When you first embarked on your fitness journey, you probably envisioned yourself ripped like a Greek god in a few months. Yet even after putting in countless hours at the gym and pushing your body to its limit, the results aren’t obvious. You might have lost body fat, but your muscles are still elusive. Don’t cancel your gym membership just yet though. The following reasons might be why you’re still unable to gain muscle despite your best efforts.
1. You’re Doing Too Much Cardio
If your gym goal is to build muscle and not burn calories, too much cardio in your routine could be hampering you. Cardio could actually set back any muscle gain you’ve achieved because it breaks down muscle tissue. If you’re worried you might become fat with no cardio, a high protein diet should curb that.
2. You’re At The Gym Too Long
You might think putting in more time working out will help you achieve your goals faster, but the exact opposite holds true. An ideal workout routine should never exceed 45 minutes. Any longer than 45 minutes and catabolic hormones are triggered in your body, which break down muscles.
3. Your Diet Is All Wrong
Your diet should reflect your fitness goals. If the goal is to lose weight, then by all means eat low fat salads. But if you want to build muscle, there’s no use calorie counting. Forget everything you’ve been programmed to believe about calories and focus instead on getting enough fat and protein. Continue to stay away from sugar and junk food, but start eating plenty of healthy fats. Protein should be your main concern, so if you’re not getting adequate protein in your current diet, step it up immediately.
4. You’re Stuck In A Workout Rut
The aim of every workout is to progress. What works for you when you first started going to the gym, is not something you should still be doing months later. If you’re still doing the same old routine, your body stops responding. To help you keep track, always carry a notebook to the gym and make entries every time you finish. This will help you know what milestone you’ve set for yourself and what you need to beat the next time.
5. You’re Not Diversifying
Your body needs to experience a whole range of movements and motions if you want it to strengthen. Your body might respond positively to a certain exercise, but the more you do it, it will stop completely. You might feel like your form has plateaued and give up. But variety in exercises will push your body again and trigger muscle growth.
6. You Aren’t Eating Enough
Just as important as what you eat, is how much you eat. Your body needs all the energy it can get to work out and build muscle. Weight gain is not for the calorie counters. You need a calorie surplus every single day to provide your body with mass.
7. You’re Stressed Out
Your state of mind might seem irrelevant to how much muscle you gain but stress can produce muscle busting hormones. When you’re stressed out, your body goes into overdrive, producing cortisol. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone which eats away at muscle tissue, making your workout all in vain. Meditation might seem useless to a gymrat like you, but it will substantially decrease cortisol levels in your body.
8. You’re Not Lifting Enough Weights
This might seem obvious, but to put on weight, you need to lift weights. Building muscle doesn’t happen overnight, it requires adequate stimulus to push your body in that direction. Again, the key here is to ensure you’re progressing. Lifting the same weights for the same number of reps for months at a time, will not get you the body of your dreams.