5 Reasons Why You Are Not Growing
Written by: Nick Langer

  1. Not enough food.

**Let me first make the disclaimer that this does not give you the ok to go eat cheeseburgers and milkshakes every day if you are not putting on weight.  **

When it comes to this first point you need to understand the most important aspect of all is knowing where you are currently at in relation to daily caloric intake/ macronutrient intake. One issue that is commonly seen is undercutting total protein or carbohydrate intake which are essential for muscle building. Once you know this you can then understand what needs to be done in-order to put your body into a caloric surplus or understand if you are not taking in enough of each individual macronutrient.

You may be asking yourself, how do I figure out what my caloric surplus should be?

Let me first make the point that in-order to make sure that fat accrual is minimal this caloric surplus must be increased gradually and should come from majority “clean” sources. The caloric surplus is based off the individuals basal metabolic rate (BMR) combined with daily activity levels. (typically, those that work a desk job do not need as large of a surplus as someone who does manual labor all day) This surplus will be completely person dependent and the macronutrients they use in-order to meet this caloric surplus will change depending on the individual and the type of macronutrient (carb, fat or protein) they respond best to.

One common guideline that can be followed for most individuals is to get at least 1g of protein per pound of body weight in-order for your body to have enough amino acids to build/maintain lean muscle tissue. You can always increase this macronutrient when continuing to put yourself into a surplus but do not neglect increasing carbohydrates and dietary fats!



  1. Not progressing workouts

A key point for progressing your workouts is you must know what you are currently doing. This can only be known if you are logging each workout. Within this log you should put the movement you are doing, the rep scheme you hit and the weight you hit at that rep scheme.

When progressing in a workout you do not always have to increase weight. You can increase the number of reps you get with the same weight week over week as well to increase progression. For example, if one week you hit 315 on flat bench for 6 reps and the next week you hit 315 for 8 reps this is a progression in strength week to week. The only way you will know if this is occurring is if you are logging and tracking what you are doing on a day to day/ week to week basis.

Workout progression is key when trying to gain lean muscle tissue and put on size. If you are constantly doing the same rep scheme with the same weights you will not grow. Constantly challenging the body with different variations of intensity techniques, rep schemes, movements and overall poundage moved will lead to growth.


  1. Not supplementing correctly

One of the most common issues I see is people over supplementing without enough actual food. They are taking a mass gainer to start the day, an intra-workout carbohydrate with an amino acid, creatine, a post-workout shake and a mass gainer shake later in the day. Now don’t get me wrong if you are constantly on the go these options are great to help get excess calories in and help with overall muscle building but, they should be supplements not your main source of nutrition.

        Here are your circumstances where supplementing with each product will be beneficial:

  1. Mass gainers- If you are low on calories throughout the day and you need an easy option for a nutrient/calorie dense meal this is an easy and convenient option. Again, this shouldn’t be your main source of nutrition but just a supplement to be added to what you are currently eating in real food.
  2. Intra-workout carbohydrates and amino acids- I personally use this combination to help with one of the most crucial times for carbohydrate utilization, endurance and muscle building. This would be one combination that I believe majority of individuals wanting to gain muscle and size would benefit most from.
  3. Creatine- If wanting to build lean muscle tissue and increase overall strength you could not ask for a better supplement. Majority of individuals will be fine taking 10g of creatine monohydrate a day to get the full benefits. Again, this is a supplement that anyone wanting to build lean muscle tissue should include in their regimen.
  4. Post-workout shake-
    1. This can come in a few options. The first would be a supplement like Myogenix Aftershock that has both carbohydrates and protein in it and would be considered a post-workout recovery drink. These are a convenient option if you are on the run and cannot get a full meal in after your workout.
    2. The second option would be an isolate protein shake or some sort of shake. If trying to gain weight it would be most beneficial to combine this shake with a carbohydrate source. For example, post workout you could do 2 scoops of an isolate like isoflex and combine it with a bagel or two. This is a quick and easy option instead of eating a whole food meal like chicken and rice.


  1. Not taking the time to recover
    1. One of the most over looked aspects of trying to gain appreciable amounts of muscle tissue is time to recover. This can be broken down into two main aspects of recovery.
      1. Sleep- Majority of people do not get enough sleep. Proper sleep allows your body to get into what is known as REM sleep. When your body goes into this state natural hormone processes occur allowing your body to fully recover and build. If you are lacking on sleep your body will have a very hard time putting on muscle tissue. Another issue that comes with lack of sleep is a rise in cortisol levels which can inhibit lean muscle tissue and increase fat accrual.
      2. Days off from lifting- Too often I see individuals put up the #nodaysoff. Although this may sound hardcore and make you feel like you are a badass this may be hindering your muscle gains. How often you take days off during the week will all depend on the individual’s genetic ability to recover, quality of nutrition and the programming of the routine they are doing. For example, I put on the most muscle tissue I have ever put on and stayed the leanest I ever have in one year by having more rest/recovery days. My training days, when I was in the gym, were grueling but this made my rest days needed and made it so I could continually progress week after week on the weights I was pushing due to being well rested.


  1. Water intake
    1. One of the most overlooked issues I see for any person trying to reach a goal whether it be weight gain or weight loss is over all water intake. Majority of people do not drink anywhere near 120oz of straight water a day. This not only helps the muscle stay hydrated but also aids in nutrient transportation as well as waste expulsion. If you are not drinking enough water you are missing one of the easiest ways to increase overall recovery and nutrient transport which leads to building lean muscle tissue.


  • Team Motivate said:

    I loved this article… It was very informative and helpful I will be recommending my clients to read this. Thank you for the information.
    Aaron Bottorff, Owner Team Motivate

    July 11, 2017

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