Why muscles may not grow and what to do

Press Release

The main reasons for the lack of progress in the gym. What to do in each of the situations. Useful recommendations.

Training, proper nutrition, the use of sports supplements, the pursuit of results are factors that bring the goal closer and contribute to the increase in muscle mass. But there are situations when it seems that all the components are present, and the volumes of the body remain unchanged. In such a situation, willy-nilly think about why muscles do not grow and what needs to be done.

Below we consider the main reasons. They are genetic or may be associated with an improperly prepared diet or set of activities.


Muscle composition does not contribute to weight gain

From a scientific point of view, the composition of muscle fibers is the ratio of various types of fibers in the musculature. At the same time, nature organized everything in such a way that in each muscle group the number of various fibers was different. They come in several forms:

  • The first type is oxidative red (slow).
  • The second type (A) is oxidative red (fast).
  • The third type (B) is glycolytic white (fast).

To simplify, it is worth dividing the muscles into two categories – oxidative and glycolytic . The latter, capable of growing twice as fast, look more promising from a growth perspective. Therefore, if a muscle corset consists of such fibers, then there is no problem with building a muscular body.

If oxidative fibers predominate in a person, then the muscles grow more slowly and worse due to their own subtlety. The “weakness” of such fibers is due to the fact that they endure loads and are less likely to be injured. As a result, the growth rate decreases. Such muscles are more suitable for sports where the emphasis is on endurance, and not on power and strength.

Symptoms by which the problem can be recognized:

  • Reducing the effectiveness of training, the appearance of lagging muscle groups against the background of another category of fibers that grow faster.
  • Minimum strength at high loads.
  • Inability to perform a certain number of repetitions (for example, for 85% of the peak weight, 6-8 repetitions should be done).


If you determine why muscles do not grow, you need to properly organize the training process. There are two approaches here:

  1. During training, the main emphasis is on the dominant muscle groups. The number of repetitions should be 12-20.
  2. 5-10 repetitions are made based on the conversion of fibers in the future from oxidizing to glycolytic. The time of the muscles under load is 15-20 seconds.

Based on the second hypothesis, then classes should be based on work with large weights. Moreover, the average range of repetitions is 5-10. Over time, the muscle growth process will start. But do not focus on each of the hypotheses separately – the approaches should be alternated.

High carbohydrate metabolism

Muscular carbohydrate metabolism is the process by which carbohydrates are converted to energy. The speed with which this exchange takes place is genetically prescribed information that cannot be corrected. The average metabolic rate is 60 minutes. In the presence of active metabolism, glycogen depletion occurs in 30-40 minutes. After begins the synthesis of energy from fat, blood plasma or liver. The activity of glycogen consumption depends on the activity of training. At the same time, drop sets, supersets, and other active methods of obtaining a load give the greatest effect.

If the body has already consumed glycogen, then you can not count on muscle growth. In addition, the muscles are destroyed, their volumes are reduced due to the launch of catabolic processes. The more actively glycogen is spent, the faster the burning of body fat occurs.

Many confuse carbohydrate and fat metabolism. But these are different concepts. The second option is preferable for athletes, because then the formation of a relief body is faster and the body is easier to get rid of excess fat. In addition, the rate of fat metabolism does not affect muscle growth.



The problem can be recognized by the following signs:

  • Strong krepatura with a small load on the training (after 1-3 approaches).
  • Ectomorphic physique.

When organizing a workout, consider the following points:

  • Lesson time is 30-40 minutes .
  • The number of exercises for one muscle group is 1-3.
  • Exclusion of the principle of operation to failure or its minimization.
  • Increased rest between sets.
  • The study of the same muscle group 2-3 times a week.
  • In the morning, training is not recommended.

Weak motor skills

Often the muscles do not grow due to weak motor (motor) function, due to the low number of fibers included in the work at the stage of obtaining physical activity. An irregular pattern works here, when the number of fibers involved in the work decreases with an increase in training activity.

The motor unit is of three types – strong, moderate and weak. It is associated with human genetics – the ability of the central nervous system and muscle fibers to interact. It is easy to explain the effect of such a factor on the body. For example, in one person with a bench press, 90% of muscle fibers are involved, and in another – 40%. It is logical to assume that the first athlete will achieve results faster.

A sign by which it is possible to recognize the problem is the minimum strength indicators with extensive experience . So, if after 1-2 years of training the maximum weight in the bench press did not increase to 90-100 kilograms, then the reason with a high probability is precisely in poor motor skills.

When organizing training, you should adhere to the following principles:

  • A small number of approaches in exercises.
  • The frequency of classes is 2-3 times a week.
  • Rest 5-7 days after 1-1.5 months of training.
  • No failed retries.


Lean muscle

It is no secret that human muscles are formed from muscle fibers. The more of them, the larger the torso. Due to the different number of fibers, this or that person has a different mass (it does not matter if he is engaged in sports or not). Such a problem often manifests itself in the type of physique. So, there are endomorphs and mesomorphs with powerful muscular corsets even without going to the gym. There is another category – ectomorphs, which are difficult to gain weight even with regular training.

The volume of fibers in the muscles is a parameter that is laid down at the genetic level. Scientists put forward two theories:

  1. New fibers do not appear, and muscle growth is due to hypertrophy of existing fibers.
  2. New fibers in the presence of properly built workouts still appear. This process is called hyperplasia. In this case, both new and old muscle cells grow.

Symptoms by which the problem can be recognized:

  • Muscle volumes and strength are disproportionate. The athlete squeezes 100-120 kilograms, but at the same time looks like a beginner.
  • Ectomorph physique – narrow shoulders, thin calves, thin bones. This is possible even in the absence of lack of weight.

Training Rules:

  • Complexes should alternate every 2-3 months.
  • Classes are held in the style of a shortened workout (no more than an hour).
  • There is no need for isolation (basic exercises will be enough).


Low hormone levels

One of the main roles in muscle development is played by hormones – metabolic regulators and muscle growth participants. It depends on them growth, sexual desire, mood, appearance and other parameters. In bodybuilding, a low hormonal background implies a deficiency of testosterone, the hormone on which the activity, duration and speed of anabolic processes depend.

Testosterone and its production rate are dependent on age and genetics. At the same time, its low background is one of the main reasons for the lack of muscle growth. A decrease in testosterone levels is often caused by a drop (increase) in other hormones. For example, a decrease in the volume of luteinizing hormone leads to a drop in testosterone.

It is widely believed that physical activity contributes to an increase in testosterone levels. Moreover, the greatest effect is real with an active training process and the implementation of basic exercises (bench press, squats with a barbell, deadlift and others).

According to a number of data, a surge of hormones occurs 35-45 minutes after the start of classes and is held for two days. At the same time, experienced athletes agree that it is undesirable to train for more than 45-60 minutes. Otherwise, catabolic processes that interfere with normal growth are triggered.

The problem can be recognized by the following signs:

  • Lack of muscle growth or weight loss by autumn, as well as a tendency to increase fat in the spring.
  • The long process of muscle recovery, the inability to conduct frequent workouts.
  • Lack of pronounced relief (even in thin athletes).
  • The presence of fat in the waist (due to increased levels of estrogen).

When organizing a training, the following points are taken into account:

  • The number of repetitions is 8-10.
  • Mandatory inclusion of basic exercises.
  • The weight in each approach should be taken at the level of 80 percent of 1PM (repeated maximum).
  • The duration of the training is 40-50 minutes.
  • The frequency of classes is one day in two.
  • The duration of the “shock” mode is 1-1.5 weeks.