Why you’re not gaining muscle

You’re in the gym every day. Lifting weights. Working hard. ‘Pumping Iron’, as some say. But you’re not seeing the results you crave. There is a good chance you are making one of the common mistakes below. If so, take a read and adjust your training to help you finally achieve the body you are chasing.

You aren’t consuming enough fuel

The human body is like a car. You have probably heard this before, but it holds up. The faster the car goes, the more fuel it needs. The same applies for your body. The harder you work out, the more food your body needs to run effectively.

This is all well and good, but to actually build muscle, you need to consume more calories than you expend each day. If you don’t, you don’t build muscle. It’s as simple as that. Now, having said that, this does not mean you should go and eat anything and everything. This is not just about meeting calorie requirements, but about consuming good quality calories to help replenish your body as effectively and efficiently as it possibly can. This is essential to optimal muscle growth.

The way you’re training isn’t for building muscle

You may be lifting 3, 4 or even 5 times per week. This doesn’t guarantee that it is the correct way to build muscle mass. Hypertrophy is an outcome that is stimulated through the correct rep range and intensity of each exercise, along with the correct technique. If any of these are not correct, then building muscle mass becomes less efficient, and therefore more difficult to achieve. When starting out it seems easier to achieve gains, however as your body becomes more accustomed to the training, your training methods need to start being spot on to get results.

You don’t mix it up

Our body’s adapt very well. This is a truly amazing process that has taken thousands and thousands of years to evolve into. Basically this means that we need our bodies to be continually tested to progress, and in this case, build muscle mass. So, you will need to adapt your training now and again to keep your body guessing. The good news is that there are loads of ways to do this. You can adjust rep ranges, the choice of exercise, the loads, training styles and methods to continually shock your body. Look to change your training every 4-6 weeks in order to prevent a training plateau.

You don’t want to rest

This is a difficult one as I have previously struggled with this myself. REST is a crucial part of gaining muscle mass. I used to hate rest days, and would be in the gym 6 or even 7 times per week. Not only did this tire me out, but I was not achieving any gains whatsoever. I had to force myself to rest, but when I started doing so, it was a revelation. Now I know more about the human body, it seem so stupid what I used to be doing.

You do not gain size in the gym, it is the quality of rest you get that determines your progress. When you work out, you are constantly tearing muscle fibres. These fibres need rest to repair, and when they repair, they grow stronger. So if you don’t get enough sleep, train too much, or are stressed out, this will affect your progress. So rest up!

You’re doing too much cardio exercise

If you train correctly, you will get all the benefits of cardio exercise while hypertrophy training. Some cardio is great for cutting fat and improving fitness, but if your goals are to gain muscle mass and get bigger, then keep your cardio training to a minimum. This is all dependant on your own personal goals.