4 Reasons You're a Failure at Building Muscle

Written By: Fitman
February 5th, 2019
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Categories: Articles Motivation
11.7K Reads
4 Reasons You're a Failure at Building Muscle
Nearly everyone going to the gym is embarking on a muscle building journey - but if you find yourself failing, it could very well be one of these 4 reasons.

There is nothing more frustrating in the iron game than a lack of progress.

When you feel as if you are training hard and putting in the time but not seeing the fruits of your labor, it can demoralize even the folks who have extreme mental toughness.

The fastest way to change your situation is not to get down and feel sorry for yourself.

The fastest way to change your situation is not to blame others or blame your situation.

The above things are what losers do when they do not want to accept responsibility. The fastest way to make progress is to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself.  Ask yourself, “Am I doing everything I can to make progress?”

Pain is the mother of change. If the answer to the above question is "no" it will undoubtedly hurt you but that pain will force you to make changes.

If any of these 4 reasons below applies to you, then there is a reason for why you are going nowhere fast when it comes to getting great results.

1. Your Training Intensity & Program is Fake Hustle

The great Mark Jackson said it best. “Ain’t nothing worse than fake hustle!”

What does fake hustle look like?

Fake hustle is when you avoid the difficult compound movements.

Fake hustle is when you perform half reps or use poor form with too much weight.

Fake hustle is when you are in the corner taking selfies during the workout.

Fake hustle is when you train with no intensity.

Related: 7 Habits of Highly Successful & Motivated Gym-Goers

Fake hustle is when your trainer/coach is not teaching you how to properly lift instead opting to train you with showy moves or exercises that have NO VALUE.

When your workout program is fake hustle you should not be surprised when you have a fake hustle body too!

The great thing is that there is a cure for fake hustle. When you put your focus on making progressive gains in strength, reps, or training density you will eliminate the fake hustle.

By focusing on progression, your physique will change accordingly with the constant challenges.  Without a challenge, there is no reason for your body to change.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable if you want to build a physique where no one will ever ask you “Do you even lift, bro?”

2. The Majority of What You Eat is Garbage

Frank Zane said it best. “Junk food builds a junk body.”

If you are constantly filling your body up with junk the majority of the time, your physique and your performance will never be maximized.

In order to get and stay lean, 85-90 percent of your food intake should come from whole, nutritious foods.

Healthy carbs like rice, potatoes, and vegetables.

Healthy proteins like lean beef, turkey, and chicken.

Healthy fats like olive or coconut oil.

You Have to Eat Healthy

When whole foods are the majority of what you eat you will carry less body fat.

If you eat 28 meals a week at an average of 4 meals a day (this includes shakes or smaller meals), it leaves you with the leeway to have 3 to 4 meals that are not a part of the plan.

This means that you will have room to have a few slices of pizza or some chocolate chip cookies if you so choose.

If you are training hard and eating correctly the majority of the time, then these cheat meals will have a minimal effect on your physique unless you spend the whole dang day in Sugartown.

I tell trainees new to the “Fit Life” that it helps initially to track your foods too.

This is not something you have to do forever, but it helps at the start so that you can actually see the foods that you are consuming.

If you do not know what is coming in, it will be much harder to make adjustments. You can use an app like MyFitnessPal to get started in the right direction.

3. Your Recovery Stinks

Studies have shown that the average American sleeps about 6.8 hours per night1 but how many folks do you know who sleep even less than that?

I could name you 3 folks right now without even thinking about it!

If you are only sleeping 3-5 hours a night then there is no way that you can maximize your performance.  And if your performance is weak, your physique will be weak as well.

We all lead hectic lives at times with our family and work demands but making time to get healthy sleep is critical to your daily function.

If you are unable to get 7-8 hours per night then taking a power nap at some point throughout the day can boost you tremendously.

Think of your body like a cell phone.

When your cell phone is charged up all the way it works very smooth. The apps open quickly and you have no issues using it. The performance is spectacular!

But when your cell phone is constantly at 30 or 40 percent it does not work as effectively. The performance decreases noticeably and the quality fades like a boxer fighting past his prime.

The same rules apply for your body. A low battery leads to a performance that leaves much to be desired.

Many men complain of low testosterone affecting their sexual health.

Yes, it is true that testosterone drops as we age, but you really cannot know how you are truly operating if your sleep quality is not optimal.

Cancel the appointments to the doctor and put the LibidoMax 2000 pills down for a second. Try getting some consistent, proper sleep to recharge your battery first!

Stress Management and Optimizing Recovery

The Silent Killer

Stress will also drain your battery.

The more negative energy you give to the little things in life that do not matter (somebody takes your parking spot etc) the less energy you have for things that actually matter like your health. If you are stressed out all the time then you will also struggle with seeing progress.

Stress has a snowball effect on everything you do in life. When we are stressed out we tend to make poor decisions.

By reducing the number of stressors in your life you will lead not only just a better overall life, but you will be much more effective with your training and building your best physique.

4. Your Attitude Needs an Adjustment

The above 3 reasons are important but having the right attitude about what you need to do is paramount.

Let’s say we have 2 trainees.

Bernard Basic has a basic training program, a basic coach, and a basic nutrition plan. There is nothing stand out about what he is doing except that Bernard has the attitude of a pure winner.  He is committed to attaining his goals.

On the other hand, we have Santiago Showtime.

He has the most advanced training program on the planet.

His nutrition plan is that of a professional athlete.

His coach is world-renowned for getting results.

Related: The Mental Game - 11 Mindset Tips For Focus and Motivation

But his attitude stinks. He constantly complains of being tired, the weight on the bar being too heavy, not seeing results, or just flat-out not wanting to be there training.

Who will see better results?

Bernard without a doubt. Why?


If you have a winning attitude and you focus on making progress you can make gains with any training program. But it comes down to your approach.

If you approach changing your physique with passion and pride it will happen.

If you approach changing your physique as if it is a chore that you really do not want to do, then you have already lost the battle even if you have the advantages of Santiago Showtime.


If any of these 4 reasons apply to you, you can start the process of making changes today.

Train harder, eat better, sleep more, reduce your stress, and adopt a winning attitude.

These changes will make all of the difference in the world towards you unleashing your inner greatness.

If you want to get that lean and ripped body, it’s time you step your game up and train like an athlete. This means getting back to the most essential basics of sprinting and lifting workouts. Learn exactly how with Fitman’s new book, Use Speed To Get Lean!