Remember when you first started working out? It was easy to make progress back then even when you didn’t have structured workouts and knowledge about your diets and workouts. You just lifted weights and grew. But the more years you put under your belt, the lesser the progress even though you know so much about your diet and you’re working out much better. But don’t get demotivated. You’re not the only one who’s gone through this situation. In fact, I experienced the same.
However, you need to make small changes in the way of doing things that will make you progress. Remember now, you’ve graduated to a much higher level. So hi5 for that champ!
Let’s talk about five reasons why you’re not adding muscles. And how you can get that gain train started again.
Listen man, man up!
I need to be honest with you here.
You cannot progress if you’re doing your workout with low intensity and just 10-12 reps. You have to make sure that you’re training intense and giving everything you’ve got in the gym. Would you still be getting that 11 reps you did on the bench press if there was someone holding a gun to your head? No? Well, you’re undertraining, then.
Maybe you’re wasting time using your phone, talking with people that are just wasting your time and you don’t realize that you’re taking lot of rest. Or maybe you’ve been training with same amount of weight and repetition since last year. So, if this is the reason then you’re undertraining and you need to step up your game.
2. Not eating enough
Nutrition is equally important as much as training is for your muscles to grow. Back in the old days, you might have gained muscles even when you didn’t care about your diet but now things have changed, you’re the champ now, remember?! You should be very smart about your nutrition and should adapt more to the fitness lifestyle.
First of all, you should know if your diet contains enough protein or not. In average, you need roughly 1.6gm of protein per kg of your body weight. So, if you’re 100kgs you probably need 160gm of protein. Maybe you’re in restricted diet or you’re not taking enough calories. It won’t be sufficient to recover your muscle if you’re taking low calories. Eat up and see the change for yourself.
3. You're doing the same old workout
Now, it doesn’t mean that you should do extremely different workouts. Instead you should try to change the way you train. For example, if you’ve been training with the same 10-12 repetitions for the past year or so, try doing 20-25 repetition with light weight but make sure that the intensity is high so that it should be hard for you to complete the set.
According to research high repetitions with low weight builds same amount of muscles as much as low repetitions with high weights, they key point here being the intensity being the same in both.
Another reason can be, if you’re doing normal squats from the very beginning then try doing front squats. Introduce variety in your workouts. You might not be used to it and it might be hard for you to do it with same weights but eventually you will build strength and start making progress.
4. Over Training
You must have known about under training already but some people might be in the opposite spectrum i.e. by overtraining. If you’re spending 2-3 hours in the gym for 6 days a week or so, your body might not get recovered fully.
Your muscles grow when your body gets time to recover. When you’re working out in the gym, your muscle tissues are broken down. So, you need to give some time for your muscles to recover. For this, it is important to do some light weight training, once in every 6-8 weeks to get your body recovered and this is called ‘deload’. You don’t need to train for 2-3 hour workout sessions rather than that try to train for half an hour or an hour with high intensity.
Remember, you can either train hard or long, but not both.
5. Not getting enough sleep
People don’t take their sleep seriously. But for majority of people it is important to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Research has shown that there is a huge difference in sleeping for 7 hours and sleeping for 8 hours. Although it might not seem so serious but it is important to get 8 hours of quality sleep per night. So, it is better not to cut your sleeping hours. Your body releases hormones while sleeping which helps to grow your muscles. Hence, sleep is a key component for your muscle’s growth.
So, make sure that you’re following all these tips and in no time you will start seeing progress.