Why Are You Not Gaining Muscle? 5 Factors That Are Stopping You
You feel the burn, you are consistent, you sleep enough and you eat lots of protein. But your muscles don't seem to be growing at all.
Here are 5 factors that could be stopping you:
You want to get leaner AND bigger at the same time.
Well, it’s not impossible. It’s true that some people, under certain conditions, can build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
But it's best to focus on one goal at a time. You could be stopping your gains by doing too much cardio or lowering your calorie intake.
How much cardio is okay? 2 (max 3) times per week, for 20-30 min is okay. It’s not the same for everyone though, so start with 1 session and then add more later if you feel like it’s not taking away from your strength training.
How much should you eat? Scroll down to nr. 5.
You’re using the momentum of your body to make exercises easier.
Many people start swinging or bouncing to squeeze in extra reps at the end of the set. Those extra reps without controlled form won’t get you anything, except maybe an injury.
If an exercise is too hard for you, you can always modify it to make it easier (Push Ups on knees) or practice negatives (negative Pull Ups instead of kipping Pull Ups). Choose exercises that get you tired when you do 10-12 reps, so that your last rep is really hard but still good form. Repeat each exercise for 3 - 4 sets.
Remember that less reps with better form will make you stronger than more reps with momentum.
You use training to failure wrong.
It’s true that training to failure makes you recruit more muscle fibres and better stimulate muscle hypertrophy. But something else is really important too, and that’s training volume.
Training volume is how much reps and sets you do. If you start by going to failure in your first set, you won’t be able to do enough reps in other sets. That way you are lowering the volume of your workout and not triggering gains.
When to go to failure? You can have workouts when you go to failure in all sets, but not every day! In most of your workouts go to failure only on your last sets. Beginners should avoid going to failure until enough strength is gained to keep good form even at the end of the set.
You’re not training legs enough.
Want bigger arms? Think leg training is not necessary? Well, you are wrong.
As explained in nr. 3. the training volume triggers muscle hypertrophy. Since legs are the biggest muscle group of your body, there are two important things:
- Training legs stimulates hormones needed for muscle growth.
- Legs need more training volume to get fatigued than other muscle groups.
Don't do 12 squats and call it a day. Make those legs really burn and you will get a better metabolic response after your workout. When a lot of muscle mass, such as legs, gets exhausted the body goes in full rebuilding mode! But there's no rebuilding without enough food. For a balaned workout split get the 10 day workout plan in the Platinum Pack.
You don’t eat enough.
Just because you feel that you eat enough, that doesn't mean it's true. Check out how much more calories you should eat to gain muscle. Take a week to write down what you eat, count it and see if you're below recommendations.
The point is to gain muscle without storing extra fat. Aim to add 1-2 lb / 0,5 - 1 kg of muscle mass per month. If you're gaining more than that, it's probably just fat.
If you're not a fan of counting calories and prefer to stick to a couple of simple rules - get a Nutrition Guide aimed at muscle building without gaining fat. You will get suggested serving sizes that you can calculate with just the palm of you hand. The number of servings can be adjusted so that you never feel hungry!