Top 7 Reason Why You are Not Building Muscle

Top 7 Reason Why You are Not Building Muscle

You already have the vision of how this new body’s going to look, right?

And you’re definitely going to get there. No doubts in your mind about that.

Problem is, it’s just not happening fast enough. I know the feeling.

The garbage food has been going in the garbage. Healthy stuff all the way. You’ve kept showing up at the gym…but you’re still not building muscle. What’s happening? Healthy diet + weight training = muscle. Right?

It’s a wee bit more complicated than that – and there are more than just two pieces to the puzzle. This article will detail several important mistakes you need to avoid to build muscle effectively and achieve a stronger, better body.

You may be making three, four or more of them, which will undoubtedly be hampering your efforts to add any mass and definition to your frame.

Address all problem areas and building muscle is the ONLY outcome.

You’re not building muscle because of…


#1 Too much cardio.

Not focusing completely on weight training and wasting your time on cardio can lead to little or no muscle gains. You don’t want to be using up more calories than you are taking in through too much cardio exercise like running, cycling and sports like football or tennis.

Sure, the body uses carbs as its primary fuel but once reserves are low it needs to make glucose from somewhere to get you through your cardio sessions. That somewhere is your muscle tissue. If you’re doing cardio in the gym along with lifting to try and burn extra fat then stop.

Weight training is hugely effective in building muscle and burning fat. This is because it raises your metabolism levels – and these can stay elevated for a day or more after your workout is over.


#2 Focusing on the wrong weightlifting exercises.

Too many isolation exercises and not enough compounds can limit progress. This is the problem with some machines in gyms – they focus on targeting individual muscles. Meanwhile, compound exercises like squats and bent over rows work for several muscle groups at a time.

It’s like going into a shop and buying a six-pack of beers for $10…when the place next door is doing a 3 for the price of 1 deal. You get a better return for your energy investment with compound exercises.

Compounds also help stimulate an anabolic environment in the body which promotes growth all over and thus better body composition.


#3 Not lifting heavy enough.

If the level of weights you do not change then don’t expect your body to change either. Lifting the same weights session after session is going to get you nowhere. Progressive overload must be brought into play to induce hypertrophy effectively and spark muscle growth.

If you can manage 10 reps or more for any exercise – while maintaining good technique – then it is time to up the weight and properly tests yourself. This will properly fatigue your muscles and force them to grow and adapt to deal with the increased resistance.


#4 No goals.

With no clear training goals you will lack direction and focus – and ultimately won’t end up where you want to be. It’s one thing having a vision of a bigger chest, developed arms straining against your t-shirt and ripped abs. It’s another mapping out how to get there.

You’re not going to fall out of bed one morning after a month of workouts looking like The Rock. You have to set individual targets and go after them like nothing else matters. This free WTITW Goals Worksheet can help you with that

Have your weekly workouts planned out in advance? Keep a training journal and jot down to all the exercises and weights you are going to lift well before you even step in the gym. Set yourself other targets, such as ‘no alcohol this weekend’ or ‘eating clean 6 days, just one cheat day’.

All these small wins add up to your overall success. Everything counts.


#5 Eating junk food.

The typical Western diet is filled with too many processed, high sugar and high salt foods. The UK and the US are among the richest countries in the world, yet are also among the sickest. You must move away from fast food and particularly the high sugar foods we are bombarded with.

Otherwise, your body won’t be getting the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy. It’ll be too busy dealing with an overload of toxins and won’t have the proper tools, i.e. amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, it requires to build muscle and maintain health.

Ditch microwave meals, cook fresh, eat plenty more vegetables and fruit, and cut back on takeaways. Also, reduce sugar as much as possible as it will spike your insulin, lead to fat gain and scupper your chances of developing a great physique.


#6 Not drinking enough water.

The body is made up of around 65% water and is obviously essential for the healthy functioning of the body. It’s also very important for muscle strength and size. Studies have shown that just a small drop in water of 4% can cause a loss of muscular strength and endurance. In order to stay strong, you must stay hydrated. Aim to drink around 3 liters of water per day.


#7 Not absorbing enough protein.

Notice I said ‘absorbing’, not eating. The body needs a sufficient supply of quality protein to provide all the essential amino acids needed to repair the damage to muscle tissue after a tough workout – and to grow. But you could be getting plenty of protein from top sources like chicken, steak, eggs, nuts, and shakes, but you may not be able to absorb it properly due to poor gut health.

Eating a poor diet and not managing stress can affect the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your stomach – which then inhibits your ability to absorb nutrients from your food.

It may benefit you hugely to introduce fermented foods and probiotic supplements to support healthy digestion. Digestive enzyme supplements can also assist in breaking down your food if you have gut issues.

This digestive health article by expert Dr. David Williams provides more info on the importance of gut bacteria.

Also, many whey protein shakes are also difficult to digest. Opting for organic plant-based brown rice protein and vegan blends is a much better alternative as these are easier for the body to absorbs. I’ve listed the brands I use and write reviews on each of them on the WTITW resources page.
Want to learn about three other areas you MUST address if you’re not building muscle?

If any of the above 7 reasons apply to you then it will inevitably be more difficult to increase your muscle mass. But dealing with these 3 further issues is absolutely essential. Make these mistakes and you’ve got no chance of developing muscle and maintaining a strong, healthy body.

Add Comments