10 Reasons You’re Not Gaining & Building Muscle Mass
You’ve been going to the gym, putting in the time, doing your body good, but week after week that feeling of frustration and lack of motivation creep in. Not seeing results can feel very frustrating, and without even knowing it, you might be sabotaging your own workout!
Here are 10 reasons why you may not be building the muscle you want.
You’re Not Eating Enough
The body is a building block, and muscle mass doesn’t grow overnight. Our bodies need a small surplus of calories to repair and grow. Without that small surplus your body won’t grow muscle mass. A 500 calorie surplus is adequate, so when making your meal plan, accommodate for extra protein, carbs, and healthy fats to help those muscles grow.
You’re Doing Too Much Cardio
We all know cardio is good for us. But too much cardio hinders muscle gain and should not be your main focus when trying to building muscle. Your first goal should be resistance training. If your body recovers well after resistance training add in a light cardio session here and there. Just remember resistance training is your main focus.
You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is a crucial factor for our overall health. In terms of muscle gain, not enough sleep equals lack of muscle gain. Sleep is associated with HGH (human growth hormone) which is at its highest when we sleep. So try and get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Your body needs this to recovery from your workouts and to grow and repair muscle for gains.
If you’re not putting in 100%, don’t expect 100% back. This includes proper nutrition, rest, and consistent workouts. Grabbing that Friday night beer and pizza, bailing out on your Wednesday workout, or only do half of your reps on Monday will sabotage your growth potential. Gaining muscle is a commitment.
You’re Not Supplementing the Right Way
When training for muscle gains nutrition plays a huge factor. This includes post workout supplements. After a hard workout, your muscles are depleted of nutrients such as protein, creatine, and glycogen. Making a post workout shake can make a huge difference.
You’re Not Training for Muscle Gain
You must lift weight to build muscle. To build muscle gain you must be progressively adding more weight to challenge your body. On a weekly basis you should be making some sort of progression. If you are not increasing weight weekly, you should be increasing your reps at the very least, followed by a weight increase the next week.
You’re Not Training Hard Enough
If you’re not training with intensity, your muscles won’t get bigger and stronger. Compound training is a key element to this. Focus first on movements such as deadlifts, squats, overhead press, weighted chins etc. Go hard and heavy (within your limits per workout) to challenge your body. You know you’ve trained with enough intensity when you can’t do another rep in proper form.
You’re Lacking Correct Form
When lifting heavy weights to build muscle there is no room for error. Correct form is a must or you might be facing an injury. If you’re unsure about your form as you progress with weight increments, ask a professional about your form. Correct form allows you to move forward and smoothly with your muscle gain goals. Sometimes a simple correction in technique will allow for bigger gains down the road. Don’t cheat yourself with this simple tip.
You’re Not Logging Workouts
Logging your progression is important to maximize muscle growth. Knowing what you accomplished with muscle gain, weight used, how many reps, and rest time is an important tool as you move forward week to week. It allows you to visually look to see where you might be making mistakes, where you made the biggest improvements and allows you to make adjustments your routines accordingly.
You’re Not Changing it Up
From time to time, you may hit a plateau in your progression. You may be doing everything right, but nothing is happening. A simple fix to this is switching up your routine. Try swapping barbells for dumbbells, or adding in something new to the mix for a couple weeks. Our bodies get bored just as we do.
Whatever your muscle gain goals are, remember to work within your ability, push your body to do a little more every week, eat healthy, sleep well and ask for help from a professional along the way to make sure you are getting the best out of your workouts! Happy muscle gain!
It’s important to always consult a physician and dietitian before starting any new workout plan or diet.
Tim McComsey is the founding owner of TRYM Fitness: Dallas’s Premier Personal Training and Nutrition Company, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Registered Dietitian. He started TRYM Fitness in 2011 and has been growing successfully ever since! This is his 15th year in the fitness industry and his scope of work has broadened from being ambassador to Sunwarrior, a partner to Vitamin World, and a sponsored athlete to 361usa shoes and apparel. He also contributes to Men’s Fitness Magazine and Human Fit Project with video and content production. Through his years in the industry he has placed 1st in several fitness competitions including the 2013 Dallas Europa Men’s Physique. His passion is to empower both men and women to be the healthiest and most fit they can be using various platforms.