To get the most effective results in the most efficient manner, the trick is to workout smart. Therefore, when it comes to muscle building, it is important you know the key facts about what not to do, what to do and when to do it.
Along with weight loss, building muscle is one of the primary reasons people join a gym. After all, gaining lean muscle not only looks good, it is also important to your overall health. With increased muscle mass, you will experience improved posture, joint protection, stronger bones, stronger joints and tendons, better metabolism, athletic ability and balance.
The list goes on.
As you are on a muscle building journey, let’s look at the 13 most common muscle building mistakes to avoid:
1. Not Eating Enough
All that time in the gym pounding away at the weights may be all for nothing if you’re not taking in enough calories. This is because, without being in a calorie surplus, you will make muscle building very difficult for yourself.
It is important to remember, calories are needed to fuel your workouts and to help your muscles to repair and grow.
Calorie counting is far from a perfect science but to get a rough idea of how many you need a day to build muscle, you want to multiply your weight in pounds by 15 to 17.
2. Not Consuming Enough Protein
Protein is important for many functions in the body. It is also important in the process of muscle building known as ‘muscle protein synthesis’. The purpose of your workout will be to breakdown the muscle fibers with microscopic tears and when they repair, they will build back bigger. Over time, this increases muscle mass.
To repair and rebuild your muscle tissue, you will need an adequate protein supply — aim for 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds you would want to consume around 120 grams of protein a day.
3. Not Drinking Enough Water
Your body is made up of two thirds water. Out of that, two thirds of that water is found in your muscle. Your muscle cells are made up of protein and water and if you want to gain more of it you need to increase your water intake.
The usual 6 to 8 glasses a day is a good guideline but a more accurate approach is to drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. So, with our 150 pound example, you should be drinking approximately 75 ounces of water a day – the average cup has about 8 oz in it, this equals around 9 cups a day.
Training breaks your muscle tissue down and then repairs it afterwards. It might seem logical that the more you workout, the more muscle building you’ll accomplish.
However, this isn’t the case as training too often can cause your body to burn out because your body will not be getting the rest time to do so. This can increase your stress hormones, leading to injuries and even sickness as it can suppress your immune system.
Also, you put your central nervous system at risk by overtraining and this can adversely affect your results.