How To Check If You’ve Gained Muscle Or Not
So, you’ve been working out, doing all your sets properly, and you’ve even been checking your diet. And yet you don’t think you’ve even gained muscle. Or have you?
See, it’s hard to check. You never know, just because you see yourself so often, that, unless you’ve had a miraculous growth, you just can’t see the difference. Without knowing, you can’t grow. That is to say that, progress will come faster if you can at least your own growths.
The traditional method is to simply just weigh yourself. It is pretty effective…some of the time. Think about this – what if you’re losing fat and gaining muscle? Your gonna get a very similar result to your original weight. Great, huh?
Another problem with this method is that it is also dependant on a lot of things, such as time since last meal, time since last drink, time since last toilet break…
The next method sometimes used is the tape method, as it measures the actual size of your fat around your waist and other parts of your body. It is good a lot of the time, but it suffers from a few bad points:
– On some areas of your body, you’re actually losing a lot of fat but they get a lot bigger with muscle. A good example of this would be your arms.
– The positioning of the tape when your taking measurements can have some BIG differences.
– Small gains are hard to measure with tape, especially when your taking results week-by-week, and if your gains are small enough, you may believe that you’re not actually gaining any muscle.
So, those are the ‘failed’ methods.
What is the right method, you ask?
The key to success is to measuring strength gains.
Any real body building plan is essentially a strength gaining plan aswell, and will definitely rely on progressive overload to get some gains.
That’s why you can count on this golden rule as a good indicator of muscle growth –
The strength of a cross-section of muscle is directly related to the size.
-In Men, it’s about 140 pounds per square inch
-In Women, it’s about 105 pounds per square inch
Remember though, this is completely dependant on your own body. Not everyone will be the same – some people will just be naturally stronger due to things like different muscle fibre densitys.
Every bodybuilder should know that the goal is to make their own body as good as it can possibly be, without being sidetracked by others.
If you can see yourself being able to lift 20kg more than you could when you first started lifting, then that’s definitely progression, and you’ve definitely made a gain. Remember, a gain is a gain, no matter how small.