In most cases, it isn’t the big things that limit muscle growth; it’s the small things. If you’re not achieving the results you desire from your workouts, there’s no need to panic. You probably just need to tweak small things in your training to see major changes in your body.
To help you out, and to help you get the most out of every single strength-training workout, here are four reasons why your muscles may not be growing the way you would like them to:
#1) Amount of Resistance
Your muscles respond to resistance. Muscle growth, or hypertrophy, is a direct result of the amount of resistance you use. You may know someone who goes to the gym and eats a good diet, yet they make very little recognizable gains. One issue is the amount of resistance they use.
In order to get maximum muscle growth, it’s important to lift 8 to 10 repetitions with the highest amount of weight your muscle or body can handle with proper form and technique.
You don’t measure progress by how sore you are, or by how much time you physically spent at the gym working out. Instead, you measure progress in ways that are measurable and visible. The ability to perform more controlled reps with the same weight, or the ability to lift heavier weight with good form, are both examples of progress. Another example of progress is an obvious improvement in the way your body looks. Remember that you need to maximize every single rep during every single set; and the amount of resistance is a huge factor in stimulating muscle growth.
#2) Enough Rest and Recovery
The big problem with recovery is there are many people who are so eager to grow that they don’t think about recovery time or recognize its importance. Your muscles don’t grow at all from the initial pump of training; they grow larger and stronger while you’re resting.
Instead of choosing to rest, some individuals overtrain their muscle by training again prior to full recovery. When overtraining occurs, your body doesn’t get the opportunity to repair the muscle tissue that was micro torn while working out. When that happens, the muscles begin to atrophy, and becomes stagnant in their growth.
Give your muscle two to three days to completely recover after you’ve working them strenuously. While the muscle is recovering, make sure you fuel them properly and get plenty of rest and sleep, which will help you maximize your growth potential.
Instead of choosing to rest, a lot of people overtrain their muscles. When overtaining occurs, these people’s bodies never get the opportunity to repair the muscle tissues that were torn while they were working out. When that happens, the muscles begin to atrophy, and they become stagnant in their growth.
#3) Improper Form
One of the most common sights in gyms across the world involves people who are willing to sacrifice form and technique to lift heavier weight; this could very easily result in injury and lack of muscle stimulation.
Form can be sacrificed in many ways. The following are a few examples of improper form:
- Using momentum to avoid sticking points in the movement.
- Not acquiring a full range of motion.
- Not contracting or engaging the muscle prior to proceeding with the lift.
These are three vital mistakes that will hinder muscle growth and have the potential for causing injury.
You should never sacrifice form and technique for the sake of being able to move heavier weights. Instead, make sure you concentrate on maintaining impeccable form, because maintaining good form is going to lower the possibility of being injured, and it’s going to help you build the muscle you are looking for.
#4) Proper Number of Sets (and Reps)
You may wonder when it comes to building Max Muscle how many sets should you do and should you do 8 reps or 12. In order to maximize muscle growth, it is best to do three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions for each exercise. When training it is very important to listen to your body. Some advanced lifters may use 3 exercises and 3 sets for each muscle group – this would equal 9 total sets.
The reason why you want to do three sets is simple to explain. As you are training, you are micro-tearing the muscle. This means that you are creating small tears that are having small repairs made to them during your recovery stage. When lifting with the proper amount of resistance the first set will slightly micro-tear the muscle, as you progress to 3 sets the micro-tearing of the muscle increases. This micro-tearing gives a foundation for the muscle to grow, but you don’t want to break the muscle down to much, because it becomes substantially more vulnerable to real injury. You don’t want to go from a small tear to a large tear, which is known as an injury that needs prolonged recovery and treatment (this is a pulled or torn muscle).
The objective is to stimulate each muscle fiber to maximize muscle growth.
I hope this explanation of why your muscles may not be growing will help you to improve your workouts and kickstart a fresh round of muscle growth for you. For more great fitness tips, feel free to check out the rest of the blog at RonWilliamsFitness.com, and also the Ron Williams channel on YouTube!