When you first decide to join the gym to build muscle and lose fat you will notice huge changes to your body almost immediately.
This is because it is your first time you work your muscles, which will lead to ‘newbie’ gains.
Unfortunately, as time goes on you may struggle to consistently build muscle. But why is that?
It isn’t because your training is less effective, it is simply that your body has become used to the workouts you perform. When you first started to workout, you may only be able to bench press 20 kg, but now that is too light even for your warm up.
So what can you do to start seeing consistent muscle gains again? Lets look at a few tips that will help.
Method #1: Prepare a Plan
As the old saying goes “Fail to plan, plan to fail”.
There are plenty of people who visit the gym with no idea of what they are going to do. Whether this means the exercises planned, or the number of sets.
If you do not know what you are going to do each workout session for each week, or the next 2-3 months then your plan is not good enough.
Luckily, if you cannot create your own workout plan then there are plenty of free ones available online. Have a browse and look to see if you fancy trying one of them.
Method #2: Measure Everything
How do you know if you are building muscle if you are not tracking your progress?
Using a mirror to track your progress is a popular option, but it is simply not accurate enough.
I would instead recommend using scales, tape measurements, even callipers to track your measurements. You should also keep a training log, with progress photos that you should compare each week.
Method #3: Use Proper Form
When you first start training chances are that the weight you are lifting is too light to cause major injury. However, if you want to continue growing muscle then you need to start lifting heavier weights, which means that bad form could potentially lead to injury.
I would suggest training in front of a mirror to check your form, believe it or not this is what the mirrors are for, not for selfies.
You could also hire a personal trainer for a week or two to check your form is ok.
Method #4: Get Plenty of Rest
Not only is it important to rest between sets (the recommended amount for maximum muscle gains is 3 minutes), to ensure you can work at 100% the following set.
You also need to ensure you are getting plenty of sleep too. Failure to get adequate sleep will mean that your body will not recover. I would recommend aiming for at least 7 hours of good quality sleep per night.
To ensure your sleep is uninterrupted you should remove any distractions from your bedroom. This includes your phone and any other devices.
Method #5: Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein is essential for muscle repair, and you maybe surprised at just how much you need to consume daily.
It is recommended that for every kilogram you weigh that you consume 1.6-2 grams of protein.
This means that if you weigh 80 kg you should be consuming between 128 g and 160 g of protein daily.
To ensure you are getting adequate amounts of protein daily you should look to increase your intake at breakfast and lunch, as these are the meals that tend to be lowest in protein content.
Our final thought is to ensure you stay dedicated to your goal, if you do not see results immediately do not despair.
Giving up too soon will not help you experience the gains you desire. However, if you are consistent, train regularly with heavy weights with good form, eat plenty of protein and get plenty of rest then you will soon realise that you have progressed from a month ago.
The key to consistent muscle gains, is unsurprisingly consistency. Keep pushing and you will see the results you hope for. Good luck!
For more details on how to achieve your muscle building goals check out more of our articles at Skinny2Fit.