Are you having a tough time building muscle? Do you feel as though the consistent effort you’ve put into your regular training is not delivering muscle building results as it should? Well, you’re not alone. If you’re not achieving the kind of results you want, take a step back and evaluate your approach to building muscle and strength. Figure out what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, and how you can improve your workouts for better results. Below are some tips for building muscle to consider.
Muscle building tip #1 – are you over training? Comparing over training to not training at all, I don’t know what’s worse. Do you feel sluggish while working out? Do you feel you’re not lifting as heavy as you could? Are you performing way too many reps, sets, exercises, and are your workouts way too long? An easy way to tell if you’re over training is that your performance seems to get worse, even though you may be training as hard as ever.
When you over train, you do not allow enough time for a full recovery before working those muscles again. You may be spending way too much time in the gym, performing way too many exercises and sets, leading to counter-productive results. If you suspect you’re over training, stop! Simply take a week off. Regardless if you’re over trained or not, taking a week off after every six to eight weeks of intense training is always a good idea. Most people are afraid of taking long one week breaks, thinking that they’ll come back weaker. However, the opposite is often true. With a full weeks of rest, your body is able to completely recuperate from weeks of intense training. You’ll usually find that after a week of off time, you’ll come back more energized, and even stronger than before.
Muscle building tip #2 – are you using heavy enough weights and low number of reps to deliver the stimulus needed for building muscle and strength? Performing a high number of reps with a light weight or even moderate amount of weight will not do much for building muscle, and performing excessive number of sets will just lead to over training.
For building muscle and strength training, a general rule I like to follow is never use a weight that would allow me to perform more than 6 or so reps – meaning that use a heavy enough weight, that you reach failure by the sixth rep.
Muscle building tip #3 – what kinds of exercises do you perform? Is most of your training comprised of isolation movements, or compound exercises? The best, fastest, and most efficient way to build muscle and strength is to consistently overload your muscles using compound exercises. What are compound exercises? They are exercises that involve multiple muscle groups, and in some cases, then entire body. For example, the deadlift, or the clean and press. Some of the best compound exercises include bench press, squats, deadlifts, and clean and presses.
If you’ve had limited success with your training, put the above tips for building muscle to use. Be honest about your own assessment of your training methods and progress, and never be afraid of taking a week off for proper resting and always use heavy enough weights that deliver the needed stimulus for muscle growth.
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