Most men would like to build more muscle, but have a hard time doing so. In most cases, it’s because they are making these three muscle building mistakes.
We call them hardgainers, ectomorphs, or just plain skinny guys. Despite hitting the gym regularly and loading up on supplements supported by the latest broscience, these men just can’t seem to gain strength or pack on the pounds.
Here’s the muscle building mistakes they’re making.
Mistake #1 – Going Too Light
Building serious muscle means making serious strength gains; and that requires lifting serious weight. The best lifts for signaling your body to build more muscle are those that pale a large load on your central nervous system. This means heavy lifts that load your spinal column: deadlifts, back squats, weighted chin-ups.
Go heavy – shoot for 3 reps of deadliest, 5 of squats and chin-ups, 3 sets for all.
Mistake #2 – Post-Workout Coffee
Caffeine can be a fantastic supplement under the right circumstances, improving mental performance, fat burning, and physical performance. Coffee is a great way to get caffeine, providing antioxidants and an enjoyable experience for those whom partake.
There is no doubt that stimulants increase athletic performance. Even just having a cup of coffee makes you perform better in the gym, allowing you to increase the adaptive stimulus you place on your muscles. Pre-workout coffee is a good idea. Post-workout coffee, however, is a bad idea, because it elevates cortisol, decreasing testosterone and HGH.
Mistake #3 – Eating the Wrong Way
If you’re eating natural, whole foods, your brain will naturally regulate appetite to maintain a low body fat. In the hour or two after intense exercise, insulin sensitivity and muscle protein synthesis are elevated, making any calories consumed in that time period much more likely to go to muscle building.
If you eat a lot in that window, your body will naturally down-regulate your appetite for the rest of the day (or week, even). So the more you eat in the hours following a workout, the less body fat and more muscle you’ll have.
Since fasts over 16 hours can start to break down muscle, you don’t want to end up fasting all day, so eating all your calories in this window is not ideal. Shoot for 60-80% of your day’s calories in the post-workout window.
When I’m really pushing the envelope with hard training, I eat about 2500 calories in the hour after a workout (often consuming most of it while in an ice bath).
Fasting before a workout can be hugely beneficial – we cover that here.
If you want to gain big muscle fast, you’ll want to eat a lot of protein. Shoot for one gram of protein per pound of body fat per day. Ideally this would all come from real food, but you can compromise by using some whey protein.
Drink coffee before your workout, lift heavy, eat big (without coffee) afterward. Get lots of protein.
Avoiding the mistakes above will go a long way toward building muscle fast, even for hardgainers or ectomorphs. Using RPT (which we describe here) – can create huge mass gains in an incredibly short time. Of course, it also helps a lot to get your testosterone in order, and learn how to eat right and live an optimal lifestyle.
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