3 Worst Muscle Building Mistakes
by Drew Stegman
When it comes to packing on muscle and getting that ripped and muscular physique, most weightlifters and bodybuilders think they have everything figured out. Truth is, even with all of the information out there, the average gym-rat is still making some huge mistakes that are holding them back from achieving the physique they deserve.
Mistake 1: Not Getting Enough Protein
If you’ve done any research at all on what a good bodybuilding diet is all about, I’m sure you’ve also come across the notion that suggests that protein is incredibly important for muscle growth.
And it’s true! Most bodybuilders don’t get nearly as much protein as they need on a daily basis.
It simply amazes me how most trainers recommend LESS than one gram of protein per pound of body weight if you want to build mass. For any male who is small and relatively lean, that’s simply a baseline number.
Don’t get me wrong – fats and carbs are still important if you’re trying to gain muscle and if you’re naturally skinny, you need plenty of them. But it’s protein that provides your body with the amino acids your muscles need to rebuild after being broken down in the gym. If you’re training with full intensity in focus in the gym, then you’re going to need more protein then you think.
So if you still don’t know how much protein you should be eating on a daily basis, the BASELINE number is about one gram per pound of body weight. But if you’re naturally skinny and find it difficult to pack on lean mass, you’re probably going to want to increase your protein consumption to 1.25 or even 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day.
And let’s make sure I’m perfectly clear – I’m talking about COMPLETE protein sources – things like meat, eggs, cheese, sausage and whey protein are going to be the staples. The protein found in things like grains, nuts, soy and other plant sources do NOT count, since they are incomplete protein sources.
Mistake 2: Not Training for Strength
If you open up any type of bodybuilding magazine, you’re most likely going to turn to a page with a bodybuilder talking about his latest workout routine. More than often, these workouts recommended by these so called “bodybuilders” recommend that you “BOMB” certain muscle groups with a moderate amount of weight. But they never talk about getting strong!
Now don’t get me wrong – high rep, high volume and blood-pumping workouts definitely have their place in the bodybuilding world, but they are primarily used to bust a plateau. And that’s it! You want to know what the easiest and fastest way to get bigger is?
Do you think that doing 100 pushups is going to give you a massive chest?
Think doing bodyweight lunges for 15 minutes straight is going to give you massive quads? Think again! If you want to pack on muscle mass, you need to move some serious iron. No exceptions!
There are many different workout routines and exercises to choose from, but the best way to gain muscle is going to be through the use of your bread and butter lifts. Exercises like squats, deadlifts, and the bench press should make up a majority of your workout program along with a few other movements like bent over rows, dips and pull-ups.
It probably doesn’t sound very advanced or fancy, but it’s what WORKS! Trying to get bigger arms? Forget about isolation movements! Instead, focus on adding 100 pounds to your bench press and bent over row. I can guarantee that this will help you pack on much more arm mass than doing nothing but arm curls and tricep extensions each day.
Mistake 3: Poor Lifestyle Choices
Serious bodybuilders know that sacrifices must be made in order to see results. In order to pack on the most amount of muscle, many bodybuilders will quit partying, drinking, smoking and even staying out late.
Should you be this strict? You don’t have to. But do you need to make sure you’re making the right lifestyle choices on a continual basis? You bet!
If you think that you can get drunk multiple times per week and stay out until 3am, think again! First, drinking on a regular basis has been shown to lower your testosterone levels and make it harder for your body to gain muscle, while slowing down your metabolism and making it easier for your body to store fat.
You might have those God given genetics that allow you to eat as much as you want and whatever you want without getting fat, but if you’re trying to pack on mass then you need to seriously reconsider.
Secondly, the party lifestyle makes it near impossible to hit the gym on a regular basis, eat good and get the rest and recovery you need. And if you have a job, school, work or any other responsibilities, then something needs to go – partying or lifting. There are simply not enough hour in the day to manage all of these things at once, especially if you’re already a busy person.
Having said this, you don’t have to completely isolate yourself from everyone and not have a social life, you simply have to find a balance between your social life and your fitness goals.
If you’re one of the select few that can still go out every night and still pack on slabs of muscle, good for you. But unfortunately many people are not this way and sacrifices often have to be made.
Just like anything else in life, building muscle takes hard work and dedication – do you have what it takes?
(This was a guest post written by Drew Stegman. Drew specializes in nutritional biochemistry and he is a fitness expert when it comes to gaining muscle and losing fat. He loves sharing his fitness knowledge with the world, and he hopes you enjoyed reading this article as much as he enjoyed writing it. For more fitness information check out his website: http://how2gainmusclefast.com/)