3. Your Nutrition is not aligned with your training goal
When it comes to the nutrition side of hypertrophy there are three things you need to remember. The first one is to simply ensure that you are eating enough to grow. If your body is burning more calories than you are taking in, there is no surplus for your body to utilize for growth. As a starting point if you are trying to gain weight and are training 3-4 times per week, multiply your body weight in lbs by 18-20 to calculate your recommended daily caloric intake. If you are training 5-6 times per week multiply your body weight by 20-22. So as an example if you weigh 160lbs, want to gain weight and train 3-4 times per week, your daily intake should be between 2880 and 3200 calories.
Secondly, you need to ensure that you are getting the right balance of macronutrients (ie: Protein, Carbs Fats) all of which play a role in muscle growth. As far as what ratio of proteins/carbs/fats is optimal for muscle growth, this greatly depends on your body type. Here is are some general guidelines from Precision Nutrition: For Ectomorphs (naturally thin, skinny): 25% Protein, 55% Carbohydrate, 20% Fat. For Mesomorphs (muscular & athletic): 30% Protein, 40% Carbohydrate, 30% Fat. For Endomorphs (rounder, thicker): 35% Protein, 25% Carbohydrate, 40% Fat.
The third point of emphasis is ensuring that you are eating clean. What I mean by eating clean is eating high quality foods that are whole and unprocessed. Here are some suggestions for each macronutrient. Protein: Lean cuts of beef, bison, turkey, chicken, Eggs, Whey or plant based Protein Powder. Carbs: Leafy greens and other cruciferous Vegetables, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Sweet Potato. Fats: Avocado, Nuts, Seeds, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil. Eating clean also involves cooking your own meals so that you know exactly what goes into them.
4. Your lifestyle is not aligned with your training goal
How you live your life outside of the gym plays as big a role in muscle growth than what you do in the gym. To keep it simple, here are the lifestyle elements that will support and enhance your gains: 8 hours of quality sleep, whole foods and quality supplements, relaxing activities. Now here are the lifestyle elements that will cripple your potential for gains: Lack of sleep, poor quality sleep, alcohol, processed foods, high stress, poor stress management. A healthy lifestyle will foster increases in naturally anabolic hormones such as growth hormone and testosterone. An unhealthy lifestyle will foster an increase in Cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) leading to an increase in body fat and a decrease in muscle tissue.
5. You are not getting the guidance you need from a qualified Personal Trainer
If you’re serious about gaining muscle the best investment you can make and the smartest thing you can do is sit down with a qualified personal trainer. Even if you don’t hire them on an ongoing basis, hire them to educate you about training, help you set realistic goals, teach you proper exercise technique and map out your workout and nutrition plan. Trust me when I say this will save you years of trial, error and frustration. Hiring a personal trainer on an ongoing basis is the ultimate way to maximize and fast track your results. For information on Personal Training please visit: ManTraining Fitness Personal Trainers Toronto