You can lift free weights, utilize resistance, and max out your muscles as many days a week as you want. But, when your workout is missing essentials components, it can make or break your muscle gains. Here are four, simple mistakes that could be costing you the results you want:
Your Diet Doesn’t Match Your Workout
To balance out what you’re burning off, you need a surplus of calories. This means you are actually eating more than you are burning off. This is essential to building muscle – especially if you’re a “hard gainer,” or someone who struggles to put on muscle. You should strive to eat high protein meals that equal out to around 20 calories per pound of body weight.
You’re Not Working Out at Your Prime
If you’re an early riser, embrace the day with a morning workout. If you’re a night owl, hit the gym when the sun goes down. If you are forcing yourself to workout when you’re tired, you aren’t going to reach your full potential. You could also be putting yourself at a higher risk for injury. So, find a time that works best for you and optimize it.
Your Workout Isn’t Well-Rounded
Cardio is a great component for those who are trying to shred fat. But, when you’re looking to gain muscle, too much cardio can be doing more harm than good. Conditioning that is quick rather than drawn out, will get your heart rate up while complementing the muscle building aspect. You should also toss in some stretching, like Pilates or yoga. Together, this’ll keep you lean as you gain.
You’re Not Letting Your Body Recover
Muscle builds as it heals. Micro-tears are made during the workout, and then heal during recovery. This process allows the muscle to grow stronger and larger. However, if you’re skimping on recovery time, you are doing yourself a disservice. Not to mention, you’re more likely to get hurt because your muscles are too fatigued. So, be sure to take plan rest days where you lay off the weights.