Putting on weight can be fairly easy for many people, however putting on lean muscle is quite the opposite, I am sure you would agree? There are tonnes of different opinions out there, however here at Prepped & Packed we keep things simple, to the point and most of all we are totally honest with you. No magic, pills, powders or exercises, which is why we caught up with Liam Garner who is one of our passionate ambassadors who is making bug waves in the physique world. Liam talks us through the five main reasons people fail to increase their muscle mass, giving you some simple action steps to put n place right away!

1 FOOD – Eating enough food is essential to gaining muscle mass consistently, it’s not easy to eat according to your goals day in and day out but it is a necessity. The body needs the right macronutrients when building muscle (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) to promote growth, repair and excess energy allowing you to hit your workouts hard. This doesn’t mean it’s time to gauge, not at all, over eating poor quality foods will only lead to an increase in weight and not muscle mass so be very careful. Many people jump on the ‘dirty bulk” train and convince themselves they are putting on muscle in my opinion.

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD, I love to eat.

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD, I love to eat.

2 TRAINING – Going hard in the gym is another massive factor, focus on the intensity that you train, every rep counts, constantly challenging your mind and body is certainly something that I feel strongly about. Every session should make you a little uncomfortable, and borderline nervous on entering the gym, take yourself to some dark places. lift like you mean it, and if you struggle to do this alone, find a gym partner who will push you to these new heights.

Liam with some of the Prepped & packed team at Body Power 2016

Liam with some of the Prepped & packed team at Body Power 2016

3 REST / SLEEP – The two previous points make it clear that without the correct nutrition and a progressive training program muscle mass is difficult to increase, yet rest and recovery closely follows these two in my opinion. Our natural growth hormone is highest when resting, allowing you to re charge them batteries to go hard again and again and again. Many people will simply crash following the above after a couple of weeks with rest and recovery factored in. I love to train hard, but believing you can train at the right intensity all day everyday will counter act any gains that you are achieving. Plus sleep is fun too 🙂

4 CARDIO – It’s a topic that we could talk about for hours, you’ve heard people talking about HIIT, fated cardio, LISS, or even avoid cardio at all costs. Well for myself I limit cardio in comparison to my earlier years. I used to play a lot of football with my friends, along with an active job and some extra cardio in the gym i found myself struggling to put on any lean muscle. This was purely due to making it extremely hard to eat enough calories to put on any serious size. I was literally undoing all of my hard work under the bar. I am not saying avoid cardio, but I would recommend that you factor in the duration, intensity and frequency according to your goals. Be sensible and adjust depending on your body type and end result.

5 DEDICATION / MOTIVATION – Staying dedicated to all of the above will have a massive impact on your results. There really isn’t just one secret or factor to putting on muscle mass, it comes from many accumulative factors as I have explained above. But staying driven and motivated is massive. Surround yourself with like minded people, or people that are where you dream of being. Follow a mentor/coach or the footsteps of somebody that you 100% respect. Stay hungry and keep chasing, the journey is wonderful and one that you learn lots about yourself others and the sport. Here is to some serious gains. Anyways it’s time for meal number two now which is 4 egg white omelette which greens, perfectly kept cool and fresh in my Prepped & packed Zeus backpack. Life saver!

My new favourite, the Zeus backpack. Food, training kit, laptop and room to spare...

My new favourite, the Zeus backpack. Food, training kit, laptop and room to spare…