Why You Can’t Gain Muscle and How to Fix It

New article by Peter Fitschen, PhD over at MuscleMonsters.com on reasons why you are not gaining muscle.

Building muscle mass is one of the main goals of lifters in any given gym.  Despite this, many individuals in the gym look pretty much the same from year to year.  Many are confused as to why they are not making progress and as a result one of the most common questions I am asked is what to do to build muscle and why an individual is not progressing.

There are many potential culprits blunting an individual’s gains.  Below are 7 potential reasons why you are not making the gains you had hoped.

1. Not Eating Enough

When someone mentions to me that they cannot gain weight, the first thing I ask them is how many calories per day they are eating.  In most circumstances, the individual has no idea and will throw out some ungodly high number (e.g. 10,000kcal/day).  As someone who has a relatively quick metabolism myself, (in my late teens/early 20’s I required 5000+ kcal/day to gain weight) I am usually pretty quick to sniff out this over-exaggeration.

My general advice to those who are struggling to gain weight is to track everything you eat for 7 days while eating normally and also monitor your weight during this time.  If your average daily caloric intake while eating normally is around 3000kcal/day and you are not gaining, try increasing to 3300-3500kcal/day and see if that is enough to gain.  If that is enough, increase further.  Eventually you will hit a caloric intake where you will start to gain.  At that point, adjust your rate of gain based upon your progress and goals.

In addition, I would make sure you are consuming an adequate protein intake.  An intake of roughly 1g protein / lb bodyweight is going to be more than sufficient for building muscle.  If you find that your caloric intake is getting extremely high, I would consider increasing protein intake to ensure that you are able to eat at least some compete sources of protein throughout the day and do not get all of it from incomplete sources as a result of your high carbohydrate and fat intake.

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