You’re pumping the hell out of weights as many times as you possibly can, but you don’t see any muscle gain. You’re running your ass off, but you don’t see any muscle gain. You think you’re doing everything right, but goddamn it, you see no muscle gain. Well, the cool thing about muscle-building is that sometimes it takes less effort than what you’re putting in. Yes, you can try too hard. Common mistakes of over-enthused noobs include doing way too many reps and running way too hard. Cut down on your reps, up your weight, and trade jogging for interval training. Stick to these eight tips, and you’ll see those guns grow.
- Pump those weights.
This one’s probably obvious. When you feel the burn, blood is flowing to your muscles, jumpstarting protein synthesis and muscle building.
- Lighten up on the cardio.
Every week, limit yourself to about two days of light cardio, like thirty minutes of it. If you want to burn fat and build muscle, another great tip is to go for interval training rather than straight jogging or biking. A healthy interval would be running as fast as you can for a minute followed by two minutes of jogging or walking.
- Lighten up on the reps.
Less cardio and less reps? It almost sounds like gaining muscle is easier than you thought! Well, in some sense, it is. You’re better off with five to ten reps per muscle group rather than twenty or more. You’re going to need to lighten up on the reps, but pump up on the pounds that you lift. And don’t fling them in the air – lift the weights slowly and with control to really exercise those muscles.
- Use free weights.
They’re a hell of a lot harder than the machines because they require more control. This radically strengthens your stabilizing muscles. Not to mention, you look like a bad ass.
- Eat after training.
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s tempting to skip meals. Don’t right after your workout. Have a snack or meal when you’re done lifting that’s rich in carbs and protein. Feed those developing muscles!
- More meals.
Eat up! Think five to six small meals a day. Protein-rich, of course.
- Go for protein shakes.
They’re especially great post-workout, as they’re easy to digest and are about as packed with protein as any food can be.
- Drink a gallon a day.
Your muscles need water to recover and grow. Stay hydrated!
If you stick to these tips, you’re going to see results. Nothing great comes easy, though. Push yourself to lift as much as you can with top-notch control. Take care of yourself with healthy food and lots of protein. And last but not least, don’t push yourself too hard, either. The best way to gain fat and lose muscle is to injure yourself and end up on the couch.