Don't make these muscle building mistakes!

Gaining muscle can be an uphill struggle for many of us. Even experienced body builders will often reach points where they can’t seem to pile on any more muscle. However there are a number of mistakes people often make when trying to build muscle and here we’ve listed the top ten.

1.) Not eating enough. Extra calories especially protein are essential to gaining weight. You need to eat an extra 500 calories a day to start packing on muscle and these calories need to be healthy calories so few saturated fats and lots of protein and fibre. Protein is essential in speeding the recovery of muscle building and growth so eat lots of fish.

2.) Increasing your cardio

Whilst cardio work outs are great for your overall health and you shouldn’t get rid of them, too much will actually cancel out muscle gain. Cardio burns huge amounts of calories so if your doing it for too long or doing it without having eaten you are going to start losing mass. Keep Cardio work outs to 45 minutes or less and you’ll be able to avoid this muscle building pitfall. Also don’t work out before breakfast as this will compound the problem and increase your metabolic rate.

3.) Overtraining

Overtraining is one of the leading reasons why people fail to actually build muscles. Doing loads of reps for extended periods of time will actually decrease your muscle gain and can lead to serious injury. More than 20 sets per group of muscles with more than 12 reps is going to leave your muscles swollen but decrease your actual muscle gain.

4.) Day training certain muscle groups

This was long held to be a good way to work out with bodybuilders focusing on one muscle group/day. However if you want to continue muscle building this type of routine can only take you so far as your body doesn’t build balance between the muscles. This can lead to long term injury and prevents you from being able to increase your weight training beyond a certain point because your muscle groups don’t work together only in isolation.

5.) Missing out the warm up

Warming up is central to all exercise. Even if you’re feeling limber you still need to  stretch as it increases your muscle movement rane meaning you will have more space for new muscle tissue to grow. It also decreases your risks of injury which will definitely impact your plans to gain muscle.

6.) You don’t eat regular meals

If you eat less than every three hours your metabolism will begin to drop hugely. This is almost as bad as just not eating or skipping meals. Without keeping a high metabolism you are more likely to store what you do eat as fat rather than using it for active growth so get snacking and eat regular meals.

7.) Sticking to the same workout routine

If you stick to the same workout routine week in and week out you will either burn out or you will reach a point at which you can’t actually gain more muscle. You have to constantly step up your challenges by increasing weights and reps in order to actually continue to build rather than maintain muscle. Pushing yourself harder each week will prevent you plateauing.

8.) Training the showy muscles only

This is a really common mistake where people focus on the more showy muscles and neglect the others. The trophy muscles are your pecs, biceps etc and whilst giving you an impressive figure these won’t actually improve your potential to gain muscle. You are also likely to imbalance your muscles which will prevent them growing together and increases your risk of energy.

9.) Not drinking shakes

Whilst many people shun shakes and we’ve got to admit a lot of protein shakes are just c**p drinking a high protein and high carb concoction as soon as you finish your workout will actually help build your muscles as it will replenish lost glycogen and give you the nutrients to build and repair new muscle tissue.  Eating after your workout is also a great idea.

10.) Missing sleep

If you don’t sleep properly then you’re going to start losing muscle. Your body needs time to recover so make sure you’re getting the full 8 hours sleep a night every night.