You’ve been spending tons of time in the gym trying to get John Cena arms, but you don’t seem to be building any muscle. What gives?
1. You’re mostly doing cardio
Cardio is essential for keeping your body fat down and keeping your heart healthy. But when it comes to building muscle, hitting the treadmill won't help you much. Cardio tends to burn calories and puts your body in a deficit, which is good for leaning out, but not building muscles.
2. You’re not using heavy enough weights
Those 5-pound dumbbells were a great place to start as a beginner, but if you've been lifting weights for a while, it's time to scale up the weight. If you aren’t lifting heavy weights, it doesn’t matter if you are primarily using free machines or weights. In order to build muscle, you have to break down muscle tissue using a weight that is challenging enough to cause micro-tears, which when reconstructed, form stronger and denser fibers.
3. You’re not having enough sleep
The micro-tears that are responsible for muscle-growth need rest to reconstruct themselves and grow stronger. That happens when you are asleep! You have to rest and feed your muscles between exercises or workouts, or you’ll tear them down, and they will become weaker. Over time, you run the risk of over-training, which may result in injury, and probably even more sleep troubles.
4.You’re inconsistent with your routine
If you are serious about adding on some muscle, then the best way to do this is with three intense resistance exercise sessions and two lighter intensity workouts weekly. You need to have consistency in your workout program, hitting at least each muscle group twice a week to build muscle. If you’re looking to switch up exercises, I suggest swaps such as sumo squats instead of traditional squats; step-ups on a bench instead of lunges. These types of variation are very useful in building muscles, but the weights you’re using must still be relatively heavy.