Remember the days when you first started training, and after each session you would seem to make all kinds of gains? You packed on size faster, your strength boomed and it didn’t take too long to notice your hard work in the mirror.
Fast forward to now, and it seems like every fiber of muscle you have was hard-earned over month-long struggles between you and a sh*t-load of iron – and you fight every day to keep it that way.
So what happened?
Nothing, that’s the problem.
To adapt is to change, to perfect is to change often – and if you’ve not given your routine a serious stare in the face for a while, chances are that’s the problem.
We’ve compiled a list of the top mistakes lifters make after a few years of training – and the kicker? They’re so easy to fix.
Buckle up, because I’m about to blow your f*cking mind.
#1 Doing EXACTLY the same routine every week
We’ve all been guilty of this. You train for years and stumble across a collection of exercises for each muscle group that you like. They feel good, and you feel like you’re getting the benefit.
Well, you’ll be getting some benefit – but the whole noob-gain and life-changing session stuff is definitely not going to happen here. Especially if you’re doing the same weight every workout.
What you should be doing – Stop being so damn stubborn:
The problem is because this workout served well in the past, you don’t want to part with it, it’s understandable. That’s why we’ve put together the official Fit Chief 5-point plan to bust you out of your old routine, and slip you into something more gainz worthy:
- Step 1: Identify the exercise in your routine you like the least
- Step 2: Research an alternative exercise for that muscle group
- Step 3: Practice that exercise on a low weight, master the form, and then up it
- Step 4: Replace the original exercise with the new one
- Step 5: Repeat for entire routine with one new exercise a session
Or alternatively, you can do this all at once. It depends how attached you are to your current routine.
But believe me, trying something new will recruit different fibers from that muscle, and encourage a hell of a lot more growth.
#2 Not Training Legs
If you haven’t noticed any changes in your size in a while, listen up to this very important bulletin:
NEWSFLASH: Not training half of your body significantly suppresses the amount of testosterone you release when working out. Who knew?
Oh right, everyone, since forever.
This cuts you out of a whole world of growth. You don’t even have to squat. Machines like leg press, leg extensions and leg curls are relatively painless on your joints and great for your muscles.
Start light and work you’re way up. Come in on a rest day and train legs and give you’re upper body a break and a boost from more testosterone.
#3 Focusing on the quantity of reps – Not the quality
This is a common one, and something people really need to wise up to – especially if you want to get that sculpted bodybuilder frame.
When you have your routine, you know how many reps you’re going for and how many sets – and when the going gets tough you’ll do anything to get there.
This is the wrong way to think about it.
Forcing out those extra reps pretty much always breaks your form and opens you up to injury, strains and generally looking like a dick. Don’t do it.
Leave your ego at the door, lower the weight and keep the engagement on that muscle constant and consistent. This recruits more muscle fibers and gives overall better muscle development.
#4 You’ve slipped up on your diet – but not how you think
We’re not talking about too many cheat meals here, we’re talking about not eating enough to cope with the level of training your delivering.
If you feel you’re eating clean with a good balance on your protein, fats and carbs (and remember, there is such a thing as too much protein) and you’re still not gaining size, chances are you’re not eating enough.
First, let’s do a checklist:
- Protein – You want to be getting in around 0.8g/lb a day of this for solid results
- Fats – Don’t shy away from good fats, avocados, eggs, macadamias are all good stuff for boosting testosterone levels
- Carbs – Complex carbs like brown rice and oats are ideal for slow releasing energy for solid gym sessions
If you feel you’re on top of that and you’re not seeing the results you want despite training with the intensity of a thousand angry elephants – it’s time to up your intake.
#5 Get more positive results… By being more NEGATIVE
If you’re not getting that ‘pump’ that you used to in the gym – chances are you haven’t tried negatives.
It’s not just the exercises you may need to change up, but also how you do them and negatives reps are a great way to recruit more fibers and put your muscles into some out of this world tension.
If you don’t know what negative reps are your life is about to change forever.
You can do this on any exercise – but for a good example we’ll go with the classic bicep curl… you’re going to want to lower the weight for these:
- Perform a standard bicep curl and hold it at the peak of the lift
- Slowly lower the weight back down, resisting the weight all the way
- That’s it.
One of the main things when it comes to training to gain size is keep constant tension on the muscle, and one of the best ways you cna do this is by performing negative reps.
#6 You drink… a lot
Don’t get me wrong, we all like to party. But too much of the good stuff can do serious damage to your progress – and we’re not just talking about weight gain.
It can bitch slap the hell out of your testosterone levels. Beer especially.
Think about how Beer is made. A crucial ingredient to the brewery process is hops. Now although this seems like a healthy natural source, it’s the worst thing you can do for your T-levels.
One of the main issues being how estrogenic hops are. Seriously, they’re so bad that the female harvesters that pick them up by hand have menstrual problems. You can even read a study on it here.
High alcohol consumption in general has been linked to boosting the activity of the aromatase enzyme which converts testosterone into estrogen. Just why would you want that in your diet?
Overall this is just going to destroy your hormone profile and sap you dry of anything close to decent gainz.
If you’ve been struggling to make serious gains these past couple of months chances are you’ve many of these classic mistakes and have been tanking your progress.
Many of these are more common than you think. It’s easy to sink into the same training routine every week and not think about all the growth you’re missing out on.
And remember it’s not just your training and nutrition you need to switch up, but your lifestyle too. If you stick to these new changes for three months, you’ll definitely see some serious results.