Building muscle is a complex process, and requires years of efforts to see a small change. Gaining muscle is not easy as gaining weight. You can easily gain weight by eating more calories than what your body burns irrespective of the type of foods you eat. Building quality muscle on the other hand requires you to workout efficiently while maintaining a healthy and clean diet. Even after eating clean foods for months and years you only gain small amount of muscle, but worth showing off. Even if you gain 4pounds of lean muscle, you will see major difference in your body. Hence most people are not able to gain quality muscle because of lack of proper nutrition or workout. Here are some of the most common reasons why you are not building muscle:
- Not Tracking Calories: This is the most common mistake beginners make. If you do not count and track the calories you consume in a day, there’s no way you can check your progress. Counting calories helps you in giving you a direction as to where you are going wrong and where you stand currently. Start by writing each meal you eat in a copy and corresponding calories and macro nutrients. Use this information at the end of the day to check whether you were able to meet your desired calorie intake or not. Once you start tracking your calories and progress you will start seeing progress soon. You can also use various fitness apps for mobile which will automatically detect the calories and other important information of a particular food item.
- You are not Eating Enough: Nutrition as we know is the most essential part of any fitness program. You can sometime cheat on your workout but never with your nutrition. Nutrition and diet is what keeps you going. If you are working out properly and still not building muscle then the case can be that you are not consuming enough calories. To get big you have to eat big and eating like a bird would not fit in here. If you wish to gain quality muscle in less time, you have to increase your calorie intake gradually. Start by increasing 80-100 calories in each meal giving you around 400 extra calories a day.
- You are not Eating the Right Foods: Eating merely more calories than what your body burns is not enough. Eating anything and everything just to meet your calorie requirement will not help you gain healthy muscle. In order to build quality muscle, you need to focus more on some high quality foods rich in nutritional profiles. The best approach is to first focus on quality and then quantity. Try adding quality food items like chicken breast, oats and whole eggs into your meal and then gradually increase their servings. This will ensure that you eat the right foods in right quantity to build muscle instead of just fat. For a complete list of foods, refer to Best Foods to Gain Weight.
- You are Overdoing Cardio: Cardiovascular activities are a great way to get lean and better health but you should not be over-doing it. During excess cardio may burn more calories than the desired which leans to loss of muscle. If you wish to work with cardio activities, limit it to 1-2 day per week. This will make sure that you do not gain unhealthy fat while building quality muscle.
- You are not Working with Full Range of Motion: If you wish to engage your muscles to the most and wish to isolate the body-part to its maximum, you should perform full range of motion. Most of the beginners make the mistake of focusing more on weight than form. Cheating a workout will not take to anywhere. Whenever you start with a exercise, make sure the form is correct and do not increase the weight until you get into a perfect form. Progression is required but only if you have mastered the form. Hence to engage the muscle fully, perform an exercise with full range of motion and leave your ego at home before entering the gym.
- You are Ignoring Compound Movements: Compound exercises work on more than one muscle at a time and are a great way to add mass to your body. Exercises like deadlift, squats and bench press work on many muscles at the same time helping body in releasing more Growth Hormone. If you wish to gain muscle, you need to perform more of compound exercises. On the other hand, isolation exercises only work on one muscle at a time and isolate the particular muscle part at a time. Hence in order to build muscle focus more on compound exercises and less on isolation. Start your workout with 2-3 compound exercises followed by 1-2 isolation movements. Form is very important in compound exercises hence only increase the weight once you have mastered the form.Here is a list of Best Exercises to build muscle fast.
- You are not Giving Time to your Body to Recover: If you are working out with perfect form and eating right and still not able to gain muscle, then you are not giving enough time to your body to recover and regrow. When you workout, you create tiny micro tears in your body. These micro tears need to be repaired so that they grow back stronger than before. Hence the only time when your body grows and repairs the tissues are during sleep. Apart from this, your body also produces most of the Human Growth Hormone during sleep. Hence you should never compromise on your sleep if you wish to build muscle. Try eating small meal before bed to counter muscle breakdown at night.
- You are Inconsistent or Impatient: The last mistake beginners make while building muscle are being impatient or inconsistent. Taking to many offs, not maintaining a balanced diet and skipping meals are some factors which are responsible for loss of muscle. On the other hand, working out for hours and overeating just to gain muscle faster are common mistakes that most beginners make. If you have started working out, you will have to work patiently as results would not be visible in weeks. You have to give in all your efforts and work consistently to get your desired body.
Hence if you wish to gain muscle, try not to get into these mistakes which can harm your progress. For comments and suggestions use the comment box below.