Updated: Jan 29
Hi Friends of Oompf, it's Alvan here. Are you seeing a plateau in the growth of your muscle mass? Today we will be talking about a few possibilities of why your muscle growth has been stagnant.
What is muscle mass? Muscle mass includes the weight of the muscles in your body in kilograms or pounds. While body fat percentage measures the amount of fat your body holds. Muscle mass includes smooth muscles, skeletal muscles as well as water contained in the muscles. Muscle mass plays a crucial role when it comes to fitness. As your body builds muscles, it also burns fat and energy. An increase in muscle mass also leads to an increase in Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which promotes more efficient calorie burn. Why is my muscle mass not increasing and how do I increase it? Building muscle mass does not only result from the amount of effort you put in the gym but also the amount of effort you are putting into your meals. If you have been training intensely but not seeing results, there is a high chance that the problem lies in your diet. Muscle comprises of water and protein which is why the amount of protein you consume is paramount to your journey of increasing muscle mass. Muscle growing is a tedious process that requires effort, discipline and consistency. It is definitely not something that happens over night. If you have been training for a few months and have noticed a stunt in your muscle growth, here may be a few possible reasons why: 1. You are not eating enough. Besides protein, muscle growth requires nutrients such as carbs and fats. If you are not consuming enough calories, your body will not have enough energy to repair and grow. However, you need to eat mindfully. Eating carbs and fats will not make you gain weight, over-eating will. Consume just enough calories to be in a slight caloric surplus and you will be able to see changes in your muscle mass. Consult your personal trainer if you need more information on how many calories you need to be consuming. 2. You are not consuming enough protein. The most common cause for a lack of muscle growth is a lack in protein intake. For anyone trying to build muscle mass, a good amount of protein to consume will be 1.6g - 2.2g of protein x 1kg of bodyweight. That means, if you weigh 60kg, the minimum amount of protein you should consume daily should be 96g of protein (60kg x 1.6). If you have difficulty consuming enough protein in your meals, a good solution would be to try protein shakes. One scoop contains about 20-25g of protein which is equivalent to roughly eating 30g of chicken. 3. Too much cardio Don't get me wrong, doing cardio is always a good thing however if you are eating in a caloric deficit or already consuming too little calories, adding excessive cardio to your routine will make building muscle mass near impossible. If your immediate goal is to build muscle, prioritise resistance training before cardiovascular training. 4. Not enough rest Factors such as stress and rest are directly related to muscle growth. If you are pushing yourself hard at the gym but not getting enough sleep, you are not giving your body a chance to recover. Lack of sleep is also found to be a cause in the rise of cortisol levels which is also linked to stress. If you want your body to be at its best performance, allow your body to recharge at night.
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