Muscles are not easy to build, especially when you are no longer a beginner. You might be working hard and trying to eat right, but your muscle still doesn't seem to show signs of new growth.
Trouble gaining new muscle mass is something every experienced lifter has experienced. Most of the time, there are just silly mistakes that are stopping us from letting our muscles grow.
In this article, we are going to cover various reasons that might be stopping you from gaining new muscle mass, and we are going to help you fix those issues.
12 Reasons You Are Not Gaining Muscle Mass
In most cases, the reasons are quite basic and avoidable.
1. You are impatient
Even if you are following the right training program and taking care of your nutrition, but you can't seem to get the results as expected.
It happens with most of the beginners level lifters who actually gain muscle size pretty fast as they start strength training, as the body responds pretty fast to new stimuli. Then the body gets accustomed to the training routine, and you stop growing as quickly as you were growing. You might not like it, but that's very common.
An average lifter can gain two pounds of muscle mass in a month, and that too when you are taking care of your nutrition. Accept the fact that bodybuilding is a slow process, and it takes years for people to gain an aesthetic physique.
2. You think personal trainers are a waste of money
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There was a time when lifters consulted with the trained professionals and respected their advice. Nowadays, every average joe is a bodybuilding expert just because he follows a renowned coach on Instagram.
In bodybuilding, there is no one size fits all solution; you have to make changes as your body demands. If you have never trained with a personal trainer, it can be the best experience of your life! A personal trainer is a person who will make you well aware of your body’s nutritional requirements; he will guide you to get the best out of your workout and will help you get over your weaknesses.
3. Too much cardio
In order to gain an aesthetic physique, I see many guys doing long cardio sessions, but too much cardio might be hurting your gains.
When the goal is to gain strength and muscle mass, don't let cardio dominate your workout.
Plus, the timing of your cardio makes a difference too. Doing cardio before the training session can have a negative impact on your strength training.
If your muscle recovery is up to the mark, you can sneak in a high-intensity cardio session twice or thrice a week.
4. You are not eating enough calories
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Are you tracking your calories? Do you know your body’s daily calorie expenditure? If your answer is NO, it’s time to fix your diet first.
Many lifters make the mistake of eating same amount of calories throughout the training program. As you gain muscle mass, your body’s calorie requirements also go up, and you need to adjust your calorie intake as per your body’s new demands.
Make sure you are consuming 500 more calories than your daily caloric expenditure; this will help you gain muscle mass by optimizing strength and recovery.
5. You are not training right
Choosing the proper workout routine is an essential aspect of strength training. Many bro’s are getting their workout routine from the online fitness magazine or some fitness influencer who claims to have a magical workout routine that can maximize muscle building.
The truth is, most of the generic training programs are worth nothing as they are not created keeping your fitness goals in mind.
The best advice I can give is to work under expert guidance, a person who can create a custom training program for your needs.
6. You are not doing the right exercises
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Are you scared of compound movements? Many people are!
If your primary goal is to gain muscle mass and strength, then your training should emphasize the big compound movements more. Compound movements are multi-joint movements that help you train for size and strength gains.
Incorporating heavy compound movements in your workout routine also boosts testosterone production. If you find yourself stuck, its time to ditch the muscle isolation machines and focus more on free-weight movements.
7. You have reached a plateau
Hitting plateau is when you are following a particular workout plan for too long, and now your body has stopped responding to the training. It's time to change the workout program!
How to break the plateau? Allow yourself a de-load period where you limit the intensity of the training. De-load should be 1-2 weeks long. After the completion of the de-loading period, reprogram your workout routine.
8. You are not tracking your workout
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Do you track your workout? Many lifters who stop to make progress at the gym are the ones who never track their workout. Documenting your workout keeps you aware of your progress.
9. You are training too much
Junk volume is a big problem! I have seen people doing ten different exercises for the chest, and it's time to ask yourself, do you really need that kind of volume? The answer is no.
With the right training, you can stimulate your muscle fibers for growth with just three sets, and your chest workout should be completed within 3-4 exercises. The same goes for the back, legs, or arms workout.
10. Not enough sleep
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Sleep is when your body recovers. The body produces growth hormones to accelerate muscle recovery.
If you are serious about gaining muscle then you should be having at least 8 hours of undisturbed sleep to help you optimize the recovery. Our natural sleep supplement can help in improving the quality of your sleep.
11. Your pre-workout and post-workout nutrition sucks
Many people struggle to make progress because their pre and post-workout nutrition is not supporting the training.
Muscles use stored glycogen to lift; having a small meal 45 minutes before a workout can help you optimize the depleted glycogen reserves. Your pre-workout meal should contain about 20 grams of protein and 30-40 grams of carbs to supercharge your training.
Post-workout meal is important as the body is desperate for nutrition, and it will start to break down muscle fibers if you fail to provide enough nutrition. A good post-workout meal should be high in lean protein and easy-to-digest carbs. Having a scoop of whey protein just after the workout has been proven to improve recovery.
12. Bad training partners (no motivation)
“Show me your friends, and I will show you your future.” Your training partner plays a very important driving factor in the quality of your training.
Motivation is something that can transform a simple training program into an extraordinary one. Keep yourself motivated, find a training partner who is more experienced than you, and train with people who are serious about muscle gains.
If you find it difficult to stay regular with the training after long office hours, then reschedule your strength training in the morning as the first thing of the day. A good pre-workout can help you improve the quality of your workout by providing the required stimulus.