Have you ever wondered why your training partner is getting bigger and stronger week after week while you struggle to keep up with his gains in muscular strength and size?
The first reason (and most important) you may not be able to keep up with your training partner’s gains is that we are not all genetically identical (except in the case of identical multiple births). We all have some potential to get bigger and stronger muscles however genetically we may not have the same gene code for:
Muscle length (from origin to insertion)
Muscle fiber type (fast twitch, slow twitch, mixed)
Your ancestors may have originated from the cold regions of North America or Europe where layer of fat protected them from the brutal cold winters. If your descendants migrated from the cold regions you may have stocky “big bone” build and able to pack on layers of muscles and sometimes fat, too. Remember: Be aware of your gene code and don’t get in the habit of comparing your physique or muscular strength and size to others, especially to those who spend all their time in the gym and those pictured in the muscle magazines.
The second reason is the “mental” factor. What you do before the workout and your overall attitude are very important to your quality of your workout. Strength training takes a lot of personal motivation to both get through a high intensity workout and then continue working out on a regular weekly schedule. Remember: A good mental attitude will affect your workout positively for better overall results.
The third reason is the level of intensity of your strength training workout or in other words “your gains are directly related to how hard you are pushing you and your muscles during each exercise”. You must train to momentary muscular failure taking your muscles to the highest level of intensity in order to stimulate growth. If you are not training with intensity during each and every workout then don’t expect positive growth results. Remember: You will only get what you put into each workout and your results will speak for themselves!
The fourth reason is proper exercise form. You have complete control over whether or not you have proper strict form for each exercise in your workout or not! For example, where you position your hands on your chin & dip bar plus the speed of the exercise is directly related to performing the exercise with the proper form. Proper form affects the results produced on the targeted muscles. Chins or dips performed too fast force the trainee to ruin their form while they are racing up and down the bar. If you don’t use the targeted muscles correctly they will not be stimulated to grow.
If you are concerned about your form you may want to practice in front of a mirror or get your training partner make a video of your workout so can critique your form and make the necessary adjustments in your workout. Remember: You are in control of your form and achieving the techniques for proper form will insure that you will get the best growth results for the targeted muscles on each exercise.
The fifth reason may be your sleeping and resting habits. You may not be resting enough days between workouts. Over training produces little or no gains no matter how hard you strength train. Remember: Your body needs to rest in order to grow lean muscle tissue. Always allow 48 to 72 hours between workouts and get at least 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.
The sixth reason is your food and water intake which are very easy to adjust. You must eat a balanced diet in order to convert food to energy and replace body cells while drinking at least 12 cups of water a day (depending on your level of activities).
Remember: You can make adjustments for reasons 2 through 6. However, regarding genetics which is the first reason, you have no control over that. A good mental attitude along with healthy living habits will give you a good foundation for gains in both strength and muscle size as long as you strength train regularly with intensity while using proper strict form.