You have trained hard and reached a level of complacency, but now you have stopped noticing changes, feeling differences and overall your body has now decided to stay the same . With these 9 signs it could be a sign that your workout is limiting your muscle growth.
You workout day after day training with intensity, focus and drive. Yet your muscle growth eludes you.
What’s going on? Why? How?
Have you reached your genetic potential? Are you burnt-out? Or are you just doing it wrong?
Let’s reevaluate your current program to be examined and altered. You may be harbouring some vital mistakes that will, once amended, accentuate your physique to the next level.
1. YOU DON’T HAVE A SPECIFIC GOAL
Without a set goal of where you want to be it’s rather difficult and sometimes impossible to achieve much at all. What goal have you set out to accomplish? What are your short term and long term aspirations? Without a clear vision of what you are trying to do in the gym then how can you expect muscle growth or definition to take place?
Just as important, What do you think your goal will achieve? What does the end result look/feel like? Lacking goals or even a slight vision will slow and even stall progress in the gym. It will surely prevent you from giving everything you have to each workout, meal plan and adhering to a scheduled rest.
Fix it: Why are you getting up every day to lift heavy things in an attempt to reshape your body? Is it a contest of some sort? Is it a special event? Or even just for you to look good! Whatever the goal, write it down and place it somewhere on a daily visible place.
Making it visible daily will make it be a constant reminder of why you are doing this whole goal in the first place. It’s also perfectly acceptable to have more general goals such as to be healthier or more mobile as we all have our own personal reasons for lifting.
Related article: 10 Rules For Building Muscles On Bulking Phase
2. LACK OF FOCUS
Along with your set goals comes the ability for you to focus. Going to work or school, driving to the gym and going through the motions of everyday life isn’t the road to your best physique possible.
Let’s not forget daydreaming during sets, taking too long with rest periods between sets and chatting with people will not only waste time, but distract your discipline and drive instantly. You may need to think about how to regain your focus and get back to why you are in the gym in the first place.
Fix it: Just like goal setting, remind yourself the reason you are in the gym and sacrifice your time and effort for your physique goals. Focus on each set and treat them as separate individual events, set a time to complete each workout for each body part, or, if you have a training partner, ask them to help you focus and keep an eye on the time for rest periods.
Stick with your chosen plan and if you fail to keep focused set up a consequence.
It could be small things such as you have to leave the gym early and miss some of your workout (if you didn’t complete it in time), you can’t have that cheat meal you were looking forward to, or you have to perform a difficult circuit of your least favourite exercises. With these it should train your brain to stay FOCUSED!
3. YOU ARE POWER LIFTING
How much do you bench? Who really cares unless you are in the game just to get stronger? Remember, I am referring mainly to those who want to reshape their physique.
Going heavy is one thing: Strength is vital, makes you feel powerful and is needed when it comes your workouts for progression’s sake. But lifting heavy for your ego, lifting weights you have no business touching and risking injury is a careless and pointless act that will get no gratification for at the time or in the long run.
Challenge yourself but lift within your means.
Fix it: Are you lifting for strength or for building your physique? The key is to first define your lifting goals and second to act on those goals appropriately and effectively. Have you ever seen a power lifter with a midsection or body of desirable leanness?
Lifting for muscle gain takes a more moderate approach with moderate weights fatiguing the muscle so it will grow larger while ridding body fat. Sets of singles, doubles and triples are great for your ego, but doing little are better for aesthetics.
Related article: How Much Can You Lift – How To Calculate Your One-Rep Max (1RM)?
4. ARE YOU THE STRONGEST AROUND?
Are you the “alpha” of your group? Do you get praised for your physique and revel in the progress you’ve made? Do you receive a fair share of compliments? If so you may suffer from lack of motivation due to the absence of a challenge.
By training in an environment full of individuals stronger, bigger and leaner than you can be an advantage. Reverse psychology will make you strive to be better subconsciously.
Fix it: Firstly try to find a training partner of equal or greater strength than you. Someone you know will push you beyond your limits, be consistent and help keep you proud of your efforts. If this is not possible then start to build yourself up on your own!
Watch videos of others you aspire to be like, write down and set out new and challenging goals that are just outside of your comfort zone but not to an extreme where you cause injury.
Build your new outlook on your own individual goals instead of feeding off what others say. A little praise is great and incredibly motivating, but too much will leave you complacent and adversely stop you progressing further.
Related article: When Is The Best Time To Train For Optimal Muscle Growth?
5. ARE YOU SCARED?
Lifting a heavy weight for a better physique is tough. You may find yourself wanting the exercises that are a bit easier and/or not as rough on your central nervous system. When you come across the exercises like squats, deadlifts and pull-ups then you may be a little apprehensive. In order to get under a significant amount of weight on squats and face a 10, 12 or 20 rep set this can be intimidating indeed.
Why do that when you can just jump on the leg press or any other lower body machine and rep-out not having to worry about balance and full-body effort?
Fix it: Put enough weight on the bar to scare you a little. You need not adopt a power lifter mentality, but it does require you to face challenges (whatever they may be) head on. Take the leap of faith, believe and you will soon adapt to that new stress, build more strength and stamina and be better for it.
The big, compound, multi-joint exercises are still king. You need to make these challenges a regular part of training. You need to be a little scared in order to progress, but not so much that you avoid it all together.
Related article: 5 Most Pointless Gym Exercises That Will Blow Your Mind!
6. NO CONSISTENCY
Do you find yourself catching a workout when you can? Are you a morning trainer finding it difficult to get up early enough so you miss a few workouts per week? In the evening do you sometimes just head home instead of the gym because you are just too tired or something comes up that means you do not want to go? Inconsistency is the killer of progress.
Fix it: Committing to a set schedule isn’t easy.So make your life easier by working a new routine around it. You may need to structure your morning or evening to ensure that you make it to the gym. Pack your gym bag the night before, take an afternoon snack with you so you aren’t starving, change clothes at work before you leave, and any other daily routine you can think of.
The important thing is to make it more convenient so staying consistent isn’t a chore.
Related article: Build Monster Legs & Glutes With This Workout!
7. LACK OF PATIENCE
Overnight successes don’t exist in the gym world. Programmes, routines and the latest tricks promise everything fast. For example “2 weeks to washboard abs in as little as 5 minutes a day”. Yes, you’ve heard the claims. Patience is lacking in today’s society and building muscle is a major victim as unfortunately, life just isn’t as quick as technology!
Fix it: Consistency requires patience. Those who stay the course focused will come out on top! Training when you would rather go home and relax, finishing a workout when you’re tired and going to the gym no matter how your day went will only make you stronger. Stay consistent even when you think you are not achieving because you are. Plateaus does not last.
Related article: Create Explosive Muscle Mass With This Full Body Gain Tyre Workout
8. SHORTCHANGING FORM
By doing half rep squats you will find it doesn’t build muscle and neither does back-bending barbell curls. Bad form lets you lift heavier, but you will only feed your ego and not your muscles. We all are most-likely guilty of bad form and techniques at some point in our training, with this said, everyone could benefit from taking a good, hard look at their form in any given workout.
Fix it: Every now and then pick a day to analyse your form. Study how you currently lift on certain exercises. If you find a discrepancy then decrease the amount of weight you are using significantly and start from the beginning in order to re train yourself to a perfect technique.
Going a step further, have a training partner close by to assess your form and technique. Don’t be offended by the critique for this is why you have asked them to step in and help you. Take it as valuable advice to improve.
9. AVOIDING ANYTHING NEW?
Movements like bench presses and squats reign supreme for gaining muscle, but you may require changes at some point in your lifting career. Whether it’s due to pure boredom, lack of results, or a want of change in your programme.
For example, your structure may not be suited to squat properly.So change it and see if you may benefit from more bodyweight exercises or you could be genuinely intimidated and not want try some of the new equipment and techniques available today.
Fix it: Whatever your reason, trying new things will in fact encourage that enthusiasm for the love or want of lifting again and push you to strive further. Have you tried suspension band training? How about super setting your workouts?
Maybe perform some sled pushes and pulls after a hard leg session it will do you some good. Whatever it is, be open-minded. It’s important to expand your comfort zone to keep progressing and reaching your goals.