6 Reasons You’re Not Gaining Muscle

If you’re putting in the effort at the gym and working hard to gain muscle, you should be succeeding right? However, you’re not seeing the progress you want. Your arms are still flabby. Your bootie is still big and undefined. You’re probably thinking, just what do I keep doing wrong?

Luckily, or not, there are quite a few reasons that you might be putting in the work but seeing very little return on your efforts. You could need to lift heavier, increase your reps, or any other number of things. In this blog, we will cover a few of the top reasons you’re not gaining muscle. So, without further ado, let’s get started on our blog of the top reasons you are failing to gain the muscle you want.

6 Reasons You are not gaining muscle

You are Not Eating Enough

Believe it or not, this is one of the most common mistakes people make when they are attempting to build muscle. In most cases of exercise and fitness plans, it’s important to try to trim that weight. This is not the case when it comes to trying to gain muscle.

Plain and simple,  if you have the desire to gain more then you need to start eating more. When you are trying to gain muscle, you need to take in 16 to 18 times your body weight in calories, though that may vary from person to person. For example, if you’re really skinny and find it hard to gain weight, you might end up having to intake in upwards of 25 times your own bodyweight.

It is important to note at this point that you don’t need to overdo eating either. The body only has the capability of gaining so much muscle at a time. You don’t want your eating to turn into fat instead.

Another way to help gain muscle is by making sure you get plenty of protein in your diet. Foods such as fish, cheese, milk, dairy, and meat are usually chockful of protein and taste good as well. Also, don’t forget those fruits and veggies, as you need to stay healthy while trying to build your muscles as well.

You’re Not Weight Training Properly

You’re not going to gain the muscle you desire if you’re training with weights that are too easy for you. To gain muscle, you’re going to need to really challenge those same muscles with the use of heavyweights. However, if you start lifting weights that are too heavy then you’re not going to gain size, though you may be getting stronger.

For the best results, go with weights that allow you to do 6 to 12 reps at a time.

You’re not Training Each Muscle Group

If you’re concentrating on one muscle group more than the others, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Many people trying to build muscle concentrate on building one muscle group per week. They do this because the muscle magazines tell them to. This style of training is for more advanced muscle builders. As a beginner, you will need to train your whole body three times every week.

In this way, you’re training all muscle groups and will soon begin to see the results you desire.

You’re not getting Enough Sleep

Your body and your muscles grow when you’re resting and sleeping. It doesn’t grow when you’re training. That’s because the body regenerates itself when you’re at rest. This means your muscles will grow as you sleep.

Simply put, if you don’t get enough sleep, then your muscles will fail to grow. Need help tracking your sleep cycles? Take a look at the sleep monitoring devices we reviewed.

If you’re training regularly, then you should make it a goal to get 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night. While staying out and partying on the weekend might be tempting, if you want your muscles to grow, then you need to make this a priority and stay in. Getting enough sleep is paramount to muscle growth. But of course, the choice s yours.

You’re too Stressed

It’s a well-known fact that if you stress all of the time, your body will increase its production of cortisol. Cortisol eats away at your muscles, then causing it to store more fat. That’s why it’s so important to watch your stress levels.

This isn’t just important for building muscle, but for your overall mental and physical health as well. If you can’t reduce your stress levels, then try meditating, relaxing or another form of stress relief to get the job done.

If you’re looking to build muscle, then the stress has got to go. If you continue to stress, then everything you’ve worked so hard for was all for nothing.

You Lack Consistency

While all of the points above are important, fixing them isn’t going to work if you lack consistency. If you want to make progress consistency is key. You need to set a training schedule and stick to it. You can’t expect to build muscle if you train one week and then skip the next.

Instead, you need to set your training schedule and stick to it rigidly, because this is the only way you’re going to see the gain you’re hoping for.

These are just a few of the top reasons that you’re not gaining the muscle you hope too. If you’re doing everything right, following the tips above and still not gaining, it’s time to see your doctor.

If Nothing Works See Your Doctor

If you’re following all the rules and are consistent, you should start seeing muscle gain. However, if you’re not, you might need to make an appointment with your primary health care provider.

In some cases, there is a medical reason why you’re not gaining muscle or why you’re steadily losing weight. It’s best to talk to your doctor and let him determine what the problem might be. Just to be on the safe side.

This concludes our blog on the reasons you might not be gaining muscle. Remember, while following the tips above is important, it takes patience and determination as well. So, don’t give up on your dreams. Until next time, happy lifting, everyone!


  1. Jay Williams, Ph.D., Trick (and Treat) Your Muscles, Informative Article
  2. Steve Kamb, How Fast Can I Build Muscle Naturally?, Article
  3. Julian Shapiro, Building Muscle, Article