Specifically, body composition is determined by 2 factors:
Basically, the less body fat and muscle mass you have, the better your body composition .
Ideally, although it is possible to burn body fat and gain muscle mass at the same time, this only occurs in certain situations , so it is better to be fluctuating between definition phases (fat loss) and volume (muscle gain).
As Nassim Taleb says in his book “Anti fragile” ( recommended book ), in many occasions, to solve a problem, instead of adding the best thing is to subtract, or what he calls as “Negative Way”. In other words, it is more important and practical to know what does not have to be done, rather than what has to be done — in addition to being a more effective strategy.
As we saw what are the biggest mistakes of fat loss before, this time, so that you can complete your recomposition action plan without mistake, we will dive into the 5 biggest mistakes of muscle building — what you should avoid if you want Gain as much muscle mass as your body can give you.
Avoid the mistakes that we will see next, and you will be well on your way to maximizing your muscle potential.
You will no longer have obstacles in your body transformation. The only remaining determinants will be your discipline , ambition, and ability to implement without hesitation – willpower.
With nothing but talk to invent, let’s go to it …
Do Not Apply Progressive Overload
I am sure that most of my readers already know, but it is worth clarifying. Unless you are injecting testosterone , it will be impossible to gain muscle mass, if you don’t lift weights.
Unlike fat loss , in which nutrition takes precedence, in terms of muscle growth, stimulation — through resistance training, is the main factor.
Regardless of your current goal — volume / definition / maintenance, you have to train.
Resistance training — lifting weights — is not something you do from time to time, or that you will do only for a while. It is an activity to perform a lifetime. Certainly, it should be something similar to brushing your teeth (don’t worry, once you have 6 months doing it regularly it will be).
Initially, it is likely that it is difficult for you to adjust to the routine, but you will see that, with perseverance and perseverance, you will get to the point where you will miss not being able to train, when due to situations beyond your control , you cannot practice lifting iron.
Having clarified this, we can continue …
Weightlifting, to be effective, has to provide a stimulation such that your muscle mass has no choice but to develop its full potential.
The mechanisms behind hypertrophy are various — mechanical stress, metabolic stress, muscle damage; however, the main element — and which in turn activates all these growth processes, is progressive overload.
Progressive overload, as the name implies, means progressively overloading your muscles by applying a quantity of work (volume) that increases over time – eg, session by session.
If you are lifting more weight with the same amount of repetitions or doing more repetitions with the same amount of weight, there is no doubt that you are growing — in mass and strength. In fact, muscle strength is directly related to the amount of muscle mass.
So, definitely, the greatest metric you should rely on to assess your progress in muscle growth is the increase in strength. What the scale says doesn’t matter.
The more weight you can lift in a medium repetition range (5-12 repetitions), the greater the amount of muscle mass you can show. Or have you seen someone extremely thin doing a bench press with 335lb for 10 reps?
How Is Progressive Overload Implemented?
Simple. Just try to lift more weight while maintaining the same repetitions of your previous session for each exercise (or a greater number of repetitions with the same weight).
If last time you lifted 225lb on the bench press for 3 sets of 5 repetitions (3 X 5), this time try to do the same repetitions (3 X 5) but with 235lb weight. If you can do it, congratulations, you have gained muscle mass.
A safer, more practical, and effective way — and the one I recommend, is to always try to do at least one more repetition in your main series (which will vary depending on the training method used ) in each exercise. This, before increasing the weight used.
For example, if you are implementing a standard training method — same repetitions in all series, and last session you did 3 sets of 5 repetitions with 225lb; In this session, instead of increasing the weight, you will try to do 6 repetitions — maintaining the weight used (225lb) —in your last set.
Again, if you have managed to do an extra (or more) repetition, you have gained muscle mass, and for the next session, instead of using 225lb, you will try to make 3 sets of 5 (3 X 5) with 235lb — if you can do more repetitions with this new weight in your last series better.
This is progressive overload. You increase your work volume (Volume = Weight X Reps) progressively.
I repeat, as long as the progressive overload is showing up – you’re getting stronger, you have nothing to worry about, your muscle mass is increasing.
Not Doing The Right Exercises
Although it is true that any bodybuilding exercise can provide adequate stimulation if it is worked at an appropriate intensity, there are certain exercises that stand out for their ability to generate maximum muscle stimulation in the shortest possible time, so they can be considered superior to any another that could instead be executed. Very clear examples of this type of exercise can be found in “the big 3”: the deadlift, the squat, and the flat bench press.
But why are these classic exercises so good?
Primarily, being compound exercises, they allow the use of large loads and, consequently, the use of considerable portions of muscle mass.
On the other hand, compound exercises are generally performed with free weights (dumbbells, bars, kettlebells, etc.), which have been shown to generate greater muscle activation than their equivalent in machines ( study ).
Because of this, to maximize the amount of muscle mass used in each series, ideally, use free weights (dumbbells and bars) for most of your exercises — the compounds, and leave the machines only for isolation exercises (“pec deck ”, Pulleys, preacher curl, etc.).
Examples of the best exercises by muscle group are listed below:
- Bench Press (any type)
- Parallel Funds
- Military press
- Dead weight
- Dominated (supine / prone)
- Inclined rowing (dumbbells / bar)
- Squat (any type)
As for the nucleus — abdomen and lower back, each and every one of the exercises described previously works to a certain degree.
In fact, there is no reason why you cannot obtain an enviable body by performing only these 7 exercises. But, to sculpt certain details and muscles that might not have been 100% stimulated, these are the best isolation exercises you could include:
Middle deltoids: Lateral elevations (dumbbells / machine)
Calves: Heel lifts (any type)
Biceps: Bicep Curl (any type)
Triceps: Tricep extensions (any type)
Abdomen: Hanging leg lift
Not Consuming Enough Calories
Now. Regardless of your diet, well-executed resistance training will generate changes in your body yes or yes. However, to enhance and prolong these beautiful changes, the diet must be adjusted to align with your goals — muscle gain.
This is why, if it is the first time you train with weights, I recommend you first train for 3-6 months maintaining your current diet, and once you stop progressing — becoming progressively stronger, you focus on optimizing your diet. Of course, if your current goal is muscle gain and not muscle definition – fat loss .
Calories, calories, calories. The largest energy availability flag. A slight excess of energy availability in the form of delicious food is the best way to tell your body that it is not time to worry about food shortages, but to recover from training and promote growth.
As I commented previously, it is possible to gain muscle mass and lose body fat at the same time, however, this only applies in a few cases , and even in these, it is not the optimal way to do it. The optimal way to do it ( as I mention in my book) is by phase cycling — volume, definition, and maintenance.
FOCUS If what you want is to maximize muscle gain, feed your body ideally ; but even more important, eat enough.
How much is enough? It depends. But a good way to start is by creating your muscle gain eating plan according to this formula or, more easily, multiplying your current body weight (PC) in pounds by 14-18 to find your daily calorie intake.
Start with the midpoint (PC X 16) and weigh yourself daily, evaluating an average of all measurements taken weekly. If you do not gain weight go to the next level (PC X 17), if you gain more than 0.5-1 lb per week lower level (PC X 15), and if you gain 0.5-1 lb per week stay there (PC X 16).
This evaluation process is done every week, always with the intention of maintaining your weight gain between 0.5-1 lb per week, this, to minimize body fat gain.
Example, if you weigh 170lb, your initial caloric intake would be:
PC X 16 = 170lb X 16 = 2,720kcal
On the other hand, your caloric intake will also depend on your preference and priorities. If what you want is to maximize your muscle gain, and you don’t mind gaining a little more body fat, aim to gain 1lb of weight per week. On the other hand, if you want to minimize fat gain and are not in a hurry to become as big and strong as possible, stick to the lowest weight gain ratio in the range, that is, 0.5 lb per week.
Of course, remember that, regardless of your starting point in terms of body fat, or the speed of weight gain you have selected, once you reach 15-18% body fat, change to a maintenance phase for 2 weeks and, subsequently, to a definition until reaching a range of 8-12% body fat. Once this is done, you can return to your muscle gain journey (for more details on how to perform this process, here is a librazo ).
Not Consuming Macronutrients In Correct Proportions
Once you have your daily caloric goal. You will have to determine the appropriate proportions of your macronutrients , this, with the intention of maximizing muscle gain and minimizing body fat gain.
The most important macronutrient for muscle gain — and for life in general, is protein. Our entire body, but especially organs, muscle mass, and certain enzymes are mostly protein. But this is not why it is necessary to consume it in excessive quantities.
A protein intake of 1 gr / lb of body weight (CP) is more than enough — especially in periods of muscle gain where caloric intake is full.
Example, if you weigh 170 lb, you will consume 170gr of protein per day.
The second macronutrient to calculate is carbohydrates. But before giving you the guidelines to do so, I would like to clarify something …
Although it is possible to build muscle mass on a ketogenic diet such as “ steak and eggs ”, unless you have a metabolic (eg diabetes) or neurological disease (eg epilepsy, bipolarity, migraines), this will not be the ideal strategy for Maximize muscle gain.
Certainly, consuming carbohydrates in sufficient quantities during a period of gain or maintenance is an optimal strategy.
Apart from consuming these, you may even consider getting along with Human Growth Hormone. You can easily get best quality hgh injections for sale online. Humatrope 72 iu is one of the best amongst these.
How Many Carbohydrates Are We Talking About?
A carbohydrate intake 1-1.5 gr / lb of body weight is what you should aim for during a period of muscle gain (or maintenance). This amount will provide you with the appropriate portion of fast energy that is so necessary during weight training.
Example, if you weigh 170lb, your daily carbohydrate intake will be 170-255gr depending on your preference.
Note: Although carbohydrates are good for enhancing resistance training and subsequent muscle gain, in terms of health and longevity, a prolonged high glycemic load, caused by high carbohydrate intake, is not ideal. So yes, in your case, health and longevity are a bit higher in priority compared to muscle gain, I recommend you stick to the lowest level of the range — 1gr / lb body weight of carbohydrates per day.
The exception could be high intensity athletes who live from their sport, for whom a higher carbohydrate intake might come better.
If you train with weights 3-5 times a week, and do so only for aesthetic and / or health reasons, a carbohydrate intake in the mentioned range will be more than enough.
Possibly, the intake of certain types of fats (saturated and monounsaturated) is not necessary — because they are not essential, and the rest (polyunsaturated) only extremely minimal amounts are needed to avoid a deficiency.
However, fats are an excellent source of clean and practical energy to complete your daily caloric goal and, therefore, support muscle gain — not counting its potential as a hormonal booster.
To calculate your daily fat intake, only subtract the caloric amount corresponding to proteins and carbohydrates (previously calculated) to your total caloric intake, and convert these calories obtained into grams of fat.
First, remember the caloric equivalences of each macronutrient :
Proteins: 1gr = 4kcal
Carbohydrates: 1gr = 4kcal
Fat: 1gr = 9kcal
Now, and recapitulating everything we’ve seen in this section, for a 170lb body weight (PC) man the daily fat intake calculation would be as follows:
Calories = PC X 16 = 170 X 16 = 2,720kcal
Proteins (gr) = PC X 1 = 170 X 1 = 170gr
Proteins (kcal) = Proteins (gr) X 4 = 170 X 4 = 680 Kcal
Carbohydrates (gr) = PC X 1.2 = 170 X 1.2 = 204
Carbohydrates (kcal) = Carbohydrates (gr) X 4 = 204 X 4 = 816
Fat (kcal) = Calories – (Proteins (kcal) + Carbs (kcal)) = 2,720 – (680 + 816) = 1,224
Fat (gr) = Calories / 9 = 1,224 / 9 = 136gr
Don’t worry, I’m done with math class.
These would be the amounts to which this individual would aspire daily:
Calories: 2,720 kcal
It is clear that you do not have to be exact in your intake of macronutrients or calories every day, and this can vary during the week if necessary. As long as the weekly average of these 2 elements (macronutrients and calories) stays close to the target, you will stay on track.
Finally, to record your caloric and macronutrient intake, I have not found a better free application than MyFitnessPal , but there are others on the market that you could prove that you might like more (Lose it, FatSecret, Cron-o-meter , etc.).
Not Being Patient
Muscle gain, although at first it can be accelerated — keeping you with a smile all day on your face, unfortunately at some point it will decrease — of course if you don’t inject hormones.
So once the famous “rookie earnings” have passed — which usually occurs after the first 6-12 months of training, you will have to be patient.
Centrally, in terms of muscle gain, and body recomposition in general , it is best to start thinking not in months, but in years.
Don’t worry, one day you will reach your destination, you don’t have to be in a hurry
As an additional note …
This fitness thing – lifting weights, taking care of your diet, recording your body changes, etc., is not a momentary thing, but something you should plan to keep for life.
Your body is your main work tool in this life. If you take care of it, strengthen, and optimize during your stay on this planet, it will reward you with strength, performance, and attractiveness — the reverse case is also true.
Also, although the prevalent myth that if you stop training your muscle mass it will magically transform into body fat is totally false — and irrational.
It is true that when you stop stimulating your muscles – by lifting weights – these will be reduced in strength and size – in terms of muscle mass, “if you do not use it you lose it”; but there will be no fat gain if the diet is not hypercaloric — you consume more calories than you spend.
Conclusively, if you don’t do it by appearance, do it for health. The total amount of muscle mass is one of the key factors of longevity ( study , study , study ), metabolic health ( study ), and even your potential for survival in automobile collisions ( study ).
Maximizing muscle potential (and maintaining it) is something that every human being should aspire to (men and women alike). But you as a man, being the physical and mental strength a major factor in masculinity , is something you should feel obligated to cultivate.
To close with a flourish, I leave you with this fantastic phrase:
“No man has the right to be an amateur in physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. ” -Socrates
Generally, the best and most robust way to solve a problem is by subtraction and not by adding variables that affect a given system— “negative path”.
Because of this, in multiple situations, you will be better served and follow a better path, by guiding you through rules of what “you must not do” instead of adding more things that “you must do.” This is the case of muscle building.
The most important thing is not to follow certain strategies to the letter, but to avoid the biggest mistakes that could delay or hinder the arrival to your goal.