10 Reasons Your Muscles Have Stopped Growing and How How to Get the Perfect Muscle Pump

5. You’re overtraining

Not only does overtraining up your risk of injury and workout boredom, it can hinder your progress, too. “Many guys think the harder they go, the bigger the gains, and that’s not true,” Cardiello tells us. “If you’re not taking time away from the gym, your body doesn’t have time to rebuild itself stronger and bigger than it was before. When I worked as a strength coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we always worked in rest days throughout the players training cycle.”

The fix: Cardiello suggests taking one or two days off for every seven days of training.

6. You shun carbs

While nutrient-void sources of carbs (candy, pizza, white bread, etc.) shouldn’t regularly make an appearance in your diet, it’s important to remember that all carbs are not the enemy. In fact, cutting back on carbs too harshly may be the very reason you’re starting to look a bit flabby. “When you’re low on carbs, you’re not giving your muscles the glycogen they need to hit the weights hard. This can affect muscle growth and make you feel weak,” explains White.

The fix: Keep complex, slow-digesting carbs in your diet plan (oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, whole grains, quinoa, beans, and fruit) and limit the processed starchy junk, says White.

7. You’re dehydrated

“When gaining muscle mass is the goal, it’s common for people to focus on ingesting carbs and proteins. But when it comes to water and adequate hydration, many guys leave their muscles out to dry,” says Cardiello. “Water is crucial for digestion so when you don’t get enough of it, it can negatively impact this process.” The result: Your muscles won’t be fed the nutrients they need to grow. “Plus when you’re not adequately hydrated, it’s more difficult to go all out at the gym, which can further impact your results.”

The fix: “Make sure you’re throwing back half of your body weight in ounces of water per day,” advises Cardiello. (That means a 200 pound guy should sip 100 ounces, or 12.5 cups of H20 daily.) “And if you’re thirsty, you’re dehydrated. So even if you’ve already hit your water quota, drink up.”

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