Have you ever experienced any situation when your muscles aren't growing at all, however strenuous your workout sessions are? For this problem, there is a wide range of factors that make you suffer this predicament. Here is a list of 12 factors that that may have hindered your muscle growth.
1. You don’t sleep enough
Regular unsound night sleeps can prevent your muscles from growing. Insomnia, i.e you don't have enough sleep, raises cortisol level (a stress hormone) in your body. As a result, that does harm to your growth hormone and restrains your body from the proper glycogen storage. Those things can negatively affect your muscle growth.
Also, if you are skimping on sleep, then you are not working out at 100% and there will be no improvement at all.
- You'd better sleep soundly for at least 7.5 hours every night and try your best to rid off stress and strain before going to bed. That is to say you should turn off all electronic devices at least half an hour before bedtime. If you have difficulty in dozing off, I advise you to take a warm shower or bath before you go to sleep.
2. You shun carbs
You should not regularly include in your diet food items that are high in carbs and low in nutrients, such as pizza, candy, white bread, etc. However, it's worth noting that not all carbs are your enemy. In fact, a harsh cutback on carbs may be the culprit that makes you start to look quite flabby.
When your carbs level is low, your muscles won’t receive the needed amount of glycogen to lift up the weights. This can have a negative impact on your muscle growth and can enervate you.
- Maintain complex and slow-digesting carbs (oatmeal, whole grains, Ezekiel bread, beans, quinoa, and fruit) in your diets and also cut back on processed starchy junk.
3. You’re a booze man
Though it’s OK to enjoy a cup of cold drink sometimes, sucking too many can hamper your muscles from recovering. The reason is, when you take in alcohol, your body will call on antioxidants – those substances typically used in growing muscles – to help in alcohol metabolism.
- If you want your training to take effect, you should cut out alcohol altogether. If you can’t, then try hard to have only one evening indulging in booze a week.
- Remember to have a cup of water after each round to slow your drinking pace and lower the drink number you swallow the entire evening.
- Yet, it would do better if you stop after 3 drinks – whether it is beer, shot or cocktail; three is a perfect stop. Once you know well your drink limit, I’m sure you can easily achieve your fitness goals.
4. You don’t mix things up
You need to train your muscles at different volumes, angles as well as intensities in order to keep them challenged. Just stick to the same muscles and the same workouts, then your efforts won’t pay off.
- As your muscles eventually get accustomed to performing certain workouts, these seem no longer effective. Try to change your workout program every few months to breathe new life into your muscles.
- You can also put yourself to a harder test by adopting exercises aimed at your weakness points, whether that is flexibility or quad strength.
5. You don’t take in enough protein
If you hope for a stouter look, it’s vital that you increase your protein intake. Why? It’s because, in protein, there are amino acids – the compounds necessary for building and repairing your muscle tissues. A lack of amino acids will lead to curbed growth of muscles. Especially, your body cannot produce these amino acids on its own.
- Be sure your minimum high-quality protein consumption is 1.2 to 1.7 grams/ body weight pound. For example, a man weighing 200 pounds should have 109 to 154 protein grams in his daily meals.
- You should also bear this in mind: chicken, red meat, fish, and eggs are not necessarily the only sources of protein. Plant-based proteins from quinoa or Ezekiel bread are exactly like animal-based proteins, which mean they consist of all 8 amino acids necessary for your body to power your muscles.
Read more: 10 Best Supplements for Energy
6. You are overtraining
If you’re working yourself out intensively, at the same time, you’re wearing down your muscles. It’s important to give your muscles enough time for recovery from damages caused by your last strenuous training.
- As a result, the best thing to do is training your muscle groups one by one about twice a week. Or, you can have 1 or 2 day-off after every 7 days of working out.
7. You only train trophy muscles
Only training abs and biceps - those you can show off at the beach - means no overall muscle growth. Your back and legs are among the biggest muscles. If you neglect training them, you’re not letting your muscles grow to its full potential. Moreover, when you only train your trophy muscles, you will possibly cause imbalances that can result in injuries and prevent you from visiting the gym for the long term.
Remember to strike a right balance in training all areas of your build. Remember to include forward, backward, lateral movements as well as mobility training.
8. You’re doing too much cardio
Even though cardio is a great way to lose fat, an excess amount of it can cause a catabolic and muscle-burning state for your body.
- If your fitness goals are to be stouter and stronger, then your training program should not include too many cardio exercises. Instead, you can choose HIIT workouts or some simple cardio sessions. Yet, you should prioritize 3 to 4 weight workout days.
- If you don’t favor too arduous intervals, let’s take a cardio session somewhere in between your workouts, but not hampering your recovery.
9. You’re stressed out 24/7
If you are under high-stress level that means the level of cortisol in your body is also increased. Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps whet appetite and raise fat storage. Stress also hinders the glucose usage ability of body’s cells. This can make muscle proteins break down, thus curbing muscle growth, according to a research published in Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise.
- You need to pinpoint what causes your stress, then squish it the way you do to a bug. In this case, you can ditch your high drama girlfriend, you can ask your boss to reduce your workload or you can enroll for a yoga class, too.
- Having a sip of rooibos tea also does a good job because it contains Aspalathin, a flavonoid that has been proved to lower stress hormones.
10. Long Workouts.
It’s never worth bragging about training for hours in the gym. The reason is after 45 minutes working out, the level of cortisol (a stress hormone) in your body begins to increase.
Cortisol helps regulate your metabolism so that your body has enough energy to operate. The problem here is, when your cortisol levels go up during a workout session, it follows that your body will receive the signal from the hormone to tap into muscle protein as an extra source of energy. At the same time, all the positive affects you expect from your workout are wiped away.
- A 45-min session is all you need for a quality workout. Any added minutes will put your body in a state where no new muscles are created.
11. You Don’t Lift Heavy.
In order to increase in size, you have to constantly challenge your muscles with heavy weights. It’s also important to raise the weight over time. Lifting the same weight as 4 months ago means your muscles can’t grow any bigger.
- If your goal is to gain muscle mass as quickly as possible, it’s necessary that you lift heavy ass weights.
12. You’re dehydrated
Most people want to achieve their fitness goal of muscle mass by focusing on consuming proteins and carbs. Yet, many guys forget one important thing: drinking enough water. The result is their muscles end up dried out.
Water is vital for digestion. So, a lack of water can have a negative impact on this process. As a result, your muscles won’t receive the nutrients needed for their growth. Plus, when your body is dehydrated, you will have more difficulties going all out during training sessions, thus probably affecting your results.
- Remember to drink an amount of water that is half your body weight. That is, a guy whose weight is 200 lbs should take in 100 lbs of water or 12 and a half cups per day. Also, if you feel thirsty, it means you are dehydrated. So even though you’ve already reached your water quota, feel free to drink more.
All things considered, above are 12 main factors that may be responsible for your curbed muscle growth. A good understanding of these factors and the fix for each one will be useful for you to overcome obstacles in gaining muscle mass. Get ready to say goodbye to your average bodybuilding and welcome a muscular look!