It is very frustrating to spend hours at the gym with nothing to show for it but an aching body. When people don’t see the muscle growth they are hoping for, they may end up discouraged and want to quit going to the gym altogether.
If this describes your situation, don’t give up. There could be several factors at play. The following could explain why your best efforts are not resulting in the muscle mass you want.
- Poor technique – Some people are so obsessed with lifting heavy weights that their focus is only on the size of the weights themselves. Technique is key, though, and lifting ultra-heavy weights in the wrong way can decrease your chance for positive results while increasing your chance for injury.
- Poor program design – There are three mechanisms involved in muscle growth or hypertrophy: metabolic stress from the lactic acid that accumulates while you lift weights, mechanical tension achieved through heavy lifting, and muscle damage that results as you strain your muscles. Your program must center on these three important mechanisms in order to be effective.
- No plan – When you enter the gym with no clear idea of what you will be doing and what you want to achieve, you are already set to fail. It may be fun to dabble in weight training with your buddies, but for serious results, you need an action. Make sure that there is a program that is designed in 4 to 6 week phases, depending on your experience and physical status. As you progress with your program, you can gradually increase the intensity and volume of your training. Keep track of your progress to see if you need to make adjustments.
- Not eating enough – You might sabotage your results if you are not eating adequately. You need to eat a surplus of calories to properly support your weight training. If you don’t eat above your maintenance level, you run the risk of not bulking up much.
If you can relate to any of the above, the good news is that you can change your ways and start getting results. Take the necessary steps to modify your exercise regimen and start working efficiently toward the body you’ve been dreaming of.