Overcoming Barriers to Building Muscle Size and Strength

Building muscle size and strength can be a challenging endeavor for many individuals. While some may experience rapid gains, others might find it difficult to see noticeable changes despite their best efforts. If you're among those who struggle to add muscle and strength, understanding the dominant factors that might be hindering your progress is crucial. Here, we'll explore these factors and provide actionable steps to help you overcome them.

Issues to Building Muscle

Inadequate Caloric Intake

To build muscle, your body requires a surplus of calories. Ensure you're consuming more calories than you burn. For instance, if you typically consume 2,000 calories a day, aim for 2,300-2,500. Incorporate nutrient-dense foods like avocados, nuts, and beef, and consider adding healthy snacks like Greek yogurt or whey protein between meals. Using a calorie tracking app can also be beneficial.

Insufficient Protein Intake

Protein is the building block of muscles. Aim for at least 1.2 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. This means if you weigh 70kg, you should be consuming between 84 to 154 grams of protein daily. Foods like chicken breast and beef are excellent sources.

Inconsistent Training Regimen

Stick to a structured workout plan, targeting different muscle groups. For example, focus on upper body exercises on Mondays and Thursdays and lower body exercises on Tuesdays and Fridays. Progressively increase the weight and intensity over time.

Not Prioritizing Compound Movements

Compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses engage multiple muscle groups. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that compound movements are more effective in building muscle compared to isolation exercises. Make these exercises the cornerstone of your routine.

More Issues

Lack of Recovery

Muscles grow during rest. Ensure you're getting adequate sleep and consider taking rest days or practicing active recovery. For instance, after a heavy lifting session, the next day could be dedicated to light cardio or yoga.


Pushing too hard can be counterproductive. If you feel fatigued or notice a decrease in performance, it might be a sign you're overtraining. Consider taking an extra rest day or deloading, which involves reducing the weight and volume for a week.

Not Tracking Progress

Regularly track your workouts, weights lifted, and body measurements. Apps like MyFitnessPal or Strong can be helpful. This aids in identifying plateaus and adjusting your approach accordingly.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones play a significant role in muscle growth. If you suspect an imbalance, consult a healthcare professional. They might recommend blood tests or specific treatments to address the issue.


While genetics play a role, it doesn't mean you can't make gains. Focus on factors you can control and be patient. Remember, everyone's journey is unique, and comparing yourself to others can be counterproductive.

Make It Consistent

In conclusion, while building muscle size and strength can be challenging, understanding and addressing the factors that might be limiting your progress can pave the way for better results. Stay consistent, be patient, and remember that every individual's journey is unique. With dedication and the right approach, you can achieve your muscle-building goals.

Identify and address the common obstacles that prevent you from successfully building muscle and strength. 

 What you can do. Combine proper diet, effective workout routines, sufficient rest, and lifestyle adjustments to overcome these barriers to achieve significant muscle growth and strength gains.

May the gains be ever in your favor!