This isn’t going to be one of those articles aimed at beginners that say, if you’re not eating 4000+ calories a day and 300grams of protein, you’re not going to gain muscle, no.
Instead, what I am going to focus on is on helping those people that have gained a fair bit of muscle, they’ve put in the work and their diet is on point but the gains have just come to a halt. When this happens, most people freak out and just start eating more, start lifting more and all that happens is that you get fat and burnt out.
Instead, step back and reassess.
You Are Not Resting Enough
If you’ve been going at it for a while, there’s a chance that you just might be burnt out. Your body is not getting enough rest, whether it’s in the form of sleep or just some time away from the gym. Your muscles need time to recover and if you are going hard day in and day out, then your body will eventually stop adding muscle and just focus on surviving. Your cortisol levels will eventually go up causing you to store fat and burn muscle instead of the other way around. Take a week or two off and then come back.
You Are Not Changing Things Up
Your body has an incredible ability to adapt. This holds true when it comes to the gym as well. If you keep doing the same thing day in and day out for months on end, your body will see no need to change. It won’t see your daily routine as a challenge and will not change itself (build muscle) to be ready for any future stresses. Change up your program. If you’ve been lifting heavy, go light for more reps, or vice versa. Add in some bodyweight exercises or even some exercises that you’ve been too afraid or too weak to try.
You Are Skipping Leg Day
This may sound crazy, or maybe just an evil excuse for me to make you do some squats, but skipping leg day, can cause your muscles to come to a halt. You see, your body is healthy and happy when everything is in balance. If you have a huge upper body but weak legs, your body won’t be happy and will eventually stop building muscle to try and balance itself. Start adding in some leg work and you will see all your other body parts (and the plates) go up.
Of course, if your nutrition, rest and recovery are not on point, none of this will matter.