I cannot recall on how many people ask me if they have had a successful and productive workout in the gym. There are quite a few incidents where people find themselves in the position that they have no idea how to judge themselves regarding if their workout was a success.
For example, I have seen people countless times who come in the gym every week; and the one thing that stands out is one week they go from 60 pounds on a curling bar to a mere 40 pounds, but they are so eager to build muscle that they would essentially come back a day or two later and falter to reach maximum potential.
First of all, the best way to tell if you had a good muscle building workout is to compare the weight or load that you did this week compared to previous ones. By this, if you are able to increase the weight, you are getting stronger and therefore building lean muscle.
Since strength and muscle are correlated together. Now if you fail to reach heavier loads, you have either fallen into the trap of overtraining your muscles and they cannot use the heavy weights due to not being fully recovered. Or your diet and your nutrition fail to meet the needs of supporting the stress you are putting on your muscles.
Simply put, overtraining is when you are working your muscles too hard by attempting to progress further to your goals and your muscles cannot repair quick enough to meet your needs. The end result in continuously overloading your muscles day after day with the same muscles before they can rejuvenate is an utter mistake. The end result of doing this is neither absolutely no mass gains nor progress in gaining strength.
Some people may ask if they are over training or not. Well, the basic symptoms include failing to increase your progression, feeling worn out and tired, relying on substances such as caffeine to get through the workouts, working out feels like more of a chore than something that you enjoy doing, or your weight limits seem to continue to fall down the ladder or fail to increase in poundages.
One of the most important variables most people fail to achieve is using the right fuel that will enable your muscles to work harder and create a bigger and better pump. The answer is sugar. Yes sugar, as you may question how that is possible if you are trying to get lean and not put on body fat.
Since weight lifting builds muscle, the more muscle mass that you have the more calories your body will require every day even when at complete rest. Since our bodies are fat burners at night, we do not burn up tremendous calories sitting around infront of the big screen television or computer screen; then the fuel source for the resting body will by overwhelmed from fat. Therefore, if you add lean muscle mass to your physique, you will need more and more calories to burn fat as the fat is the main source of fuel at rest.