I’m hitting the gym consistently, eating healthy, focusing on weight training, but why I’m not gaining muscle mass?
Yes, not seeing results can feel very frustrating.
Week after week and the lack of motivation will start to creep in and without even noticing, you might be ruining your own workout!
While you may have done your research and watched many workout videos, many still make a variety of mistakes that can inhibit gains and slow down progress.
So, if you’ve been working hard for more muscle but haven’t seen any gains, there are at least a few reasons that might be preventing you from packing that lean muscle mass.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 reasons why you’re not gaining muscle mass and how to achieve your body goals quickly.
Why is it hard for Ectomorphs to gain muscle?
Naturally taller and leaner body types who usually find it easy to stay slim often struggle with gaining muscle.
So, why is it hard for ectomorphs to gain muscle?
With a classically long and lean body, an active metabolism, and thyroid function, these factors combined prevent ectomorphs from gaining much fat but also limit their muscle-building potential.
Ectomorphs typically have lower testosterone levels, and slightly weaker digestive function, which can lead to a lack of anabolic muscle-building hormone, a key factor in gaining weight.
While these are generalities, they should give you an idea to try things a little differently than your friend and to find the best diet and exercise plan for you to add more lean muscle.
What triggers muscle growth?
Muscle size increases when a person continually challenges the muscles to deal with higher levels of resistance or weight.
By doing so, a trauma will occur to the muscle fibers that are referred to as muscle injury or muscle damage.
The body repairs damaged fibers by fusing them, which increases the mass and size of the muscles.
Can you force muscle growth?
Stimulating muscle growth requires determination, but you also need a strategy.
Luckily, there are some tips to consider if you want to break through lifting plateaus.
Increase Your Training Volume
The law of overload is one of the first principles in any exercise program.
This is because progressive overload affects the mechanical loading stimulus that leads to hypertrophy.
Additionally, progressive overload can function as a valuable external indicator of whether you are gaining muscle or not.
Focus on the Eccentric Phase
When a muscle lengthens through the eccentric phase it has the greatest force production capability.
The rate at which actin and myosin detach from one another is greatly inhibited during the eccentric phase.
This allows for more contractions and higher force production thus leading to more muscle growth.
Increase rest between sets
When it comes to optimizing your training program, there are a lot of variables that need to be considered such as rest between sets.
There is a debate about whether you should have long or short rest periods between sets when it comes to gaining more muscle.
A study took 21 young resistance-trained men and randomly assigned them to two groups: 1-minute rest between sets (“short rest group”) and 3 minutes rest between sets (“long rest group”).
After 8 weeks, the long rest period group saw better muscle growth AND strength gains than the short period group.
Therefore, longer rest periods are likely the better option.
10 Reasons Why You’re Not Gaining Muscle Mass
Slow progress, plateaus, and no visible results are a part of your journey.
They highlight your flaws, challenge your ways of doing things, and force you to get better.
But, with a little science, savvy, and hard work, you can and will reach your goals quickly.
So, if you’re wondering “why I’m not gaining muscle mass?” the following 10 reasons will give you a well-rounded idea on which part might be slowing down your journey.
Not Understanding Your Body Type
There are three general somatotypes that play a major role in determining your capacity to gain muscle, one of them as we mentioned earlier is an ectomorph.
In addition to the low muscle mass, the myogenin deficiency limits the energy reserves to the muscles and does not allow the ectomorph to train hard enough.
And because of the active metabolism, most of the weight they put on them will be lean muscle rather than fat which opens an opportunity for the ectomorph to eat more freely, including junk food.
Not Enough Calories
But, I eat a lot and I don’t gain weight, relatable?
The truth is if you struggle to add lean muscle you’re probably not consuming enough calories.
And, if you don’t achieve your total intake of calories, you’ll never have enough “bricks” to build the body you want.
Because a surplus of calories is what creates an anabolic environment in the body.
Not enough rest
Rest is just as important as lifting.
Yes, what you do in the gym causes your muscles to grow, but change doesn’t happen until you’re resting or sleeping.
Also, studies found an association between a lack of sleep and high cortisol levels.
The latter can break down muscle tissue which is exactly what you don’t want if you’re trying to gain mass.
Too much cardio
If you’re already consuming below your maintenance, adding cardio and expending more energy will make gaining muscle near impossible to come by.
Yes, the right type of cardio is crucial when it comes to losing fat, but your first priority should be resistance training.
Feel free to add some cardio sessions but not at the expense of your recovery.
Also, don’t add long, steady-state exercise days while training to gain lean muscle.
Incorporating HIIT cardio sessions into your workout is the always best, since the short and intense exercises get your heart rate up and help maintain and continue muscle growth.
Not Enough Protein
This is such a basic thing, but most skinny guys fail to get enough protein in their diet to gain muscle.
The common rule in fitness nutrition is to aim for about one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day to meet your muscle-building needs
You can likely get all the protein you need through natural food sources such as meats, poultry, eggs, and fish…
Still, if you are going to supplement we highly recommend you to opt for BRF Whey Protein.
A pure, clean and high quality 90% isolate powder that’s gentle on your digestion and delivers all the amino acids your muscles need with none of the unwanted extras you’re trying to avoid.
If you don’t stick to a solid workout plan, your body will not respond correctly to your exercises.
Similarly, being consistent with your diet and rest patterns will lead to your body developing in the ways you wish.
If you’re not consistent with your nutrition, training, and rest, you’ll never achieve your fitness goals.
Consistency is applying all the right factors to create the optimal environment for your body to grow.
You Aren’t Training to gain muscle
If you don’t train with intensity, your muscles won’t get bigger or stronger.
Go hard and heavy enough to challenge your body beyond its normal capacity. That’s when change happens!
Also, if you want to build muscle, there’s no point in getting the lightest weight possible and maxing out on your reps.
Research suggests that the hypertrophy rep range is between 8-12 reps, so you should be consistently pushing yourself to lift heavier, not more.
Set yourself targets to achieve, and when you can easily perform it, start overloading by increasing the weight by 5% to give yourself a true challenge.
Not switching your plan
You’ve been going hard at the gym, your endurance is at its peak, and you’re feeling good.
But, you’ve also noticed that some of those gains you made have plateaued.
That’s when you want to tweak your plan. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can follow that will get you back on your muscle-building path.
Increase Your Volume
You can increase volume by adding more sets and reps of an exercise, and/or adding an entirely new exercise.
Just make sure the increases are gradual to prevent injuries.
Switch Your Exercises
If you’ve been doing the same routine for months, consider switching things up.
Because muscle-building plateaus occur once your body becomes accustomed to your workout routine.
Slow Your Reps
Another important component of muscle growth is time under tension or how long your muscles resist weight during a given rep or set.
Slow your reps by lowering the weight on a two- or three-count and doing the same while raising it will help you reap all the benefits.
Not Enough Compounds Lifts
A common mistake many people make in the gym is not including enough compound exercises in their workout plan.
They opt instead for more isolation work to improve their physique.
While they might be a good way to improve your muscular definition, they don’t create the anabolic environment you really need to pack on muscle.
Major lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench presses which help you gain muscle trigger much greater increases in testosterone compared to isolation exercises.
We left supplements for the last part because they’re the last thing you should worry about.
Only when you perfect everything we mentioned above you should then think about taking them to boost your muscle-building process even further.
When you do implement them, be sure to balance them with your nutrition, rest, and training. You can’t just take them and expect massive gains.
If you have low energy and you want to increase your gym performance we recommend you take NiacinMax.
Basically, it is a sports supplement whose main purpose is to encourage and support oxygen circulation through your body.
Then, you may want to go with D-Bal a potent and safe supplement with a brand new formula that promises to seriously increase your muscle mass and your training strength.
If you struggle with low testosterone levels try TestoGen, a 100% natural dietary supplement that acts as a testosterone booster and promises to increase your muscle size, strength, and stamina.
Final Thoughts – frustrated about not gaining muscle?
There you have it, 10 common mistakes that may be preventing you from gaining muscle, become stronger, leaner, and healthier.
If gaining muscle is your top priority and you’ve struggled to achieve your goal, get back to basics.
Increase your protein and caloric intake, pair it with compound lifts and enough rest to boost your anabolic hormones and achieve your desired weight.
If you perform the basics perfectly and treat every training session as an opportunity to become better, you will see progress.
And don’t forget consistency is the name of the game!