You go to the gym regularly and eat soundly. However, you fail to see the muscle growth you want. Odds are that the fault doesn’t lie in the stars, as Shakespeare would say. Odds are that the fault lies in your exercise routine, diet, or both. Read on to find out if you fall prey to some common misconceptions related to muscle growth.
Maximizing Muscle Growth with Your Workout
Chances are that you have heard that you should do less reps with more weight to get bigger and that more reps with less weight is really just for muscle definition. However, while you should do about 6-12 reps every set to maximize muscle growth, varying your rep range has benefits. Doing fewer reps than this with more weight will get you stronger, increasing the amount you can do in the 6-12 range. Additionally, doing more reps than 6-12 will, in short, increase your endurance and further enhance your ability to lift in that middle range.
Another way to increase your bang for your buck is to use free weights instead of machine weights. Barbells and dumbbells activate and use more muscles than their machine weight counterparts.
However, perhaps the most underemphasized part of muscle growth is recovery. During your workout, you are tearing your muscles. They don’t get bigger during the actual workout. They get bigger during the recovery. As such, make sure to not overwork your muscles and give them at least one to three days to recover, depending on the intensity of your workout.
Maximizing Muscle Growth with Your Diet
There is a reason people seem to be obsessed with protein nowadays. Your daily protein intake should be anywhere between 1 gram to 2 grams per pound of your bodyweight. This will help stimulate muscle growth. Additionally, make sure to drink water throughout the day and your workout, even if you are not thirsty. This helps your body function to its maximum capacity. In short, your urine should always be clear.
Nonetheless, your workout needs to be your emphasis to maximize muscle growth. If you have hit a plateau, it is definitely time to change things up.