3 Reasons Novice Lifters Fail to Build Muscle

April 20, 2017 by Richard Cohen

Why do some novice lifters fail to build muscle?

3 Reasons Novice Fail to Build Muscle

To me, a novice lifter does not refer to how long somebody has been training but rather how much progress they have made in building muscle. Think of THAT guy at the gym that’s been training for years and years but still has the muscle mass of a 14-year-old.

Reason 1 – Not Eating Enough

Some people claim to eat a lot and never gain weight. I call bullshit on this because ‘eating a lot’ is subjective. Sure, they might be able to eat more than their buddy on the same given amount of calories but it’s about eating enough relative to a person’s individual metabolism. If you’re blessed with a fast metabolism and can maintain your weight at 3000 calories then simply increase that number consistently, and take it from there.

Reason 2 – Lack of Progressive Overload

You need to gradually increase the stress you place on your body over time for it to adapt and grow. Progress might not be linear but you should constantly be making strength and muscle gains. If you lack that instinctive ability to know when to progress an exercise, then track everything and simply keep adding numbers to your lifts until further periodization tweaks are needed.

If your trainer makes you do too many random exercises with no structure and you fail to progress…find a new trainer!

Reason 3 – Bad Technique

If you manage to gain size with poor form and limited range of motion then that’s great. Do whatever works for you. However, if you aren’t really getting anywhere then make sure you do everything with as close to perfect form as possible. I always advocate a full range of motion for the most part as it works the muscle most effectively and recruits the most muscle fibers.

There’s a time and place for things such as floor presses as an alternative/accessory exercise to bench pressing but it drives me nuts every time I see somebody bench pressing without going all the way down to their chest. If you want a bigger and stronger chest then you must go all the way down. Do you have rotator cuff issues? Make sure to address that with a physiotherapist or rehab specialist.

I could list numerous more reasons, write an essay about it and I could obviously elaborate more to each rule that I’ve listed but hopefully, there are a few tips here that you might find helpful.

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by: Rishi Haria, Lab Trainer