If you want to maximize gains from your workouts, here are six mistakes that you absolutely need to avoid when muscle building. By staying far away from these errors, you will be able to reach your full potential.
1. Poor nutrition and diet
The body has amazing capability in recovering from grueling workouts, but it cannot function properly without proper nutrition and a healthy diet. Bodybuilding workouts tear muscles and place stress and strain on ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bone. In order for your body to rebuild properly and to add muscle mass, you need to have a balanced diet that provides enough calories, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Natural protein sources like meat, fish, eggs and dairy are important but you should not forget to eat ample amounts of complex carbohydrates like whole grains and potatoes. Complex carbohydrates provide a steady stream of calories throughout the day unlike simple carbs that provide all the energy at once.
Daily protein intake should be about 1.5 grams for every pound of bodyweight although you can go up to 2 grams without any problem. Eating excessive amounts of protein may be counterproductive because your body may have difficulties handling the unused excess. You can deviate from your diet occasionally but try to stick to it as much as possible.
2. Insufficient recovery
While your body has astonishing healing capacity, it needs rest to rebuild the damage caused by gym workouts. Champion bodybuilders know this secret, and they carefully adjust their schedule to ensure they get proper sleep and rest.
Some bodybuilders work out only every other day giving their muscles a day’s rest in between sessions. Another strategy is to rotate muscle groups during daily workouts. In this way, you will give one set of muscles at least a full day of rest before the next workout. Heavy leg workouts, in particular, require lengthy rest periods. By giving the body time to rebuild, you should see much more impressive gains in muscle mass and form.
The body needs about 7.5 hours of sleep although the situation will vary between individuals with some needing more and others requiring less sleep.
3. Improper use of nutritional supplements
Most bodybuilders use some type of nutritional men’s supplement to help them improve their results. Many companies market products that can range from protein shakes to multivitamin pills. Modern supplements are much more appealing than poorer quality early versions.
Generally, you should stick with two types of nutritional supplements. First, you will need to ensure that your body is receiving the full spectrum of branched-chain amino acids. Other than the best protein supplements, the only other nutrient that seems to work is creatine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can help boost your energy before workouts, but some people may not respond favorably to caffeine supplements.
4. Poor motivation
In the beginning, it is easy to get motivated about working out to create the body of your dreams. However, as time goes by, you may become weary of the process especially when new gains become more difficult to achieve. You may feel you are stuck and that you cannot progress any further.
The secret to overcoming such roadblocks is to get together with others that share your bodybuilding interests. Sharing with others is a great way to build up motivation that can help you reach the next step in your quest. Go to workouts with other people so that you can combine workout and socializing time.
Finding one or more workout partners will help you stay motivated, and you will also be able to learn from each other’s insights. A partner means that you will automatically have a spotter available to help you avoid injury when working with free weights.
Alter your workout schedule to break the monotony. You should change your workout routine about every four to six weeks to keep things fresh. Additionally, try new types of routines and approaches to see if they can help you especially when your progress slows.
5. Repeated injury
One of the big mistakes that many people make is going too hard and injuring themselves during their workouts. A bad injury can keep you out of the gym for weeks or even longer.
In order to avoid injury, you must be very conscious about safety during your workouts. Contrary to a standard practice, you should avoid stretching prior to lifting weights. However, you should warm up properly before lifts. You can also stretch after your weight workout.
The proper to warm up during weightlifting is to start off with light weights and then work your way up. Use the lightest weights first with a high number of repetitions. As you warm up, your circulation will increase limbering up the targeted muscles and your joints will naturally lubricate.
Starting off cold with heavy weights can destabilize your shoulder and knee joints.
6. Inconsistent workouts
In order to maximize your potential, you need to stick to a workout schedule as part of your lifestyle. You cannot go strong for a month and then take the next month off.
Make fitness a priority and learn how to fit other activities around your workout schedule. Do not let yourself get so overly attracted by other events that you miss days, weeks or months of workouts.
While you may have to cut back on your social activities, you will see results by maintaining a consistent workout schedule.