5 reasons you aren’t gaining muscle
5 reasons you aren’t gaining muscle
You aren’t using the right weight
When you lift weights, it is important to be using a weight that is going to work you and push you. Your muscles will only grow when you force them to. The best way to do this is using progressive overload. This means that every week you will add a small amount of weight to the exercise you are doing to force your muscles to lift more and eventually grow bigger.
You aren’t going to the gym enough
A lot of people struggle to find the time to go gym 5-6 days a week and that’s totally fine. People have kids and commitments that will always come before the gym but the amount of volume you do will directly affect how much progress you make. Aiming for 3 days a week is ideal. This will allow you to workout each muscle at least twice a week which is perfect for muscle growth but if this is not possible, we have the perfect 2 day a week strength program that will give your muscles the workout they need to grow.
You are not getting enough sleep
A forgotten part of growing muscle is sleep. You can workout all day but if you aren’t allowing your body to repair itself then you aren’t going to build muscle or make progress. The body heals and repairs while you sleep so if you are not getting enough you are going to struggle to recover before your next workout as well as not repairing properly and wasting the work you have put in at the gym. Quality of sleep is also important when it comes to building muscle. Check out our blog 4 strategies (and lots of tips!) to improve your sleep and give you the sweetest of dreams.
You aren’t eating enough
Nutrition plays a bigger part than most people think when it comes to building muscle. In fact, it is even more important than working out. To know how much you need to eat you need to calculate your BMR (Basal metabolic rate). This is how many calories your body will burn, at rest, in a day. There are plenty of online calculators such as https://www.calculator.net/bmr-calculator.html which you can put your details into and get back how many calories your body needs to maintain your current weight. These calculators use the Mifflin-St Jeor equation which is different for men and women. Once you have found out your BMR you can then figure out your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). This will tell us how many calories we need depending on our activity level. You will multiply your BMR by the following amounts:
Sedentary: BMR x 1.2
Lightly active: BMR x 1.375
Moderately active: BMR x 1.55
Very active: BMR x 1.725
Extra active: BMR x 1.9
To then gain weight you need to add 500+ calories to this number. There is a reason body builders eat over 3000 calories a day!
You aren’t eating the right foods
Although the amount you eat plays an important part, what you eat plays a bigger one. Your diet consists of two sides. Macro nutrients and micro nutrients. Macro nutrients are your carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Micro nutrients are your vitamins and minerals. In order to effectively gain muscle, you need to ensure that you are consuming the correct percentage of these. Protein is the most important of these when you want to build muscle as it is the fuel your body uses to repair the muscles. The aim is to consume 0.8-1.5g of protein for every pound of body weight. So, a 180lbs man will aim to consume between 144 and 270 grams of protein. So, what kind of foods should I eat? Aim to eat whole foods over processed food. Whole foods are loaded with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally and this means less muscle loss and more fat loss.
You put all of these together and you have a winning formula for gaining muscle and building the body you want.