There’s nothing more frustrating than getting up every morning, looking in the mirror and seeing zero results. Here are some areas where you could be going wrong.
Your expectations are unrealistic
Building muscle is just like anything else in the world you want to get good at. It takes time and practice. You can certainly make great, noticeable gains within a couple weeks; cover model status—not so much.
You’ve got no idea where you stand
Knowing how much you bench, squat, overhead press, and deadlift isn’t for the pissing contest with others. It’s your personal benchmarks. You don’t need to be lifting more, or performing more reps with each session, but weekly gains (even if minuscule) mean you’re on the right track. If not, your program may need modification. Here are three expert tips are increasing your bench press.
You train rogue
Until you get to a certain level of fitness, writing and programming your own workouts isn’t advised. Solid trainers know the appropriate amount of exercises, sets, reps, and rest you need to stimulate maximum growth. Bench pressing and curling all night isn’t a program, it’s a problem.
You run too damn much
If your goal is to build muscle and you’ve been lifting for weeks, haven’t gotten stronger, or gained a pound. Stop running, or get off the elliptical. If you’re afraid you’re not getting enough cardio, start doing circuits or supersets—it will elevate the heart rate enough. If your goal is to lose weight, you’re not focusing on building muscle enough. Long story short: more cardio time could be spent lifting weights. Try our cardio replacement workout.
You’re letting stress unravel you
Your boss is crazy nut job, your girlfriend is one, too. You’d better get your emotions in check because it messes with your hormones, focus, and ultimately, your results in the gym.
You’re completely clueless when it comes to your diet
OK, great. Happy to hear you’re taking protein shakes. But do you have any idea how much food you’re actually consuming? You don’t necessarily need to know the exact number of calories you’re taking in, but you should at least be able to accurately recite back what you ate in the day down to the serving amount. Those little bites of random stuff here and there all add up. (Here’s a list of approved office snacks—and the ones to avoid) If your weight is holding steady and you can’t notice more bulk in areas like the arms, chest, shoulders, and back, then you might want to bump up your serving sizes slowly. On the flip side, if you’re not losing the stubborn fat, there could be a lot of “hidden calories” you’re consuming and don’t even know it. This list of dietician-recommended grocery store essentials should help with lean body gains.
You’re not putting in an honest workout
Partial reps, or half reps do have a place, but not if you’re doing it on the regular. Drop the weight back a bit and make sure you’re going the full range of motion on an exercise to activate as many muscle fibers as possible.
You’re thinking small
If you’re cranking out curls and kickbacks, but won’t go near the squat rack, you’re going to have a mass-building problem. Compound movements like squats, deadlifts, the bench press and overhead press recruit multiple muscle groups, and are what really stimulate growth. Suck up the thought of being uncomfortable and get it done.
You’re too much of a gym rat
Try and stay awake for 24-hours and see how you feel the next day. Yeah, it would suck. Same concept applies to hitting it in the gym, if you’re spending hours and hours working out and not taking rest days, you’re going to wear yourself out. Or worse, get hurt.
Get the most out of your routines, check out our 10 guidelines to working out from someone who’s made every mistake in the book.