5 Common Mistakes When Putting On Muscle

Have you been putting in hours and hours in the gym but are not able to build muscles

Well you could be making some common mistakes that could be hindering your muscle gains. 

1.Not Eating Enough

All your hard work at the gym will be a waste if you are not consuming enough calories.  In order to build muscle, there has to be a surplus of calories. You need calories to fuel your workouts and to help your muscles repair and grow.

2. Not Consuming Enough Protein

If you want to gain muscle mass, it’s important to ensure you are consuming enough protein. When you are working out you are basically breaking down muscle fibers with microscopic tears. In order to repair them and rebuild your muscle tissue, you will require the right amount of protein.

So what is the right amount of protein?

According to American College of Sports Medicine athletes should consume between 1.2-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram, depending on the intensity of your training. It is also recommended that the protein is consumed at regular intervals throughout the day since our bodies can only absorb about 25-30 grams at a time.

3. Not Lifting Heavy Enough

In order to build muscle you must challenge your body, give it the stimulus it requires to increase your muscle mass.   You should have a feeling of exhaustion after your workouts.  This can be achieved either by doing more repetitions or heavier weights. However studies show that doing heavier weights gives the best results when you want to  build muscle.  You should be doing between 8-10 repetitions per set or lifting to your failure. This means that after your last rep, you should not be able to do any more.

4. Overtraining

Just as not training hard enough can keep you from building muscle, overtraining can also hamper muscle growth. As was stated earlier in the article, when we train we are basically breaking down our muscle tissue. In order to repair and then grow, we need to give our body sufficient rest.

Some of the side effects of overtraining are :

  • Persistent Injuries
  • Fatigue
  • Decline in gym performance
  • Irritability and Agitation 
  • Disturbed  Sleep

5. Lack of Sleep

If you are serious about building muscle then sleep has to be a priority. A good workout and diet is a waste of time if you neglect sleep.  In a study published in the International Journal of Sports medicine (2019), states that sleep is critical to gaining muscle.

There’s a strong correlation between sleep and muscle gain. During sleep, especially during deep sleep, growth hormones are secreted. This allows your muscles to relax which in turn allows your muscles to be relieved of tension and can reduce pain.  Good quality of sleep allows your body to repair damaged muscle tissue from working out, which is important to muscle growth.

So how much sleep is needed for muscle growth?

In the Strength and Conditioning Journal, October 2013, it is recommended that athletes should sleep between 7- 9 hours every night.

You should now know what’s important when trying to put on muscle mass. To ensure you are putting on muscle, eat enough calories, especially protein, lift hard, don’t overtrain, get enough sleep and avoid smoking and alcohol. 

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