So you made some big changes, you sorted the diet out and you upped your game in the gym. You saw some real gains and progress was being made, people started talking about it. You kept on pushing but you’ve hit a wall, you feel like everything has settled back down. So why has this happened, what could you be doing to stop it.
Whenever anyone else talks about their training they are always pushing the boundaries, training harder and harder. The opposite is probably true, by constantly striving for longer workouts and more weights you risk overtraining and with that injury and frustration. Your body can’t constantly keep going harder and harder, it needs time to recover and if you aren’t allowing it you risk serious injury. You need to consider your whole program and if you are building enough rest days into it. Take a couple of days off, reflect and when you are refreshed go again.
You’re avoiding the carbs
You’ve been ignoring the carbs and your macros look great, but you may be cutting back to harshly. We need the nutritious carbs in order to fuel the workout. Complex and slow digesting carbs are key for your plans to pile on the muscle, what you need to focus on is keeping away from the starchy junk food like pizza and sweets.
You aren’t getting enough sleep
Lack of sleep increases your cortisol levels, a stress hormone this will wreak havoc on your body’s human growth hormone. This all comes down to recovery and not allowing the body to recover sufficiently because you don’t have time in the day to get the rest you need means you are damaging your ability to build muscle. Trying to get into a routine is key, if you struggle to sleep and turn off then turn off the phone or put it away from you and probably don’t watch TV in bed.
The aim should be between 7-8 hours of sleep a day, if you struggle getting to sleep or feeling sleepy why not try and shower before bed to unwind.
You aren’t getting enough protein
If you want to pile on muscle you need to be getting enough protein to provide your body with the building blocks needed to complete this. You should be looking to take on between 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kg of your bodyweight. This is the whole diet, so not just calculated by how many protein shakes you take on but protein as a whole, your main sources will obviously be chicken, fish, red meat and eggs but protein has quite high content in a lot of other things.
This is to ensure that your body has all the amino acids that it needs to fuel the production of more muscle.
A few too many visits to the bar
Enjoying a cold one occassionally will do you no harm, but beginning a new regime of taking in the sights and sounds of the local will stop your muscle from recovering.
When you drink alcohol, your body uses up antioxidants that would otherwise be used for muscle recovery but instead they wind up metabolizing the booze.
To sort this out, pick a night of the week to relax and unwind with a couple of beers, but no more than that. Make sure while you’re doing it that you are keeping hydrated. Setting that plan in motion and having a limit can help towards keeping you on track. We know sometimes the booze takes hold and you end up on a big night out, we’ve all been there.
Mix up the workouts
If your targets aren’t being hit and you’re progress has stagnated, then you need to look at what options you have around your current workout plan. Your body is always adapting to it’s environment, it’s what we do! If you’re training pattern is the same week-in, week-out, then your body will get to know this.
So you are stuck on a plateu, have you peaked or can you get past it. The answer is YES! You need to change up your routine, add a different move into your workout, mix up your reps and weights. Challenging your body will see you start to make progress again, a tip is to look for areas of weakness in muscle groups and start to work towards exercises that activate those muscles.
You’re only training the show muscles
Maybe you are concentrating on the wrong thing. Training your muscles for show is great if you are only wanting to impress the ladies, but to make gains you need to push the whole body. Focusing on small sets of muscle like just the biceps may even cause risk of injury, by not strengthening the muscle around you create imbalances that could cause serious damage.
Work all areas, even consider the big coompund moves like squats to really pile on the gains.