Let’s face it, if we were given the choice, 9 times out of 10 we’d choose a powerful muscular physique over a weak and flabby physique any day of the week. We all dream of attaining a physique that truly makes us proud and confident, yet for one reason or another, many of us never quite seem to attain these goals. Often it isn’t due to a lack of trying, but rather misinformation, a lack of knowledge, and a few costly errors along the way. Building muscle for example, is an incredibly complex process that takes years upon years to fully understand. There is literally so much going on inside your body that contributes towards muscle growth and repair in one way or another, that it would be near impossible to understand every last detail from a beginner’s perspective. There are however, a few common mistakes that people tend to make when trying to build muscle, which end up costing them dearly. Here’s a look at just three.
Eating too much protein
Protein is a bodybuilder’s best friend as it is vital for muscle production. The mistake that many people seem to make when bulking up is that they consume too much protein. They will load up their plates with chicken, steak, fish, eggs, etc, and wash each meal down with a protein shake. Our bodies can only absorb around 45g of protein in one go, so, anything more than that will simply go to waste. Not only that, but too much protein can actually lead to gains in body fat as too much can lead to increases in glucose levels. Aim for 1 – 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, and make sure you space this out over the day.
Overtraining is another mistake that people seem to make, as they believe that they need to spend 3 – 4 hours in the gym per day, or make more than one visit to the gym each day. In reality, studies have found that the optimal training time before glycogen stores begin depleting in the muscles is, on average, around 45 minutes. Days off from training are also vital, as we build muscle when we rest. If our muscles are constantly being worked, and broken down as a result, they won’t repair themselves and rebuild themselves bigger and stronger than they were previously.
A large percentage of weight trainers are guilty of this next example, even those with a great deal of knowledge and experience. If you wish to truly work the muscles you’re trying to work, you will need to ensure that you execute perfect form on pretty much every single rep you perform. Forget about trying to show off by lifting heavy weight, because if you need to cheat to perform a repetition, the weight is too heavy. Choose a weight that tests you, but that you’re comfortable with and execute perfect form. Say you’re curing a barbell for example. Your back should be straight and you should be using your biceps to curl the weight, not your back by rocking back and forth to gain momentum. The same goes for bench presses. The bar should graze your chest, not bounce up off of it.