How to Guarantee Muscle Growth
Many people find it difficult to be motivated to exercise because they are not seeing any progress in their body. One of the major reasons for not seeing progress in your body is because you are not getting stronger. The number 1 reason you are not getting stronger is because you do not track your exercise progress. Let’s break down how to track your progress.
Counting Sets and Reps
Whenever you start exercising, you should already know how many sets, reps, and the total amount of exercise you are going to do. For example, if you were doing a pushup routine, you plan to do 15 pushups and do that 3 times, the 3 times is the set number and the 15 pushups are the reps, the total is 45 pushups. You can give yourself a 30 second rest, in between each set. This is a basic way to set up a exercise workout and you can use it to workout other parts of your body. In order to build your progress you need to gradually increase the amount of exercise, for example instead of doing the 15 pushup reps, you can increase it to 20 reps. If you are not able to complete the 20 reps for 3 sets, you now have a new goal. Let’s say for the first set you do 20 pushups, the second set you do the 20 pushups, but the third set you can only manage 15 pushups, then you complete the remaining 5 pushups for a fourth set. You now can set your goal, which is I want to be able to do 20 push ups in 3 sets, in the next 2 weeks. If you are able to complete the task in 2 weeks or maybe you manage to complete it in 3 weeks, you know you have gotten stronger, and your body has made progress.
Counting your Numbers using Time
Another way to track your progress is to use a timer for your workout routine. If you make an exercise format where you do as many pushups as you can in 3 mins, that’s a good basic exercise format. Now in order to track your progress, if you previously were able to do 20 pushups in 3 minutes and now you can do 25 pushups in 3 minutes, you have made progress. Making progress means you have gotten stronger, which translate to seeing change in your body. You should continue to try to increase the number of pushups you do in the 3 min time frame, and you’ll see yourself become stronger. You should also use this exercise format to set goals for yourself, for example if you know that you can only do 20 push ups in 3 mins, a good goal to set for yourself would be to do 30 pushups in 3 mins, in 1 month from now. You continue to do the push up routine and you will be able to do the 30 pushups, within the month, but it could be longer or shorter than a month, but you will eventually get to the 30 pushups and beyond.
Exercising to Failure
Exercising to failure is when you do as many reps of a particular exercise until you cannot physically do anymore. Exercising to failure helps you to better track your exercise progress. For example, if you do 5 pushups, but the maximum amount of pushups you can do is 20 pushups you will see little to no growth in strength. If you make a pushup routine and do 10 pushups and you say to yourself, “I am making good progress, I was doing 5 pushups last week”. The reality is you are not going to see much change in your body, because your maximum is 20 pushups and you are not working your body hard enough to grow your muscle. If you do not exercise to failure it is difficult to track your muscle growth. The best way to track your exercise progress is to try to do as many pushups as you physically can do without stopping, and that’s how you will find out what’s your maximum pushup number. If your maximum number of pushups is 20, and you try to do 21 and you can’t do it, you come back 1 week later and try to do 21 and you complete it, that means you have grown in strength, and your body will see the change.
Exercise 2 times a week minimum
In order to see progress in muscle growth you must exercise the same muscle a minimum of 2 times a week. If you do not do that you will either see your muscle growth be stagnant or you will see it decline. You can exercise a muscle a maximum of 3 times a week, anything over that you are risking injury, the muscle needs time to rest. This is particularly accurate when you are lifting weights, your muscle needs time to rest when using heavy weights. You must maintain this routine consistently, consistently means over a 2 to 3 years time period. In about 3 years you will maximize the amount of muscle your body can put on, after that period your body will find it difficult to put on more muscle. The additional muscle your muscle will put on will be slow progress and will require much more technical exercise. If at any point you stop being consistent, which means you miss weeks, or start missing days, your muscles will quickly decline in strength and size.
When to Lift more Weights
Knowing when to increase to more weights is important, you don’t want to use the same weights for 6 months. If you do not progressively use heavier weights your progress will become stagnant and your body will stop progressing. Depending on the exercise and your knowledge of your body, the amount you increase in weight will vary. If you are pretty familiar with your body, you can increase the weights up to 20 pounds, each time you progress. If you are not too familiar with your body, you may want to stay with a 5 pound increase. In general, when you are able to do 15 reps, without stopping, of a particular exercise, you can safely increase the weights by 10 pounds. This is a general statement because it can vary depending on the particular muscle group, how well your form is with the exercise, and your level of confidence i.e. lack of fear.
Defeating your Fear
One of the major obstacles to building muscle and progressing in fitness is fear. The number 1 major fear people have is the fear of injury. In order to defeat this fear, you have to research how to use proper form, and you need to do the same exercise routine for months or even up to a year. Doing the same exercise routine will make sure you are very confident in knowing that you are doing the exercise correctly, and this will remove a lot of the fear. Doing an exercise routine repeatedly should not be boring because you will see yourself progressing in strength with the new progress methods you have learned. Another way to defeat fear, is to get a spotter at the gym, or to exercise with a partner. By learning your body and staying consistent, exercising a year or two consistently, you will have a great understanding of your body. When you understand your body, you will become very confident with adding more weights and defeating your fear.