I saw an old friend last week that I hadn’t seen in a while. The man I knew him as was six feet tall, and considered skinny. He had no fat on him and you could see every rib. I remember how much he tried to gain weight and muscle when we were young. Nothing ever seemed to work for him. Well, something started working for him because he gained 30 pounds of muscle, and looks wonderful! I almost didn’t recognize him! I told him how great he looks, and asked him how he was able to gain all that muscle, finally. He told me that when we were young he didn’t do things the right way, or consistently. He explained that besides doing things wrong, he also kept giving up because he would get discouraged. He said that many of us set unrealistic expectations and outcomes for ourselves in too short amount of time, and that makes us become inconsistent. He said when he was young he wanted to see major results after one week, and he followed every fad diet, protein shakes and exercise plan there was. He said he woke up one day and realized that he needed to make a lifestyle change. Which meant that he would be in it for the long haul. He would not give up after one week, month, or even a year. He said he promised himself that health and fitness was now a lifestyle forever.
Of course, our conversation didn’t end there. I decided to get all the information from him, so I could share it in this blog. What worked for him, may not work for all. But, it can be used as inspiration for your own journey. He said, “Everyone starts somewhere, and where you end up is up to you. Your dedication, determination and consistency are the biggest factors in ending up where you dream to be.” He then listed all the mistakes he made at first, that kept him from reaching his goal.
Common Mistakes When Trying to Gain Muscle:
- Diet & (poor) Nutrition is one of the most important factors for reaching our goals. A common misconception is that when trying to gain, you think you can anything you want, you just want to eat a lot of it. That is far from the truth! You could train your buns off consistently, but if your nutrition is not where it should be, then you will not see the results you have worked for.
- Inconsistency: As I mentioned before, a huge mistake my friend would always make was being inconsistent in achieving his goals. He set his expectations too high to reach, and once he became discouraged, he gave up. That is inconsistency.
- Dehydration- Need I say more? Drink water!
- Bad form: poor form = poor results. Poor form = risk of injury.
- Too much cardio: When trying to gain muscle, cardio should not be the main focus. Your muscles need time after a weight training workout to recover. If you do too much cardio, you’ll end up contradicting your weight training.
The Right Ways to Gain Muscle:
- Diet & Nutrition: Muscles need proper, nutrient-dense foods. For breakfast, you might have eaten a donut or cereal that was filled with sugar, no fiber, and no nutritional value. To make sure you are eating a breakfast filled with nutrition, you should eat things like; Oats, walnuts, almonds, and eggs, etc.
- Consistency: Well, the opposite of being inconsistent, (as mentioned multiple times now) is consistency. Consistency is so, extremely important to reaching your goals. How to stay consistent: realize that when you first start your fitness journey, you are going to experience many trials, errors, and lessons. There are many things to learn when you first start and try not to get overwhelmed or discouraged. Instead, understand that there is a lot to learn, and stick with it. Ignore any negative mindset you may have. Ignore the fact that you may be feeling very challenged. Instead, you should embrace the challenge and not let it deter you from reaching your goals.
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Drink your water! Stay away from sugary drinks. Sugar can sometimes be seen as “the enemy”. Stay away from alcohol. Alcohol not only dehydrates you, but it turns to sugar in the body.
- Focus on your form. If you are not focused on your form/technique, you are not only risking injuries, but you are really holding yourself back from great results. I will share a video below that includes tips to make sure you have good form.
- Don’t do too much cardio. My friend told me that he would jump rope for a few minutes to warm up before his weight-lifting sessions.
The PROPER Way To Lift Weights (Stop Doing This!)
Channel: V Shred