12 Reasons You’re Not Gaining Muscle Mass

There are people in the gym who workout for several weeks, months or even years yet they make little to no progress in terms for gaining lead muscle mass.


For a wide majority of people who workout, their primary goal, more often than not is to gain size and strength but there are some mistakes that people make in their fitness journey that hinders the process.

In this article, I’ll go over the 8 reasons why people don’t make progress in the gym.

Reason #1 Training Intensity

The reason that you’re growing in size or gaining strength might just be because you’re training intensely enough. It’s as simple as that.

In order to avoid this, you should make sure you’re using the appropriate weight for the number of sets and reps that you’re doing. For Example, in a typical strength training program, people do around 4-6 reps with the weight that lets them rep out at least 4 reps but not more than 6 reps.

This way, you’ll be able to make the most out of your training sessions.

Reasons #2 The More The Better

This analogy of “The More The Better” is not true when it comes to gaining strength and size in the gym. You see, if you keep adding more reps or sets to your exercises then you’ll not be able to lift a relatively heavier weight. This way you’ll be for training your muscle endurance and not size and strength which is not what you want.

The general rule is this, Low Reps and Heavy Weight for Size and Strength While High Reps and Light Weight for Muscle Endurance.

Reason #3 Isolation VS Compound Movements

Exercises are great. Compound exercises, isolation exercises done with the correct technique are great for you.

What really matters is how you combine both sets of exercises to get the optimal results. Compound exercises give you overall functional strength, stability and size while isolation exercise help will the gap left by the compound movements, remove muscle imbalances and attain overall completeness in muscle size.

So, if you’re working out you should put both of them together in your routine to get the best-built physique that you’re looking for rather than just choosing one that a lot of people do due to the polarising communities in the world of fitness.

Reason #4 Not Giving Yourself Proper Rest

Muscles are not built while you’re working out in the gym or at the dinner table. Muscle are built while you’re resting, while you sleep.

Sleep is really important for your growth as without it your muscles will not be able to repair, you’ll face hormonal imbalances as your body regulates hormones while you sleep and also cleanses the system you’re sleeping.

Don’t neglect sleep.

Reason #5 Your Grip Is Limiting Your Pulls

This one’s really simple.

While you’re doing pulling exercises, its very common to lose your grip strength due to which you fail to hit the number of reps you set you to.

Get yourself a wrist band, it’s cheap and it’ll help you hit your desired number of reps.

Reason #6 Too Much Stress

You’ve probably heard this regardless of the context. Too much stress on your body and mind amounts to no good and it’s especially true when it comes to fitness.

Stress increases cortisol levels in the body which hinder in muscle growth as this hormone known to be catabolic in nature.

Include yoga and meditation in your life to free yourself from unnecessary stress and tension.

Reason #7 Not Eating Enough

No matter how hard you train, if you’re not eating enough then you’ll not grow in size as in order to grow you’ve to consume more number of calories than you burn throughout the day.

You should aim for about 1.8-2.0 grams of protein per kg of your body weight and divide carbohydrates and fat in a ratio such that the majority of your calories comes from carbohydrates while the rest comes from fats in such a way that your body gets all the essential healthy fats it requires to grow.

For a comprehensive guide, check out this article.

Reason #8 Too Much Cardio

I tend to include cardio in my workout routines 2-3 times a week for 15-20 minutes in a fasted state as it’s good for overall heart health and kick starts my day.

However, a lot of people are in the habit of doing cardio for a longer duration of time, an hour or so which is really disastrous if you’re looking to build muscle mass.

Excessive cardio puts your body in a catabolic state as after a period of time, you’re not burning your fat reserves but the energy for that cardio is coming from your muscles which is not good for hypertrophy.

These are all the mistakes I’ve seen people make and hopefully after reading this article you save yourself from them. Share this article if you found it helpful, comment on any other mistake that you think people make while working out. Also, if you’ve suggestions for future topics, do let us know.

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