T Nation

Why Can't I Gain Muscle?



I was going to reply with this in another thread but the frequency of the "Why cant I gain muscle" whines are becoming annoying to most of the board. We just keep repeating ourselves over and over again to the same under 200lb demographic.

This is the bottom line, hopefully I say it loud enough so future and prospective posters can hear me....!


Disclaimer: Really fat people are in a different category and should not follow these suggestions.

You are not a hard gainer!

You are not over training!

You dont have bad genetics!

Your testosterone level isnt the culprit!

Steroids are not the answer!

Its not the supplements you are or arent taking!

Contrast showers arent the key!

Its your FOOD INTAKE and/or your WORKOUT INTENSITY/FREQUENCY sucks ass! Thats it. Thats how simple it is. There is nothing else to it!

If you're not gaining, shut up and try working out for once in your life and stop eating like a little fucking pansy worrying about your 4 pack and looking swole (read: anorexic) for prom/homecoming.

Shut up, lift and fucking eat!

P.S. This doesn't include people like gottatrain, etc., that have been doing it properly for years and have built their bodies to near perfection! You are not them. Dont EVER use them as an example.


If you are an adult male human and can't bench more then 315, squat more then 405 and pull more then 495 then your smallness is no mystery.

Also, don't complain about having spagetti arms if you think curling the 50 pound 'bells is good. It isn't.

Really, this applies to any workout method, exercises, whatever, if you're not getting stronger month by month YOU ARE WRONG. Correct yourself.

FACT: If you are small, you are probably weak too.


well, my weight is actually going up on HRX, and I am losing fat, and my gym numbers are climbing steadily every workout. Should hit 200 again by the end of July. 4k cals a day helps too :slightly_smiling:

And you won't get any whining here, I see what kinda workouts the guys you are talking about do, and, well, its sad.


But...what if I want "relative strength" and "functional muscle" and don't want to get too HEEEYYOOOGE?! I mean, I currently weigh about 145lbs and don't want to look like Ronnie Coleman. Besides, aren't bodybuilders weak? That means I could get too huge if I keep lifting the light weights as long as I stay in the 8-12 rep range, right? It isn't like 20" arms are very strong because I know a guy in my 10th grade class who can bench press 200lbs and he only weighs 140lbs so he has more "relative strength" than Coleman.


I never realized how great it is on this site, where the only people to use the phrase 'hardgainer' are newbies. What a cop-out.


There is perhaps 5% (geez it is probably only 1% really) of the population who don't fit this theory, and despite doing everything right still struggle, for unknown, undiagnosed reasons.

The problems are:

  1. EVERYONE thinks they are the exception to the rule, in the 1% instead of in the 99%

  2. nobody really gives it a go, does big lifts, uses progression, eats anything

I cannot believe the number of threads started by some guy who is real skinny and eating like a bird complaining that they can't get big or can't get cut (when there is nothing to cut) and they don't exercise hard either.

ALL the information is on this site free for the finding. But so many people are lazy not only in their training, but in their reading as well. If someone is too lazy to read existing information which takes just a few keystrokes to find and perhaps an hour to read, then there is no way they are going to be doing the work it takes in the gym and kitchen.


So why is it when we tell people this straight to their faces, we get hit with every Abercrombie wannabe responding in retaliation as if we just hurt their collective feelings?


I think you just answered your own question. They're pussies.


All of them.


yes, yes they are.


fucking pussies.


Honestly this thread is pointless, and the advice given about as meaningless. Many of you assume that if someone can not bench 300+ or squat 400+ than they should just eat more and talk less; your logic here doesn't make much, if any, sense. While the articles on this site are quite informative, personal experience as well as shared experiences of others have no substitute.

I've been training seriously for four years, and I cannot even touch a 300lb bench (but honestly I couldn't give two shits about bench training), nor can I deadlift 400lbs (which is by far my favorite lift); the answer to these problems, however, is not "just fucking eat"; neither is my lack of dedication to blame. I train 4-8 times per week (depending on the current program) intensely, using only free weights and 90% compound lifts; this however, does not mean I train wisely. Why have I made such little progress? I honestly believe I just haven't figured out how I best respond. Eating more has not worked for me and working harder is not an option. I am not complaining about my genetic potential, my lack of growth, lack of supplement funds, lack of anything...
I don't give a shit about how long this takes, it's now my lifestyle and I believe, with patience, I will eventually understand myself that much better. However, if I so choose to ask a question of those more experienced than I, I would appreciate a response with due thought and consideration. I respect all your efforts and successes, but you can take your condescending attitudes and shove them up your collective ass.


Professor X definitely has not lost his psychic abilities.....


I hope you actually realize how large those numbers are. When people of like-minds are brought together, afterwards they become more extreme. This community is one example.




I don't get why you've gotta bag out people that whinge about their progress. Maybe they seek advice from Champion bodybuilders like yourself.

I've been a long time reader, but only started posting today and I reckon you guys are too harsh on people who are seeking advice.


It's fucking hard for people predisposed to being skinny.

Everyone pats the fatass who loses 50lbs on the back.

But no one tells the skinny guy who bulked from 120-155 that he did a damn good job.

They tell him he's still a skinny shit.

Lots of skinny kids try, I know I sucked at bulking for a long time, I'm currently putting on weight pretty well right now.

You have to eat an assload of food, and shitty food at that, to get enough calories.

I don't wanna hear about how bad McDonald's or Burger King is for me, cause there's no goddamn way I'm meeting my caloric needs without them.

And that goes for any skinny kid.

My 2 cheesburgers.


i bet we all saw a post like this coming huh?


you have to understand the reason a lot of these guys are so harsh is because they've had to deal with pretty much the same posts over and over every week. hearing people complain and saying they are doing everything right when they are really not and arguing back.


I "reckon" that people need to realize that this takes hard work and a lifestyle change. I "reckon" that some skinny guy who claims to have been lifting weights for 8 years but looks like a beginner needs to be informed that they have been wasting time and it might be time to either shit or get off the toilet. I "reckon" that people need to understand that this site is supposed to be more serious than a Men's Health forum and that if they actually get met with some aggression that this site may not be for them if they start crying and decide to sue for mental stress due to the response they get. I "reckon" that the primary reason most people aren't making progress is either because of lack of intensity, lack of enough food, or lack of consistency. I "reckon" that this site should not cater to the weakest pussies who log in because it weakens the rest of us. I "reckon" that if your goal is to look like a Boy Band member, this may be the wrong site for you. I "reckon" that we shouldn't change the entire site to cuddle people with weak wills or spirits because the site has a dark black background...not a pink one.