Why am I not getting stronger? 7 reasons why

A man is unloading a barbell. He's not stronger than he was a month ago and he has to remove the extra weight he added

Have you ever thought “Why am I not getting stronger”?. Here’s 7 possible reasons why.

No matter if you’re new to strength training or have been hitting the gym for a while, chances are that you have or will experience periods, in which you don’t gain any strength. You’ll think to yourself “why am I not getting stronger?” and slowly grow more and more frustrated.

The reasons why you don’t see any progress can be hard to tell but there are some more common than others. Below is the 7 most common reasons why we’re not getting stronger.

You’re not eating enough

If you wonder why you’re not getting stronger but you won’t eat, there’s an easy solution for you. The old saying “You can’t out-train a bad diet” is still very true.

You will never get stronger or grow mass if you’re not willing to eat more than your body needs to stay at its current weight. Remember that it takes calories to grow, not just protein.

There will be times where you’re not hungry but this shouldn’t stop you. Find ways to get more calories, such as liquid calories. I started blending oats into my protein shakes, and as a result, I was able to get the calories required.

Use our free BMR calculator to calculate how much you should be eating

You’re not using correct technique

People in the gym have very different opinions about how strict you should be with your technique. On one side we have the form police who believe that anything besides perfection is wrong and on the other side, the people who look like they have never seen anyone else lift in their entire life.

It won’t hurt you if your technique isn’t perfect but you shouldn’t be sloppy with it either. With too bad form, your joints will start to feel the pressure and you’ll get injured. And if you’re injured, you won’t be able to get stronger.

Are you looking for dumbbell workouts? 4 free workouts

You’re not following a program

Imagine this, you enter the gym and are ready for a workout. Do you go in and do whatever you feel like or do you follow a program? If the first scenario was your answer, you have a possible reason for why you’re stuck lifting the same weight every time.

You don’t have to plan every single thing you do in the gym but having some sort of plan will help you achieve far more than you would without one. Plan what muscle groups you’re going to hit each day, what exercises, and how many sets and reps you’re going to do. You can even plan your breaks and the weight you’ll lift in each lift.

Use our free weight training program for beginners if in need of a prober program.

You’re not willing to change

We all like routines. We like to do the same things over and over again. Why? because it’s easy. The problem is, that at a certain point, doing the same thing over and over again won’t make us better.

If you’re always doing the same program with the same exercises and the same weight, you won’t grow and you won’t get stronger.

If you’re willing to change and challenge yourself, you’ll start seeing progress.

You don’t sleep enough

If you’re like most others, you are sleep-deprived. It’s recommended that young people between 18-25 get 7-9 hours of sleep a night and some will even need up to 10-11 hours of sleep a night.

The best way to combat this is by listening to your body. If you’re constantly tired and need caffeine to get through the day, you’ll most likely need to go to bed a bit earlier. Listen to your body and you’ll see the results in the gym are getting better.

Should you do cardio before or after weight training?

You don’t rest on your rest days

A thing that seems to become more and more popular is using rest days for anything else than actual restitution. People are doing cardio, they’re working on their weak spots or maybe something third. They believe that they’re doing something good for their strength and physique but that’s often not the case.

Yes, it might suck spending a whole day away from the gym, but it’s something we have to do from time to time. Without days off, we’ll eventually hit a plateau and burn out before we reach any serious level of strength. If you have to do something, take a light walk, go for a swim, or do something that won’t exhaust you.

You’re impatient

We live in a culture where we want to see instant results. We don’t want to wait weeks, months, or maybe even years to reach our goals but with this attitude, we won’t be able to ever reach our fitness goals.

Unlike what the supplement companies tell us, we won’t be able to gain 10kg’s (20lbs) of pure muscle in a month and neither be able to reach any serious level of strength unless we sip more than just whey protein.

Strength is gained over time, don’t expect to hit a new single every week. Be patient, set realistic goals, and over time, you’ll be able to reach your goals.