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Why Can’t I Gain Muscle?

Why Can't I Gain Muscle?

Hey, CyberFlexing.com readers! My name is Milo Martinovich and I am glad to get a chance to share some advice with you!

“Why Can’t I Gain Muscle? I swear I’m doing everything right!” I’ve heard this many times in my career. It is one of the most common questions asked by beginner trainees that aren’t quite locked in on what it takes to gain significant amounts of muscle efficiently.

So, I’ve come up with 5 questions to ask yourself to ensure that you are getting the most out of the effort you have been putting in! Troubleshoot your gains and get yourself on track to your goal physique!

Is My Nutrition In Check?

No, I’m not talking about just eating clean here. I am talking about you tracking your daily calorie intake and ensuring that you are getting ample amounts of protein. If you are looking to gain muscle, you need to be eating at least maintenance calories. If you are not a beginner (more than 1 year training), you’ll need to be a caloric surplus. Getting about 1g/lb of body weight, in protein, is sufficient to ensure a positive nitrogen balance and ample protein synthesis.

I’m going to tell you this: the most important aspect of your nutrition is your daily calorie and macronutrient intake! Meal timing, intermittent fasting, carb cycling, etc. all take a back seat to the proper caloric intake. Ensure you are eating to support new muscle growth and you are good to go!

Is My Training In Check?

Your training probably sucks. “But, Milo, I use one of the most popular free trainers on Bodybuilding.com!” No hate to the website, but those training programs probably aren’t right for you. Are you only training each muscle group once per week? If you are, you are leaving a ton of potential muscle protein synthesis on the table.

After a resistance training session, your body elevates protein synthesis to repair and grow your muscle fibers for about 36 hours. That means after those 36 hours, the levels return to baseline and you aren’t gaining much from that previous workout. To maximize your protein synthesis, you should be training each muscle group every other day. I know, this isn’t doable for many of you. Hitting the gym 365 days a year, or 5+ gym sessions a week just isn’t possible for many of us. Instead, make sure you are hitting each muscle group at least twice per week.

Also, you need to mix up your rep ranges. Strength (low reps, high weight), strength-endurance (medium weight, medium reps), and muscular endurance (high reps, low weight), are all valuable tools to grow muscle. Historically, bodybuilders only trained in the 6-12 range, thinking that was the only rep scheme that produced maximal hypertrophy. New research has found that to be false and shows good gains with all rep ranges!

Do I Need Professional Guidance?

Don’t assume you know everything about training, nutrition, and recovery! That is the surefire way to ensure you never meet your full potential!

There are a ton of good trainers out there that can help you along the journey. Programming an optimal program isn’t something that is easily learned for many. The same goes for nutrition. Many trainees can accomplish a lot more under the guidance of a professional.

If you can’t afford a trainer/coach, make sure you keep reading as much as you can online. You can check out my website, MM Fitness, for a lot of training and nutrition advice, as well as continuing to read here at CyberFlexing.com!

Why Can’t I Gain Muscle?

Is My Recovery Optimal?

Recovery is overlooked by many trainees. If you are a beginner, you might think you can go 100% every single session and never have to worry about recovery, or injuries. You will learn pretty quick that this isn’t the case.

You need to take steps to make recovery a priority. Flexibility and Mobility work is underutilized by most trainees. Things like icing, contrast showers, and Epsom salt baths can help your joints and connective tissue recover. Remember, you aren’t just hitting your muscle in the gym!

Bad recovery means bad gains! Don’t follow a great training plan and be spot on with your dietary intake only to be held back but sub-par recovery!

Am I Being Honest?

If you fixed all of the issues from the previous 4 questions and still don’t see the gains you are looking for, you need to ask yourself if you are lying! Are you really tracking your calorie intake daily and hitting your goals? Are you really training optimally and hitting the weights with intensity and frequency? Are you recovering the best you can to ensure you can give 100% in your next sessions? Are you sure you don’t need guidance along the way to ensure you are training, eating, and recovering properly?

If you answer Yes to those questions and don’t see gains, you are lying. Sorry, but honesty is necessary. Building muscle isn’t rocket science people.

Now Go And Build Some Muscle!

Audit yourself with these questions, fix the errors, and chase those gains down! Eat a caloric surplus, train hard and often, and recover optimally. You will see success!

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read my article. I appreciate it! Let me know what you think with a comment and I’ll be happy to talk with you! Also, don’t forget to share the article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.


About Milo Martinovich:
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer & Specialist In Fitness Nutrition. Milo owns a private personal training studio in his small home town and also coaches people online around the world! He has helped hundreds of clients reach their goals. Check him out at mmfitstrong.com

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