So, are you training hard, lifting weights, and often, but no longer gaining the desired muscle mass or definition? There could be several reasons for this. We will explain only two of them here.
– Could it have reached a “plateau”? I don’t know what a plateau is! According to Webster, a plateau can be several things. Let’s go with definition n. 2 that seems to fit here: a period in which something does not increase or advance further; stop growing or increasing. Definitely looks like definition # 2 fits the bill perfectly!
The easiest way to get off that “plateau” is to simply change your exercise routine. As Arnold would say, it is necessary to “shake” the muscles so that they continue to grow. Do you go to the gym and do the same exercise in the same order every time you go? If so, try to change your routine frequently. Most experts recommend a change at least every two weeks. One time, you can do hammer pushups when you first enter the gym and then go to the bench press and then to the tricep dips.
Your body will get used to this routine and will try to find a way to compensate or accommodate what you are doing to protect itself as you are breaking it. Change it! Next time try making sauces first. Then possibly continue with your delts as a second exercise, for example. Continually changing your routine and keeping those muscles confused or “shocked” will help them grow.
I personally like to do a full body workout (as Joe Weider taught), three times a week, but I never do the same workout twice in a row. One day, I can do the legs first, then the next workout, first the cheats, and then again in the next workout, first the lats. Change the order, change the number of sets, change the number of repetitions, and / or change the weight. All of this will confuse or “shock” your muscles and you should start to notice a gain once again.
– To increase muscle mass, will you also need to increase your weight? Not your body weight, but the weight you are lifting. This is the first unwritten priority of all bodybuilders and may be one of the reasons you are not gaining the muscle mass you are looking for. It is a proven fact and the main component of the sport of bodybuilding.
The “rule of thumb” used by most bodybuilders is to increase your weight in any particular exercise when you are maxing out reps in each set and not feeling complete depletion of the target muscle. You should lift enough weight that you can’t finish the last rep or even two. This should give you an indicator of where it should be. Once you can lift a particular weight and complete all reps “without breaking a sweat,” it’s time to increase. Improve it! This will most likely happen about every thirty days, but then it will vary depending on your exercise routine, frequency, how long you have been lifting, etc.
There you have it! A couple of possible causes of not being able to gain muscle mass. There are more reasons, so if you need additional help in this area, a little research will give you a few more options, but these seem to be the main causes.
A word of caution, if you are exercising (lifting) alone, you should not attempt to “maximize” any exercise that could cause bodily harm if it cannot be performed and completed safely. Enjoy your workout, but be careful to lift the weight another day.
See you at the gym!