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TestoFuel Blog : Make Gains & Pack on the Muscle

7 Ways to Stay Motivated Building Muscle

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Going to the gym during your first week back is usually quite easy. You are highly motivated, the experience is exciting, and everything feels new and positive. The problem is that this initial motivation can vanish fast. This article will look at seven ways to stay motivated building muscle.

How to Stay Motivated Building Muscle

There are several factors that can affect your motivation. Results are the biggest factor. If you aren’t seeing any changes then you are going to struggle in the long term. But one of the most common issues affecting motivation is unrealistic expectations. Setting goals that are too ambitious, or too vague can lead to a lack of focus and a drop in motivation.

The problem is that most people set themselves up to fail, not on purpose obviously, but by making the same mistakes time and again. The purpose of this article is to give you a set of steps that you can follow. Each step will not only increase your motivation but increase your chances of success. Helping you to build serious muscle and transform your life.

7 Steps to Stay Motivated Building Muscle

The seven steps below are aimed at helping you to stay motivated building muscle. Other than step #1, they do not need to be performed in a specific order, and they are not listed in terms of importance. Ideally, you want to create a training program that utilises all seven steps, as this will create the perfect environment for success.

Step #1 Set Effective Goals Before You Start

It is absolutely amazing how few people walk into the gym with any sort of goals or plan in mind. Sure, if asked they may say that they want to “lose a bit of weight” or “build some muscle” but they won’t have a proper plan in place to achieve this.

This article is about ways to stay motivated building muscle, so we’ll use this as an example, but it could also be used for weight loss. But here is how to set effective goals for building muscle:

  • Measure the current circumference of your muscles (relaxed and flexed)
  • Record this in a notebook or on your phone and attach some photos

These are your baseline scores. If you want, you can use online calculators to estimate your lean muscle mass and body fat percentage, but for most people this is unnecessary. If you hire a personal trainer, you can get them to do this for you.

But brand new gym-goers can expect to build noticeable muscle within 12-20 weeks. A common muscle building goal would be to increase the size of your biceps.

  • Gaining 1 inch on your arms requires you to build about 4 kg of muscle
  • It should take a new lifter around 4 months to achieve this
  • So, your goal is to gain 4 kg of muscle within 16 weeks, at a rate of 1 kg per month
  • To do this, you will need to train 3 times per week, for 40-60 minutes

That’s your long term and short term goals set. Now, you can’t guarantee that you will get those goals in that timeframe. But it is realistic for the majority of men, and you can use these goals to analyse your progress.

If after 8 weeks you still haven’t seen a change, then perhaps you need to look at your training program as it may not be testing you enough. Or perhaps your diet doesn’t contain enough calories or protein?

But at least you will have specific goals, and a way to measure success. This type of goal setting works even better with weight loss by the way.

Check out more exercises to push your workouts to the next level and stay motivated to build muscle here!

Refuel your workout-boosting T-supplement TestoFuel now!

Step #2 Find Support

This step may not be necessary for everyone, but the vast majority of people thrive in an environment where they feel supported and part of a community. For many gym-goers, it is the thought that they may be missed if they don’t turn up that keeps them going to the gym.

Make friends, talk to the staff, nod to people on the next bench. Do whatever it takes to become part of the furniture. This can really help with motivation. If you are an introvert, then the last piece of advice probably doesn’t appeal!

But you can find support in other ways. Get your family or your friends onboard. Train with a friend, or get your partner to encourage you to go when you are feeling unmotivated. Support can also be found online in Facebook groups, forums, Twitter etc.

Knowing that other people care about your progress and wish you well can make a big difference.

Step #3 Track Your Progress

This step ties in perfectly with step #1. Set your goals, find your baseline statistics, and then track your progress (weekly or bi-weekly is best). Tracking for muscle gain can involve progress photos, measuring the circumference of your muscles (relaxed and flexed) and weighing yourself. Keep these notes and photos, and over the course of 12-16 weeks, you will be able to see your progress.

It should take at least 6 weeks before you really start to see changes, but once you do, this will help to keep you motivated throughout the rest of the training program.

Step #4 Prioritize your Sleep

You may be wondering what sleep has to do with motivation, but actually, it has quite a lot to do with it! The step after this discusses the importance of proper recovery, and sleep plays a huge role in that. But sleep can also affect stress and mood.

Studies have shown that sleeping for longer can improve performance in the gym, improve cognition (focus) and boost your mood [1]. A study in 2020 found that sleep deprivation led to a reduced motivation to exercise or to spend time socialising [2]. The study concluded that sleep deprivation could have a huge knock-on effect on a range of health and lifestyle factors.

Step #5 Focus on Recovery

Poor recovery can scupper your chances of building serious muscle mass. Not getting enough sleep (see above) can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which slow down recovery and can harm testosterone levels. Stress can also harm recovery in much the same way, increasing cortisol, lowering testosterone, and affecting sleep.

By addressing these issues you can improve your recovery, train harder, sleep better, and get better results. Which will lead to increased motivation.

Step #6 Avoid Overtraining

If you have properly planned out your training program then overtraining should not be an issue. Exercising 3-4 times per week, having good rest and recovery, and having achievable goals will preclude you from overtraining.

But if you throw the program planning out of the window and start training 7 times per week you could cause overtraining. Alternatively, if you are training well, but not resting and recovering properly you could cause overtraining that way.

Studies have shown that overtraining can affect motivation and is a leading cause of athlete burnout. Where athletes (or regular gym-goers) feel no excitement about training and instead feel negative about it.

All you have to do to avoid overtraining is schedule your workouts in advance, rest and recover properly, and listen to your body. If you feel more pain than usual if you are struggling to perform your workouts, and if you feel depressed and stressed. Then you may well be overtraining. Take a week out, and rest.

Step #7 Support Your Testosterone

There is an established relationship between high testosterone levels and motivation [3][4] and we know that low testosterone levels can lower mood and affect your mental health. Testosterone levels also affect muscle growth, recovery, and sleep, which as we have already established can affect motivation.

Increasing your testosterone can be done by improving your diet, exercising regularly (check), reducing your exposure to stress, and by supplements such as TestoFuel.

Now You Know How to Stay Motivated Building Muscle

With our 7 tips, you can reignite that fire in your belly to succeed and stay motivated throughout your muscle-building journey until your new lifestyle becomes a habit.

It won’t be a simple road, but if you stay focused and follow these tips, you will achieve your muscular physique easier! All before the new year has even started!