Why You're NOT Building Muscle!

This article takes a close look at the reasons why you're not building muscle and gaining weight. Read this is you're having trouble getting big!

Here’s a question I see time and time again in online bodybuilding & fitness forums:

“Hi, I have been working out for __ [insert long time period here] months and I have only gained __ [insert small amount of weight here] pounds. I train hard and have been taking XYZ supplements. I can’t gain weight or get stronger! Please help!”

This is an all too common story for people with no experience or knowledge on how to build muscle and gain weight. In most cases, after trying to gain weight for several months the person will quit. That’s a pity, because the only thing stopping the person from progressing is knowledge.

In this article I’m going to discuss in detail the possible reasons why you’re not building muscle. I’ve got 15 reasons listed below, which covers 99% of reasons why you’re not growing. If you feel you’re doing everything I’ve talked about here, and you’re still not growing, let’s take it one step further and talk about it on our forum.

15 Reasons why you’re not building muscle:

1. You’re not getting enough calories

Calorie consumption is the solution to about 90% of the complaints lifters have about not being about to get bigger and/or stronger. Your body requires a certain number of calories to maintain your current weight. This figure is known as basal metabolic rate (BMR), and varies from person to person depending on your weight, muscle mass, activity level, age etc. If your calorie intake is lower than BMR, you will lose weight. This is known as a calorie deficit. If your daily calorie intake is higher than your BMR, you will gain weight. This is known as a calorie surplus.

How do you know how many calories your body needs?

The easiest way to calculate your BMR is to use our BMR calculator. This calculator uses the Harris Benedict Formula (one of the most accurate methods) to calculate your daily calorie requirements. Go over to the calculator and work out your daily calorie requirements. Most people are surprised at how many calories they need just for maintenance!

Let’s focus on your goal. You want to build muscle and gain weight, so your calorie intake needs to be more than your expenditure. Take the figure the calculator gave you and add 500. This is how many calories you should be eating every day to build muscle.


  • Your calculated BMR is 2,760 calories
  • You require 3,260 calories for weight gain
  • You require 2,260 calories for weight loss

Muscular physique

Calorie consumption is the solution to about 90% of the complaints lifters have about not being about to get bigger and/or stronger.

2. You’re not eating the right foods

Generally speaking, if you’re eating excess calories every day and training with a decent workout you’ll grow. But, if you’re not eating the right foods, the chances are that you’ll be limiting your potential, putting on excess body fat, and not growing enough lean muscle.

The best way to plan your muscle building diet is to split it up into protein/carbohydrate/fat (P/C/F) ratios. Arguably the best ratio of muscle growth is 30/50/20. This mean you’re getting 30% of your total calories from protein, 50% from carbohydrates and 20% from fats.

So let’s look at our 3,260 calorie diet from above and break it up:

  • 30% of 3,260 is 980 calories from protein.
    Divide by 4, and that’s 244g protein per day
  • 50% of 3,260 is 1630 calories from carbs.
    Divide by 4, and that’s 408g carbs per day
  • 20% of 3,260 is 650 calories from fat.
    Divide by 9, and that’s 72g fat per day

Now all you need to do is spread those amounts over 6-7 meals per day. For more detailed information on building a diet see our how to create a bodybuilding diet article.

3. You’re not eating enough meals

When you eat is just as important as what you eat. The days of eating “3 square meals” are long gone. Research has shown that eating more smaller meals is not only great for promoting a fast metabolism, but helps maintain, lose, and gain weight. Think of your body like a log fire. If you put too much wood on at once, the fire burns slow and sluggish. But if you gradually add more wood as the fire gets bigger, it burns more efficiently and gets bigger.

You should be aiming for a minimum for 6 meals spread at even intervals throughout the day. You want to make these meals as even as possible, but it’s OK to eat a bit more at breakfast/lunch/dinner if you don’t have time during the other breaks.

So you’re probably thinking, “I don’t have time to eat all those meals”. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that I could retire. The truth is you can, it just requires a bit for forward planning. There are endless ways you can cook and store food for meals throughout the day. Spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon cooking up your lunches and snacks for the week. Use your imagination. Here’s some examples of foods you can cook, then freeze or refrigerate.

  • Chili
  • Stir fry
  • Mexican chicken & potatoes
  • Pasta bowls
  • Potato and chicken salad
  • Beef stew

The other option is weight gain shakes. There’s nothing easier than banging some water into a shaker with some powder, having a shake, and drinking. Good meal replacement shakes usually contain around 600 calories with good amounts of protein, BCAAs, glutamine and carbohydrates. It’s literally a meal in a cup. All you need is a few shaker bottles, add the powder before work, then just add water and drink on the job. Simple.

4. You’re not getting enough water

Water is nature’s wonder supplement, it’s essential for a whole host of bodily functions. Many lifters underestimate the importance of being hydrated well before they step into the gym. If you feel dehydrated just before you’re about to train, it’s too late, you won’t be able to rehydrate yourself time. Keeping yourself hydrated should be a priority from the moment you get out of bed. Dehydration is a serious problem, and in extreme cases can lead to death. Here are some signs of dehydration you should look out for:

  • Feeling thirsty (obviously)
  • Fatigue. Feeling tired for no apparent reason.
  • Dry mouth and possible sore throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine with strong odor

Drinking an adequate amount of water is easy, and there’s no excuse why you cannot do it. Just take a bottle wherever you go and keep sipping out of it throughout the day.

Some supplements, like creatine, may lead to dehydration. If you’re using creatine monohydrate you should increase the amount of water your consuming.

Dumbbell rows

If you’re not gaining it may be due to lack of motivation. Can you honestly say you put in 100% every time you hit the gym?

5. Your workout routine sucks

Choosing the right routine to suit your body type, training experience and goal is vital. Many new lifters get their workout routines from magazines and articles written by professional bodybuilders. These workouts are not designed for beginners, and will only lead to a lot of wasted time, energy and frustration.

A good workout routine needs the following:

  1. Training days arranged to allow for adequate rest
  2. Muscle groups arranged so overtraining does not occur
  3. Muscle groups arranged so that each muscle can be worked to maximum effect
  4. A good selection of compound and isolation exercises
  5. Good warm up and cool down

We have a big database of workouts on this site that have been designed for beginners right through to advanced lifters. Check out our workouts section.

It’s also important to know and understand the characteristics of your body type. Different body types respond to different methods of training. What works for your friends may not work for you. For more information on body types see our “which of the body types are you?” article.

6. You’ve been using the same workout too long

Building muscle is simply the process of the body reacting to increased stress. You put stress on your muscles in the gym, and they grow bigger to cope with the stress. The body is very quick to adapt to any changes, this includes your workout. Once your body adapts to your workout routine, it will not see the need to build more muscle or get stronger. You have to change.

As a general rule you should change your workout when you stop getting stronger or heavier, or after about 8-10 weeks. If you’ve been doing your workout for 12 weeks and you’re still growing, don’t change it, everyone is different – if you’re still growing, stick to it. We have plenty of great workouts on this site for all experience levels. Check out the workouts section.

7. You’re not focused on progression

Progression builds muscle, without it you won’t grow. Progression is the constant increase of weight, stress and intensity required to tell your body that it needs to grow more muscle.

You should aim to improve at least one aspect of your workout every week. It could be increasing the weight, it could be your increase the reps, but it has to be something. This is where a training log becomes so important. Before every workout you should look back at what you did the previous week, exact weights and reps. Choose the areas you want to improve, and get in the gym and do it.

If you’re finding that you can’t progress (ie you’re not getting stronger) read the other points in this article, especially the points about diet and workout routines.

8. Your exercise technique is bad

You’re doing the right exercises, but are you doing them right? If you want to place the maximum amount of stress on the muscle, and prevent serious injuries, you have to execute every movement with good form. Don’t copy what others are doing in the gym, this is how bad habits spread. Here are a few general rules that apply to most exercises:

  • Keep your reps slow and controlled
  • Don’t use momentum to move weight (no swinging!)
  • Use a full range of motion
  • Don’t lock joints out at the top of movements

Check out the exercises section on this site for instructional videos on how to do all the muscle building exercises correctly.

Barbell deadlift

It’s important to know and understand the characteristics of your body type. Different body types respond to different methods of training.

9. You’re doing the wrong exercises

This goes hand in hand with a solid workout routine. Doing the wrong exercises is a common mistake made by new lifters. Usually, the lifter is either doing too many isolation exercises and not enough compounds, or only doing exercises they “like”.

Big compound movements recruit the most muscle fibers and place the most stress on the body. These are your big muscle builders. A good compound to isolation ratio is 2-1, or 3-1. So for every 2-3 compound exercises you do, you do 1 isolation. This of course does not apply to arms, forearms, and calves where most exercises are isolation movements. Here are some big mass builders that you should be including in your routine:

  1. Squat
  2. Deadlift
  3. Wide grip pull up
  4. Chin up
  5. Rows
  6. Bench press (dumbbell and/or barbell)
  7. Dips
  8. Shoulder press (dumbbell or barbell)

Check out the exercises section for instruction on these exercises.

10. You’re not training your legs

Want to increase your bench, increase your squat. Yeah, yeah, I know we all want big biceps and chests, but here’s 2 reasons why you should train your legs just as hard as the rest of your body.

Firstly, think long term here. Do you want to get the ostrich look?! A big upper body on thin legs does not look good, in fact I’ve seen it in extremes, and it’s laughable! Secondly, exercises like squats have an impact on your whole body. Not only does it use most of your upper body muscles in the movement, but this exercise is so stressful that the body releases growth hormone to try and cope with the load. This effects the entire body.

Leg training is hard, but essential for a well developed physique. See the leg exercises section for detailed instructions on how to do leg exercises using strict technique.

11. You’re not getting enough rest

This point kind of goes back to point #5, your workout routine does not allow for adequate rest. Rest is just as important as training. Many people believe that muscle building takes place in the gym, but it’s actually the opposite. Weight training is actually creating millions of tears in the muscle tissue. In effect, you’re actually damaging the muscle. Your muscles get “pumped up” because of the swelling caused and increased blood flow to the area. The actual muscle building (repair and growth of new muscle tissue) takes place out of the gym, when you’re resting and sleeping.

There are 2 ways you may not be getting enough rest. First, you are training too many days without taking as day off. Although you may not feel it, you body needs days of complete rest to recover from hard training sessions. It’s not just the muscles that need to recover, it’s your whole neurological system, tendons, joints, even your brain need rest.

Secondly, and this comes back to your workout routine again, you may not be allowing muscle groups to fully recover between training sessions. If you do not allow enough recovery time, your muscles will not grow. It’s that simple. If your muscle group is still sore from the previous workout, don’t train it. For most muscle groups, one training session per week is adequate. Some smaller muscle groups like calves and abs may be trained twice, but still need at least 2 days of rest between sessions.

12. You’re not getting enough sleep

Sleeping is you body’s time to recharge. For you, the weight trainer, it’s your body’s time to repair damaged muscle tissue, and grow more muscle. As I discussed in the previous point, no rest, no muscle. Aim to get around 7-8 hours of good quality sleep every night. Here’s some tips on how to get a good night’s rest:

  • Only sleep when you’re tired. There’s no point it trying to when you’re not.
  • Develop sleeping rituals, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
  • Refrain from stressful activities for 1-2 hours before bed
  • Don’t take stimulates within 4-6 hours before bed time
  • Have a light snack before bed

13. Your post workout nutrition sucks

Your post workout shake/meal is arguably the most important meal of the day. When you finish your workout, your muscles are crying out for nutrients that were lost during training. Your protein levels are down, creatine levels are down, and glycogen is depleted. Most people think that a simple whey protein shake is all that’s needed after your workout. This is not true. While a protein shake is better than nothing, it still falls well short of a good post workout shake. Here’s what would be better:

Shake containing the following:

  1. 30-40g of whey protein powder
  2. 5g of creatine
  3. 60-70g of dextrose

1 hour later:

A well rounded meal containing protein, complex carbs and fats.

You see above I’ve pimped out your post workout shake by adding dextrose and creatine. Dextrose is the simplest of simple carbohydrates. Studies have shown that taking dextrose in these doses creates a huge spike of insulin in the body. Insulin is an extremely anabolic hormone and helps move nutrients quickly throughout the body. This means that the creatine, protein and BCAAs are quickly absorbed into muscle cells where they’re needed for muscle repair to begin.

14. Your pre-workout nutrition sucks

Carbohydrates are the key to having adequate fuel in your tank for a hard workout. There are 2 types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates (like dextrose mentioned above) are quickly converted into energy for use in the body. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and process, but provide you with long lasting energy. Complex carbohydrates are your primary fuel source for your workouts.

What you eat throughout the day, and 1.5-3 hours before your workout is going to affect how much energy you have. Like I mentioned at the start of this article, you need to space your meals out evenly throughout the day. If you eat a big breakfast, a big lunch, then train after work, you’re probably going to feel tired and sluggish. What would be better a better approach would be to eat a small breakfast, mid morning meal, smaller lunch, afternoon meal, then train after work. This gives you about 2 hours between your last meal and training, which is ideal.

So what should you have in your pre workout meal? This meal should be well rounded, containing protein, complex carbohydrate and fats. The amount of calories in the meal depends on your personal diet plan. Try and keep the protein/carbs/fats (PCF) ratio to around 30/50/20. Here is some examples of quality sources of complex carbohydrates:

  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes
  • Brown bread
  • Pasta
  • Oats
  • Pita bread

15. You’re not motivated

Finally, if you’re not gaining it may be due to lack of motivation. Can you honestly say you put in 100% every time you hit the gym? There are several ways you can help yourself stay motivated and focused on your goals.

  • Keep a training diary
  • Set small bi-weekly achievable goals (use your training diary to record results, good or bad)
  • Take before and after pictures
  • Get a picture of someone you want to look like and stick it someplace you’ll see it all the time.
  • Get involved with discussions about muscle building and learn more (check out our forum)
  • Watch training and workout videos from the pros before you train
  • Fire yourself up before a session with some music that gets you going

OK, let’s recap.

Let’s quickly recap what I’ve just talked about in this article. So if you want to build muscle and gain weight you need to…

  1. Know how many calories your body needs, then eat 500 more than that every day.
  2. Eat the right amount of protein, carbs and fats in your diet.
  3. Eat 6-7 meals spread out evenly throughout the day.
  4. Keep yourself hydrated all day, whether you’re working out or not.
  5. Get a good workout routine to suit your goals.
  6. If you’re not growing, change your routine.
  7. Make sure you’re progressively adding more weight.
  8. Always use correct exercise technique
  9. Do the right exercises for your goal
  10. Train your legs as hard as the rest of your body
  11. Get enough rest between workouts and muscle groups
  12. Get enough sleep
  13. Have good post workout nutrition and supplementation
  14. Have good pre workout nutrition
  15. Keep motivated!

I hope this article has shown you the light, and you can see where you’ve been going wrong. If not, you can always head over to our muscle building forum and ask one of our experienced members for some advice on your training, workout, supplements or diet.

Good luck with reaching your goals!

About The Author
M&S writers is a collection of all the other writers that have published content on Muscle and Strength.

86 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 12/13/2009 - 16:37

Is it true that changing when you do cardio/interval sessions can make you see less gains (whether you do it the same day as you lift or not)?

Should you always go to failure?

Is there anything to changing your workout other than changing the sets/reps? Should I change the actual exercises I do? If so, how long should I wait between doing one particular set of sets/reps or exercise plan before going back to it?

Should I be changing my splits for muscle confusion or just the sets/reps I use in the split I already have?

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Posted Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:28

Personally I made my best gains ever doing full body workouts along with cardio same days as i lift.

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Posted Tue, 03/23/2010 - 00:56
Taimur Raja

Hi,I am working out consistently for four months in which period I have lost about 28lbs of fat.My body fat when I started was 36.8 and now its close to 27%.I come under the skinny fat category.My goal is to get to at least 7% body fat and at the same time gain lean muscle.The dilemma is that if I eat a lot I will gain fat again and if I dont eat a lot I wont gain muscle.Currently following is my diet schedule:

Morning 7am Breakfast Shake-40g whey protein
9am -- Wheat muffin egg white sandwich with spinach and bell peppers
11am --- meal replacement shake -25g protein
12pm ---- Lunch --- Subway 6 inch chicken breast sandwich on whole weat bread no cheese and no dressing just vegetables and chicken
3pm - meal replacement shake -- 25g Protein
5:45pm --- 6 inch subway chicken breast sandwich on whole wheat bread
7pm workout
9pm -- post workout whey protein shake -- 40g
11pm --whey protein shake --20g

Monday:Chest and Back
Wednesday:Shoulders(50min) and Cardio(25 min)
Friday:Biceps and Triceps

Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 03/23/2010 - 07:52

It is very difficult to lose fat and gain muscle. Make sure you are training for progression. This is your best chance of maintaining and gaining muscle on a cut. I would recommend heading to the forum so we can explore your situation in detail.

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 11/03/2010 - 13:32

First of all, why are you doing 50 minutes of shoulders? You should have a set workout instead. Such as 3 sets of military press, 3 sets of dumbell lateral and 3 sets of forward lateral raises. Switching from dumbell military to barbell. You should do chest and tris instead of doing chest with back. Since after doing your chest your tris are beat so you need to put those together so they can repair together. Do a different split. Monday- Chest and tris. Tuesday- Back and bis. Wednesday- Legs shoulders. Repeat... Fit one day of cardio inbetween somewhere if you want to lose bf. I am not doing any cardio since I am bulking and dont want to lose any weight. Hope this helps.

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Posted Thu, 10/31/2013 - 18:16
Jeremy Harbison

Legs and shoulders? Are you serious? Man after I do 4 working sets of sqwats, 4 sets of barbell lunges 2 or 3 sets of leg press, leg extensions and leg curls im redy to pass out! That takes me at least 75 minutes. Just dont see how someone could have an effective leg shoulder workout in one day.i am still new at all this, been working out for a yr an a half. Went from 180lbs to 225lbs body weight. Max bench when istarted was around 165, now its 285, which still is weak in my opinion. Just cant seem to make much gains anymore! But ill not give up, working out is a big part of my life.my wife also has been working out with me this hole time, shes lost 70 lbs.

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Posted Sat, 06/23/2012 - 06:00

hi i can see where you have gone wrong and its the same mistake i made. Your not getting enough real foods like half of your protein is coming of meal replacements. Your breakfast protein shake thats not good as its your first meal of the day your body is depleted of glycogen get a balanced breakfast such as boiled or scrambled eggs with oatmeal and whole wheat bread. You can mix the protein into your oats if you want. Then for your snack yea have a shake then lunch thats fine and then you have another subay?!?!?! you need to mix up your diet cant have the same thing man. Have like a chicken breast salad or some lean beef or something! and your split needs to chamge!!! i suggest a three day split like this Monday hit chest and tris, then wednesday hit your back bis and shoulders or if you dont wana do all that in one day hit your shoulders on thursday and friday hit legs and hit up cardio 3 days but dont over do it that will mess up your muslce gains! and get some fruit into that diet too like as a snack at home get a plate of fruit like apple strawberry kiwi oranges pears anything! and make sure your not overtraining in the gym too! hope that helped

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Posted Sat, 08/04/2012 - 01:39

Your whey consumption is not commensurate with normal food consumption. You need to consume other solid foods too. Just protein intake will not help you lose weight or grow muscle. Your body needs other nutrients to grow too. you need to include a "medium - light dinner" with complex carbs and fibre and some natural source of protein like a stir fry chicken with some veggies. Mix your food sources up. your body can consume only a limited amount of protein in a day. Those subways may state "97% fat free" but whoever doesnt take some honey mustard and mayo with it??

No Profile Pic
Posted Thu, 10/31/2013 - 18:00
Jeremy Harbison

Looks like you have the diet figured out, if I was you I would not rest after chest day, you should train legs on Monday hard, very hard! Training legs first will raise your testosterone levels for the rest of the week. I would rest Tuesday then hit chest on Wednesday , Thursday do back and biceps, rest Friday, shoulders and triceps on sat.you dont have to do that schedule but at least hit legs hard and rest the next day, you're quads are the biggest muscles in your body so your body needs rest after that workout.hope this will help you. Stay motivated, stay fit, and never quite!

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 05/05/2014 - 10:41

So easy to find what is wrong.
1. 80% of your nutrition comes from supplements!!!! FOOD, eat FOOD. Get 1 protein shake before your lunch and 1 immediately after your workout.That's all you need. All rest calories get them from FOOD!!!

2. More cardio.

3. To lose fat you need take less calories than need for keep same waste. To gain muscle need eat more calories.

4. Find a person that knows about bodybuilding nutrition and ask him to help you. Your current nutrition is horrible.

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 07/01/2014 - 13:05

Gotta cut down in them carbs bro

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 06/12/2010 - 14:31

I get up at 4 am in order to be at the gym by 5, work out for an hour, them be at work by 7am. Its hard to make a real breakfast since I would be waking everyone up at 4 am. What can I do to make sure I get a good breakfast/ pre workout meal before hitting the gym. Also sleep is a big problem. My normal work week is 5-6 days a week at 10 hrs a day(often 12+hrs). Its almost impossible to work 12 hrs, and still sleep 7-9hrs at night. I'm so used to 4-5hrs of sleep, that I don't even know if I could sleep that long. How is this going to affect my training?

Steven's picture
Posted Sat, 06/12/2010 - 20:22

I would have whey protein right away in the morning, possibly with some BCAAs, and add in some fruit. Then post-workout have some more whey, and soon after a nice sized meal.

Regarding sleep, try to get as much rest as possible. I understand your situation is limiting. Do everything you can to maximize sleep.

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 08/04/2014 - 22:46

Something you could try doing, is making oatmeal in the morning, and boiling a dozen eggs on Sunday every week and use one or two of those a day for breakfast along with either an apple on banana. I've found that this has worked for me as I have a hard time with making too much noise in the morning. In regards to sleep, try to plan on going to bed a little earlier, say 15 minutes, for a week, then once you get used to that, continue to add a few more minutes onto that. Working so much makes grabbing coffee easy, and I highly recommend avoiding it within three hours of bedtime. I wouldn't even do decaf, because the flavor of the coffee can have an almost placebo effect on your body. The other thing to remember is that your body's engineering may be accustumed to not getting much sleep, and that is ok. Not every single person is going to need the same amount in a night. Just thought I'd share what's worked for me!

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Posted Wed, 08/04/2010 - 11:33

you can do so many rep of push ups and pull ups . You will see big increase of your upper body from time to time . 4-6 meals are needed per day.

Nabil from Yemen

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Posted Mon, 12/27/2010 - 12:17
pedro corascez

hello, I am pedro from mexico city in mexico. I am wondering what is mexico chicken and potatos. I am not familiar with this one. Sorry when my english is not proper. Thank you

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 01/03/2011 - 13:27

Hi Pedro,

Mexican chicken is simply chicken seasoned with Mexican-style spices.

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 01/12/2011 - 13:45

I am 54 years old and from south Africa.The year before last i came down in weight from 116 kilogram to 83 kilogram.January 2010 i started to gym for the first time.I made a decision to deal with age,i will look better at the age of 55 then i was at 27!.....and i think i am getting it right...however,i was training very hard in the gym last year and despite doing everything wrong i managed to gain muscle.My big problem was that being an endomorph much of my muscle is buried under the fat. My big regret was that i did not lose more fat before i started with weigh training.My chest is well developed but fatty deposits are visible in certain areas of it.The same with my back.There are visible development at my bicepts, tricepts and shoulders.I first did 30 minutes cardio before weight training but changed this to 5 minutes before training the last month.Now i made this big, big decision and i am looking for somebody to support me....I decided to stop weight training temporarily and go on a serious diet and lose 20 kg so that my abdominal muscles can proudly present itself.My diet is now in its third day and within 3 months i will be 20 kg lighter.I know i will loose 25% of my muscle.The big mistake i made last year was that i took way to little calories.My daily protein intake had to be 195 gram but i only took 90gram while my carb intake had to be 1305 only took 450.My fat intake had to be 522 but i only took about 100.I think my big fear is that i would not like to put on weight again.Despite eating the right foods my body fat increased from fair to the poor range.To make matters worse i discovered that i suffer from low testosterone.I took thyroid tablets to develop hypothyroidism.This pushed up my testosterone from 8.03nmol to 27.8 nmol.However this no longer works for me as the latest test indicated that my testosterone levels are back to the low range.(my body discovered that i fooled)When i start weight training again i would love to have my testosterone levels back to at least normal.I heard about Tonkat Ali and D-aspartate that is the best testosterone boosters on the market.Is there any person out there that can advise me on anything i have mentioned?

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 02/07/2011 - 14:15

Hi Jan,

For diet, here is an article that can help you maximize muscle while minimizing fat gains:


No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 07/15/2014 - 01:15

After you workout you can go for a walk. Walking after working out is the best way to loose body fat!!

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Posted Thu, 01/27/2011 - 22:21

I am in highschool and i am as scrawny as a stick. thank you guys for creating this im sure it will help me gain weight. When I was young I broke my arm is this a disadvantage to me?

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Posted Mon, 05/09/2011 - 13:06

a good idea would be a mass protein shake. like mass-peak it contains 750 calories and about 55 grams of protein. even better would be GNC amplified mass gainer it contains 3 grams of creatine per serving which will help you get much stronger remember to gorge much water while taking this.

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Posted Mon, 05/09/2011 - 13:01

hey man im caleb im 15 and i started taking creatine and my whey protein. creatine i took before my workout and my whey protein afterwards. and i raised my bench max from 165 to 205 in about 2 to 3 weeks. but everyone i talk to says that creatine will have big drawbacks if i take it this early. what should i do. i want to continue to pump big weight.

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Posted Tue, 05/10/2011 - 23:57

Hey, thanks for the advice. I have heard that creatine does have some drawbacks. I have even heard that they are basically legal steroids, but I disagree. They probably aren't as bad as everybody says. I don't know what's true about them, but I did hear that you need to slowly gain up the amounts that you take. I might take it, but not for long periods of time. And you need to drink a ton of water while taking creatine.
Hey, thanks again for the advice. It certainly did help. That is quite amazing the gain in weight.
Anyways, keep on lifting.

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Posted Mon, 05/16/2011 - 20:31

Okay I am currently a freshman in highschool and i have been currently lifting for two years. In the first year of my workouts, I was gaining alot of both strength and muscle mass. Currently now during my second year, I have been gaining alot of strength, but not muscle mass. So, the outcome of this is that I am extremely strong for the amount of muscle mass I have. How can I build up more muscle as well as continuely getting stronger?

Also, one of my arms is slightly bigger than the other one. My shoulders, tris, bis, and forearms on my right arm noticably bigger to me. Its not that big of a difference in size but I would also like to know how I could make them as even as possible.

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 05/18/2011 - 22:13

same exact thing here. people underestimate my strength because my muscles are not very big. I weigh 130 pounds. Iused to work out 2 times every day. Im wondering if rest is a big factor on muscle gain.

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Posted Tue, 08/30/2011 - 16:09

I've been working out solid now for about a year and a half (intensely for about eight months). I went from XXL shirts, down to where a medium is baggy on me. The problem is, all of this awesome workout regimine and I am still left with this bulge on my abs and love handles. My legs are solid as a rock, my chest is firm, my arms are cut, etc, etc. I'm the healthiest I have ever been (at 26), but this belly fat will not leave. I believe I have a pretty good diet going (as I went from 246 down to 180, back up to 200 (mostly muscle). So, I'm ripped, and buff, but this damn stomach won't go away. Can anyone offer any help (other than the massive amount of greatness listed above)? I'm motivated as all get out and work out all the time. Thanks.

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Posted Thu, 09/01/2011 - 23:00

Hi Chris,

I recommend focusing on progression of weight which using the diet approach at the end of this response.
You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eating to maximize muscle retention while cutting fat. Here are two articles that can help:

<strong>Need more help? <a href="http://bit.ly/nO0uD2">Ask me on the forum.</a></strong>

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Posted Fri, 09/02/2011 - 02:47

Thank you so much for the reply Steve!

The only problem with any of these "massive intake" diets, is that it takes a "massive" amount out of my wallet to do so! lol

This guy at work that is getting a bigger upper body said "Only eat carbs on the day you plan to work out." So this is indeed bogus? I'm not looking to be huge and ripped, I just want this stomach to behave and disappear finally! It really sucks beating the crap out of myself for over a year and a half and still looking at this unsightly pudge. Could it possibly be excess skin? When I "suck in" I can see my abs perfectly and I look like I should, but this skin just "sinks" when I let go?

Thanks again.

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Posted Wed, 09/14/2011 - 11:01

Hi Chris,

This isn't a massive diet. It's only slightly above maintenance level.

You can eat carbs 7 days a week.

Your stomach will all come down to diet. You will need a good cutting diet to lose that extra few pounds.

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Posted Wed, 09/14/2011 - 19:26

What would you recommend? I'm eating: Yogurt, Peanuts, Raisins, Green Beans, Broccolli, Chicken, Turkey, Wheat Bread, Oats, and drinking about 6-8 bottles of water a day. I eat every 2-3 hours like clockwork, I just think there is a hitch somewhere.

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Posted Fri, 09/09/2011 - 01:48

Your missing the most important reason, Hormone imbalances.For a man with inadequite testostrone levels, what ever they eat, do nothing will help. So, a check for this issue could be the answer.

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Posted Fri, 09/09/2011 - 09:23

Hello, I go to the gym everyday except Sunday. I mostly do machines which help biceps and triceps. I also do Bench press as well as free weights. Im not seeing any change. My diet it generally things like cous cows and pasta, I try and add cheese too. I also do running for about 20-30 mins a day to try and get skinning enough for a six pack. Any help would be very much appreciated.

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Posted Wed, 09/28/2011 - 15:15

Hi Will,

You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eat to maximize muscle gains. Here are some articles that can help:



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Posted Mon, 09/19/2011 - 12:45

hi everybody :)
i have been in gym for last 4 and half months.i workout for 6 days to 5 days a week.am 166 cm weighing 53kg i was 54kg am not very thin am lean. when i entered gym i lost 1 kg and after that its just got stuck at 53 kg.i go to gym everyday morning 7am as i dont have time in the evening.i do exercises for biseps,chest,triceps,legs,latis and deltoid and rests every sunday.but my body mass or weight has not increased specially my biseps.its been almost 5 months in gym and i dont know whats happening.
do i need few more months to gain weight and mass or something is going wrong :-( .
i would be very glad to get a reply...

Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 10/02/2011 - 15:58

You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eating to maximize muscle:


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Posted Tue, 09/20/2011 - 09:06

Hi everyone! Before I joined just for you. I have a lot to write, so I start!

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Posted Fri, 10/14/2011 - 19:50
Distrought lifter

Hey, I eat 3600 calories a day 250-300g of protein, 200-300g of carbs and 100g of fat. I have been eating that for 9 months, I started at 160lbs, now I weigh 173(180 if I take creatine, but quickly goes to 173 after a week or so if I stop taking it). Gone from 9% BF to 11%. Figuring it all up, I am definitely seeing ___ results. What the ___ am I doing wrong, I feel as if I've wasted 9 months of my life.

My trainer has me doing anywhere in excess of 12-15 reps/3sets, I don't think that is right. I have been thinking I need to do something like alot heavier and starting at 6 reps, 6 sets.

Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 10/16/2011 - 14:17

Hi DL,

You are not seeing bad results. That's a nice improvement. I'm not sure what your expectations are but you are on track to gain over 126 pounds your first year of training and that is very good progress.

If you feel like you're not adding muscle then you need to make sure you're progressing. You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eat to maximize muscle gains. Here are some articles that can help:



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Posted Wed, 12/14/2011 - 17:02

i have a total gym pro and i do all types of workouts like dumbells at the gym but i really do get like an afterworkout symptoms ... but i think its original.. but idk since ive been taking whey protein since a month ago.. i start an hour of workout like tuesday- curls, chestflies, pullups, dead curls, tricep workouts, and ab routine workouts. then wednesday rest then next day same but on other types of workouts in adding the same as tuesday. later on i feel like mid skinny looking hands and i have to mid flex to feel good . how do i stop... i drink water and good nutrition foods... please i need help

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:46

I am not really sure what you are asking...

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Posted Wed, 12/28/2011 - 18:24
Nate McCord

I am doing everything that you put on there sir and i am still not getting bigger. I am 19 years old and i am a semi-pro cage fighter and all the workouts and things my coach has me doing is not working very well. I really wish i could look like a body builder or a really big and ripped guy so please help me out if ya can thank you.

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Posted Sat, 03/31/2012 - 10:03

hi, im jake from wigan
my current weight is 190lbs, yet i can bench 374lbs for a set of 8, i can also deadlift 396lbs for a set of 4
my problem is i have been 190lbs for over a year now, but ive just gained huge amounts of strength, i used to bench 198lbs and now im doing 374lbs, what is going on?
my diet consisters of 3 whey protein shakes 1 in the morning, enening and night with 55g of protein in each, i dont know the ammount of carbs due to the fact that i pulled the label off.
my meals are generally yet i seem to be missing something, im only 17 years old and currently do hours of cardio a week due to my college choice, level 3 extended diploma in sports industry
im just stuck on the reason why i am only gaining strength and no weight what so ever.
itsactually quite demotivating, i need to gain weight to get into the next weight category for my MMA and i just cant seem to.

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Posted Fri, 04/20/2012 - 15:49

i'm eating right i'm taking supplements and working out two times a day fir the past three months and yet still not seeing little to no results in my body yet my strength keeps increasing what could i be doing wrong?

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Posted Tue, 05/01/2012 - 08:12

at 17 , would it in some cases be really hard to put on mass regardless of diet , rest , intensity , hydration , and technique. becuase that seems to be whats happenin with me, is it becuase im still growing? i dont think its my somatotype becuase ive never been ectomophic , allways had a layer of bellyfat and love handles but small arms , lower legs and narrow shoulders.

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Posted Fri, 06/01/2012 - 08:21
Nancy Gazzaz

How many times should i work out my gluteus area if i want it bigger!
in a week??

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2012 - 11:26

I have been working for almost 2 years with a trainer. i am an ectomorph and am having a tough time gaining muscle mass. My trainer is very thorough, and says that age could be playing a role. I am 56. Changed my diet 6 months ago to increase protein, around 120 to 150 g per day now.I weigh 216 lb and 6ft 5.5in. We use a digital scale that measures hydration, etc. and prints it. Last month I weighed 220lb, gained 4.4lb total from which he calculated that 1.6lb was lean muscle, 1.8lb fat, 1.0 lb hydration. Now Iam back to 216 lb again. Could you comment? I have 2 questions: what can I do to offset the age factor? Are these types of scales accurate? Thanks in advance.

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Posted Sat, 06/09/2012 - 08:01

Dear conard its my advice to please stop training at the age of 56 no matter how hard you try you wont see any improvements you wasted your young age studying now is not the time....you will hurt ur bone or back forever just spend time with your family....

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Posted Sat, 03/08/2014 - 19:02

There is some bad advice on this comment thread but this is by far the worst. I know someone who trains at the same gym as me and he is 74. He has serious muscle and lifts big. As you age you lose more muscle so it is more important to train in order to maintain your muscle mass. But if you have never trained before you can still build a lot of muscle too. Obviously don't overdo it, especially at the start. But don't quit. You should definitely train at 56; and you should definitely train at 76.

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Posted Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:19

i have been training my self since a year.....but i am not able to gain even a single pound.....still am very regular to gym.....what to do when i joined the zym i was 75 i had good weight....but now 68 ....please help......