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Why Am I Not Getting Any Bigger?Muscle

I get asked this question A LOT by skinny guys who are desperately trying to put some solid muscle mass on their bones. And very often the reason for their lack of results is not with the workout program they are following, but rather what’s fueling their workouts.

What you eat is one of the most critical aspects of gaining muscular bodyweight. You can have your weight training routine down pat, but if your diet doesn’t meet your nutritional needs you will NOT get bigger, regardless of how hard you train in the gym.

Most people who call themselves “hard gainers” are usually just under eaters. A lot of folks will skip breakfast, have a small lunch or snack during the day, then pig out and stuff themselves at dinner and say “i eat lot…”

But in order to gain size you need to provide your body with a surplus of calories and nutrients from which to grow from.

There are many different formulas you can use to determine how many calories you need to eat each day. But the quickest and easiest way to guesstimate how much you should be eating is to simply take your total current body weight and multiply it by the following:

    For Fat loss = eat 12 calories per pound of bodyweight
    For Maintenance = eat 15 calories per pound of bodyweight
    For Muscle Gain = eat 20 calories per pound of bodyweight

This is a very easy way to estimate caloric needs. Even though this method is not perfect, it’s good enough to get you started in the right direction. These calorie guidelines will put you in the ballpark and from there you can adjust your caloric intake up or down as needed based on your actual progress.

Traditional bodybuilding diets recommend eating small frequent meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. And one of the easiest ways to go about this is to consume your 3 main meals per day (i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and then have a high protein snack (such as a protein shake or protein bar) in between each meal to help increase your eating frequency and caloric intake.

Now I know that there is a lot of controversy online over whether or not you really need to eat 6 meals per day. And it really depends on your individual fitness goals. For cutting calories and losing weight it’s easier to reduce your calories by simply eating fewer meals per day. But when your goal is to increase your calories and bulk up you should be eating more frequently. When you divide your food up over multiple meals it’s easier on your digestive system and easier on your stomach, rather than trying to stuff more calories into fewer meals.

A good macro-nutrient break down for gaining muscular bodyweight is:
– 30% protein
– 40% carbohydrates
– and 30% fat.

This balanced diet will give you lots of protein which is the raw material needed for muscle growth, plenty of carbohydrates for energy and muscle glycogen, and adequate fat intake for optimal hormone production.

Below you’ll see a sample Bulk Up Diet Plan for a 175 pound man (3,500 Calorie Per Day Diet). You can use this as a template for your own bulking diet. Just adjust the food portions up or down in order to meet your desired calorie and macro-nutrient intake.

If you would like some help with planning your bulk up diet, I can make you a Customized Diet Program specific for your body type and and fitness goals.

1. Your eating is lousy.

2. Your training program is lousy.

3. Your technique stinks

Clean up your technique. This will improve your leverage making you capable of hoisting heavier loads of iron – eventually. But you’ll need the guts and the foresight to cut the weights back a little at first till you re-learn to perform each movement correctly. Once you do your gains will soar and it will also help that shoulder, elbow or knee to stop hurting from the abuse they’ve taken from your poor technique.

4. Get some rest

Cut the TV a little earlier at night and get to bed. Enough said.

5. Train harder

Are you really giving it all you’ve got? Or are you so focused on everything else (technique, breathing, “the feel of the movement”, etc) – even if it is stuff you need to focus on – that you forget to push or pull on that bar as hard as you can? You must concentrate on using great technique, but maximum effort always has to be there.

In Conclusion

Knowing what to do is easy. Developing the discipline necessary to do it is the hard part. I have the utmost confidence that you can develop great strength and a physique that you can be proud of if you’ll just develop the discipline to stay focused on all the basics inside the gym and out. If you do this – and you must if you are to succeed – I’m sure the question will change to “ I wonder how much bigger I can get?”