With all of the confusing and contradictory information online and in fitness magazines, it can be tough to figure out exactly how to pack on lean, quality muscle mass.  You may have even asked yourself, I’m working so hard, but why am I not building muscle? If you aren’t making gains as rapidly as you’d like to, or feel like it is impossible to add muscle to your frame, you might be making one of the common mistakes below.  Luckily, they are easy to fix, and you can get back on track in no time.

1. You aren’t using compound exercises in your workouts 

The quickest way to achieve muscle hypertrophy is to prioritize heavy, compound moves.  A compound or “multi-joint” exercise is simply when movement occurs at more than one joint.  For example, during the bench press, there is movement at your shoulder and elbow joints as opposed to a single-joint isolation exercise like the dumbbell flye, with movement only at the shoulder joint.  The big takeaway here is that with compound exercises, you can lift more weight and target more muscle fibers under heavier resistance.  This will lead to enhanced muscle growth.

RECOMMENDED POST- What is the difference between compound and isolation exercises? 

2. Your post-workout nutrition is lacking

What you consume after your workout is crucial.  Your muscles are depleted and need to be replenished with the right nutrients to recover properly and grow.  Within 45 minutes of a resistance training workout, consume simple sugars (like gatorade, white bread with jelly, etc.) combined with a fast acting protein (like whey) for best results.

3. You are not taking enough rest days

A lot of people, especially in the beginning, get so excited about their new fitness regimen that they go overboard and take little to no rest days.  The combination of endorphins and increased energy can make it addicting.  While that might be fine for a week or two, over time, skipping rest days will catch up to you.  During your workouts, you are actually breaking down muscle fibers, rest days are when they repair and grow.  I recommend at least 2 days a week completely out of the gym, this way you’ll avoid overtraining and keep your hard earned muscle.

Thanks for reading!  Hopefully I was able to help you answer the age old question “why am I not building muscle?” Which of the tips did you find most helpful?