If you are having trouble building muscle, try using some of these techniques to trick your body into growing:
1) Work your legs. The leg muscles are the largest muscle group in your body and working them stimulates more testosterone than any other muscle(s). Try adding a few sets of lightweight squats at the beginning of your workout, this extra boost of testosterone can stimulate more muscle growth for the rest of your body. ( You shouldn’t be neglecting your legs either, make sure to do upper and lower body workouts. )
2) Increase the weight/reps. Don’t go into the gym everyday doing the same weight and amount of reps because your body reacts best to change. Does going to work everyday and doing the same thing make working a lot easier, probably not, it’s the same for your body. Try changing up your sets to include heavier weight or more reps to stimulate that extra bit of muscle growth.
3) Creatine. If you are taking it, stop taking it, and if you are not taking it, start taking it. Creatine gives your muscles some extra energy while you work out, giving you an edge when trying to build muscle. Although, just like any supplement and exercise, your body does get used to the extra creatine after a while, so it is best to use creatine in cycles such as 4 to 6 weeks at a time, then taking a 2+ week break. Though, this may not be the optimal routine to use, this is what has worked best for me.
4) Stop counting reps. You don’t always have to be a robot and do an exact number of reps. Try working your muscle to failure and doing more than one exercise without resting between sets (this is called a superset and it is an advanced technique, do not try this if you are a new to the gym).
5) Are you getting enough protein? It is recommended that you get at least 1g of protein for every lb. of body weight.
6) Take a break. Your body can be overworked, and this will not let your body make the steady gains that you want. Try taking a few days off from the gym and let your body recover.
7) Work other parts of your body. I know it makes sense that if you want to build biceps, you should work your biceps, and that is true! However, it sometimes helps to focus on another body part for a while and then come back to the area where you are looking to improve on.
These tips can give you that extra boost that you are looking for to get out of that “plateau”. I have incorporated all of these into my workouts and have successfully made steady gains. All of the statements above have come from experience in the gym and advice from friends and other gym-goers. For more information on specific topics, try researching the topic and learning as much about it as you can. Try molding your own workout routines to fit your needs and your body. For more great tips for building muscle, be sure to check out my other articles.