7 Reasons Why You Are Not Gaining Muscle

Have you reached a plateau in your current training regime?

Do you find yourself working out in the gym week after week, month after month but never ‘really’ seeing much change in your appearance?

You could be doing just enough to maintain, but if you want to push onto the next level then keep reading.

I have made a checklist of all the things you might not be currently doing and may want to start introducing.

1. Not Applying Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is a fundamental obligation if you desire to gain any muscle or strength.

There are no ways around it and it is the most vital part of any journey in life in or out of the gym.

If you want to become an improved version of yourself, then you need subtly make your environment different so that the body or mind needs to adapt and therefore grow.

This principle is especially useful in the gym where an increase in weight, amount of repetitions or sets is important to make any progress.

You can not expect the body to grow or adapt if you consistently repeat the same routines repeatedly.

2. Not Recording Your Progress

With progressive overload in mind, it is fair to speculate that you probably do not record all your lifts.

You need to be keeping track of them, otherwise how are you going to remember what you did the week before to then increase your lift the following week?

You can not just assume that you will remember how many sets, reps, and how much weight you lifted for each of them on every exercise.

Although it is not the most enjoyable experience, it only takes 5 minutes at the end of he session or in between sets to record what you have completed during the training session.

Recording sessions will give you written evidence of your progress.

3. Not Consuming Enough Protein

No matter how hard you train, if you are not fuelling your body with the right nutrition then it will be a much slower, much longer road to your desired goals and progression.

BUT, you can be realistic in your eating habits if you are not looking to be a competitive athlete and simply aiming for 1g of per protein per pound of bodyweight can make a big difference.

Protein produces the building blocks to repairing and growing muscle.

It is also useful to be aware that if you are undereating and in a calorie deficit, it will be extremely tough to build any recognizable muscle.

Do not spend too much time stressing over timings or quality to begin with, just create the habit of reaching protein goals.

4. Not Enough Sleep And Recovery

In the modern world, so much emphasis is placed on doing more than everyone else.

Life hack – do less to do more.

How long can you really give 110% into all your endeavours before you suffer from burnout?

When training to gain muscle, you will be putting your body under immense amount of stress to try and make it grow.

So how do you expect to recover and grow if you are not resting and allowing this stage to happen?

All your gains are made whilst resting, as this is when all the torn muscle fibers are binding back together bigger and stronger.

Recovery is the single most underused, overlooked necessity in almost any training regime.

You can get ahead of the pack by implementing more of it into your life.

Sleeping at least 8 hours, eating well, hot baths, foam rolling and stretching are just some of the many useful methods available.

5. Too Much Cardio

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be fit, endurable and maybe even wanting to complete 10k runs and marathons.

But if your goal is to become more aesthetically pleasing or stronger, then your efforts put into cardio may be better used within your resistance training.

You can and should undertake cardiovascular training.

How To Plan Your Workout In 5 Steps

If are doing 1 hour 3 times a week of cardio, then the likelihood of increasing muscle is going to suffer significantly as opposed to doing some steady state cardio at the end of training sessions.

Tone down the cardio, focus on less rest in between sets and you will still have an increased heart rate. improve your CV endurance and lower RHR.

6. Not Enough Variation

Many training plans that I have witnessed and undertaken follow the same rituals week in, week out.

Variation is super important if you seem to be stuck. Rather than doing the same 5 exercises you did last week, consider rotating some of the exercises or introducing new exercises that work the same muscle group.

For example, training arms is not just about bicep curls and tricep pushdowns. There are many different exercises you should undertake, just for your arms.

There is not a holy program which you can undertake forever, you need to change it up and introduce new stimulus and variation if you are to continue progression.

Which leads me onto my final step.

7. Training Without A Training Plan

If you train blindly and just decide to train what you feel like training on that day, then you are not giving yourself the best opportunity to progress to your full potential.

A well thought out plan that considers you as an individual and your goals, is an important step into pushing forwards and closer to your goals.

You could start by recording your sessions, adding in exercises, and following all the steps that I have discussed with you.

If you are training from home then use the Body Armour Bodyweight MMA programme which is used by MMA Fighters stuck in there homes and hotel rooms between fights.

>>For more information, posts, training programmes and training tips visit my website tjhealthandfitness.com

Published by Thomas Jackson Smith

Personal Trainer. Qualified Strength and Conditioning Coach, Exercise Referral specialist, Football coach and entrepreneur. Interested in health and fitness, exercise prescription, football, nutrition, injury prevention, recovery and mindset improvement. Any views are my own and from my own experience. Looking to build links within the blog community, replying to feedback and offering support so we can learn and grow together!

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