Motivation & Fitness

Top 4 Common Mistakes That Prevent Muscle Growth


Compound exercises incorporate several muscle groups at once to perform the movement. The most popular compound exercises are the squat, bench press, overhead press, pull ups and deadlift. These exercises demand greater muscle recruitment, allowing you to develop a strong foundation and more lean muscle tissue. As you can see in this study published in the American Journal of Physiology, compound exercises encouraged a higher level of release for anabolic (muscle building) hormones. For those people looking to shed fat to help muscle shine through, compound exercises have been shown in this study published in the American Journal of Physiology to increase the rate of fat loss. Be sure to incorporate several sets of compound, multi-joint exercises into your workouts.


If you want to ensure your results, you need to provide your muscles with adequate protein. The amino acids derived from protein are the building blocks of lean muscle tissue! One process that is critical to muscle development is protein synthesis. Here is a list of some of the best animal-based protein sources:
• Eggs
• Chicken/Turkey
• Beef
• Lamb
• Dairy
• Whey/Casein protein supplements (Protein supplements support muscle building by repairing and maintain lean tissue as demonstrated in this study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.)

Regardless if you are a vegetarian, it is important to mix up the type and sources of protein that you make a part of your diet. Here is a list of the best plant-based proteins:
• Tempeh
• Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale – these vegetables also help to rid the body of harmful estrogens)
• Legumes
• Nuts and seeds
• Plant-based protein supplement (usually made up of pea, hemp, cranberry, pumpkin seeds)

The ideal amount of protein to consume each day to support muscle growth is 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example:
• You weigh 150 pounds
• You should be getting at least 150 grams of protein each day from a variety of sources (listed above)


The message to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night is not without reason. Sleep is the time when your body shuts down to repair, detoxify, build, etc. Studies, such as this one from the Journal of Medical Hypotheses, have shown that insufficient sleep results in higher levels of catabolic hormones and lower levels of anabolic hormones. Catabolic hormones such as cortisol break down muscle tissue while anabolic hormones such as testosterone promote muscle building. Be sure to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to maximize muscle growth.


Anabolic hormones play a vital role in promoting muscle maintenance and growth. As discussed in this article from Dr Ananya Mandal, these hormones are released primarily at night during the R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) stages of sleep. Alcohol, when enjoyed close to bedtime affects the amount and quality of sleep you get. In turn, it decreases the release of the anabolic hormones.

What if you drink during the day? This study from the Journal of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research showed that the consumption of alcohol decreased the amount of protein synthesis. As mentioned above, protein synthesis is a process within the body that is needed for the protection and maintenance of current lean tissue and the development of new muscle. While alcohol consumption does impact protein synthesis, it does not seem to influence protein degradation. In other words, alcohol will not promote the wasting or loss of muscle tissue. Drink smart. Limit yourself to one drink and try not to indulge after a workout.

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Nikos Saklabanakis

Nikos Saklabanakis

Being passionate about health and fitness enables me to achieve my all time goal of guiding and supporting people through achieving their personal fitness dreams and being a significant part of dramatically changing their lives for the better.

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