10 Habits That Decrease Your Chances of Gaining Muscle Mass

Are you annoyed you are not seeing the progress you want? Check out these 10 common bad habits that could be sabotaging your growth.

1- Always Lifting Heavy

A lot of people think that doing one or two reps of heavyweight will help you build mass quicker. Although this type of lifting can have its benefits, for example overcoming a plateau, this is not the ideal way to bulk up fast. Research has shown that doing between six to twelve reps has a greater effect when optimizing for muscle growth. Even better is starting your sets with lower weight and working your way up to heavier weight for your last sets.

2- Too Many Single-Joint Exercises

Something not many people think about. Single joint exercises may be great for targeting one muscle, but definingly not efficient. Incorporating more multi-joint exercises, like bench press, barbell rows, deadlifts… etc. into your workouts will allow you to work multiple muscle groups at once. Allowing for faster fatigue in these muscles resulting in more efficient workouts. I recommend adding a multi-joint exercise to the end of your workout to exhaust your muscles.

3- You’re Doing Too Much Cardio

The main problem with cardio is the fact that number one, the energy you spend on cardio will take away from your weightlifting, and number two, you are burner a lot of your precious calories. If you are trying to bulk up having a calorie surplus is very important, for a lot of people a calorie surplus alone can be hard enough. If you add in cardio, your required calories are going to increase even more, and make it harder to replenish those calories.

4- Not Consuming Enough Protein and Carbs

Everyone knows you need protein to build muscle, but do you know how much you need to consume? Research has proven that you should be intaking around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, so if you weigh 200 pounds that’s 200 grams of protein a day. Additionally, protein is not stored in your body for very long so aim to consume 20% - 25% of your daily protein every 3-4 hours. Not only is protein critical in bulking, but also carbs. Carbs are what provide your body with energy, while also retain some water. For bulking, your total calorie intake from carbs should be a lot more than from protein.

5- Nutrient Timing

This is a bad habit I myself am guilty of, eating too much within a 4-hour window will have a negative effect since you will not be allowing your body enough time for complete digestion and absorption of the food you are consuming. So basically, it is just going to waste. I recommend eating smaller meals every 4 hours, this is enough time to allow for muscle protein synthesis to continuously go on within your body. (A key factor for muscle growth)

6- Not Implementing Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is the most important concept in building muscle. Simply put, progressive overload is adding a small amount of weight, reps, or sets to your workout over time. This allows you to keep improving and places your muscles under more stress to adapt to a higher level.

7- Not Getting Enough Sleep

The amount of sleep you are getting every night plays a huge role in your progress. First off, the more and better quality of sleep you are getting will lead to you having more energy for your workouts. Second, after training your damaged muscles tissues need to be repaired. Without enough sleep, your body will be unable to repair these muscle tissues and decrease the activation of protein synthesis. Without this, you will not see growth.

8- Being Impatient

If you are trying to bulk up fast, you are going to have to be patient, progress takes time. For amateurs, you will be able to pack on weight fast without having to worry too much about it turning into fat. But for the rest of us, a proper diet is very important. You should only be increasing about 1-2 pounds a week, if you are gaining more than that then it is most likely going to be fat instead of muscle.

9- Not Set Goals

Goals are the best form of motivation. Creating short-term goals will help you stay on track and are essential to reach long-term goals. Goals serve a lot of different purposes, they make change seem more achievable, workouts are more efficient, and you will see progress. Always strive for higher and higher achievements.

10- Keeping the Same Workout Routine

After 6-8 weeks of doing the same routine, you will start to notice your progress starts to plateau, as your muscles get used to the exercises. There are a few ways you can adjust your routine, changing the exercises completely, change to a different variation of an exercise or you can change you the way you split up your exercises. Changing up your routine is also a great way to ensure you are hitting your muscles at all angles.


Thank you for reading our article and checking out our new website! If you found this information useful and want to hear more about how to achieve your workout goals, please consider checking out our eBook. It is packed with information to jump-start your fitness journey.

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