The Elite Physique

A Training Marathon Won’t Produce Muscle Growth

muscle growth for women

Training Marathons Don’t Produce Muscle Growth

What’s the real secret to muscle growth?  Are short workouts the muscle-building ticket or are training marathons that last hours and hours the answer to muscle growth?  You are probably like 95% of the lifters, hitting the gym every day, banging out set after set.  You want muscle growth so bad that you can literally taste it with each rep.  The more you want it the more you train and the longer you spend in the gym.

Yep, I remember it all too well.  Those days, literally every day, in the gym slinging iron, posing, and pumping the weights some more, all in hopes to harvest muscles that would blast right through my clothes.  If any hardcore bodybuilder tells you they have never done it, they are lying!

But, if the answer to muscle growth is endless reps and sets, wouldn’t more lifters in the gym have more muscle development?  Perhaps the muscle-growth answer isn’t in MORE training, but less.  At this point you think I’m probably whacked out, but hear me out.  I’ve been in bodybuilding for over 25 years.  I know what I’m talking about and this might be something you want to try if you really want to build muscle.

female bodybuilder squatting

 

Stop Doing This

Stop overtraining. Overtraining is a dirty word in the bodybuilding community.  It ranks right up there with the word “toning.”  www.trainelite.com tells us, “Overtraining is simply defined as when an individual’s intense exercise level exceeds their ability to recover. ”  Over taxing your muscles is disastrous to muscle gains.  It will stop muscle growth dead in its tracks!  Overtraining is one of the biggest mistakes made by newbies and even some seasoned lifters.  It’s easy to get into overtraining mode.  It’s because you get into the mindset that more is better.  Even bodybuilders who know this all too well still end up making this mistake at times in their training.

Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining

    • Loss of appetite
    • Fatigue
    • Not making any progress in the gym
    • Feeling tired after working out
    • Continual muscle soreness
    • Depression
    • Recurrent illness
    • Loss of motivation

If the normal poundage you lift increasingly becomes heavier without you adding weight, you are not losing muscle per se, you are just overtrained. It would be best to take a week off to fully recover than to put your muscles through any more jeopardy, which could cause muscle loss.

bodybuilder overtraining in gym

 

When Muscle Growth Occurs

When you are training you are in a catabolic state, simply meaning you are tearing down your muscle tissue.  This may sound like a negative thing, but it’s actually positive, as long as you keep the catabolism in the gym!

Your muscles are growing when you are resting.  Nutrition and rest are anabolic.  This, however, is one important factor that is neglected by many bodybuilders. Many athletes spend too much time in the gym pumping iron and too little time resting.

If a muscle never has a chance to repair and recover, how is it ever going to grow?  You should take 7 to 10 days rest between trained body parts and you should never train a muscle group that is still sore.  You will notice some of the best physiques in the gym are there 3 to 4 days a week for less than an hour. Of course, their training is quality and intense.  The trick here is to keep resistance training under sixty minutes. Training for more than an hour is useless and can cause you to kill muscle gains and make for a slow recovery.

If you feel you fall into the overtraining category, take a week off to allow your body to regain its ground. The time off will do you and your body good. You will return with a new zest and determination to train.  Remember, it’s not who trains the hardest, but who trains the most effectively.

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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

Your Muscle Building Ticket

Karen Sessions is an author, competitive natural female bodybuilder, professional fitness coach and nutritionist

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