Are you spending hours in the gym having carefully crafted the perfect routine but still not seeing muscle definition? Getting super shredded takes time, effort and commitment, and it is very common for the vast majority of people to hit some sort of plateau in the quest for an aesthetic lean physique. Below we have listed three very common mistakes that could be letting you down.
It doesn’t matter how long you spend in the gym, if your diets a mess you are not going to see the results you want. A poor diet full of saturated fats and salty foods is going to cause bloating so no matter how many core exercises you do those abs aren’t going to be showing. You don’t have to cut out all of your favorite foods, you just need to show some restraint and make sure to include plenty of lean protein. Some great sources of lean protein include eggs, fish or chicken and veggies, add these to your diet and you should start to see results. You can of course still enjoy some of your favorite foods but you should try to limit unhealthy sugary or salty snacks to cheat days or a small portion a day.
People in the gym tend to fall into one of two categories… Runners and Lifters. If you’re in the latter you need rethink your aversion to cardio. Don’t assume you need to run for miles on the treadmill or spend an hour on the bike, cardio is actually shown to be far more effective at fat loss when done for a shorter period of time at a quicker pace. Not only will you not lose muscle by doing cardio for a shorted period of time, it will help to shed that last pesky layer of fat that prevents you from seeing your hard-earned muscles.
Try incorporating High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your routine. HIIT training spikes your metabolism, burns fat, and builds muscle quickly!
Sure, in the pursuit to get a lean and chiseled body it is tempting to overdo it on workouts, thinking the more you workout the more muscular and shredded you’ll look, but there is such a thing as overtraining. If you’re not giving yourself adequate time to rest then your muscles wont be able to heal, recover and ultimately grow. Muscle growth is only able to occur when the rate of muscle protein synthesis, which is when your muscle fibers are replaced after working them, is faster than the muscle protein is broken down. This is why rest days are essential and should not be overlooked.
To help speed up muscle recovery we recommend incorporating branched chain amino acids (BCAA's) into your routine. BCAA’s are made up of leucine, isoleucine and valine. Branched-chain amino acids (particularly leucine) stimulate protein synthesis, and are most commonly used for their role in building muscle, improving overall exercise performance and decreasing post-exercise soreness, in turn speeding up recovery time.