Building Muscle – What NOT to do, and What you SHOULD do.
Building Muscle mass involves a lot of discipline and care. At times, trying too hard can have a negative impact and cause harm. Proper adherence and good technique make the perfect recipe for Muscle Growth.
Building Muscle is difficult, but also very much possible. The bottom line is to work out with the right goal in mind and not overdo it to the point of injury to your body. Here are some Dos and Don'ts for Muscle Building.
What Not to do:
Doing 10 different exercises on one muscle – By spreading the volume across all 10 exercises, you WON'T have enough volume to focus on a single exercise to get good at it.
It is better to focus on a few good compound exercises and 1 isolation exercise in any given workout instead.
Chasing the pump and half repping – Half repping won’t make the muscles strong in the full range of motion which will lead to a higher chance of injury.
There is also a time for chasing the pump and a time where you shouldn’t. If you are constantly chasing the pump you won’t progress in the weights you can use, you won’t get stronger and progressively overload the muscle.
Neglecting form and just getting the weight up – Leave ego aside when walking into the gym. Neglecting form and going heavy straight away will increase the chances of muscle tear and injury.
Sticking to one rep range – Not only will you get bored by sticking to the rep range all the time, but you will actually benefit from varying your reps and working your muscles with a new stimulus.
You need to change the rep range often enough and according to your goals.
Training every single day – Muscle recovery is vital for muscle growth. It is advised to have 1 - 2 rest days a week.
Also an active recovery session each week could be of benefit. If you train every single day you are not giving your muscles a chance to reach their full potential because they are under constant fatigue and strain, not only will they be tight, they will be constantly sore which will increase the risk of injury to occur.
What you SHOULD do:
Doing 2-4 exercises per muscle group, focusing on compound movements – Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups at once which is a very efficient way to train for the whole body.
Also we want to isolate specific muscles to either strengthen weaker muscles or to focus on growing the targeted muscle. Isolation exercises are an excellent addition to a training plan with compound movements because they tend to exhaust a particular muscle, ensuring gains and targeted results.
A good place to start is to pick 2-3 Compound exercises and 1 Isolation exercise.
Focusing on full range of motion and increasing the weight – If you want results you need to work for them consistently over a period of time. You can't expect to be able to lift extremely heavy weight with top notch form right off the bat.
You need to leave ego aside and work on proper technique and begin to increase the weight progressively over time.
Increase your protein intake and track your food daily – They say Abs are made in the kitchen. Damn right they are! You will not see gains if you eat whatever you like and as often as you please.
Set yourself a goal, find out what your calorie and macro intake should be then prep your meals. This is essential if you want to take your training seriously.
Be consistent – If you want results you need to work at it, for as long as it takes. You either want it or you don’t, so don’t let yourself fall off the wagon. Stick to your plan and work at it consistently.
Use barbells and dumbbells – You can lift heavier weights with barbells and dumbbells. You also have to balance the weight yourself which means you need to use more muscles and potentially trigger more growth.