Last week I talked about the common mistake women make of focusing too much on body fat when trying to get to standout muscle definition. While it’s true that a lower body fat helps rock a sculpted, athletic body, it’s not the only factor. Today I’m revealing several other roadblocks that stand in the way of more muscle that make people look twice.
Poor posture isn’t something we have just because we’re tired or unaware of how we’re sitting. Rounded, hunched shoulders and a forward head can result from tight muscles and produce structural problems. When your range of motion is limited you end up unconsciously training in compensated patterns, and that will negatively impact your muscle and strength gains.
Check out this article about how to fix these muscle imbalances.
Recovery is a complex subject and there are many different aspects we could talk about. The bottom line, however, is that most people recover to train, and it should be the other way around.
When you train to recover instead of recover to train, your focus is on hard training and ensuring that your body is ready next time. It’s during recovery between sessions that your body repairs itself and grows stronger and bigger. And it’s resting between sets that replenishes your energy stores so you can perform well for the next set.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that lack of recovery is one of the biggest reasons women don’t get the muscle definition they want.
Not Pushing Hard Enough
I do see women pushing hard in the gym, but often in the wrong way as I discuss here. Not only that, but I know you’re not sure how to push hard safely. There’s confusion around how low to go with squats, how to deadlift without hurting your back, and how to get into position with barbell hip thrusts.
If you reach the end of your target repetition range and you’re still going strong, you need to add weight to the bar. You should be worn out by the end of your strength-training sessions, unless you’re in a deload phase or back-off phase.
Switching Workouts Too Often
You may notice that I don’t throw random workouts up on Instagram, Facebook, and on this blog. That’s because I believe that a “workout of the day” is counterproductive to a systematic approach to getting kickass results. I teach people not only how to crush their workouts, but how following a long-term structured program works best.
I know it’s frustrating when you don’t see the results you want, but switching programs may not be the right solution. It’s when you stick to the same program for 12 to 16 weeks that you begin to see tangible results from your hard work. And it’s not always time to switch then, either, but instead change certain variables instead.
Lack of Consistency
When you skip workouts, you have lack of consistency. It does take dedication to attain muscle definition that makes people look twice, and that means making your workouts happen no matter what.
Sure, life happens. But that’s the exception, not the rule. If your program says “three workouts a week,” then one or two won’t build as much muscle or strength. And if you go on vacation or travel frequently, then you need to find a way to get your workouts in. It’s all about priorities – are you ready for strength you can trust and muscle you’re proud of?
This article originally appeared on workoutnirvana.com.