A lot of guys have trouble gaining muscle even if the spend a lot of time working out. Here are a few tips that might help you out if you have plateaued in lifting.
- Limit your workout to 45 minutes – After 45 minutes of weight lifting, your body begins releasing cortisol. This is the stress hormone. Among other things, this hormone is responsible for breaking down muscle into energy to continue exercising. Any lifting after 45 minutes may be doing more damage than good.
- Eat a surplus of food – I have often heard/read the quote “show me a guy who can’t gain muscle and I’ll show you a guy who isn’t eating enough”. If you aren’t eating more calories than you need for every day life, then you won’t have enough calories to build new muscle. You can’t just eat or drink anything, soda and candy isn’t going to help you gain muscle. Eat healthy whole foods with plenty of protein.
- Change up your routine – If you have been doing the same routine for six months to a year without any change, then your body has gotten used to it. You put on muscle by sending a message to your muscles that there is a new stress your body needs to adapt to. If you are doing the exact same exercises each week, you won’t be properly stimulating your muscles. You should swap out some exercises for others, perhaps replace BB bench press with DB bench press. You can also switch up which muscle groups you pair up per day. Switch from a chest/tricep, bicep/back, and shoulder/traps workout routine to a bicep/tricep, chest/shoulders and back/traps routine.
- Reduce your intake of foods that simulate estrogen – The biggest culprits of estrogen simulation are beer and soy products. BPA is also mistaken for estrogen in your body, so avoid drinking water out of containers with BPA. Make sure you heat up leftovers on a ceramic plate and not in a plastic container.
- Increase your testosterone – Some foods increase your production of testosterone. Two of my favorite foods that raise testosterone are red meat and broccoli. You can ignore all of the recent studies that link red meat consumption to cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Those studies are so biased the should not be considered. If you read through them you will see what I’m talking about.
- Get protein in your system fast – Try to eat or drink protein within 90 minutes of the end of your weight lifting. The easiest way to do this is to drink a protein shake right afterwards, but eating a meal soon can work as well.