A lot of people in the gym complain about their lack of progress, claiming they have done everything right but still have failed to make any appreciable gains. Most of these guys think they know how to build muscle, but under closer examination, are making crucial mistakes that thwart their attempts.
The processes involved in hypertrophy are relatively straightforward, but require a degree of precision that many fall short of accomplishing with their routines. Let us take a look at the three steps involved in building new muscle tissue so you know exactly what you must do to meet your goals in the gym.
Stimulating Micro-Trauma in the Muscles
When you train with weights in the gym your goal is actually to cause damage to the muscles in the form of very small tears. Growth occurs when these tears are repaired under the right circumstances. The takeaway lesson here is that you have to train hard enough to elicit micro-trauma to the body part you are training. This means using resistance that is challenging and pushing for those last two or three reps on each set you perform. People have been trying to figure out muscle building without working hard for decades, and they have all come up short. You have to earn every ounce of muscle you build with hard work and consistent effort.
Providing Your Body with the Nutrients Required for Hypertrophy
Your body cannot synthesize new tissue out of thin air; you must consume the proper nutrients in sufficient amounts to put the body in an anabolic state. This means a diet high in lean protein, essential fatty acids, and complex carbohydrates. It also means that you must consume enough calories to give your body the raw materials it needs for the job. Most bodybuilders find that a daily calorie surplus of 500-1,000 calories is sufficient for ample growth without much in the way of fat gain.
When young athletes are first learning to build muscle they think it is all done in the gym, but the truth is your nutrition regimen is just as important as your resistance training. The difference between the guys in the gym who look the same month after month and those who make process is usually in how they eat.
Taking Adequate Recovery Time
Contrary to what you may think, your muscles do not grow while you are working out; they grow while you are resting. For this reason it is important to give your muscles adequate rest between training sessions so that they have time to recover and grow. This is the step a lot of people overlook. They wind up training too much and resting too little, which drastically reduces progress. Train each muscle group once every five days or so for best results.
Every Step is Crucial
Now you know how to build muscle the right way, so make sure you put this knowledge to good use. Do not get lazy and skip a step, as this will all but negate your progress, and turn you into one of those guys in the gym complaining about not getting results.