why you are not gaining muscle mass

12 Reasons Why You Are Not Building Muscle Mass

Why am I not gaining muscles? Bad genetics? Hardgainer fate? We’ll tell you 12 mistakes when building muscles and how to avoid them.

Are you not building muscles? Maybe your genetics are causing this? Muscles are made up of two types of muscle fibers. Type I are thin stamina fibers. Type II are thick kraft fibers. The distribution of the fiber components is genetically predetermined.

Hard gainers are colloquially people who are thin and narrow. They find it difficult to gain weight and build muscle. Hard gainers often have a higher proportion of endurance fibers. Don’t worry, muscle building is still possible!

Building Muscles: the basics

The basic principle of muscle building lies in the combination of training, nutrition and regeneration.

Intensive and regular strength training leads to a training stimulus for your muscles. After training, your muscles need proper nutrition and sufficient regeneration. This is the only way your muscles can adapt to the stimulus. This adaptation to the stimulus is called supercompensation.

12 mistakes in building muscle

If you’re having trouble building muscle, it could be because of the following mistakes:

You don't workout enough

Get out of the comfort zone. If you train regularly per week, but with too little intensity (too light weight, too few repetitions or too few sets), your muscles lack the optimal growth stimulus. Intensive training, on the other hand, signals to your muscles that they are “too weak”. During the recovery time, your muscles begin to adapt. They enlarge and get stronger to cope with the next load.

Choose your weight so that the final reps are difficult for you. But not so difficult that a clean execution is no longer possible!

Increase your training load. You can either increase your weight moderately, do more repetitions or sets. Increase the weight, but not every week. Your ligaments, joints and tendons take a little longer to adjust to a new training weight.

If you train hard, but only once a week, the break between training sessions is too long. Your muscles will fall back to their original level. Try to exercise at least 2-3 times a week.

You workout with the wrong technique

Check your technique! An improper exercise or evasive movement reduces your training effect. Your target muscle is not being trained optimally.

You workout too much

It’s great that you are motivated. Control your motivation so that you can maintain it for as long as possible. Your muscles won’t grow unless you give them a break. Less is sometimes more.

You have the wrong workout plan

Does your training plan match your goal? Do you only do exercises that suit you better? Structure and plan your training. Incorporate basic exercises like squats or deadlifts. Compared to isolation exercises, basic exercises always target several large muscles at once.

If you are unsure about the right training plan or exercise execution, get support. Talk to the fitness trainer in your studio or treat yourself to a few hours with a personal trainer.

Your rep numbers should be between 8-12 repetitions. Do 1-2 warm-up sets and 3-4 work sets for each exercise. Also pay attention to your breaks in sentences. For large muscle groups, such as B. the legs, 90-120 seconds and for small muscle groups, such as the shoulders, 60-90 seconds.

You can bring variety to your training plan every 2-3 months with new exercises. In this way, training does not become boring and your muscles receive a different training stimulus.

You are doing too much cardio

Cardio training is good for your cardiovascular system and can help you build muscle. You last longer and your regeneration time is shortened. But don’t focus on your endurance training. Moderate cardio training twice a week is sufficient.

Endurance training burns calories. Include the extra calories burned in your eating plan. During the days you should eat a little more to get the calories back in.

You have a bad sleep

No muscles without sleep. Muscles do not grow during training, but mainly at night. During sleep, hormones are released that are responsible for your muscle growth. Try to get enough and good sleep.

You are in too much stress

The hormone cortisol breaks down muscle proteins in the stress phase in order to supply your body with energy. Give yourself a conscious break every now and then. Relax and structure your daily routine to keep your stress level low.


You're drinking too little water

Your body is made up of 60% water. 75% of your muscles! You also lose water through exercise. Make up for the fluid loss and drink at least 2-3 liters per day.


Alcohol prevents the optimal supply of nutrients to your muscles with carbohydrates and protein. Your testosterone production will be inhibited and your body will be deprived of water.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t drink alcohol anymore. But be aware that alcohol is counterproductive for building muscle.

You are not eating enough calories

Your diet should match your training goal. If you want to build muscle, you have to eat more. A calorie surplus of 300 to 500 calories per day is enough, otherwise you will also build up some fat mass.

Plan and design your meals so that your body is supplied with sufficient macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins, trace elements and minerals). Build your muscles with healthy foods.

If you have trouble eating large amounts: Eat high-calorie, low-volume foods. A good example of this are e.g. B. nuts, avocado, oils. Or try to eat more often during the day. Document your diet for 1-2 weeks to get an overview of whether you are really eating enough.

You lack protein

Muscle cells are made up of protein. Without enough protein, you cannot build muscle. We recommend 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

Wrong mindset

Why am I not gaining weight? Do not underestimate the power of your thoughts! Don’t put pressure on yourself. Muscle building doesn’t happen overnight. Stop doubting yourself. Do not compare yourself to others. Be patient and don’t give up, your muscles will come.

Summary: Why You Are Not Gaining Muscle Mass

  • So-called hard gainers can also build muscles.
  • Exercise intensely, 2-3 times a week.
  • Do the exercises cleanly and in a controlled manner.
  • Eat in a slight excess of 300-500 Kcal / day.
  • Make sure your muscles get enough regeneration.
  • Don’t put pressure on yourself.
  • Be patient. Building muscle takes time.