Why Can't I Build Muscle? - 9 Common Mistakes and Proven Solutions

Why Can't I Build Muscle? - 9 Common Mistakes and Proven Solutions
Jonni Shreve

Do you find yourself asking the question, Why Can't I Build Muscle? Gaining muscle may seem like a walk in the park - hit the gym, eat right, and boom, you're ripped. But there's more to it. In this post, I'll reveal nine common mistakes and proven solutions to fast-track your journey to your dream physique.

Hit this video to hear me break down these concepts👇🏾  Otherwise, read on.

When it comes to fitness, if you don’t approach things right you can find yourself trapped in a frustrating cycle of zero progress.  

You’re giving it your all in the gym, sticking to a balanced diet, and still aren’t making progress. Sound familiar?

Rest assured, you're not alone.  

But don't stress. I'm here to answer the question, 

Why Can't I Build Muscle?

1. Inconsistent Training

Number one on the list is Inconsistency.   

When it comes to starting a gym routine, consistency is key.  

Newbies can start off enthusiastic but lose momentum after just a couple of weeks.  

But to effectively build muscle training with consistent intensity is crucial. Along side eating enough protein, calories, and prioritizing hydration and rest.  

These habits need to be maintained if you want to achieve and sustain progress. 

Extended breaks or seasonal training is the best way to halt your progress. 

So, stay consistent with your training and diet. This isn’t a 100-yard dash, it’s a marathon. Embrace the grind and keep your workouts consistent and intense. 

2. Poor Recovery

Recovery is where the magic happens. 

Proper recovery can involve a few things. Taking sufficient rest between workouts, prioritizing sleep, incorporating stretching, even paying occasional visits to a massage therapist.  

Though all of these components contribute to recovery, they don't need to be done in excess. Regular massage therapy is not necessary for every session. 

But, adequate sleep, scheduling appropriate rest days, or incorporating de-load periods is crucial.  

Take time to recover, your body will thank you.  

3. Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition is obviously a big one.  

We've all heard the saying, "You can't out-train a bad diet." It's not just about exercise, it's what you put in your body that really counts.  

Whether you're trying to lose weight, build muscle, or just maintain, you should be mindful of what you eat. 

Make sure you're getting the right amount of protein and calories to support your goals.  

And don't neglect your macronutrients! Protein, carbs, fats, these are all necessary to give your body the essential nutrients it needs to thrive. 

Make your nutrition a priority as you work towards your goals.  

4. Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparing yourself to others is one of the biggest hurdles people face while working towards their goals. 

Trying to measure up to people in different circumstances, who may even be using Photoshop, is a waste of time.  

Don't compare your chapter one to someone else's chapter ten.  

Your only comparison should be with yourself. Striving to become the best version of you is the key to making progress.

Don't fixate on someone else's journey, it will only ruin yours. 

5. Not Setting Clear Goals

Number five, not setting clear and realistic goals.  

Setting clear goals is crucial. Clients often share their current actions and aspirations but have trouble envisioning what success would actually look like for them.  

Be specific and have a clear vision of your goals.

You need to know what you're working towards; otherwise, you may find yourself aimless and failing to do what is necessary. 

But be realistic.  Setting unrealistic goals or expectations can only lead to disappointment.

I’m not saying sell yourself short. Instead, set clear, attainable goals and visualize what they look like. 

And as you start hitting goals set bigger ones. You need something to chase but having goals that you can hit will give you the confidence to keep pushing. 

6. Neglecting Mental Well-being 

Good mental health will fuel your physical health.  

Taking care of your mental well-being can look like, taking time for yourself, doing things outside of the gym that can help you stay grounded, or being more aware and mindful. 

If your life is all about training, pushing yourself, and chasing goals, you're bound to burn out eventually.  

And that's when your progress comes to a halt. You’ll find yourself in a hole and taking time off from the gym because you're going through some mental challenges.  

Find a balance between your mental health and your physical health. Keep your mind healthy and your body will follow. 

7. Lack of Education 

Not everybody can afford a coach. But you can take the initiative to do some of your own research and learn.  

There are plenty of great resources online. 

For example, a couple that I offer are my Ultimate Push Pull Legs Training Ebook or Final Diet Ebook.  

Without proper knowledge, you risk stalling your growth because you don't know what you're doing. You can also be at risk of injuring yourself.  

So, make education a priority.

And if you have to hire a coach for a short period you can do so. Invest in yourself, gain the knowledge, and then apply it on your own. 

8. Relying on Motivation: 

A huge mistake plenty of people make is relying on motivation instead of routine and strategy.  

Motivation is a great tool, but it can be short-lived. 

If you’re banking on an emotional burst of motivation to get you into the gym, you won't be consistent in your training. This is why approaching your goals with a strategy and a routine is so important. 

We want long-term success. Motivation might kick-start your journey, but routine and strategy will help you stick to it. 

9. Focusing on Looks Over Longevity: 

Fixating on appearance rather than longevity can pose a few risks.  

Training will lose its purpose, longevity will be compromised, and you could develop body dysmorphia. 

Looks change as we age. Training should revolve around health and longevity first. And ultimately a healthy and active lifestyle naturally leads to a more appealing appearance. 

If the focus is solely on looks there won't be enough driving you forward and your training will eventually come to a standstill. 

Prioritize feeling good over looking good and as a result your looks will improve. 

10. Impatience 

Last but not least, impatience.  

You’re not going to get ripped over night. Be patient with yourself. 

Whether you just started or you're in the middle of your journey, staying active and maintaining a healthy diet needs to be done for the rest of your life.  

You're going to have goals along the way, but reaching each goal will take time. Nothing worthwhile comes quick and easy. Put in the work every day, and you will get there. 

You may need breaks from time to time, but always keep your eye on the prize and keep moving forward!

So, for anyone asking themselves "Why can't I build muscle?", Remember that the hurdles in building muscle are often self-imposed. Building muscle is about consistency, a balanced lifestyle, and a whole lot of patience. 

Keep pushing and Progressively Overload Your Life!

Start Making Progress Today! 

If you want to maximize your growth and finally achieve your dream physique, check out some of the effective resources on my website, Jonnieshreve.com. 


🔥Private 1 on 1 Online Coaching 

🔥Informative EBooks 


, you can find it all! 
And if you’re looking to hit the stage this year, check out my Hardcore Training Contest Prep! 💪🏾 


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