Why do not your muscles grow?
Author: Damien Mace
At forums dedicated to bodybuilding and fitness, I regularly meet such a question:
Hello, I am engaged for a long period, but I could not even gain a few pounds. I train intensively and take sports supplements. But weight and strength do not grow! Help me please!
A fairly typical situation for people who have no practical experience in recruiting muscle mass and volume. As a rule, after several months of vain efforts, a person drops his hands. Very sorry. After all, non-knowledge is the only obstacle to progress.
In this article, we analyze the factors that can lead to the lack of results in the buildup of muscle mass. Below is a list of 15 reasons that describe 99% of cases of delayed muscle growth. If you took my advice, but your muscles still do not grow, I suggest going further and discussing the problem on our forum.
1. You do not get enough calories
Almost 90% of athletes' complaints about lack of muscle growth and / or strength are due to inadequate caloric intake. To maintain weight at the current level, the body needs a certain amount of calories. This indicator is called the basal metabolic rate (OSI). For each person PSI has a different value and depends on the total body weight, muscle mass, level of physical activity, age, etc. The consumption of calories in an amount less than PSI leads to weight loss (calorie deficit). If the daily intake of calories exceeds PSI, a person gaining weight (excess calories).
How do I know the amount of calories needed by an organism?
The easiest way to determine OSI is to use our calorie calculator. The principle of the calculator is based on the Harris-Benedict equation (the most accurate method), which calculates the daily requirement for calories. Go to the calculator page and find out your daily calorie intake. Most people do not even suspect how many calories they need to cover the daily energy needs of the body!
Let's return to our goal. To gain muscle mass and volume, you must consume more calories than you consume. To do this, add 500 calories to the value obtained with the calculator. That's how many calories your body needs every day to build muscle.
- Your calculated PSI is 2760 calories
2. You do not eat the right foods
By and large, with a positive balance of calories and zealous workouts, an increase in body weight will not keep you waiting. However, malnutrition can limit your potential, as a result of which the body will save fat reserves, and not build up a dry muscle mass.
To make the right diet for a set of muscles, you need to build on the ratio of proteins / fats / carbohydrates (BZH). It is believed that the optimal ratio of BIO for muscle growth is 30 / 20 / 50. That is, 30% of the total calorie intake you should receive from proteins, 20% – from fats and 50% – from carbohydrates.
Take our diet of 3260 calories, which was mentioned above, and make the calculations:
- 30% of 3260 calories = 980 of calories from proteins. Dividing into 4 (exactly the same number of calories per gram of protein), we get 244 g of protein per day
Now you need to distribute these figures to 6-7 meals a day. For more information on preparing a diet, see the article "Diet for muscle mass" on our website.
"When" you eat is not less important than "what" you eat. Traditional "3 servings per day" remained in the distant past. The results of scientific research show that small, but frequent meals accelerate metabolism, and also help maintain, reduce and increase body weight. Imagine that your body is a fireplace on the wood. If one flings too many firewood, the flame will be small and may go out. But if the firewood is thrown up a little – as the fire flares up – the flame will burn brighter and brighter.
Every day you should have at least 6 meals at regular intervals. It is desirable that all meals have the same calorie content, although in conditions of acute shortage of time it is allowed to eat a little more for breakfast / lunch / dinner.
You probably thought: "I can not eat so often." If I were given one dollar for each such answer, then I could already retire. In fact, you will succeed, you just need to make a small plan. There are many ways to prepare and store food throughout the day. After spending a couple of hours on the weekend, you can prepare lunches and snacks for a whole week. Give vent to imagination.
Another great option – sports mixtures. There is nothing easier, than to prepare a cocktail – it is enough to dissolve in water several spoons of a powder. One portion of a quality sports mixture usually contains about 600 calories, including a decent amount of protein, amino acids with branched chains (BCAA), glutamine and carbohydrates. This is "food in a cup" in the literal sense of the word. Before going to work, prepare a sports mixture and pour it into bottles – how many bottles, so many snacks. It's simple.
4. You do not drink enough water
Water is an amazing "additive" created by nature itself. Without it, normal functioning of the body is unthinkable. Many athletes underestimate the need to maintain a normal water balance in the training process. If the body is dehydrated immediately before training, it's too late to change anything – you will not have time to restore the water balance. Take care of saturation of the body with water immediately after waking up. Dehydration is a serious problem, which in extreme cases can lead to death. Among the main signs of dehydration can be noted:
To consume water in sufficient quantity is not at all difficult. Any excuses in this regard look ridiculous. You just need to always carry a bottle of water with you, regularly taking a sip throughout the day.
A number of sports supplements (the same creatine) stimulates the intensive excretion of water from the body. If you take monohydrate of creatine, you should increase the intake of water.
5. Your training program is no good
Progress is impossible without choosing the right training program, which corresponds to your physique, length of training and goal. Many beginning athletes copy training programs from sports magazines and articles under the authorship of professional bodybuilders. But these programs are not designed for beginners. They will not bring anything but lost time along with the decline of spirit and strength.
The principles of creating an effective training program:
- Keep adequate intervals between workouts for proper rest
It is also very important to know and understand the features of your physique. Each type of physique reacts differently to different training methods. The training program that helped your friend may prove ineffective for you.
6. You use the same training program for too long
Muscle growth is the body's response to an increase in stress levels. In training, muscles experience stress and grow to resist. But our body very quickly adapts to any changes, including physical activity. Accustomed to one training program, the body "does not see" the meaning of increasing muscle mass or becomes stronger. We need changes.
It is usually recommended to change the training program if there is no gain in strength or muscle mass (or every 8-10 weeks). If your training program lasts 12 weeks and the results continue to grow, you do not need to change anything. We are all different – if there is a result, the program is effective.
7. You are not focused on the growth of indicators
The growth of indicators provides for muscle growth. Without progress there will be no muscle mass. The growth of indicators is a constant increase in weights, stress level and intensity, which signals the body about the need to build muscle mass.
Each week, you should try to raise at least one indicator. This can be either an increase in the weight of the projectile, or an increase in the number of repetitions – but move forward should in any case. At this stage, it becomes obvious the need to maintain a training diary. Before the start of training, it is necessary to recall the results of last week, in particular, what weights were taken and in what number of repetitions. Having decided on the indicators that should be increased, you can go to the gym.
For more information on progress in training, see the article "Basic Methods of Progression."
In case of lack of progress (ie, you understand that muscle mass does not increase), use the other tips from this article, especially with regard to nutrition and training programs.
8. You perform exercises with bad technique
You have chosen the right exercises, but are you doing them right? If your goal is to give the maximum load to the target muscle, avoiding serious injuries, then you must do every exercise with the perfect technique. Do not imitate other visitors to the gym, because this is how delusions are born. Below is a set of general rules applicable to any exercise:
- Perform repetitions at a slow, controlled pace
On our site in the section "Exercises" there is a collection of training videos for studying the correct technique of performing strength exercises.
This point is closely related to the formulation of the correct training program. Choosing the wrong exercises is a common mistake among beginners. As a rule, preference is given either to isolation exercises (rather than basic exercises), or only to "liked" exercises.
Basic multi-joint exercises involve the maximum amount of muscle fibers and provide the maximum level of stress for the body. They are the "builders" of big muscles. The optimal ratio of basic and isolating exercises leaves 2: 1 or 3: 1. That is, one isolating exercise must be preceded by 2-3 basic. Of course, this advice can not be applied to the muscles of the hands and the gastrocnemius muscles, for which mainly isolating exercises are required. Here are some examples of multi-joint exercises for increasing muscle mass, which must be included in the training program:
In the section "Exercises" you can get acquainted with the technique of performing these exercises.
If you want to increase the weight in a bench press, increase weight in squats. Yes, yes, I understand that everyone wants to have huge biceps and a powerful chest. But there are two reasons why the training of the leg muscles should not yield to the intensity of training other muscles.
First, we should proceed from a long-term perspective. Do you want to look like a colossus on clay feet ?! Raskachannaya upper body on thin legs looks ridiculous. I had to meet such comrades – it's ridiculous! Secondly, exercises such as sit-ups, load the entire body. In addition to involving a number of muscles in the upper body, heavy squats stimulate the release of growth hormone, through which the body tries to resist the stresses. All muscles have a positive effect.
Leg training is a difficult, but necessary, component of increasing the overall level of physical fitness.
This paragraph in some way echoes with the item 5 – your training program is designed so that you do not have enough time for proper rest. Rest is no less important than training. Many believe that muscles grow in the gym – in fact, it's just the opposite. After strength training, millions of microscopic ruptures form in the muscle fibers. In fact, there is a destruction of muscles. The "pumping" of the muscles that we see in training is explained by the increase in their volume due to the intensive influx of blood. The real growth of muscles (with the restoration and hypertrophy of muscle fibers) takes place outside the gym, when we rest or sleep.
There are two reasons for the lack of proper rest. Firstly, you train too often (without interruptions). You can not feel it, but the body takes several days to fully relax and recover from intense stress. Restorations require not only muscle – rest is needed for the nervous system, ligaments, joints and even the brain.
Secondly, and here we again return to the preparation of the training program, it is likely that the muscle groups do not have time to fully recover after the next training. Muscles will not grow without enough time for rest. Everything is very simple. If a certain group of muscles has not moved away from the previous occupation, you should not train it. For most muscle groups, normal workout is considered once a week. Small muscle groups (for example, caviar and press) can be loaded twice a week, but at least with an 2-day break between workouts.
Sleep is the time when the body regains strength. For us, fans of iron sports, this is the time when the body restores the destroyed muscle fibers and increases the amount of muscle. As I said in the previous paragraph, there is no growth without rest. Try to provide the body 7-8 hours of quality sleep per day. Here are some tips to get a better night's sleep:
- Go to bed when you feel tired. If the body does not want to sleep, do not force it.
13. Your post-exercise nutrition is not good enough
It is believed that post-training complexes / snacks – this is the most important meal for the whole day. After training, the muscles literally beg us for a good portion of the nutrients that were consumed during physical exertion. The level of protein has fallen, the level of creatine has fallen, glycogen stores are depleted. Many visitors to gyms believe that a normal protein mix is more than enough for tired muscles after training. But this is not so. Yes, the protein mixture is better than nothing. However, it can not be compared with a good post-training complex. Here is one of the best options:
Mix the following ingredients:
Through 1 hour: A full meal with high protein, complex carbohydrates and fats.
As seen above, in the post-training complex I added dextrose and creatine. Dextrose is the simplest of all simple carbohydrates. Scientists have found that the intake of dextrose in this amount stimulates a large release of insulin into the blood. Insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone and promotes the rapid absorption of nutrients. That is, creatine, protein and BCAA are quickly absorbed into the muscle cells, where the process of muscle recovery begins.
14. Your pre-workout meal is no good
Carbohydrates provide the necessary energy reserves for intensive training. There is an 2 type of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Once in the body, simple carbohydrates (for example, the dextrose mentioned above) quickly become energy. To digest and assimilate complex carbohydrates it takes more time. On the other hand, they provide a long-term energy reserve in the body. Complex carbohydrates are the main source of "fuel" in training.
Your strength in the gym depends on what you eat throughout the day and for 1,5-3 hours before the start of the workout. As stated at the beginning of the article, meals should be evenly distributed throughout the day. A hearty breakfast and lunch will not provide you with enough energy if you train in the evening after work. It is more reasonable to do the following: a light breakfast, a second breakfast, a light lunch, an afternoon snack – and then a workout after work. In this case, the interval between the last meal and exercise will be 2 hours (which is an ideal option).
What can a pre-training snack consist of? It should be a full-fledged intake of food with a high protein content, complex carbohydrates and fats. The number of calories depends on your individual meal plan. It is desirable that the ratio of proteins / fats / carbohydrates (BJU) is somewhere 30 / 20 / 50. Here are a few examples of quality sources of complex carbohydrates:
Finally, the lack of muscle growth can be caused by poor motivation. Can you say, putting your hand on your heart, that at each workout put on 100%? There are several ways to increase motivation, which will help focus on achieving the goal.
Let's briefly summarize what we discussed in this article. To gain muscle mass and volume, you need .
- Calculate the amount of calories needed by the body and use more daily calories for 500.
I hope that this article will be useful and will help you avoid typical mistakes.
Everything depends on the person you need to set a goal and go to him and everything.
To me 16 and at minja growth 1, 92 and 75кг I not to the sorcerer to type weight help please
I am engaged in rock climbing and wushu for more than 2 years but the muscles do not grow. Help me please.
if the muscles do not grow at least Che make it all the same will not grow it has already been tested!
Thank you for the article
article shit. this and so everyone knows. it would be better to advise what some more or less available drugs for the muscles that are absolutely impenetrable
And what about those who can not train their legs because of problems with them?
And if there are problems with the genitals?
Good article! Thanks to the author!
Good article. The author is well done!
Great article! Everything in the case says. I really liked
All this food crap, in the army 3 times eat, what pumped up come
rather fat. Where did you see the pitching? The maximum increased 2-3 kg of muscles, the rest is fat.
from this one more criterion: the regime of the day
I agree with you
A good attempt, military commissar, but I will not go early 🙂
Especially dangerous is dehydration with intensive training. In this I was convinced, having familiarized with the item "Dehydration" in this article. As you can see, the lack of water in the body can lead to deterioration of the athlete's health and even to health problems. Therefore, for any exercise it is important to use the right amount of water, this should not be forgotten. After all, we all strive to be healthy, and athletes also to be strong!