Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we just cannot seem to build anymore muscle and as a result we become de-motivated. Most persons attempting to build muscle have at one time or the other experienced such a situation and it is very frustrating. There are things you can do to get back on track and start building more muscle mass in no time. Below are the three most likely explanations that could explain why your muscles are not growing anymore.
Overtraining is the cause of many muscle growth plateaus. What many persons don’t seem to appreciate is that muscle is built outside and not inside of the gym. Weight training breaks down muscle fibers and without proper rest and nutrition these muscle fibers will not rebuild.
If you are continually tearing down muscle tissue without allowing adequate recovery then you are forcing your body into a state whereby you actually lose lean muscle tissue. This is why it is recommended to exercise each muscle group no more than once per week. Therefore, if you targeted your chest on Tuesday you should wait until next week Tuesday to target your chest once again.
Another aspect to overtraining is lengthy workouts. Research has shown that weightlifting boosts levels of testosterone and anabolic hormone which induces muscle growth, however, levels of this hormone begins to dip after the first 30 minutes while the catabolic stress hormone cortisol increases. As a result, you should keep workouts under one hour or else you will be in danger of losing muscle tissue which is not what you want. If you have to reduce the number of sets to stay within the one hour time period, then do it. At the end of the day it is about intensity not how many sets that you do.
Variety is the spice of life and by changing up your workouts every few weeks or so you can avoid muscle growth plateaus. The body is very good at adapting to new situations in order to enforce homeostasis.
Therefore, you have to continually take your body out of its comfort zone by being unpredictable with your workouts so that your muscles can get stronger. Once your muscles adapt to a particular stress level there will be no further muscle growth so you have to find new ways of blasting your muscles to cause hypertrophy.
When all else fails to produce the desired result then it’s time to have a look at your nutrition. You might not be having enough calories to support muscle growth so you might need to increase your food intake. Without the necessary nutrients from your diet your muscles will not have the necessary raw materials it needs to rebuild and get bigger. Therefore, you need to ensure you are eating enough to support the stress your body has been placed under during strenuous weight training. Your diet plays a crucial role in unlocking your full muscular potential.
Plateaus in muscle growth are almost unavoidable but there are things that can be done to get past them by examining your training and nutrition. Instead of feeling discouraged it would be better to focus your energy towards figuring out how to solve this problem. Many times the answer is all too simple and with a few changes in your diet, training, or both, you can start to build muscle once again.
Chris Brown is a 25 year old fitness enthusiast who blogs at Gain Build Muscle. He also has a presence on twitter.
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