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7 Mistakes To Avoid When Muscle Building

Injury while muscle training

Building muscle can be very frustrating if done incorrectly

The process can lead to frustration when the results don’t come easily.

Below are seven mistakes that most people make when they try to lose weight and gain muscle that, if avoided, can help you achieve the results you’ve been waiting for.

Mistake #1: Not Eating After Working Out

One of the biggest mistakes people make when working out is starving themselves. When you finish your workout you must eat, because your muscles need glycogen in order to repair themselves. If you don’t eat your body will use the muscles themselves to create the amino acids necessary to convert into energy. Many experts believe your meal plan should include meals containing a three- or four-to-one ratio of complex carbs to protein for maximum muscle growth. Remember to stay hydrated during your workout with a drink that is high in electrolytes for even better results.

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Mistake #2: Excessive Isolation Exercises

A lot of weight lifters these days that think that isolating certain muscle groups is the best way to build muscles, but this isn’t always the case. Instead, exercises like squats or bench presses use a number of different muscle groups at the same time, causing your body to produce excess growth hormone to help with the increased stress your body undergoes. Basic exercises such as the ones listed above are the bedrock of a successful muscle building program and should make up around half of the exercises in your routine. Doctors recommend exercises that utilize more than one group of muscles, or compound exercises, because they burn more calories to help you lose weight and gain muscle, and also help with heart health. Isolation exercises such as bicep curls and calf raises definitely have their place when it comes to building muscles, but compound exercises should be part of your routine as well. It is tempting to want to have big arms, but focusing on just your biceps while ignoring the rest of the muscles around them can be counterproductive.

Mistake #3: Too Much Cardio

Cardio can be fun, especially when it involves racquetball with a best friend or running with your girlfriend. The problem is that when you’re trying to build muscles it can have the opposite effect that you are looking for. Too much activity can create a situation where your body switches from using extra calories to building muscle for use as fuel. If you are one of those people who is just going for strength and not overall health, then cardio could be taking away from muscle building results. Try cutting your cardiovascular workouts back to around 10 minutes a day to see if it helps you increase the amount you can lift.

Mistake #4: Lack of Sleep

Not getting enough sleep is one of the biggest reasons for failure when it comes to building your muscles. First of all, sleeping too little can sap your energy supply, so even if you think your having a great workout your body won’t allow you to reach the intensity you need to build muscles. Avoid caffeine for at least four hours before you go to bed and you should leave plenty of time after your workout to wind down so that you can sleep. Try to set up a schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same times every day of the week.

Mistake #5: Too Much Sugar and Simple Carbs

Foods and drinks with excess sugar can have a negative effect on your blood sugar levels, which can take away your energy or make you skip meals that you shouldn’t be skipping. Eating too much sugar and simple carbs like pasta or bread will fill you up so that you don’t eat the proteins you need to provide the fuel to build your muscles. Sugar is in almost everything, but try to avoid the types that are processed. Avoid soda at all costs and try to replace it with water or sports drinks.

Mistake #6: Not Staying Hydrated

Eating the right amount of protein and complex carbs like the ones found in certain vegetables is really important, but the body needs liquid to help process those nutrients. Experts recommend ten 8-ounce glasses of water every day and 4 to 5 smaller protein-rich meals spread throughout the day. This will help keep your blood sugar levels consistent and will keep your energy high so that you can work out effectively, lose weight and gain muscle.

Mistake #7: Continued Bad Habits

Everyone knows that smoking and drinking alcohol are bad for you, but they can be even worse if you are trying to build your muscles. Smoking adds excess carbon monoxide to your system, which deprives your muscles of the oxygen they need for healing and energy. The more oxygen they have available, the bigger they will get. Drinking alcohol adds stomach fat and lowers your testosterone levels, which can make your workouts a lot less intense. The better shape you get in, the less you’ll feel the urge to drink and smoke, so keep at it!

Building muscle can be difficult and stressful.

There will be times when you feel like you’re doing everything right but you’ve still hit a brick wall and can’t seem to get any bigger or stronger. Step back and analyze what you’re doing and use the list above to make corrections to your routine and habits. You will find yourself getting back on track quickly with just a few minor changes to your workout routine.

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