especially post-workout, if you want to gain muscle and strength.

There are two different forms of protein which I have discussed in previous blogs they are high-quality protein and low-quality protein. Whey protein is the best protein for building muscle. Which is one big reason to be taking whey protein supplements if building muscle is your aim. In regards to the different varieties of whey protein, isolates are generally the highest-quality protein that money can buy as opposed to a concentrate or blends.

Eating carbs before a workout will ensure that you do NOT burn fat (If you are already lean and/or don’t care about burning fat, don’t worry about it, especially if increasing size and strength are your main goals)

Take away points:

Eat protein constantly throughout the day, aim for 6 separate feedings (these don’t have to be big t-bone steaks overtime small portions add up quickly), the most important meal to include protein in is your post-workout meal where you should consume at least 20g of a high-quality whey protein.

If you want to pile on the muscle, then eat 20g of a high-quality whey protein every 3-4 hours of the day.

If you AREN’T worried about fat-loss, then include a fast-digesting carbohydrate alongside your post-workout whey protein shake; in other words, include some sugar with your whey, this will lead to maximum muscle and strength gains.

Mistake #3: Doing Too Much Cardio

This one is simple. Steady-state cardio; for example: jogging, running, biking, etc. at a steady state for an extended period of time has been shown to prevent/limit/reduce muscle and strength gains.

If you want to build muscle and increase strength then STOP DOING CARDIO!

If you insist on some sort of cardio (e.g. if you want to build muscle and strength but also lose some fat), then do sprints. But don’t do them to often, and keep them under 25 minutes.

Mistake #4: Not Taking Advantage of the Metabolic Effect of Hypertrophy

Hypertrophy (muscle building) workouts involve doing multiple sets in the 8-15 rep range.

These workouts, combined with short rest periods (typically between 30-90 seconds) increases the levels of bi-products in the blood stream and limits oxygen delivery to the muscles. This leads to a reduced pH levels, reduced protein breakdown, and the release of Growth Hormone the daddy of anabolic hormones.

To take full advantage of these during your workout, again you NEED a training program that has been properly periodised (structured properly over time with different training cycles at certain times). Alternating cycles of 9 to 12 reps with cycles of 4 to 8 reps has been shown to be the quickest way to gain lean muscle mass. What this means essentially is that, you’ve got to keep the body guessing, but it can’t be completely random as your body needs to be able to respond and adapt to the stimulus it’s been provided with.. This is why we change our programs every 4 weeks as this has been proven to be the best time for the body to respond, adapt and grow from a program.

Mistake #5: Ignoring Muscle Building Techniques—Eccentric phases & Drop Sets

The biggest point to take from today’s blog is that you MUST have a properly structured training program in order to achieve the best results over time. This program should include structured variability in regards to tempo, volume, and intensity. This is the MOST important part if you have been trying for ages in the gym and seeing little to no growth.

Once you start to achieve gains you will eventually plateau, to breakthrough this plateau it is SUPER important to incorporate new lifting styles like enhanced eccentric phases (slow eccentric movements, increasing time under tension) the eccentric phase is the lowering of the weight or the relaxing of the muscle, drop sets (performing additional sets at lower weights after reaching your maximum weight), forced reps (using a weight that is too heavy, but receiving external assistance when necessary), all lead to increased hypertrophic results.

Have a great day guys!

Matt

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