6 Muscle-Building Mistakes Men Make
A toned, muscular physique turns heads – there’s no denying that. Not only is a fit body attractive, but it’s also a sign of good health. So if you’ve revamped your lifestyle but still haven’t packed on the lean muscle you want, it’s time to take a closer look at your diet and workout. Here are the most common reasons you’re not building muscle.
1. You’re not consuming enough calories. You can’t grow muscle unless you’re eating the right number of calories. When you’re trying to lose weight, you should be eating fewer calories than you expend. When you’re trying to gain muscle, however, you should be eating more calories than you burn to ensure your body has the fuel it needs to kick-start muscle growth. Try eating 500 more calories each day for a few weeks – this should encourage lean muscle growth at a rate of about 1 pound a week. For help on eating the right amount of calories, be sure to check out MenScience Boot Camp and the nutrition section of our online magazine.
2. You’re not getting enough protein. Eating enough calories is just one part of the equation. You have to make sure you’re getting enough lean protein, the building block of muscle. If you lead an active lifestyle, you should be shooting for .6-.9 grams of protein per pound of your body weight (e.g. 160-pound male = 128-144 grams). If you’re having trouble fitting more protein sources into your diet, consider using a men’s protein powder. These men’s nutritional supplements are conveniently low in empty calories and high in protein. Read “The Benefits of Protein for Men” for more information on how protein can help you reach your goals.
3. You’ve been doing the same workout for months. If you’ve been performing the same exercises at the same weight level for more than eight weeks, your body has most likely adapted to the routine. A rule of thumb is to change your workout every 8-10 weeks to shock your body. You don’t have to create a new workout routine from scratch, though. You can switch the order of the exercises or simply increase the amount of weight you lift. The key is to always be challenging yourself so that you continue to grow instead of hitting a wall.
4. You’re not using men’s sports nutrition supplements (or you’re using the wrong ones). Men’s sports nutrition upplements can help take your body to a whole new level when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. There’s a lot of inflated marketing jargon in men’s nutrition, so go only for premium, scientifically-developed supplements from a company you trust. We’ve already mentioned the importance of a protein supplement for men, but there are plenty of other men’s nutritional supplements at your disposal. For example: pre-workout supplements and post-workout supplements. Both of these are crucial to boosting performance during a workout. The same holds true for a men’s CLA supplement, which contains healthy fats to help increase muscle mass. For more information on CLA supplements, check out “What is a CLA supplement?”
5. You’re doing the wrong exercises. For building muscle, weight training beats cardio every time. While cardio is great for heart health and weight loss, its role in muscle growth isn’t as big. So if you’ve been running 10 miles a week thinking that you’re going to get big, it’s time for you to hit the weight room instead. Lifting weights at least three times a week will help increase your strength as well as muscle mass – assuming you follow everything else on this list. For more advice on when you should do cardio and when you should lift weights, MenScience Boot Camp has all the answers.
6. You’re not getting enough rest. Too much working out will do you more harm than good – literally. By overtraining, you’re increasing your risk of injury, which can set you back weeks if not months. Aim for at least 24 hours rest between exercise sessions. This gives your body enough time to recover and repair from the last workout when complemented with a men’s post-workout supplement that accelerates muscle repair. And make sure you’re getting enough sleep, too: Quality sleep has a number of benefits that extend beyond the gym, including improved skin health. You can read “How Sleep Affects Men’s Skin” for more information on sleep and men’s skin care.
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