Building muscle is one of the most common goals in gyms across the world, it’s something that is simultaneously simple yet difficult to achieve.
Sure, you may see fast results during your first six months of training or so. But after a while, you’ll notice that your progress has stalled. There are many reasons for this, but often it is due to making small-medium mistakes with training and nutrition, or mindset.
The purpose of this article is to cover ten reasons why you’re not building muscle.
Reason #1 You’re not measuring progress
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not measuring their progress.
Without testing your fitness, muscle size, and strength before embarking on a training program how can you tell whether you are building muscle or not? You should be taking tests before you start, and on a weekly, or bi-weekly basis.
Reason #2 You’re not consistent
One week you’re following a German Volume Training program because you read online that it would help build you huge muscles.
But a week later you’re following a 5×5 program, because you want real strength. The next week you avoid the gym completely because your favourite TV show just came on Netflix. Without consistency, you’ll never achieve any decent results.
Reason #3 You aren’t following the right program
If you are looking to build bigger muscles you should be following a hypertrophy-specific training program. If you are looking for stronger muscles then you should follow a strength-building training program.
If you are looking for fat loss, then follow a fat loss program. Make your mind up about what it is that you want and find a program that fits your needs.
Reason #4 Your training technique is poor
Performing exercises with flawless technique and perfect tempo is the only way to get real results.
This may mean lowering the weight slightly, but a perfectly executed bench press with a small amount of weight is much better for muscle building than a poorly performed bench press with awful range of motion.
Reason #5 Your pre-workout nutrition is poor
You need to make sure that you have enough fuel to exercise, enough protein to help stimulate protein synthesis, and energy to train at a high intensity.
If you’re tired or fatigued then a high caffeine pre-workout supplement can make a huge difference.
Reason #6 You’re not eating enough
To increase muscle size, you need to be in a calorie surplus, this is where you consume more calories than you burn. Combining a calorie surplus with intense exercise and proper programming will lead to bigger muscles.
Reason #7 You aren’t using creatine
Creatine is probably the best supplement that you can (legally) purchase and use to build muscle. You can take creatine alone, or as part of a pre or post workout supplement.
It will allow you to train at a higher intensity and combined with protein it can lead to greater muscle growth than protein alone .
Reason #8 You aren’t resting enough
To build muscle successfully you need to give your body adequate time to recover from intense exercise. Sleeping 8 or more hours each night is a start , but supplementation, nutrition, foam rolling, stress reduction, and many other recovery strategies can make a huge difference to your results.
Related: The Top 6 Best Sleep Aid Supplements
Reason #9 Your post workout nutrition is sub-par
The anabolic window may not exist in the way that bodybuilders have described, yet ensuring that you are getting protein, carbohydrates, and creatine after a workout is a great way to help build muscle. Particularly if you train very early in the morning or very late at night.
Reason #10 You aren’t getting enough protein
This is a very common cause for poor muscle growth, hitting your protein targets can be a struggle. The first thing you should do is track your calories for a few days to give you an idea of your average protein intake.
Then you should look at ways to increase protein. Probably the easiest way to do this is with a protein supplement – either whey or casein protein (or a mix) will do. You can also look to replace low-protein foods/meals with better protein options.
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