If you’re currently completing a strength training program and are not seeing results, there may be various reasons for this. The following factors are some of the most common causes of undesired results from muscle building workouts.
Reason #1: Genetics Inhibit Your Body From Gaining Muscle
Some individuals do not have the same ability as others to grow and increase the amount of muscle fiber in their bodies at the same rate as others. This is due to genetics. If you’re wondering how your DNA plays a role in your ability to gain muscle mass, you can choose to conduct genetic testing, such as the PathwayFIT® test. Result reports are sent directly to your physician and are also accessible using mobile devices once available to you.
Understanding your body’s ability to increase muscle mass can help you set realistic goals regarding strength training. Additionally, accepting your capabilities can help you visualize what you can expect in terms of physical results.
If you find out that your genetics are keeping you from bulking up, don’t be disheartened. You can still receive benefits from weight lifting. Read on to learn how to correct common errors in weight training to help you maximize your own body’s potential.
Reason #2: Cardio Takes Up Too Much of Your Exercise Program
Incorporating too much cardio into your workout routine can cause you to lose muscle mass. Muscle growth occurs during rest periods or between workouts. When you replace recovery time with cardio sessions, the body uses valuable resources that would otherwise go towards increasing muscle fiber to completing these workouts.
However, it is possible to improve your cardiovascular fitness without sacrificing muscle gain. Keep cardio sessions down to two to three workouts each week. Doing more than this will cause you to see a reduction in muscle mass. Examples of cardio that can be incorporated into your routine include:
Reason #3: You’re Not Eating Enough to Support Muscle Growth
It’s important to fuel your body with the nutrients necessary to sustain muscle growth and to replace resources lost from exercise and high-intensity workouts.
Research shows that a protein-rich diet helps the body build muscle. However, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics warns that protein shouldn’t make up more than 35 percent of your daily calorie intake. Additionally, eating protein throughout the day, and eating the majority of your daily intake before your last meal, gives your body more time to use protein for preserving and building muscle. Examples of protein include lean beef, baked chicken, salmon, and cottage cheese.
Carbohydrates and healthy fats are also essential to muscle growth. Aim for whole grain carbohydrates and avocados and nuts as good sources of unsaturated fat. In general, guidelines for balanced eating involve taking the time to plan meals and focusing on fresh foods. Steer clear of packaged, prepared foods.
Consider Consulting a Dietician or Personal Trainer
If you’re struggling to see the desired results from your strength program, consider speaking with a nutrition expert and/or a personal trainer. These professionals can help structure a diet and exercise plan that best meets your needs and can help you reach your goals for gaining muscle mass.