If you are on a quest to build strength, gain muscle definition and improve your physique, you may be frustrated by what seems like slow progress: it feels like you have been doing it for long enough to have results, and yet, nothing.
Don’t despair: you may be making one of these simple mistakes, and a little tweak to your training can bring you the results you want.
You are in a Calorie Deficit
Yes, you read that right: you aren’t consuming enough calories. Many people assume that with any type of body change, comes with it, the need to decrease calorie consumption. For those people trying to lose weight, there is indeed a need to have a calorie deficit, but for those building muscle, you need to ensure you have adequate calories, if not surplus. Depending on your goals, remember that if you want to see more muscle, your body needs to build it. Building anything requires materials, and in the case of muscle, this comes from calories and nutrients. Add more calories to give your muscles what they need to start building!
You are Eating the Wrong Foods
They say you can’t outrun a bad diet, and nor can you outlift one. When you are eating foods that do not fuel you and give you adequate energy, that are processed and nutrient poor, or that rob your body of other essential vitamins and minerals, it will be difficult to have success in building muscle. Think of your body as a machine that works hard and that requires adequate and efficient input to facilitate desirable output. Essentially this means that when you don’t fill it up, offering healthy fuel sources and sufficient macronutrients, combined with enough water, you aren’t going to get the result that you are after.
You aren’t Strength Training Effectively
Much of the result you want when it comes to building muscles comes from effective strength training. While diet is a huge factor, the strengthening work breaks down the muscle and helps build it up stronger. This needs to be done effectively though in order to bring you success. there are two common issues that interfere with effectiveness:
- Not Often Enough – Lifting frequently enough is essential to see progress, otherwise it will be like each time you are starting from the beginning. The frequency will differ for each person, and their respective goals
- Not Heavy Enough – If the weights you are using aren’t heavy enough, they will not facilitate safe breakdown of muscle to be able to build it back up larger and stronger. The weights you select should be heavy enough that it is challenging and you can reach fatigue, but not so heavy that form is compensated or you can only complete a few reps.
Take some time to evaluate where you may be falling short in your quest for more muscle and how you can improve. Remember that building muscle and seeing results takes time, so be patient and consistent and you will get there!
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH