So, what gives? Putting in the time but not seeing gains in muscle usually comes down to a few factors.
What's In Your Diet?
Or, more specifically, what's in your diet and are you consuming enough calories? Your nutrition is crucial when it comes to muscle definition, and improving it can mean increasing your water intake, incorporating more vegetables and lean proteins, while avoiding refined sugar, complex carbs and other foods that leave you feeling bloated.
Also, to build significant muscle you must provide your body with a calorie surplus by consuming more calories than you burn every day. If you're not seeing muscle gains it could very well be due to the fact that your calorie consumption is at — or below — your maintenance level. You can counter this by finding out what your calorie maintenance level is and increasing it by 15 to 20%.
What's In Your Cardio?
Cardio is important to your fitness routine for a variety of reasons, including that it helps your body transition from a higher percentage of body fat to one of lean muscle. Shedding fat enables you to see all the hard work you've done (that's been hidden by body fat). That said, up your cardio to at least three days per week.
Many experts also suggest that the intensity of your cardio workouts is more important than their duration. The longer you do cardio, the less muscle gains you'll have, but intense cardio workouts of 20 minutes or less won't decrease strength and muscle mass.
How Hard Are You Working Muscle Groups?
If you're only performing a couple of set per muscle group in each workout you won't get the kind of metabolic fatigue you need in the muscle to produce noticeable gains. Similarly, if you're training each muscle group once every 10 days or so, any muscles gains you'll experience will be gradual. Moreover, you want to train all muscle groups equally, while not just focusing on the more noticeable groups such as chest, biceps and abs.
Working with a personal trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club of Amarillo can help you reach all of your fitness and wellness goals. The DAC focuses on personal training, and nutrition, and much more.