The reasons why you are not growing
- Body & Gym Posts
- 07 Jun, 2019
We do not reveal too much here, but delve deeper into the following topics:
- Training tips for maximum growth
- Nutrition for muscle building
- Sleep, an often forgotten golden rule
- Book progression in the gym
You do your best to train, try to increase your weight as often as possible and ensure that you eat healthily. But you still see little growth progression (anymore). You ask yourself what you are doing wrong and why it takes so long for you to see that little extra muscle mass grow. Because this can have many different causes, we will discuss the most common causes with you, and thus paint a global picture of the most important points.
Training too much or too little
By training volume we mean the number of work sets that you perform during a training, and per week. In addition to the intensity of your training, the training volume is also very important to develop maximum growth. You can train as hard as possible, but if you do not stimulate your muscles long enough during training, they will not have sufficient potential to grow. Because we start from the number of sets per muscle group per week, we can more easily give a guideline of the volume that we have to maintain in order to grow well. For a work set, we assume a set of approximately 6 to 15 repetitions.
Because beginners make progress much easier and in the beginning can develop much more muscle growth than advanced bodybuilders, they can already build up a lot of muscles with a relatively low training volume. Your body can only build a limited amount of muscle mass in a certain period. This is much easier for a beginner to a higher degree than for an advanced one. Research has shown that around 10-12 work sets per week is a minimum number for beginners to be able to build up mass. The more advanced you are, the more work sets you need to perform in order to grow as much as possible. An advanced bodybuilder may already have to do a minimum of 15 or more work sets to grow.
There is a side note to the number of work sets that you carry out. Because our muscles respond best to a constructive number of sets, as a beginner it is better to ensure that you get the most out of the '' least '' to prevent you from quickly reaching a training platform. It is then better to look at other possible aspects such as, recovery, nutrition or perhaps the intensity of the training. A maximum of approximately 20-25 work sets per muscle group per week has also been set. Too many work sets can stagnate your recovery. If you stay above your maximum volume for too long, you can even develop muscle breakdown. So there is a good chance that for many athletes this is one of the big reasons that the so-called gains stay far away. In addition, it is also possible to expand the volume over several training days, we then increase our so-called training frequency.
You eat too little
Recently that you give everything during your training sessions and your schedule has been put together perfectly down to the smallest details, the mirror does not show the progress that you are working so hard for. One of the most common causes is food. We can still eat so healthy, but if we eat too little, this will have a negative impact on muscle growth. If we want our muscles to grow, we must use a calorie surplus. That means that we have to eat more than our body needs. This of course does not apply to beginners or overweight people. Even with a lower calorie intake and good training, they can already make a lot of progression and also build muscle while burning fat. The more advanced we get, the harder it will be. The body needs a lot of energy to be able to train harder and / or more and to build muscle.
A specific number of calories that you should consume in excess of your maintenance is not known because this is different for every individual. If you are too high in calories, you will sooner create a fat increase in addition to the muscle mass. The lower your surplus remains, the longer it will take you to build muscle but the stricter you can limit your fat gain. As a general guideline, we assume approximately 200 to 500 calories above your maintenance.
You may already eat much more than you normally do but the scales barely show any progress. It is also possible that you have a high resting rate, so that your calorie requirement is higher than you think and indicates googled calorie calculator. For many of us it is therefore difficult to eat more than those enormous amounts of food, which makes it even more difficult to experience muscle growth in the mirror. If you find it difficult to get all those calories from food, it is possible to supplement a weight gainer that is rich in proteins, carbohydrates and fats to help you get the high amount of calories.
We assume that, given your interest in reading this article, as an athlete you probably also know that proteins are incredibly important for the recovery and building of muscle mass. If we do not eat enough protein, we will not recover enough and our muscles cannot grow. Even if you eat a nice calorie surplus every day from a complete diet but your proteins are insufficient, this can sabotage your muscle growth.
No concrete numbers are known about the number of proteins required for a bodybuilder. You can assume that a bodybuilder needs more protein than a recreational athlete. If you want to build muscle mass, you can go from 1,5 to 2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight per day. Make sure you don't sit high in your proteins. From a surplus of proteins you will not build more muscle mass than possible. In addition, you can better use these calories for extra carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are quickly seen as bad which is totally unjustified and certainly when you want to gain muscle mass. They are our number 1 supplier of fuel and energy and also certainly important for our recovery and muscle building. In addition to the number of calories and sufficient fats, it is also important that your ratio between carbohydrates and fats is in order. For fats, we assume a minimum amount of 0,7 grams per kilo of body weight per day. Fats are essential for testosterone levels and general health.
You do not train heavy enough or too heavy
It is not surprising that too light a training can provide insufficient incentives. We often think that when we do strength training, we execute our neatly prepared training schedule and proudly finish the 4 sets listed with each exercise and then cast our eyes on the exit of the gym. Unfortunately, training too lightly is insufficient for the muscles, which can stand in the way of your growth progress. In addition, what you probably won't believe soon, there is a good chance that you will train too hard. Overweight training is more common than you think and can certainly be an obstacle to your growth.
The training intensity plays an important role in muscle growth. As mentioned earlier, the intensity does not mean the number with which your dumbbell is stamped or the number of discs hanging on your barbell, but the weight that you use during a set in combination with the number of repetitions you make. For example, the intensity of, for example, 20 repetitions with a light weight may feel the same as 10 or perhaps 8 repetitions with a heavier weight. Please note that there is a minimum to the weight that you use. We assume a minimum of 30% of your 1RM (one rep max). This is the minimum weight to be able to develop muscle growth.
The total strain that your muscles undergo during training is also called the relative intensity. The intensity is therefore the most important. Okay, but how do we determine the intensity of our training? We don't have to explain to you that the repetitions just before muscle failure are the most spicy repetitions. With muscle failure, we can no longer perform the repeat completely correctly. Unfortunately, these spicy repetitions are the most stressful and effective repetitions for muscle growth. Stay far away from muscle failure, train too lightly and the intensity is insufficient. As a result, you will therefore realize no or almost no growth incentives. So make sure that you grab a suitable weight that you can use to correctly perform the number of repetitions that you want to make. If this is too easy, you know that you can take a heavier weight.
This way you can train too hard in addition to being too light. Do not exaggerate with training to muscle failure. Try to limit this even so that you can continue to make continuous progress over a longer period of time. There are a lot of athletes who prefer to get the most out of each set because otherwise the satisfaction is not big enough. This will turn out to be negative rather than positive for both your recovery and the building of muscle mass. Too much strain will make your body tired and unable to recover properly. This leads to more muscle breakdown than muscle building.
You have probably mentioned the term '' egolifter ''. The fanatics who find the number of disks more important than their incorrect performance are often called this. The chosen weight must indeed be stressful enough for the exercise. However, it is true that too heavy a weight leads to a reduced implementation of the technique. Correct technical implementation, regardless of weight, is still the most important thing. Not only for achieving your goal, but of course also to prevent injuries. Too much weight also means that we use more energy to move the weight. Often our stability undergoes this and we are less able to focus on the muscles that are activated. Also known as the '' mind muscle connection ''.
Sleep and grow
How many hours a night do you actually sleep? And is this an uninterrupted night's sleep or are you often awake at night? We certainly do not have to tell you that your sleep is very important and especially conducive to your recovery. If the body does not rest sufficiently, both our performance and our recovery will be affected. This means that stress can also have a major negative impact on our muscles. For example, it is claimed that mental stress may even double recovery time. Too early a training during this recovery period can again be overburdening.
Too little or too much variation
There is a good chance that you will bring too much or too little variation to your repetitions during the sets. Take the barbell squat as an example of a well-known compound exercise, an exercise in which you engage multiple muscles and which therefore costs us more energy, but in which we can exert more power. We often perform an exercise like this with a lower number of repetitions than, for example, an isolation exercise where we focus on only 1 specific muscle groups, such as the Leg curl for our hamstrings. With these types of exercises we can work more on the endurance of the targeted muscle and more often perform a higher number of repetitions. For these differences in volume and intensity, we use the 2 types of muscle fibers. In practice we speak of type I fibers and type II fibers. We can already tell you that in our opinion the type II fibers deserve the most attention because of their great growth potential. These are the muscle fibers that are most activated with a lower number of repetitions and explosive force. It can, however, be beneficial to occasionally do a number of sets in more repetitions and thereby put the type I fibers to work.
How often do we have to vary in exercises? This question is certainly haunting your mind. A lot of opinions speculate about this that do not really support you with a concrete answer. We want to get the best out of our training and ensure as much progress as possible in the shortest possible period. By surprising the muscles we can continue to stimulate them to make progress. However, it is true that, not entirely unknown, strength increase is accompanied by muscle growth. Although strength development is significantly faster than muscle growth, this is still one of the important factors for progress. Our muscles are less used to exercise than you probably think. Give your body time to get the hang of an exercise and then perform it more heavily. Do not change to another exercise too quickly, but try to build up the weight to the maximum with a neat, error-free technique.
Ensure sufficient progressive overload
Have you ever heard of the term "progressive overload"? This is the way to grow muscle in the fitness world. As mentioned earlier, there are several points of attention that can ensure that your training is just a little more intensive than the previous one and therefore you stimulate your muscles again. Both in weight and in repetitions you can easily measure whether you have made progress. For example, do a set of 10 repetitions with 30 kilos. Then you make sure that you exceed the following training, so 10 repetitions with for example 32 kilo or perhaps 12 repetitions with the same weight of 30 kilo. The more sets you train per muscle group, the greater the training volume. This is also a form of progressive overload. The muscles are becoming more and more burdened with time in small steps. The more gradually we do this, the better. After all, we still want to avoid a possible training platform.
It is possible that your growth stagnates because you do not apply sufficient progressive overload. If we want to be able to lift more, we will have to become stronger. Naturally, becoming stronger takes time and we have to deal with this carefully. It can be useful to work towards your goal in a cycle of a few weeks. Noting down your hard work is not that bad to measure whether you are making progress compared to the previous training (s). So be focused on sufficient intensity and make sure that progressive overload becomes the gold standard of your training.