Unfortunately, what you may be doing before, during, and after exercising could be negating all the positive actions and leaving you disappointed and frustrated at your lack of progress in building muscle. According to experts, apart from the wrong exercises, your social life, and personal habits may also be responsible for sabotaging your efforts to build mass. Some pointers:
Not Doing the Basic Exercises
There is a common tendency among those lifting weights for building muscle to only focus on certain isolation exercises like leg extensions and chest flies to add muscle bulk. However, they seem to forget that basic exercises like squats and bench presses involve several muscles and impose more body stress so that the muscle gain is actually bigger. As a result of the stress, more growth hormones are produced by the pituitary gland that helps the bulking process.
Despite the need for variation, you should never stop doing the basic exercises in favor of isolation exercises. Ensure that of all the exercises in your routine, at least 40-50% is compound exercises involving multiple muscle groups.
Playing Active Sports
This may seem strange to many people but playing a sport may actually slow down your muscle building. This is because your muscles are not getting the sort of rest that they should be getting after you have played a sport and exercised. Typically, if your muscles are not able to get a 48-hour period of rest, the calories are burned more for meeting the energy demands, not building muscle mass. If you want to find out how much you are being affected, limit your cardio to not more than 20 minutes for three days in a week.
If you are able to complete more reps or even lift more weight in a period of 2-3 weeks, you should limit your sporting activities to give a boost to muscle growth. Try out a steroid supplement to aid mass acquisition.
Smoking and Drinking
While everyone knows how bad smoking is for health, it is less known that strength training can also be severely affected as your muscles get less oxygen due to the presence of carbon monoxide in your blood. The lack of adequate oxygen limits the ability of muscles to contract and the muscles become weaker.
Alcohol results in more fat being deposited on the abs and also interfere with muscle-building hormones. Testosterone levels also dip and prevent muscles from being built. Quit smoking and give yourself a psychological boost by exercising more. Limit your alcohol intake to a moderate level to prevent any impact on the level of testosterone.
Your ability to build muscle mass may be severely compromised if you neglect to eat immediately after working out. Failing to have protein and carbs in the 30-minute window after exercising can make your body break down muscles for energy. Also, make sure that you stay hydrated very well, eat more frequently to keep the energy levels high, and get adequate sleep at night so that the muscles can recover and rebuild themselves.
Author Bio: Alex Wentworth owns a gym that is very popular with young executives and professionals. His advice for faster muscle building is to focus on the right exercises, ensure a calorie surplus, and take a good quality steroid.