reasons why you cant gain muscle


You’ve been working out for a while now. Your diet is just perfect. You give your 100% every time you go to the gym. You’ve also sacrificed your favorite foods and started eating tasteless healthy food. Unfortunately despite all of these struggles you see no change in your body. And you just can’t gain muscle.

At this point, you are looking forward to doing anything it takes to build those stubborn muscles to look superbly smoking hot.

I’ll be listing below some common silly mistakes that are killing your gains and just won’t let you build muscles and look awesome. So now you’ll know what’s wrong and you can work to fix and achieve that dream physique you’ve always wondered for. I’ll also provide solutions for these mistakes.

1. You’re not eating enough.

reasons why you cant gain muscle-food

This is the most common mistake which hard gainers do when trying to build muscle. I myself did this mistake when I first started hitting the gym.

If you find yourself eating more often that doesn’t mean you’re eating enough. Calories in vs Calories out is a thing. You should track your daily calories in order to find if you’re on the right path.

Well don’t panic now, most people think that tracking calories is a tough task to do. No, it’s not, it’s super easy. I’ve written a comprehensive guide for calculating the number of calories you need to eat to gain muscles in my article: How to build muscle fast?.

Focus on tracking calories. Not getting enough nutrients can be the reason why you can’t gain muscles.

2. You might not be getting enough proteins.

reasons why you cant gain muscle-proteins

Maybe you’re eating the right amount of food but are you really eating the right amount of proteins?

Proteins are the basic building blocks of muscles. Muscles love proteins. They just won’t grow if you don’t give em enough proteins.

Calculating the amount of proteins you need to eat every day is super easy.

There’s a simple bodybuilding rule that says ‘Consume at least 1 gram protein per pound of your body weight to gain muscles’.

So, for example, A guy weighing 150 pounds should eat at least 150 grams of proteins in a day to make sure that the muscles aren’t deprived of proteins.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should immediately hope on the whey supplement’s jar. Well, there’s no harm in taking supplements, it’s all natural. But in the beginning, try fulfilling your protein intake from your basic home diet. If after some efforts still, you can’t manage to fulfill your body’s protein requirement from the whole foods that’s when you should go for supplements. I’ve managed to gain 44 pounds of muscles without any supplements. If I can do it, so can you. Not getting enough protein is one of the most common reasons why people can’t gain muscle.

3. You’re undertraining.

reasons why you cant gain muscle-undertraining
Image by ozkay from Pixabay

Listening to this, people often start arguing saying that they really work hard in the gym. But ask yourself few questions.

  • Do you really feel that warm pump after the workout?

Chasing the pump isn’t considered as the best approach. But try doing it and see how good it feels.

  • You go to the gym for 2 hrs a day. But how much of those 2 hrs really consists of workout?

Don’t take more than 2 minutes of rest between the sets and 5 mins of rest between the exercises.

  • You have a workout program planned or you just do any exercise you feel of doing when you enter the gym?

Write down a workout program to follow. Try hitting small muscles twice a week and large muscles once a week.

  • Do you really focus on progressive overloading?

Progressive overloading is the key if you want to build strength and hence gain muscles. Try increasing some weight, reps or sets than the previous workout. This will no let your muscles get used to the weights you lift and your muscles have to grow coz they have to lift more volume now.

4. You’re overtraining.

reasons why you cant gain muscle-overtraining

It is surprising but overtraining also kills gains. Anything in excess is harmful even if its something good like working out.

As I said earlier, you should focus on working for small muscle groups twice a week. But don’t train them on two consecutive days.

Resting plays an equally important role as dieting and working out in muscle building.

Any muscle should get at least 48 hours for recovery after a workout.

So if you hit your back in the gym on Monday and then you hit your biceps on Tuesday then you’re going nowhere.

This is because almost every back exercise targets not only your back muscles but also your biceps.

So doing back on Monday and biceps on Tuesday is equivalent to training biceps for 2 days consecutively. Your biceps won’t get enough time to recover and hence they won’t grow. The same applies to the other muscles as well. So plan your workout regime such that each muscle should get at least 48 hours of recovery time.


5. No muscle-mind connection.

If you’re doing your regular workout and thinking about the movie you watched recently or what you’re going to eat when you get home, etc. then you can’t expect to get results faster. You’ve to involve yourself mentally in the workout.

The moment you step into the gym all you should think about is the muscle you’re gonna train that day.

Suppose you’re hitting bicep curls. While doing the curls connect your brain completely to your bicep muscles. Every time you bring the weight up force yourself into feeling the contraction. Similarly, every time you let the weight go down during curls feel that stretch in your biceps.

Doing this will not only improve your muscle growth but it’ll also improve your muscle maturity in a short period of time.

The wrong form is also a basic reason why people can’t gain muscle. But if you work on the muscle-mind connection it’ll ultimately improve your form too.

6. You avoid compound lifts.

reasons why you cant gain muscle-compound lifts

If you don’t do any compound lifts then you’re missing out on some of the best muscle building exercises.

Deadlifts and Squats are the kings of muscle building exercise.

Add Deadlifts, squats, pushups, pull-ups, etc. compound exercises in your workout program and see your overall strength grow.


  • Find out your body’s caloric requirement and fulfill it every day.
  • Eat sufficient proteins.
  • Focus on progressive overloading.
  • Muscles should get enough time to recover after a workout.
  • Get mentally involved in the workouts.
  • Your workout should consist of compound movements.

Now you most certainly know the reason why you cant gain muscle and you can now work on it and make those gains.

Where were you lacking?


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