Why You Aren’t Building Muscle (And What To Do About It)


Spring is the time when you feel the need to throw away everything that reminds you of winter: knit sweaters, warm jackets, and some of that holiday weight as well. While it is more than easy to just put all your winter clothes deep in your closet and forget you have them until fall, when it comes to weight, it is not that simple. Working out hard and sweating in the gym will get you much better results if you take time to get to know your body a bit better.

1. Muscle Can Maintain Your Weight

While you might be afraid to put on more weight than you have now, you should be focusing on inches rather than on pounds. While a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weight the same, muscle is lean and dense tissue which will keep your bones and organs healthy and strong, while fat simply makes you squishy and bigger in places you don’t find particularly helpful – thighs, stomach, and bottom. More muscle may mean that your weight stays the same or that you even put on some more, but it also means that you will be burning more calories thus losing those inches on your waist that annoy you.

2. Your Diet Plays a Major Part

In order to shred fat and build up more muscles, you will have to start eating the right nutrients: less sugar and processed food, and more protein. Muscles themselves are protein, and they need protein to grow, so make sure you take in the right amounts of meat, eggs, fish, and dairy; while those who avoid meat should focus on soy beans and whole grains more. Measure your portions, and if possible keep a ‘diet diary’ to help you keep track of your meals and stick to your plans.

3. Strength-Train for Optimal Results

Strength Training

Depending on the kind of results you are trying to achieve, you should be adjusting your workout accordingly: to lose weight you should focus more on cardio, to get bigger muscles you should add some weight lifting too, but for overall muscle growth and calorie burn full-body workouts are the best. No matter which one you choose, make sure you get the right fitness clothing, and talk to your personal fitness trainer so that you don’t push yourself too hard and end up with an injury.

4. “Bulking Up” Is Rarely a Thing

Women tend to focus on cardio more and steer clear from weight lifting because they are afraid they will put on too much muscle and “bulk up” too much. So it happens that ‘bulking up’ is a long-term process that requires many years of hard work, dedication and carefully-planned diet, and women who choose to undergo this strict regime have a goal in mind: they are focusing on strength and not body composition as much. In order to get a toned body you will have to turn to lifting weights as well, but it does not mean that you will bulk up overnight.

5. Men Build It More Easily Than Women

It may be frustrating to notice how much more easily a man can put on muscle mass than a woman can, but so it happens that their bodies are full of testosterone and are genetically built to have more muscle mass than women are. This means that women have to work harder than men to get the same results. There is a solution though, and with the nutrition right regime and hard work a woman can change her body composition and put on more muscle as a result.

Muscular bodies are stronger and healthier, and your health should be your number one priority. Stay focused on your goal, keep working hard and working out, and keep in your mind that each pound of muscle will help you melt that stubborn fat more easily.

About the author

Amy Mia Goldsmith is an Australian personal trainer and an editor at Ripped.me fitness blog. She has a degree in nutrition and her goal is to teach people to live a healthy, happy life. You can contact Amy on her Facebook page.