5 Fixable Roadblocks to More Muscle

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.

5 Fixable Roadblocks to More Muscle Poor Posture

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.

Inadequate Recovery

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.

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  1. Lack of consistency is definitely my downfall! I get distracted by new things too easily and want to change up my workout all the time. Somehow this doesn’t happen with my running, I’m really good at following a program there, but there are so many variations to weight lifting!
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted..Confessions of a spa newbieMy Profile

  2. I have the hardest time getting new clients to rest! More is not always better, I tell them. Muscles get bigger, stronger with work and recovery. You need both. Great list!

  3. You know I’m on board with your list!
    (And my ‘tomorrow’ post is similar; the focus is on how long it really takes to see results….)
    Can’t wait to hear about registration!
    Tamara recently posted..Progressing your at-home beginner strength workoutMy Profile

  4. Consistency is my biggest problem like Sarah, I think one thing I enjoy about the running is that there are some easy plans and a set out goal to follow. Now to set up my plan and goal with resistance.
    Jenn Speer recently posted..Cooking experimentMy Profile

  5. Great tips here. I especially like the point about switching workouts too often. How can you ever progress if you never come back to the movement again? Won’t happen! Consistency is key with workouts, not just showing up.
    Cassye recently posted..One Really Easy Thing You Can Do NOW To Help With Your TransformationMy Profile

  6. Well, i’m guilty of the poor posture problem from sitting in front of a computer all day. Appreciate the reminders on not pushing hard enough and recovery!
    Shira recently posted..Want a healthier, happier life? Then sleep on it!My Profile

  7. My stand up desk helps SO MUCH with posture and back pain, I highly recommend everyone some how fashion a stand up desk! 😉 I am also proud to say that consistency is my middle name! lol. Yes, my parents named me so well – ah ah!
    GiGi Eats recently posted..That’s A Haunted House 2 My Profile

  8. Lack of consistency and not pushing hard enough used to be my problem areas. Once I tweaked those areas, the results started rolling in.
    Yum Yucky recently posted..Connie Is Feeling StabbyMy Profile

  9. I’d say mine is a cross between recovery and not pushing enough at times. When to give and when to give in… tough balance.

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