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3 REASONS YOU'RE NOT PUTTING ON MUSCLE
So, you’ve decided to bulk up, huh? Good for you! The good news is that you’ve done the hard bit, you’ve made the decision to work on your body and you are now taking steps to achieve it. But, if you were hoping that you could just smash out some bicep curls at either end of the day and eventually turn into Hercules, you’re in for a disappointment. Putting on muscle requires more than just doing exercise. Obviously, the exercise that you do will have a significant impact on how quickly and efficiently you build muscle. However, this is only one part of a complex equation. You need to not only work out right, you need to also make sure that you are using the time in between workouts in the right way. If you aren’t building muscle despite all your best efforts, here are some of the most likely reasons why.
You’re a Woman
Obviously, women can put on muscle. However, an important catalyst in the muscle building process is a hormone called testosterone. To put it simply, men have lots of testosterone in their bodies, whereas women have more estrogen. This means that if you take a man and woman of comparable fitness and put them through the same exercise routine then, all other things being equal, the man will put on more muscle mass than the woman. Now, it’s also important to note that muscle mass is just one component of fitness. In terms of muscle activation and conditioning, both of which are important for strength, women will benefit just as much as men. There are numerous other physiological and neurological adaptations that will be equally beneficial for both sexes. If you want to pump up as a woman, you could try a natural testosterone supplement, this one actually comes from seeds. Just don’t go and do anything silly.
You’re Not Eating Right
In order to build new muscle, your body needs to have the right building blocks. The key ingredient is protein and that is the ingredient you need to focus on in order to build muscle. The good news is that there are lots of food options out there that are very high in protein. For example, granola is always a favourite. You can even make protein-boosted granola. Chicken breast is also high in protein, as is Tuna, if you like fish. Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, it is strongly advised that you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, as these are packed with, not just protein, but a whole host of stuff that’s good for your body. This won’t just help with building muscle; it will help to ensure that you are in peak condition in general.
You Aren’t Resting
In order to build new muscle, you have to damage the old muscle. Most people know this, but what many people don’t appreciate is how much of the process is spent damaging the muscle and how much is spent rebuilding it. When you work out and push your body with heavier weights, you are signaling to your body that it needs to be able to do more work. Your body responds by rebuilding muscle fibers stronger than they were before, making them bigger every time. You never need to work a muscle for more than 30 minutes and you should never work out the same muscle more than once in 48 hours. Rest days are very important. Your body builds lots of new muscle when you sleep, but it also builds during the day, just at a slower rate. If you work a muscle out every day, not only do you risk injury, you will slow down your rate of muscle growth.
As long as you make sure to eat right, sleep right and not overdo it, building muscle should be easy. Aim to get 8 hours of sleep every night and make sure to give yourself those all-important rest days.