6 Reasons Why You’re Not Growing

by DeanMcKillop 13852 views Gain Muscle

6 Reasons Why You’re Not Growing

If you’re tired of not gaining the muscle mass you want to, yet haven’t quite figured out why you can't seem to grow, then the chances are you are not doing at least one of these 6 things and even more likely that you’re not doing a few of them.

It’s time to step up, take ownership and finally get the muscle you’ve been chasing after.

1.    You’re not eating in a caloric surplus

It’s plain and simple… You need calories, excess calories above what your body needs to maintain your body weight and performance daily, to grow new tissue.

That’s not to say you need a tonne of calories, as eating more than you need to grow will also result in fat gain. This is not a more is better concept but instead a sufficient is adequate approach.

Not sure if you’re eating enough calories?

It’s pretty simple… new muscle tissue comes with new body weight. If you’re not gaining weight, you are not eating enough.

Aim for 10% above maintenance calories and track your bodyweight to see if you’re gaining.

2.    You’re not eating adequate protein


Protein is the building block of muscle tissue so it is critically important that you consume enough protein to help facilitate the repair and growth of tissue. Over consuming protein achieves absolutely nothing more in regards to muscle growth.

So don’t follow the more is better principle on this one either. Find out how much protein you need.

3.    You’re not training with enough intensity

Muscle growth, as you know, doesn’t come easy. It requires intensity, commitment and a willingness to either lift more weight over the course of your training session or to get stronger on a particular lift.

If your intensity is not high enough, then your muscle will never be required to grow more in order to lift more.

Find out more about the training hierarchy and types of muscle growth.

4.    You’re not training with measurability

All too often people try and change their exercises up session after session in an effort to “shock the muscle” when in actual fact they are limiting their growth potential.

Instead of changing up your routine style consistently, attempt to change it up by lifting more weight or more sets for each exercise instead. 

By making your training measurable and training through the same exercises each week in the same order, you can track progression more accurately.

You can 'shock the muscle' with more weight.

5.    You’re not resting enough

The primary goal of muscle growth should always be to ensure caloric input is high enough while training output is maximised.

If you want to be able to return to the gym each session or each week and perform at your best, it is imperative that you are rested.

Aim to give a muscle 48-72 hours rest between each session with an optimal training frequency of 2x per week if focusing more on volume and intensity progressions.

Lagging body parts can be trained up to 4x weekly for short periods of time, however, either volume per session or intensity needs to be regressed slightly to reduce the chances of an injury occurring.

6.    You’re not honest about your commitment to the 5 previous facts

And herein lies the greatest determinant of success in all facets of life…

Honesty and compliance!

You may have the greatest training program in the world, with the most optimal diet as well, yet if you fail to adhere to the program in its entirety, then you will also fail to succeed.

Muscle growth is about achieving a sufficient training stimulus while eating enough food to repair and getting enough rest to recover.

If you want optimal muscle growth, you need to have an optimal approach as well.

Leave no stone unturned. 


Exercise Scientist

I completed my Exercise Science Degree at the University of QLD and have worked in the fitness industry for over 8 years, including a short stint at the Brisbane Broncos in 2010 as a student. I also hold my Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach accreditation (ASCA) and have competed in 1 bodybuilding season, placing 2nd at the IFBB u85kg Nationals.

ViewDean's Articles