Coach Eric Broser: 6 Ways you May Be Limiting your Muscle Growth.
After you have been training at the same gym for many years, you tend to see the same people over and over again. And I must admit, as a coach/trainer in this industry for nearly 30 years I tend to observe others as they workout (in between my sets of course), often finding myself wondering why they never seem to change.
I think back to how they looked several years earlier and realize that except for just a few, the majority carry the same amount of muscle now as they did then, despite spending hours each week pushing and pulling on BB’s, DB’s, cables and machines. Does this scenario describe you as well? If so, read on to discover 6 ways that you may as well be limiting your own muscle growth.
Too Little Sleep: This is something I find myself reminding my clients and fellow gym-rats all the time. Regardless of whether one is training intensely each day, eating a proper diet and taking all the right supplements, if you are not getting enough sleep, you will not build very much muscle. Why? It’s simple really. Sleep is the period of time that our body uses to recuperate, recover, repair and rebuild. We do not grow muscle tissue while in the gym, or even at the dinner table, but in bed while we rest. Suboptimal recovery equals suboptimal hypertrophy. Sleep at least 7-8 hours each night if you want to get the most from your hard work.
Too Little Calories: While I am no way an advocate of bulking up, or eating everything in sight to gain mass, I can tell you that if you eat too little, you will remain stuck in neutral. Quality foods, in ample amounts, act as the building blocks for creating new lean tissue, aka, muscle. Just as a house cannot be erected without cement, bricks and/or wood, the body cannot be built without enough proteins, nor energized without enough carbohydrates and fats. Shoot for a minimum of one to 1.5 grams of protein/carbs per lb. of bodyweight, along with another 300-400 calories from essential fatty acids each day if looking to add lean bodyweight.
Cardio Overload: Certainly I recommend that every bodybuilder (recreational or competitive) perform at least some cardio exercise (20-30 min or so) three to five days per week, year around, because it is heart healthy and helps keep body fat levels in check. However, there are those that are obsessed with the treadmill, bike, elliptical machine and/or stair climber, performing more than an hour on one of these contraptions each day – and still wonder why their legs still look like sticks and arms are never worthy of a gun show. Too much cardio not only cuts deeply into our overall recovery abilities, but also send mixed signals to our body about what we are trying to accomplish. These two things combined may not only slow muscle growth, but in extreme cases, may even reverse it. Yes, do some cardio – but in reasonable amounts
Poor Exercise Technique: Even if the dedication, effort and intensity are there, but proper exercise form is not, one can fail to make the gains he/she desires. The movements we perform in the gym act as the stimulus, or signal, for hypertrophy, but only when the target muscle receives enough overload and tension to set things into motion. Cheating, swinging, body English and even lack of concentration will all negatively affect muscle fiber firing, which will more likely increase your chance of injury than your chance of building lean tissue. Master correct form on all movements, while focusing on feeling the muscle work, rather than how much weight you are moving from point A to B.
Same Ole Same Ole: In the early stages of lifting weights, almost any workout program will help to build more muscle – even if utilized week after week. But as you grow more experienced, the body becomes more stubborn, and unfortunately, far less responsive to doing the same things time and again in the gym. However, either because of laziness, lack of knowledge, or simple habit, most trainees perform the same exercises, for the same reps, in the same order at every workout – and the result? Little to no progress is realized. Because the human body is literally an adaptive machine, it needs to be constantly challenged with unique stimuli, or it will remain in a state of homeostasis. If you have been training more than two straight years, make sure to switch things up in the gym at least every few weeks. Use different exercises, rep ranges, intensity techniques and/or rep tempos to keep the body off balance.
You are a Phony: No, I do not mean you are fake, but rather a person who cannot put the phone down, even while attempting to get in a good workout. Trust me, I understand that social media has become a huge part of our lives, and that it’s fun, rewarding and sometimes necessary (for those employed in the fitness industry) to take videos and photos in the gym. However, some take it too far, getting to the point that they are more worried about the best camera angles than hitting the muscles from all right angles. Sure, take a video or two and post to your favorite media accounts, but then put the phone away, turn up your headphones and get to work. The great bodybuilders of the 70s, 80s and 90s are often considered the best ever. Perhaps this is because when they entered the gym, they only had muscle on their mind.
-Team ALLMAX www.allmaxnutrition.com
-CEO B Built International www.broserbuilt.com
-Columnist for FLEX, Natural Muscle & Muscleandfitness.com
-Creator of the SPEC™, ESPX2™, FTX2™, PRRS™, FDFS™ and O-Bey-6™ Training Systems
-Watch “B Built By Broser” on Jay Cutler TV
-On IG as @coachericbroser