Are you working out too much but your muscles are not improving? Muscle building plateaus can be humiliating because they can discourage you from exercising, irrespective of whether your goal is to lose weight or strengthen your body. Luckily, you can do something about stagnating in your muscle building goals. Here are 10 tips that can help you bust through muscle building plateaus.
- Add a shake before going to bed
Since you want your muscles to grow, an addition of at least 400 calories in your bedtime meal is a good way to go. This will help to jump start the process of muscle growth while ensuring that the pre-bed shake contains fewer carbohydrates. Some of the best sources of these additional calories include shakes made from milk, coconut, peas, green powder or eve whey proteins. Can’t these make a delicious and delightful snack be taken before resting at night? Taking ice creams that are rich in protein is another option that is recommended by nutritionists all over the world. This can be achieved by mixing white chocolate with water or two tablespoons of milk, then add a teaspoon of almond in the form of butter. Mix them well and then freeze for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Interchanging the carbs and fat ratio formula
If you have been eating more than 300g of carbs and 70g of fat every day for a long period, then it is suggested that the ratio should be interchanged or switched. This means you should start eating 140g of fat and 150g of carbs. By doing this, the macros will change drastically as calorie content follows gradually. This is important for athletes especially those consuming high carbs in their diet because they can become resistant to insulin. In most cases, this occurs because their insulin levels have been elevated. Digestive systems of people who develop insulin resistance become less effective and inefficient in transferring nutrients to the muscles, which hinders their normal growth. Ensuring that your insulin levels are maintained is one of the tips to gain muscles. If the levels of insulin are low, it is important to reverse the carbs/fat ratio to improve the efficiency of insulin in the coming days.
For athletes who have been on a diet which is low in carbohydrates for a long time, they need to diminish their insulin levels and possibly IGF-1. The insulin levels and IGF-1 are vital hormones required for muscle growth. If you feed very much on carbohydrates, it will increase the levels of the two hormones, but there will be no room for fat storage. This will, in turn, make you overweight or obese in the long run.
- Do at least 100 reps per workout
Increasing the number of repetitions per workout will help you bust through muscle building plateaus. They should be performed at least 100 times per day for 3 to 4 weeks. This will help in strengthening your muscles as well. Alternate between moderate and slow reps to stimulate your muscle fibers and build muscles. Therefore, slow and moderate reps are recommended because they affect the synthesis of glycogen, which is contained in proteins that help in building muscles. High reps are not recommended because they can weaken your muscle strength over time. Thus, the 100 reps should either be slow or moderate but not hard. If dealing with heavy weights, slow reps are advisable because they help in stimulating hypertrophy and awakening the cells that are critical to muscle development.
- Changing the strategy
Turning things upside down or changing the strategy means engaging in hard exercises using less energy which the body may or may not be used to. With this new form of exercise other than the normal one, you are certain to take your muscle growth a notch higher. This type of exercise starts by thoroughly training with the biceps curls first before working backward. The approach will not only allow one to bend over the row with the triceps which are pumped, but will also pose a new training challenge to your body. This style uses less energy but ensures that you are strengthening and building your muscles. It will also ensure that your entire body feels some impact during workouts, such as Guido.
- Having nap
A few minutes nap in the afternoon, especially after lunch, will help in restoring your energy levels. A nap is recommended especially for people working in the office. Find out how you can spare at least 30 minutes a day. There was a weird man from Austria who believed in naps, and he later became a governor of California and served for a long time. For athletes, they do not need a nap because they are not the typical people who sit in offices for long hours. However, health experts recommend that every person should try as much as possible to find time for a nap because it helps in busting through muscle building plateaus.
- Time yourself
Workouts should be timed they should be fun like when doing your regular chores. This is important especially when one is running very low on morale and motivation. This can be done by completing as many sets as possible within 30 minutes. The next time you exercise, you will try to beat deadline or delivery before the stipulated time, hence making your body more efficient while boosting energy levels and enhancing motivation. This will create some form of excitement and relax your body all the time while reducing headaches and muscle pain.
- Do not use caffeine
Most people like their pre-work meals, taking energy drinks and Starbucks. However, some contain caffeine which can trigger fatigue affecting the adrenaline production to severe levels that can kill your progress and effort very quickly when working out at the gym. The stress hormone (cortisol) levels can be continuously elevated if the CNS is overstimulated within a short time. Caffeinated drinks can also affect your sleep cycle, especially when consumed near bedtime. You can use them once in two weeks. This will ensure that cortisol levels in your body will have significantly been reduced.
- Change your gym environment
Going to the gym is very important. However, it should regularly be changed because the environment in which you exercise can significantly help in improving muscle growth. Another way to change your gym environment is to take a bus ride to scary places within the city or in valleys and hills for a day. This is vital in restoring your energy levels because change is like rest. When one changes gym, it means there will be new machines and equipment, hence your muscles will work from new angles. This means your muscle strength will change too in the new environment or gym.
- Taking lemon juice and green powders
Many people do not pay attention to their bodies simply by thinking that they are of little importance. You may assume your body pH especially if it is alkaline. Having a body which is alkaline or less acidic will allow one to progress than when it is in an acidic state. Regular consumption of lemon juice is very important in reducing toxins in the body which inhibit proper development of muscles. Also, lemon juice made from water and lemon helps in detoxing the liver. A liver that is functioning must be losing fats and overall and constant happiness. It is the role of the liver to get rid of excess fats in the body which can be toxic in nature. Green powders can be found very easily help the body to respond effectively to rise in cortisol levels.
- Increase Training Sessions
Training for more than one session per day is recommended if your goal is to boost muscle growth. The focus of this is to ensure maximum stimulation of CNS. Muscle failure will be a thing of the past if you start proper training like twice in a day.
The above workout tips can go a long way in helping you bust through muscle building plateaus. Irrespective of your exercise goals, growing your muscle strength is very crucial in maintaining a healthy figure and body. The tips should be followed with caution because they can either break or build your body.
Sophie Addison is an enthusiast blogger and writer. She is very passionate about writing general health and fitness. She has posted articles on skincare problems, joint pain treatment, weight loss and woman’s health. Apart from work she likes gardening and listening to music. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.