Five reasons for stagnant muscle growth

Five reasons for stagnant muscle growth

One of the main reasons for regular fitness programs is muscle building. But what if you train hard and do not achieve the desired results? Stagnant muscle growth is widespread and above all frustrating problems. Here are 5 reasons for stagnant muscle growth.

How to make your muscles happy

The theory of muscle growth is well known. You must set a sufficiently intense stimulus. This creates harmless small cracks within the strained muscles and these micro-traumas attract satellite cells that produce protein material for repair at the injured area. They divide and fuse with the muscle fibre. This clever cycle leads to muscle growth. Normally this works very well. But if not, you should think about these 5 reasons for stagnant muscle growth:

Reason 1: The same number of repetitions

In strength training, most athletes work with 8 to 12 repetitions per set. This is not wrong and for beginners exactly right, but it leads to stagnation. Those who have been training regularly for a long time should set new stimuli. Here are two examples:

  • 1 to 5 repetitions with 85 to 95 percent of maximum power. With this, you create a great growth stimulus.
  • 15 to 20 repetitions with 50 to 70 percent of the maximum strength. With this, you can increase your lactate threshold and improve muscle endurance.
  • Further variations that help against stagnant muscle growth can be found here.

Reason 2: Always the same exercises

If you train regularly, you have your favorite exercises, of course. That’s okay, but if they are used exclusively in each training session, the performance stagnates as well. Regardless of whether you vary the weights and number of repetitions. A large and ever-changing exercise repertoire has decisive advantages:

  • This way you can prevent the repetition effect. Because as the muscles get used to the strain, they become more resistant and the desired micro-injuries no longer occur.
  • Exercise variety leads to an optimal recruitment pattern in the musculature and thus to optimal stimulation of as many muscle fibers as possible.
  • By the way: Even small deviations in the exercises make the muscles work differently. Here you can find a few examples.
stagnant muscle growth
Your muscles love varied training so they can grow (©adpic)

Reason 3: Too bis or too small muscle response

During strength training, two bearings are facing each other. The first one propagates the use of larger muscle proportions and muscle groups. For example, knee bends bench press and bent over rowing. The others prefer exercises where they train certain muscles in isolation. These include flying, biceps, and triceps curls. The important thing is that it should not be either-or.

  • A combination of isolated and multi-joint exercises is ideal.
  • You should do at least two of the exercises with a great muscle response. For isolated training, one exercise is also sufficient.

Reason 4: A too strict training routine

The fourth reason for stagnant muscle growth is too strict a training routine. What do I mean by that? You do exercise, pause, exercise, pause. There is nothing wrong with that and it should be the basis of your training program, but you should definitely vary. Supersets or exercises to the point of muscle failure are good. But be careful: These training measures are only advisable for those who are already well trained.

Reason 5: Too much emphasis on endurance

Please do not misunderstand. There is nothing wrong with endurance training. Many people also like to combine cardio and strength training to burn even more calories. But if you want to build muscles, you should know this: Intensive endurance training has a so-called catabolic effect, and that’s what inhibits muscle growth. Three to four times a week 30 to 40 minutes of endurance training has no negative effects.

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