Below are 9 common mistakes people make when trying to gain muscle.
1. Still Eating Diet Food
We’re talking rice cakes, 0% fat yoghurt, bagel thins, Frylight, Fibre one bars.
These will not be helpful if you’re struggling to meet your calorie target, or constantly feeling full.
2. The Standard Boring ‘Chicken and Rice’ Diet
That chicken, broccoli and rice all day every day is boring as hell. There is plenty of scope in your nutritional needs for variety, flavour, and flexibility.
Muscle growth is a slow game, so you need your diet to be sustainable.
3. Eating Too Much Protein And High Fibre Foods
Once you’ve hit your protein needs (1.8-2.4g/kg of body weight), there’s very little benefit of going over this. It will likely just leave you feeling full, with less scope to get other nutrients in.
Same goes for fibre. Veg like broccoli and cauliflower will leave you feeling satiated. Switch them for tomatoes and peppers to leave you less full.
4. Taking Supplements Before Nailing The Basics
Stop trying to optimise your training before you’ve optimised your recovery and nutrition protocols.
Trying to go harder in the gym doesn’t make sense if you’re failing to recover from your current training.
5. Not Making Sleep A Priority
Adaptations from strength training occur at rest, not in the gym.
Without adequate sleep, you may be killing it in the gym but failing to see “gains”.
Prioritise recovery in the same way you would your training and nutrition.
6. Increasing Your NEAT
A high NEAT has no benefit on your ability to grow muscle.
In fact, it will increase your energy expenditure and therefore increase your caloric needs.
7. Opting For Low-Fat Foods
Chicken breasts, turkey steaks, bacon medallions are low-calorie options.
Try chicken thighs & oily fish instead. Switch the non-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese for the real deal.
Fat is not only helpful to reach your calorie needs, but helps to regulate hormones, including those essential for muscle growth and repair.
8. Loosing Your S*** Over Numbers On MyFitnessPal
Large, high-calorie meals are a good place to start when trying to hit your needs.
Seeing a 1000kcal+ meal and loosing your mind might be a mental barrier that stops you from achieving your goals.
9. Trying To Over-Complicate Things
Don’t forget that the most important factor in muscle growth is the training stimuli.
The specific breakdown of your macros, exact calorie target you’re trying to hit and supplements you’re trying to take, will mean nothing if you’re too stressed to have a good training session and enjoy life.