Have you been in the gym grinding for years and are not seeing any positive changes … have you seemed to completely plateau?
Have you hit a sticking point in your progress and can’t for the life of you figure out why you are no longer making progress?
These are all very common problems for the average gym goer.
There are some very common mistakes that people make that limit their progress and prevent them from building the body they want.
But we have good news, we will show you how to fix these common gym mistakes so you can build all the muscle you should be building.
The Top 10 Reasons You Aren’t Gaining Muscle
(and what to do about it)
#1 Not Eating Enough Food
I can’t even count how many guys I’ve had tell me “I eat non-stop all day long but I still can’t gain weight. It’s impossible for me to gain a pound!”
This is literally the biggest misconception among newbies mostly, and they don’t understand that the way the human body works is that if you are simply consuming more calories than you expend each day, then it is IMPOSSIBLE to not gain weight.
While what you are eating may seem like “a lot” to you, in relative terms to someone eating to grow, you could be eating like a bird.
The number one thing you can do in this situation (especially if you’re a newbie) is start counting your calories.
If you know what your Total Daily Energy Expenditure is (otherwise known as your maintenance calories), all you need to do is eat MORE calories than that number, and you will start gaining weight. It’s not rocket science, if you aren’t growing, you probably just aren’t eating enough.
#2 Not Eating Enough Protein
When you train in the gym, you work your ass off and break down muscle fibers on purpose so you can rebuild them bigger and better with proper nutrition.
That is the name of the game, and is what you should be doing day in and day out to grow optimally.
A huge mistake lots of people make is not eating enough protein.
Even if you are consuming enough calories to be in a calorie surplus to gain weight, if you aren’t having at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, you likely aren’t building and repairing muscle tissue as much as you could be.
A rule of thumb that typically works well for most individuals is making sure you get 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound bodyweight during a bulking phase.
#3 Not Getting Enough Rest To Recover
Not getting enough rest can actually be detrimental to your results.
The biggest pulses of Growth Hormone occur while you sleep through the night, staying up all night increases the amount of catabolic hormones in your body and testosterone levels will decrease.
Ensure you are getting at least a half decent sleep each night.
In addition, make sure you aren’t overtraining. While this isn’t applicable for 99% of people, training your ass off 7 days a week for several hours per day can eventually take a hugely negative toll on your central nervous system, and burn you out.
Remember, gains are made OUT of the gym when you’re eating to recover and when you’re sleeping, so make sure you don’t neglect yourself of much needed recovery time.
#4 Using The Same Weight Every Single Workout
To gain muscle, it is no secret that doing the same thing day in and day out will eventually lead to plateaus.
Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.
This statement couldn’t be truer.
You need to progressively overload your muscles with increased resistance to continue to encourage growth.
If you don’t force your muscles out of their comfort zone, they will never adapt and grow to compensate for the increased workload you are exerting on them.
ALWAYS, try and make strength gains, even if slight, as it is a very good gauge of how much muscle you are gaining and at what rate.
#5 Hormonal Deficiencies
While it isn’t a common thing, hormonal deficiencies definitely exist and plague unsuspecting individuals and literally ruin lives.
I know some individuals who would diet PERFECTLY and bust their ass and could barely lose a pound of fat for the life of them because their hormones were so deficient.
If you are feeling sluggish, lethargic, cold, run down, depressed, etc. it wouldn’t hurt to go get blood work done and get a full hormone panel done.
Things like low testosterone, hypothyroidism, and other hormonal deficiencies can make reaching your physique goals impossible until you get them in check.
#6 Using Poor Quality Food Sources
While I am an advocate of getting the cheapest stuff possible in a lot of instances, if you can afford it, I definitely recommend getting high quality food sources.
Things like organic meat, GMO-free protein, grass-fed substitutes, etc. all can make a difference in your health and longevity.
Avoid chemical laced foods like the plague if you are able, as the “natural” alternative is always going to be more healthy for you and won’t result in arterial inflammation.
In addition, make sure your sources are credible.
I know this sounds like a lot of work just to get your groceries, but there are a lot of hidden little dirty secrets in the food industry that customers commonly are completely unaware of, and cause them to lose money buying garbage.
I remember this brand of boneless skinless chicken breasts I used to get I thought was a great deal, then I found out that the chicken breasts were actually being injected with huge amounts of water to falsely inflate their size, making you think you are getting more meat than you are actually getting.
Practices like this are actually very common.
One of the worst I can think of is amino spiked protein.
This is when supplement companies scam consumers by falsely inflating their protein powders contents with amino acids and other nitrogen containing ingredients that aren’t complete proteins.
By doing this, they will blatantly sell to customers protein powders which do not meet label claims whatsoever and literally have half as much protein per scoop as claimed in many cases.
Don’t waste your money on subpar scam protein powders again, get a powder that EXACTLY meets label claims, and is actually healthy to boot right here at Red Supplements:
#7 Using Garbage Supplements That Do Nothing Instead Of Just The Essentials
There are tons of products in the supplement industry. While some can be very helpful, many are just plain useless. Thinks like vasodilators, special kinds of creatine blends, and sugar dense weight gainers can all become a colossal waste of money providing minimal (if any) benefit whatsoever, and could be used towards real food or something useful.
The only actually ESSENTIAL supplements in my opinion are a good quality Whey protein powder, a fat-burner (if you are trying to lose fat), and a pre-workout supplement to get your ass in gear so you actually get to the gym and kill it.
I already mentioned Red Supplements Elite Whey Protein, which is my recommendation for a high quality Whey powder.
For a fat-burner I recommend Red Burner.
The reason being that even though it is a “fat burner” it also doubles as a potent pre-workout formula.
This kills two birds with one stone, and makes it incredibly useful not only for dieting and getting shredded, but for getting the energy and focus to crank out intense hardcore workouts whenever you take it.
#8 Not Training Hard Or Enough
Very commonly I will receive inquiries from guys asking me why their progress is so slow or is non-existent. The first thing I ask to see is their physique and get them to tell me their training history, current plan and diet.
More often than not, the guys who are complaining about not making progress just so happen to be the guys who are training a few times per week AT MOST, and are doing piss poor workout consisting of some pushups and pull ups and that’s it.
There are a lot of gurus out there nowadays who advocate minimalist routines to try and cut down on gym time, and while these may be enough to maintain a half decent physique, building one up with this shit won’t cut it. You should be hitting the gym 4-5x per week at least, adequately training each body, part and getting a skin tearing pump.
Even going to the gym 4-5x per week won’t cut it either if you aren’t actually moderately busting your ass, so make sure you make the most of your one hour per day in the gym by getting in, killing it, and then getting out.
#9 Not Being Consistent
The biggest killer of progress, and the biggest factor in the success of those with jaw dropping physiques is consistency.
Anybody can have a perfect day of dieting and training, but it’s those individuals who can have a perfect day, for weeks and weeks on end without slipping up and completely falling off their program that actually make significant progress and continue to make positive strides in the development of their physique.
Watch how fast your physique changes once you get in a groove of proper nutrition and training, every single day, for years!
That’s when insane physiques and huge strides in athletic performance are truly made.
#10 Using Improper Form
One of the biggest mistakes that results in lacking muscle growth is improper form.
The most common form mistake being not stretching and contracting the muscle.
This is all too common, especially during heavy lifts, where guys will chuck the weights up and down but not actually focus on the muscle group they are training. I
could put 3 plates on the bench press and throw it up and down for 6-8 very difficult hard as hell reps sure, but what do you think is going to work my chest better, that, or me putting 225 on the bar and doing a slow controlled negative on each rep with an explosive push and contracting and flexing my chest at the top of each rep?
I hope you know it’s the second one.
The name of the game isn’t to throw some astronomical weight in the air as many times as you can (unless you are a power lifter). You are there to stimulate muscle growth, and to do that you need to use proper form, focusing intensely on stretching and contracting the living hell out of the muscle group you are targeting on each and every rep.
Stretching and contracting with proper form is why my back is twice as developed now deadlifting 315 pounds for controlled extremely strict reps than it was 4 years ago when I was deadlifting 500-600 pounds every back day for reps with semi-strict form, but was more focused on simply getting the weight lifted than I was on my form.
Hope you guys liked this article and found these tips helpful.
– Derek @ RED