3 Reasons You Are Not Putting on Muscle Like You Want to

Dec 19, 2022 mindpump

Have you hit a point in your training where your body isn’t changing? If that’s the case, here are 3 steps to kickstart things so you can get back on track and build more muscle.

First on the list…

You need to make getting stronger a priority. If you have been lifting the same amount of weight for the past 5 years, doing the same workouts every time you enter the gym, I’d go out on a limb and say you look the same.

That said, getting stronger is of utmost importance in building muscle. So let’s make it as simple as possible.

I want you to choose 1 compound exercise from each category below and try to get as strong as possible with this exercise in the 6 to 12-rep range.

  • Upper Body Push: Bench Press, Dip, Military Press, Weighted Push-Ups, Incline Dumbbell Bench
  • Upper Body Pull: Dumbbell Row Variation, Lat Pulldowns, Chin Ups, Pull-Ups, Weighted Inverted Rows
  • Lower Body Push: Back Squat, Front Squat, Bulgarian Split Squat, Goblet Squat, Reverse Dumbbell Lunges
  • Lower Body Pull: Hip Thrusts, Romanian Deadlifts, Back Extensions, Glute Ham Raise Machine, Single Leg Dumbbell RDLs

Once you choose your exercise in each category, work up to a 6-rep max, then the next week, try and get 7 reps with the same weight. The following week, shoot for 8. Once you reach 12 reps with this weight, add a few pounds and follow the same progression starting back at 6 reps with your new weight.

This is a simple way to get stronger and pack on more muscle.

You aren’t recovering and getting sleep. Folks, this is the least sexy performance hack of life everybody wants to ignore. But I promise it will change everything if you make it a priority.

If you sleep, you will see better results in the gym. Plain and simple.

Find a way to get 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep per night. I know we live in a hustle culture where online performance gurus preach sleep is for the dead. But I guarantee you will bypass all the workaholics who ignore it if you get consistent sleep. This goes for getting better results in the gym and everything in life. Good sleep will help you feel better, look better, and perform better in all areas.

Your diet is out of whack.

If you are not packing on muscle, likely, your nutrition is not on point. I’m not gonna tell you to turn into some crazy, obsessive calorie counter that avoids social gatherings and fun experiences in life because of food. 

But I do suggest tracking your food for a brief period. 

If you are trying to build muscle, multiply your body weight in pounds by 16. That will give you your total calorie count for the day. So for a 200-pound guy, you want to hit 3200 calories daily. 

Aim for 1 gram of protein per body weight. A little under is fine. For the same 200-pound guy, you would want to consume 150 to 200 g of protein per day. Make this a non-negotiable. Calories and protein must be your 2 main focuses here.  

As for carbs and fats, keep the portion sizes reasonable. Use common sense, and don’t go crushing pizza, pasta, and fries to meet your daily calorie goal. For carbs, throw a little white rice, potatoes, and oats on the side of your meals. You’ll get your fats from meat and eggs, which you’ll be consuming to get your protein. A few nuts and some avocado will work for fats too.

Spread your meals for 3-4 sittings daily, and you’re golden. 

Wrapping things up… 

If there was some magic bullet to build muscle, everyone would walk around and look great. The truth is the boring stuff, and those who can stay consistent with it will win every time.

The things on this list are not sexy, but they flat-out work. Dial these 3 in, and you will be pleased with the results.

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