How many times have you asked yourself the question(s)…Am I training too soon? Am I not training hard enough to elicit muscle break-down? Am I taking enough nutrition in? Is my timing of nutrition intake correct? Am I sleeping enough? The list goes on and I’m willing to bet you have at least asked yourself one, many, if not all of these questions!
So this is going to be based on subjective experience and my 15+ years to building a physique. There is some science to this, I wouldn’t necessarily call it bro-science though.
So are we training too soon? I hear of people training muscle groups more than 1x in a 48 hour period which too me is not enough recovery time, even with proper nutrition. If you have truly broken down the muscle tissue on your workout day, you should be sore within 1-2 days (I’m sure you all know the feeling) some call it (DOMS) delayed onset muscle soreness for those of you when it creeps up after a few days. When you are sore like this, the muscle has been traumatized with micro-tears, with proper nutrition these bundles of torn fibers should grow back or fuse back in a thicker diameter. Think about it for a second. If you train while you are still sore, what is the point? You will further tear down the muscle and inhibit yourself from growth. Here is the best analogy I could think of. Think of when you break a bone. Let’s say a simple fracture, not compound. The simple fracture needs time to heal right? What happens if you try to use it for a demanding task too early? You are going to refracture it and possibly cause further damage. If you allowed adequate time for it to heal, it should be stronger than before and ready for use. It’s that simple!
Am I not training hard enough? I fell victim to this in my early days. I would be more concerned with moving the weight from point A to point B. Not focusing on form, not focusing on mind to muscle connection, not focusing on getting maximum blood flow to that tissue. Keep in mind, this part is for muscle-building, not to be confused with muscle tone! Totally different types of training. Muscle tone you are mostly stimulating slow twitch muscle fibers. Muscle building you are mostly stimulating fast-twitch and sometimes slow-twitch to yield maximum growth. So back to my point, if you are not walking out of the gym with some sort of pump in the muscle group worked, good chance you didn’t work it hard enough. Now I said good chance, there could be times when someone is on a ketogenic diet and achieving a pump is virtually impossible. Make sure to work the muscle with as many different angles, and various exercises to really break it down!
Am I taking enough nutrition in? Again I have fallen victim to this as well, and actually still do till this day. Protein intake should be around .5-1.5g of lean bodyweight, not total, but lean bodyweight. This ranges from age, energy expenditure level, and sex. Carbohydrate intake should be around .25-2g ranging on body composition, not BMI but composition. Rule of thumb if you can pinch more than 10mm under your sub scapula than you need to lower your carbohydrate intake until it’s in the single digits. Fat intake varies, if you are incorporating carbs, keep it around 50-75g, if you are on full-blown keto it needs to move north of those figures. Your protein should be adequate to fuel your daily nutritional needs along with building and repair. Your carbohydrate intake should be enough to keep glycogen levels optimal and for cognitive function. Fats should be high enough to maintain optimal hormone balance. Good fats, not saturated or trans! I don’t want people thinking slamming down McDonald’s large fries and a Big Mac is ok here. Healthy fats such as : macadamia, almond, avocado, olive oil, coconut, etc.
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself just to determine where you are. Good chance is that if you are not seeing some improvements, you are falling short in either of these categories. I hope you find this informative and can utilize it your exercise and lifestyle regimen to help you further your progress. Thanks for reading, until next time…..