Do you ever feel like you’re exercising all the time, maybe even “living” at the gym, but it doesn’t show? Perhaps your stamina may have improved, but you don’t see the muscle definition you were hoping for.
Here are some ideas as to what may be going wrong.
Lack of rep variation
Conventional wisdom often dictates that muscle growth can be maximized in a moderate rep range of 6 to 12 reps per set. If it’s muscle growth you’re after, though, low range reps may be the better choice. In practice, a lower range of 1 to 5 reps per set with heavier weights has more consistently proven to maximize strength than a moderate range of reps. The use of heavier weights during training generates greater muscle tension which spurs better growth.
Don’t just stick with low rep sets, though. While they provide significant benefits, it’s good to mix them up with high rep training. High rep training, from 15 to 20 reps per set, increases your lactate treshold, which means you can stave off fatigue while training. This will enable you to increase time under tension, which is an important aspect of the muscle growth process.
By using the full spectrum of rep ranges, instead of training within the same rep range only, you can better optimize your muscle development. If your training is built around the moderate repetition program, that is fine, but make sure mix it up with lower and higher range reps for maximum strength and stamina building.
Too much of the same exercises
People tend to focus most on the exercises that they enjoy. Those exercises become the staples of their daily routine; however, sticking to the same exercises everyday causes the “repeated-bout effect.” The muscles get accustomed to the same continual patterns. This results in resistance to the muscle trauma that can promote muscle growth.
Using different exercises each day is beneficial to building muscle mass. Different exercises allow for structural disruptions of the muscle fibers that are essential for bulking up.
Too Much Cardio
Body builders attempt to spur muscle development while also reducing body fat. At times, muscle builders increase cardio training in order to accelerate fat loss. While it is alright to combine cardio and muscle development, overdoing the cardio training is not good because the signaling pathways for cardio training and resistance training are contradictory. Cardio training promotes catabolic processes while resistance training promotes anabolic processes. In other words, cardio training involves protein breakdown while resistance training involves protein synthesis. When you overdo your cardio training, you allow too much protein breakdown, hampering your muscle-building goal.
With the New Year approaching, it’s a good idea to evaluate your muscle building routine. If you’re happy with the results, press on. If it’s time for a change, though, consider adjusting your habits to achieve the physique you’re seeking.