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11 reasons why your muscles are not growing

Researched by Sarfraz
Updated on 1/1/2022


Muscles are the most attractive parts of your body. Muscles are protein filaments that show the visibility of your body structure. Your muscles give you the strength to perform various types of works. Weak muscles show the sign of unhealthy and an unfit body. It shows that your body lack strength and you have a weak body.

Improving the strength and size of muscles is not hard but some work like physical or mind related and good muscles friendly diet is required for it.

Majority of peoples likes building good looking muscles. Peoples also try to do some exercises for this and many achieve their goal regarding muscle building but some may find it difficult to build reasonable muscle mass.

This article will discuss why your muscles are not growing even with effort. Read this article, it may provide you some mistakes that are promoting muscles loss and is preventing muscles gain:

Why muscles are not growing

You are eating less

Your body needs energy from foods to build strength and muscle mass. Your diet provides calories to your muscle which helps them to build and recover. These calories can come from fats, carbs, and proteins in your foods. Eating less provides your body less energy which in results cause muscle loss.

Malnutrition or less eating can cause serious loss in your muscle tissues. Most cases of malnutrition happened in poor countries where peoples get fewer foods than their needs. But in developed and rich countries weakness due to malnutrition is also common. How read below.

Peoples like to get on a strict diet plan. These types of peoples avoid certain foods for their goals. Some want to lose weight and some want to look good it depends on the person's goal. Most peoples follow strict diet plans for weight loss. These types of dieting can give you not muscle loss but also can put your health in a bad position.

Avoiding some foods strictly prevents you to get essential nutrients for your body. Your Muscles also need nutrients and vitamins to grow. Carbs, fat, fiber, and protein for muscles are essential for their growth. These nutrients provide energy and other benefits to your muscles. Take an example of a protein that helps your muscle to recover and build. If you are on a strict diet which lacks protein then you will face serious muscle loss from your body in terms of size and strength.

What you should do

  • Eat healthy foods without a strict diet
  • Eat 45 percent carbs, 40 percent protein, and 15 percent fat from your foods
  • Don't skip your mealtime
  • Eat natural foods
  • Don't starve, eat when you feel hungry
  • Keep some healthy dry fruits with you like chickpeas, nuts, or peanuts
  • Eat small or medium meals after every 3 hours

You are not doing exercises well

A combination of a good diet and exercise provides a lot of benefits to your body. It enhances your health and fitness and promotes the growth of muscles also. Exercise plays a very important role in muscle building. You may be not doing exercises well which is why your muscles are not growing.

Several scientific studies have found that exercise helps the muscle's endurance and growth rate. Exercise enhances the blood supply to your muscles. A study on some Astronauts during their exercise routine finds that exercise provides significant helps to build noticeable muscle mass. This study was done by experienced health staff. (1)

Exercise pump your muscles and puts pressure on them to build strength and size. Lack of exercise or sedentary life may cause you to lose muscles.

Some studies have found that lack of exercise and keeping yourself immobilize most of the day can cause muscle loss and weakness. A study found that long bed rest time or less movement causes muscle weakness and muscle shrinkage in peoples. Most of these studies were performed on Astrunuats who usually get less time and exercise place to do some workouts. (2)

What you should do

  • Do Exercise like 3 to 5 days a week
  • Do weight or strength training more as they build muscles more
  • Lift heavy but as much as you can lift easily
  • Do more sets and reps
  • Do fewer cardio exercises
  • Take rest between the sets
  • Eat protein-rich foods after exercising

No consistency

If you want to achieve your goal then you may need the key of consistency. "Consistency is the key to success" and these words have a very high value.

Some peoples do exercise for some weeks or months after that they usually become irregular or they lose their interest in exercise. This bad attitude of your can cause problems for you. Exercise demands consistent work for good results. You will not get a muscular physique by making irregularities and skipping your exercise routine.

You not only need to attach consistency in your exercise routine but you also need it for your good diet and life changes. As I have mentioned you need good, healthy foods to build some noticeable muscles, if you eat required foods for some days and after that, you again start making mistakes in your diet then this thing will not help you to get gains in your muscles. It may cause muscle loss.

What you should do

  • Do exercise as you or your instructor has planned
  • Don't miss your training day
  • Never skip any muscles, target all body parts of your muscles
  • Eat healthy even after seeing good results
  • Make a consistent approach for achieving your fitness goals

Note: some health issues like Muscle Atrophy also cause Muscle shrinkage if you are facing rapid muscle weakness and loss then contact your doctor.

Not taking required protein

Protein is a substance and all living organisms' bodies have it. You can get protein from your foods as a nutrient. Protein makes your muscles and helps them to grow bigger. After exercise consuming protein is very necessary for your health and muscle gain.

Several studies have concluded that protein is a must need for muscle building. If you are not consuming protein well then don't expect any muscles gain. If your goal is to build muscles then you may need to eat more protein than a regular person. According to studies and researches you may need to eat 1.4 to 1.8 g per kg (g/yourweight) protein for noticeable growth of your muscles. (3) (4)

There are some peoples who have no idea what protein is. Many of them eat very little protein within their diets. Eating less protein after an exercise provides less help for muscle building but it can also make your muscles shrink in size as your body start using its reserve protein to operate well. That is why consuming the required protein is a must for you if you want a muscular body.

Which protein-rich foods are best

  • Whey supplements
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Greek yogurt
  • Peanuts etc

Not drinking enough water

Drinking the right amount of water is also a very big need for muscle building. Water helps the body to keep hydrated. A hydrated body reduces the dehydration risks. Drinking water before, during, and after the workout helps you to recover the lost water by sweat or by heat.

If you don't care much about drinking the required water then you may not achieve your goals of muscle building. A hydrated body is essential for good health and fitness. Dehydration can cause serious health complications. When you will drink less water then your body will become dehydrated, in this position, your body will start losing inner water resources rapidly which can cause a significant loss in your body weight or muscles.

A hydrated body improves health and fitness by reducing blood pressure, body temperature, and by losing extra fat which improves the visibility of muscles.

How much water you should drink

It mainly depends on your workout intensity, temperature, and how much you have sweat. According to the Mayo Clinic, the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has recommended men to drink 3.6 liter and women 2.7-liter water per day. (5)

For more about water read here.

Exercising too much

Too much of everything is bad. Your overtraining can be the reason why muscles are not growing. Exercise for a normal time like 30 to 45 minute enhances the fitness level and it boosts your muscles size. Exercise for one hour is high time but it put less bad effects on your muscles mass, some times it may provide some benefits but doing exercises for more than an hour like may click your muscles to move away from your body. 45 minutes is a good time for exercise but exercise for 90 or more minutes can be torture for an amateur person like you.

Moreover overtraining can also cause injuries. According to studies, exercise-induced injuries can reduce muscles, strength, and overall fitness of your body by 40 percent. (6)

What you should do

  • Do exercise for 30 to 45 minutes
  • Avoid overtraining like don't do exercise more than an hour
  • Avoid strength training for more than an hour and cardio for more than 25 minutes
  • Keep a watch with yourself to monitor time

Not sleeping enough

Good sleep time is very crucial for your overall health. Sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, brain disorders, and other serious health complications. You may face significant muscle loss due to lack of sleep.

During sleep, your body recovers the muscle tissues that you break during physical activities. You may believe that during exercise your muscles get build but it is not true during rest and sleep your body's muscles grow and get bigger.

Several studies and researches have indicated the health disadvantages of sleeping less. Lack of sleep can cause high blood pressure, elevated glucose level, hormonal changes, muscle loss, and can reduce testosterone levels. High testosterone levels promote muscle gain. (7)

What you need to do

  • Follow this “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”
  • For adult 7 or hours sleep is recommended by Mayo clinic
  • Don't use mobile or computer during night time as their usage can cause some sleeping issues

Eating less carbs

Carbs are energy-providing nutrients that provide power to your body to function well. Eating fewer carbs will provide you less energy which may prevent your good performance during exercise. Many peoples left carbs for protein for good visibility of muscles but this approach is not healthy. You need all nutrients for benefits and too much value of a single nutrient may provide you health loss.

Carbs are very essential for you as it improves your performance during physical activities by providing you required energy. Your muscles need the power to work and carbs are a big source of that power.

What you should do

  • Eat a good amount of whole carbs if you want to gain muscles
  • Avoid refined or processed carbs as they don't provide good nutrients value
  • Take 45% carbs, 40% protein, and 15% fat from your daily diet
  • Calculate your daily calories and nutrients value by using this calorie calculator

Not changing the exercise plan

If you are not changing your exercise plan after some months then you are making a mistake that can cause muscle growth issues.

With time your muscles get adapt to the exercise routine which reduces the effectiveness of your workout plan. Not changing with time is not suitable for you if you want to build muscles

What you should do

  • Change your workout plan after 10 to 12 weeks
  • Workout plan change means a change in exercise routine like changing exercises, muscles targetting day, or changing the order of different exercises

Too much cardio

Too much cardio is bad for your muscles to gain purpose. Cardio is good for your health as it improves your cardiovascular health but giving it too much time can lead to muscle loss. You may have seen some Olympic athletes who run long distance and they lack muscles on their bodies. I am talking about those athletes who run more than 5 kilometers.

How much cardio

  • 15 to 25 minutes of cardio time is best
  • Don't do more than that
  • Cardio includes running, jogging, or HIIT workout

Less fitness knowledge

Many peoples have zero knowledge of fitness but they want a good healthy, muscular, and fit body. These thoughts are very good but it demands some knowledge to achieve. Like I have mentioned some peoples doesn't even know what protein is, how they can do better in exercise or how they can achieve good results.

If you have less knowledge of fitness then you need to get that knowledge first. If you don't want to make this effort then below is a solution waiting for you.

What you should do

  • Get knowledge find it on the internet (our site also contain good fitness data)
  • Hire A instructor


If you want to build some reasonable muscles then you need to make a good effort for them. This article may help you to get your Goal. Read it carefully because it has discussed some good things regarding the Muscles building.

  1. Ralston, G. W., Kilgore, L., Wyatt, F. B., Dutheil, F., Jaekel, P., Buchan, D. S., & Baker, J. S. (2019). Re-examination of 1- vs. 3-Sets of Resistance Exercise for Pre-spaceflight Muscle Conditioning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in physiology, 10, 864.
  2. "NASA Muscle Atrophy Research (MARES) Website". Archived from the original on 4 May 2010.web.archive.orG
  3.  Health, Fitness, and Physical Activity. Corbin, Charles B.; Pangrazi, Robert P.; Franks, B. Don President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Research Digest, Series 3 n9 Mar 2000
  4. Lemon, P. W. R. (1995). Do Athletes Need More Dietary Protein and Amino Acids?, International Journal of Sport Nutrition, 5(s1), S39-S61. Retrieved May 21, 2021, from journals.humankinetics
  5. Trusted ✔️ CITATION:.mayoclinic
  6. Journal Article-Howell, J N-Chleboun, G-Conatser, R-Muscle stiffness, strength loss, swelling and soreness following exercise-induced injury in humans.-1993-The Journal of Physiology
  7. M. Dattilo, H.K.M. Antunes, A. Medeiros, M. Mônico Neto, H.S. Souza, S. Tufik, M.T. de Mello,-Sleep and muscle recovery: Endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis,-Medical Hypotheses,-Volume 77, Issue 2,-2011,-Pages 220-222,-ISSN 0306-9877,
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