When training in the gym, it doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to bulk up, slim down, get stronger, improve your endurance and stamina, or simply to look and feel a little better, as in order for you to nail your goals, you need to know what you’re doing. The gym can be a pretty a pretty intimidating and confusing place, and if your primary objective is to become as huge as you possibly can, you need to realize that simply chugging down protein shake after protein shake, and throwing heavy weights around as loudly and intensely as you possibly can, is not the key to becoming a beast. Building muscle mass is tough, in fact, it can be an absolute nightmare for some people, as they may push themselves to breaking point week in and week out, and barely see any improvements at all. If you’ve been training for mass and strength, but have simply found that you are not growing, there are obviously some issues that will need to be addressed. Here’s a look at a few common mistakes that could potentially be preventing you from becoming the beast that you want to become.
Consuming too many supplements
In the bodybuilding world, and in the sporting world in general for that matter, supplements certainly have a very important role to play, and if used correctly, they can certainly make one heck of a difference. With that being said however, supplements are no substitute for whole foods, and supplements will not work miracles either. A lot of bodybuilders looking to bulk up will place too much of an emphasis on supplements, and will basically consume too many each day. Different supplements work in synergy with one another, so by combing them with one another, you help to bring out the best in each one. However, sometimes they can have the opposite effect, as some can cancel each other out, not to mention the fact that too many can be very overwhelming for the body. When using supplements, find a stack that has been tried and tested, but don’t take too many, and don’t blow most of your budget on supplements, as they are certainly not a replacement for whole foods. Keep it simple when looking to grow, and stick with proteins, creatine, fish oils, and multivitamins.
Doing too much in the gym
In order to grow, obviously the muscles really need to exert themselves and pushed to failure, but where do you draw the line and say that enough is enough? Bodybuilders looking to grow often make the mistake of trying to do too much during each workout, as they think that the more they work the muscles, the more they will grow. There are some people that will spend several hours in the gym each day, or who will train twice per day, every day, for a number of weeks/months. This is not beneficial as it can lead to overtraining, which basically means that the muscles will be so worn out and will be worked so hard, that the body will not have the time, nor the capabilities, to repair them adequately, so not only will you fail to grow, you may actually become smaller and weaker. Per workout, ideally you should aim for 6 – 8 exercises consisting of 4 working sets, and you should always allow the body time to recover.
Not getting enough rest
As previously mentioned, not only are people often guilty of trying to do too much work in the gym, they are also guilty of not getting enough rest, which is when the body grows. When we train, we break down our muscle tissues, but it is the work which we put in outside of the gym, that really matters in terms of growing. The foods and supplements you consume, and the downtime that you allow your body to receive, are responsible for repairing and growing the muscles, so if you aren’t getting enough rest, you simply will not grow. Make sure you take at least two full days off from the gym, and make sure you are getting enough sleep each night, as sleep is when you grow and recover.
When bulking up and adding size to your frame, you need to ensure your body remains in a caloric surplus, otherwise you simply will not grow at all. With that being said, this is no excuse for an individual to perform what is known as “dirty bulking” which is basically where they consume vast quantities of unhealthy junk foods to help them reach their daily caloric targets. Dirty bulking is unhealthy as the foods you consume are packed full of junk that can seriously harm your health. Not only that, but as dirty bulking foods will result in you gaining weight so quickly, this can often put the joints and major organs under pressure, which again, is bad for your health. When trying to add size, always follow a diet that consists of 90% healthy ingredients, although if you do crave a cheat meal once per week, don’t sweat it, just make sure that it is once per week.
Listening to the wrong advice
Opinions are like, well, we’ll say eyeballs, as virtually everybody has them, but just because a person has an opinion, that doesn’t necessarily make them right. When trying to add size to your frame, you should ideally listen to your own body, and find out what works for you. Just because something works for one person, that doesn’t mean that it is going to work for you, so just bear that in mind. There are people out there that will tell you that creatine is a steroid, and that you can turn muscle into fat, but this is nonsense. These same types of people, may also tell you to not eat carbs after 5pm, or to not perform certain exercises when trying to bulk up, despite the fact that you may have been performing these exercises in the past, and have seen some impressive muscle gains. Some advice is helpful, but if a person cannot back up what they are saying with some solid proof, the best thing to do is to stick with what you know actually works.