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10 Reasons You’re Not Gaining Muscle

10 Reasons You’re Not Gaining Muscle

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Working out hard at the gym, eating what you think is healthy, but still getting trouble gaining muscle? Yeah, you are right this issue sucks.

Days change into weeks and weeks into months, but not seeing any positive results on your body can kill your motivation.

Well, don’t worry there are a lot of contributing factors to muscle gain. And, you might be missing out on a few.

Let’s have a look at the reasons you’re not gaining muscle despite the hard work.

1.     Overtraining

Over training

Are you lifting heavy weights and doing maximum reps till you get blue? Or, are you hitting twice or thrice a day because you think that the more you train, the faster you gain muscle?

No, you are wrong. Overtraining your muscles will not only stop the growth of your muscles but can also cause injuries.

You won’t develop endurance and strength like professional bodybuilders after few months. Lifting extremely heavy weights will just seize the growth, and can negatively impact your bones and joints.

You should leave your ego at the door of the gym. Ego lifting is holding you back from adding on some muscle mass, putting on more weight on the bar than you can handle will just end up failing your set.

Don’t try to compete with professional bodybuilders at the gym by lifting heavy. And, stay away from testing your strength by putting on more weight.

Overtraining Syndrome

Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) is a condition when you work out too hard, not giving your body enough time to rest.

The symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Lack of energy

  • Muscle and joint soreness

  • Sleeplessness

To prevent OTS, you should not be training too hard and keep a training log. In the log, you should keep a note about how you feel after your daily workout.

Loss of Motivation

When you keep overtraining for a long time, it will directly affect your stress levels. Depression, mood swings, and loss of concentration are some common effects.

When you will be suffering from muscle soreness and body pain, you wouldn’t even think of hitting the gym.

This would leave a bad impact on your training and fitness. You will lose the motivation for working out soon by overtraining.

This will leave a direct impact on your performance.

2.     Doing Too Much Cardio

Doing Too Much Cardio

Cardio is great for losing fat and building stamina. It also helps you in getting a ripped physique and is important for bodybuilders.

But the problem is performing cardio too often and with high intensity.

While doing cardio, you will be using high levels of energy, this energy is given to the body from the food we eat.

After the body utilizes energy from food in the form of ATP, it starts burning fat to fulfill the energy demand of the body.

But during intense cardio sessions, the energy demand of the body is maximized. To fulfill this, the body starts burning muscle mass to provide energy.

Frequent cardio sessions will hinder muscle growth because the body won’t get time to recover effectively.

Incorporating Cardio into Weight Training

If you want to add cardio in weight training and get maximum benefits out of it then follow these steps:

  • Do cardio 3 days a week.

  • The interval should be for 30 minutes

  • Keep track of your heart rate it should be between 120-140 (bpm)

  • Rest for 45-90 sec after every 7-10 minutes.

3.     Being Inconsistent

Being Inconsistent

If you can’t develop a habit of consistency in your training, then you may be sabotaging your gains.

Not staying consistent with your training routine and ditching the gym every other day will not prove any beneficial results for your fitness goals.

If you don’t work out consistently, your muscles weaken and you lose stamina.

Try these tips if you face difficulty in maintaining consistency for working out:

●       Make workouts fun.

Put on your headphones and listen to your favorite music while exercising. Set small goals and treat yourself when you achieve them.

●       Workout With Friends

Friends can make anything better, working out with friends can have a lot of benefits. You can develop healthy competition and boost motivation.

●       Look at Results

When you develop a ripped physique from training and diet, you will be motivated to train hard after noticing small changes in your body.

To feel great and stay motivated, try out some exclusive workout clothes.

4.    Not Maintaining Mind-Muscle Connection

Mind Muscle Connection

Focusing intently on the targeted muscles as you contract or relax leads to a more effective impact on that muscle.

The mind-muscle connection is also known as attentional focus.

Let’s take an example of a bench press. It works for building the chest muscles but also impacts the triceps and shoulder muscles.

To get the best out of this workout, you should focus that you are pushing the barbell using the chest muscles and not the arms.

You should be able to feel the contraction in chest muscles when you perform the exercise.

To maintain mind-muscle connection, follow these tips:

  • Turn away from the mirror, you should be focusing on how an exercise feels rather than how it looks.

  • Use small weights, by doing this you won’t be needing support to lift from other muscle groups.

  • Keep the reps slow, work on your negatives.

5.     Only Doing Isolated or Compound Movements

Doing Isolated or Compound Exercise Only

Don’t get stuck into the compound vs isolated movements. If you wish to build muscles you need both.

Compound movements involve more muscles in your body. While doing squats you are targeting hamstrings and quads but it also engages your core and back.

Whereas, in isolated movements, you only focus on one targeted muscle group. For eg, a bicep curl will only engage your biceps.

Your workout routine should include a combination of compound and isolated exercises.

Try to start the workout with big lifts engaging the majority of muscle groups. Then continue with single-joint moves.

6.     Not Focusing on Diet

Not Focusing On Diet

Muscle mass is hard to build and the hardest to maintain. Diet has the biggest role when it comes to fitness and building muscle.

Eating food at the right time and in the appropriate amount helps in the effective recovery of muscles and helps them in growing.

Diet is 80-90% of your regimen. No matter how many hours you are spending in the gym, if your diet is not up to the mark then your workouts are useless.

Doing a thousand crunches in the day will still not be as effective for losing belly fat as these foods are.

●       Too Much or Too Less Protein Intake

Protein is the key element in building muscles. You must stick to a high protein diet if you wish to build muscle effectively.

But taking more protein than your body requires won’t be beneficial. It will only disrupt your digestive system which in turn, sabotages the recovery process.

The recommended amount of protein for your body to build muscles is 0.8g per kg of body weight.

●       Cutting on Carbs

You might have cut down your carb intake for getting a ripped body. Well, what if we tell you that cutting on carbs for achieving a muscular body is not effective?

Unless you are a professional bodybuilder and want to compete, there is no reason you should quit taking carbs.

For an effective workout, you need energy. This energy comes from the food we eat and especially carbs.

By taking out carbs from the diet, you will not have the required energy for performing your best in a workout.

You can take unrefined carbs before a workout; they won’t build fat cells in your body and will also act as an efficient pre-workout.

If you are struggling to remove that stubborn belly fat or looking for a healthy diet plan to lose weight then, click here.

7.     Not Having Correct Posture

Not Having Correct Posture

Doing any exercise with the wrong posture will not impact your targeted muscles effectively.

Not maintaining a mind-muscle connection or taking guidance from the trainer results in bad exercise form.

Poor training form results in muscle fatigue and imbalances. When your target muscles don’t help you lift, your body takes help from supporting muscle groups.

Over time your muscles won’t grow as they are not getting the required engagement due to bad form.

To correct your form, get an expert trainer to spot you. And, use light weights so your body doesn’t perform any compensative movements.

8.     Muscle Hypertrophy

Muscle Hypertrophy

To grow the muscles, they must be in a hypertrophic state. Hypertrophy is referred to as an increase in muscle size due to exercise.

Muscle hypertrophy is achieved through mechanical fatigue when the microfibers in the muscles exhaust the available supply of ATPs.

When the ATPs are not available for contraction, then you cannot lift the weight properly. This point is commonly known as ‘failure’.

To achieve hypertrophy faster and effectively, you need to gradually increase the weight you are lifting.

You can also increase the number of reps for achieving hypertrophy. But, for fast results, it is recommended to add some more weight to the barbell.

9.     Drinking Alcohol

 Drinking Alcohol

It’s ok to have a glass of champagne on your birthday or anniversary. But, if you are into bodybuilding and want to gain some muscles then you should restrain from consuming alcohol.

Researchers have found that consuming alcohol reduces muscle protein synthesis. It also contributes to protein breakdown.

As we discussed that protein is the key element for building muscles, due to its breakdown your body won’t build muscles.

Alcohol also impacts your hormones negatively. Due to this body’s metabolism rate is decreased due to which fat burning is reduced tremendously.

Consuming alcohol on daily basis will cause damage to the digestive enzymes. This will affect nutrient absorption, without a healthy digestive system, even healthy foods will have no benefits for your body.

10.Ineffective Recovery

Ineffective Recovery

You don’t build muscles during a workout, you build them in the recovery period between the workouts.

Not ignoring the importance of a healthy diet in your recovery, rest is equally important for effective muscle recovery.

You can never ignore the importance of rest days. Read this to understand the significance of rest days.

Bodybuilders require at least 8-9 hours of sleep to recover their muscles and grow them bigger.


Gaining muscles is not difficult, it’s all about taking advantage of the right techniques. Learn to treat your workouts as they are building blocks to a bigger goal.

Don’t try to prove your strength in front of others by lifting heavy. Start by lifting the weights that you can complete full sets and reps.

Building lean muscle requires consistency, motivation, and a healthy diet. Push yourself in doing a little more every week and you will start seeing the results.

Remember to stay patient because all great things take time!

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