Whether you are a man or a woman, gaining a bit of lean mass offers some very tangible benefits. Your strength will increase, you are less likely to suffer from an injury and most also note improvements in their self-confidence. Still, it is not always easy to pack on a few kilos of quality muscle. This often results from a handful of common (and fixable) errors. Let’s take a look at why your training regimen might require a slight adjustment.
Failing to Remain Properly Hydrated
Hydration is crucial in terms of any type of rigorous activity. This concept is even more relevant in relation to weight training. Dehydrated muscles can easily be injured and their flexibility also decreases. As the joints likewise require water for cushioning, the importance of regular hydration cannot be overstated. While bottled water is often preferred, there is nothing wrong with drinking from the tap.
In the event that you do not like the taste, a user-friendly water testing kit can be used to check for the presence of dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium. A water softener will then help to provide a more “neutral” flavour. Most experts recommend drinking up to 64 ounces of water per day when training.
Push your Personal Limits
You also might be failing to gain mass due to a concept known as “plateauing”. This occurs when your muscles are not placed under increasing amounts of resistance. Simply stated, they will adapt to the strain and become accustomed to the movements. This is why professionals such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and online fitness influencer Michelle Lewin recommend frequently modifying your workouts.
For instance, it is possible to employ adjustable dumbbells in order to quickly change the weight you are lifting between sets, Including a cardiovascular before or after your standard workout helps to release growth hormone and to stimulate the production of lean muscle mass. It may also be wise to obtain a lifting partner so that you can safely handle heavy weights without worrying about sustaining an injury.
Enjoy Your Downtime
Overtraining is a lesser-known factor to address and yet, it is arguably one of the most important. Many individuals tend to push their bodies beyond the limits of normal physical exertion. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, the muscles will also need plenty of time to heal between sessions. This is why those who train their arms heavy three times each week are not likely to notice growth after a certain point.
Fitness experts and personal trainers recommend obtaining at least 8.3 hours of sleep each night. Sleeping causes the body to secrete several hormones involved with repairing the muscles. The include testosterone (for men), oestrogen (for women), serotonin, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). If you fail to obtain the proper amount of rest, you could very well be “spinning your wheels” while at the gym.
Finally, remember that building lean mass will require time and patience. Following the steps outlined above can help to lead you in the right direction.
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