I was thinking the other day about some of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to building muscle. One of the most common things I see is people not allowing their bodies to fully recover between workouts. It’s easy to over train if your recovery is not maximized.
In the following post I’m going to explain a few things that everyone should know when it comes to bulking up. So give me 2 minutes of your time and read these next few paragraphs.
Let’s talk about what happens to our body during and after a weight training session. When you lift weights you’re breaking down the muscle fibers in your body. If you are training at an appropriate intensity you will actually cause micro-tears in the muscle tissue! This isn’t the same thing as tearing or straining a muscle mind you, this is a good tear. That is, as long as you take care of these micro-tears.
Micro-tears in the muscle tissue that occur from resistance training, need to be allowed to repair fully before being torn apart again. This is pretty simple logic that gets ignored all of the time. The amount of recovery that is needed depends on the intensity of the workout, which determines the severity of the micro-tears. Everyone is different in their recovery time, but there are a few things we can control which will aid in a quicker recovery, allowing you to tear them up again sooner thus adding more mass and strength at a faster pace.
Muscle Building Mistake #1: Your Diet Sucks
If you are not providing your body with the appropriate nutrients it simply won’t have what it needs to recover quickly. Bottom line is that if your diet sucks your recovery will suck and your results will be minimal at best. You need to have the right nutrients in your body before your workouts so you can attack the weights at a high enough intensity to cause these micro-tears. Then you need to consume the right nutrients after your workout so the amazing machine that is your body can go to work repairing those tears.
Tip: There is a reason that every serious bodybuilder (pro or recreational) follows every workout with a protein shake. The reason is that your body begins repairing itself as soon as you are done working out. Make sure you get protein on board as soon as possible after your weight training sessions!
Muscle Building Mistake #2: Not Enough Sleep
Your body does the majority of it’s recovering while you’re sleeping. It’s during this time that your brain and other systems aren’t distracted by the daily stresses and demands of living. Most importantly sustained, undisturbed sleep allows our bodies to release the human growth hormone Somatropin.
This hormone is essential in the repair of soft tissue in the body, this includes muscle tissue! In fact if you don’t get enough sleep the amount of this precious hormone is little to none and without it it’s impossible for your muscles to repair completely. If you are training hard enough to cause these micro-tears, trust me, you want these tears to repair completely and as soon as possible.
Tip: Nutrition plays a huge role in both the quality of sleep an individual gets and the bodies ability to produce Somatropin. Imagine that.
Hopefully you have a better understanding about what happens when weight training is done correctly and why it’s important to allow the muscles you train to recover fully between workouts.
Depending on who you talk to, these may may or may not be the biggest muscle building mistakes that people make. Since recovery is the most critical component in terms of building muscle, I think putting a less emphasis on the recovery process is a huge mistake. Diet and training can be spot on, but if you’re not recovering fully between workouts your results will be minimal.