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Fat Loss Fitness Food Uncategorized

5 Reasons You Aren’t Building Muscle (And What To Do Instead)

You train hard. You chug down a protein shake after each workout. You even dropped $69 on a pre-workout supplement that had “proven to build muscle” on the label.

But nothing seems to be working. You have been sitting at 82kg for the last six months and it’s getting frustrating. The guy next to you at the gym is much bigger and more ripped.

Worse, it seems effortless for him.

You wonder: What’s he doing that I’m not?”

He’s doing the basics, mate. And so should you.

Here are five things many people do wrong and what you should do instead.

  1. Not Eating Enough

It’s hard to pack on the muscle if you’re not eating enough. Hitting 3500 calories each day can be a chore. You may have to eat more often or choose different foods.

But remember this: Muscle is made from food. So unless you eat enough, you simply can not gain muscle.

For a quick calculation on how much to eat, take your bodyweight in pounds and multiply it by 19. That’s roughly the number of calories you should be eating, assuming you’re not overweight. Add or subtract based on your results.

  1. You Eat The Wrong Things

Hitting calories is one thing but hitting your macronutrients is another. Macronutrients are proteins, carbs and fats.

If you eat too many starchy carbs like bread and potatoes,you’ll add weight but not muscle. Don’t eat enough, you’ll continue to have the same results you’ve been getting.

Proteins like meat and fish are  essential muscle builders. Amino acids make up the muscle. Without them, you will struggle to get that hard and ripped look.

 

Healthy fats in nuts and olive oil help maintain a healthy hormone profile. Eat enough and your testosterone will hit high levels promoting a muscle building environment. Just be wary of eating too many. Fats contain 9 calories to the gram whereas protein and carbs contain just 4. So plunging your spoon into the peanut butter jar and chowing down may not be the best idea.

3. Your Program Sucks

We’ve all used crappy programs with miracle methodologies that under deliver.  
Cheer up and learn from your mistakes.

Just because you paid $19 for an ebook doesn’t make it good. Stick to foundations or find someone competent who can coach you.

There are a range of techniques proven to add kilos of muscle. These include rest/pause, super sets, giant sets, negatives, or my favorite, triple drop sets.

Next time you are on the leg extension machine do this.

  •         Take your set to failure (12 reps)
  •         Drop the weight so you can perform another 12 reps
  •         Drop the weight again and perform another 12 reps
  •         Drop it one last time and go to failure

Just try not to vomit.

  1.       You Don’t Train Legs

Or at least  you don’t train legs with the same intensity as you train chest. 

I get it. Leg day sucks. It’s hard. It requires more energy and there’s DOMs…that just lasts forever!

The bad news: you have to train legs. It’s half your body.

The good news: it’s amazing for boosting testosterone levels, promoting fat loss, and not looking lke an upside down triangle.

Have a good set of legs means you can squat heavy. A heavy squat is going to annihilate not only your legs, core, and lungs. It will also treat your central nervous system to a beating. This will force your body to work harder to recover and use up more oxygen and fat. The end result? A solid physique.

  1.       You Rest Too Long

Unless you plan to be a powerlifter, you don’t need to rest for three minutes between sets.  Keep your rest periods shorter than two minutes.  The higher the rep ranges, the less rest you need.

When you force fluid into the muscle (aka a pump) your muscles have to reconstruct themselves to accommodate this ie get bigger. If your muscles get ample rest time, this fluid can escape and the need to get bigger is no longer relevant.

Aim for 45-75 seconds for anything over 10 reps. It will be hard. But that’s the point.

The Takeaway

Arm yourself with these tips. Act on them. Pretty soon people will start to look at you the same way you look at the jacked guy at the gym.

Start at the top and implement them one by one.

Count your calories. Adjust your macros. Start training legs again and keep up the intensity.

Go forth and sin no more. Build some muscle!!

Categories
Fat Loss Fitness Uncategorized

5 Proven Ways To Break Through Your Plateau

It happens to us all. Everything is going great. You’re adding muscle and shedding pounds. You feel stronger and more confident.

And then…WHAM! It hits: the dreaded plateau.

Suddenly, everything is going wrong. You stop building muscle, stop losing fat, and stop progressing. It’s a state of homeostasis,where here everything stays the same.

At this point, many people get discouraged and give up. They back away from the gym and stop watching what they eat. In a few weeks or months, they rouse themselves enough to try getting in shape again. After some rapid progress, guess what?

Yes, they hit another plateau. And give up again for a while. Sometimes this cycle can repeat itself for years.

I have hit so many plateaus in my life but the one I remember the most is when I sat around 92 kg. I must have sat there for 2 years. Up to 93, down to 91, but 92 was it.
I thought I was doing everything right. But I wasn’t. I was doing the same thing I had been doing for as long as I can remember. As soon as I made the changes that were required, I suddenly shot up to 97 kg. This is where I comfortably sit right now and i’m stronger than ever.


What does all this have to do with you? Everything! My message to you is:

Don’t get discouraged, get off your plateau instead.

Here’s how.

  1.       Cycle Your Calories

If your goal is 3000 calories per day., That’s 21,000 per week. The normal gym goer would split this up evenly over 7 days. This makes life easy but also makes it easy to stagnate.

 

Instead, eat more or less each day depending on what you are doing that day.

For example, you might eat 3,400 calories on leg day and 2,900 on arm day and so on.

 

This helps to trick your body into believing it’s not losing fat or on a long term bulk. The result: more constant growth.

 

  1.       Periodize Your Routine

Or in simple terms, switch up things every week or so. Periodization has been proven to improve muscle growth and fat loss. How it works is as soon as your body starts to figure out what you’re up to, you change your routine.


A simple protocol would look like this:

Week 1: 5 reps

Week 2: 8 reps

Week 3: 10 reps

Week 4: 12 reps

Week 5: start over

 

This is basic version of periodization where you alter the rep ranges to target different energy systems and muscle fibres.


As you advance, you can switch up the exercises as well as the rep ranges.

This will keep your body guessing and promote constant growth.

If you’re a guy who wants to get ripped and have six packs abs, download my free cheatsheet here.

 

  1.       Fast

Fasting is extremely popular and for good reason. It cleans out old cells, helps regulate hunger hormones, and can slow the effects of some diseases.

 

The sort of fast I recommend is a 24-36 hour fast. I personally go for longer fasts between 3-4 days for health benefits that aren’t gym related.

During your fast your body will forget about what it’s been doing and start cleaning out old cells in the body to use as fuel. The duration without food also helps your body look to your stored energy to keep it alive.

 

After your fast, you will have reset your body and you can begin your normal regime again.

If your fast is longer than 2 days then once every 2 months is a good frequency. If you decide the shorter fasts are your thing then once a month or up to once a week can be beneficial.

 

  1.     Work Harder

We can become the villain in our own story. We get comfortable and stop treating each workout with the intensity it deserves. Instead we look for something else to blame whether it be genetics, age, work, your bad knee etc.

 

Make sure you are giving every workout your absolute best. You should feel like crawling out of the gym.

 

My favorite way to increase intensity is to add dropsets to each exercise.

 

To do this, simply take the set to failure, drop some weight and go again. It will feel like someone has a blowtorch to your muscles.


5. Forgive Yourself

Plateaus are inevitable. Whether you like it or not, it will come. It happens to all of us. Whether you are a professional athlete or a weekly gym goer, you’re still human. The important thing is to keep going and say: “okay, what now?”

 

If you’re a lady who is sick of counting calories or isn’t sure how much you should eat, click here:  http://ethanhyde.com/ccd-landing-page/