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  1. #1
    Registered User EL99's Avatar
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    Muscle mass gains stopped

    Hello to everyone, I'm new here so I hope I'm posting in the right place.
    As the title said, for some time now, I stopped growing (bulking process) and I can't figure why it's stopped

    I started training with a nutritionist-trainer
    (Only meet him once every month)
    about 7 months ago to increase muscle mass.

    I am 1.78 meters tall(5'10), 25 years old, when I started the process I weighed 76kg (167 lbs) and today my weight is 87kg(191 lbs).

    In the first 4 months I increased mass pretty drastically. arm circumference by 5 cm(1.8 inches), from 36.6cm(14.4 inches) to 41.2 cm (16.2 inches) (flexed). And about 6 cm (2.3 inches) in abdominal circumference from 84cm(33 inches) to 90.5cm (35.6 inches), reaching 84 kg (185 lbs).
    In the last 3 months there was no change in arm circumference at all, not even a small increase but, there was an increase in abdominal circumference by 3 cm (1.18 inches) and 3 kg (6.9 lbs). So I kind of just got fatter in that time.
    During these 3 months there were few small changes in diet and training to try to get results again but it didn't helped.
    Is there any reason to have a complete stop in muscle mass gain?

    The only thing I can think about is that my biceps training is no longer affective as if my body got used to this exercises.

    According to my trainer I might got to "physiological limitation" for that period of time and I should start cutting process for 3-4 months and start bulking again and than I will able to grow bigger than what I am now.

    So what is the answer for that? I train very hard (no overtraining) and eat according to my diet, but can't see results at all in the last 3 months, I got to admit it's frustrating.

    Thank you eveyone.
    PS sorry for my english, it isn't my first language.
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  2. #2
    Registered User beowulf359's Avatar
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    You should provide some details about the training plan you are following. You mention your arms several times but are you making gains elsewhere? Using arm and waist circumference as a measure of progress is a poor way to go. Your arms are one of your smaller muscle groups and you should pay more attention to the bigger muscles in the back, chest and legs.
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  3. #3
    Registered User EL99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by beowulf359 View Post
    You should provide some details about the training plan you are following. You mention your arms several times but are you making gains elsewhere? Using arm and waist circumference as a measure of progress is a poor way to go. Your arms are one of your smaller muscle groups and you should pay more attention to the bigger muscles in the back, chest and legs.
    This is my workout plan (AB plan 4 times a week):

    A:
    chest:
    1.bench press 4*8
    2.super set - cable cross:
    flys 3*8
    upper chest 3*10
    3.lower chest also cable cross 3*10 + drop set of 15 reps.

    legs:
    1.squats/ leg press machine 4*10.
    2.hamstrings machine 3*8, 4 seconds on eccentric contractio
    every rep.
    3.2*20 for calves at smith machine.

    triceps:
    1.french press with dumbbells 4*8.
    2.tricpes pushdown 3*8 + drop set of 12 reps.
    3.kickback 2*10.

    B:
    back:
    1.pull-ups 3*6.
    2.lats pulldowns 2*10.
    3.rows 3*8.
    4.pullovers 3*10.
    5.back extentions 2*10.

    shoulders:
    1.shoulders press seated 4*6 with dumbbells.
    2.super set:
    standing dumbbells fly 4*6
    dumbbell shrug 2*10
    3.dumbbell lateral raise 3*10.

    biceps:
    1.ez bar curls 3*6.
    2.preacher curls 3*10(every rep is 1.5 reps).
    3.ez bar curls pronated grip 2*10 + drop set of 15 reps.

    As for your question, I dont know if I make gains elsewhere because my trainer is the one who take measurements, and he only take arm measurement as indication for mass gains. That's why I talked mostly about the arms.
    About the other muscle groups, I am working very hard in these groups as well.

    Thank you very much for replying!
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  4. #4
    Registered User CommitmentRulz's Avatar
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    You've gained 24 pounds in 7 months? You need to slow your roll significantly if that's correct. You're adding more fat than muscle...
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    Registered User beowulf359's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EL99 View Post
    This is my workout plan (AB plan 4 times a week):
    Well I’m glad to see you are doing more than arms but you sure have a lot of isolation movements in there. How long does it take to finish a workout?

    For a beginner, I personally would have gone with a full-body routine 3 days a week that keeps things simple and focuses on just the main compound movements like bench press, shoulder press, rows, and deadlift. More complicated splits can come later once you get to a more intermediate stage. I’m no trainer but the routine you have doesn’t seem great for someone new to lifting.

    There could be many things causing muscle gains to stall:
    - not adhering to concept of “progressive overload”
    - not being in a caloric surplus
    - not getting sufficient protein
    - not allowing sufficient recovery
    - not getting sufficient sleep
    - not performing exercises correctly
    - sticking with same routine too long and your body adapted (related to the progressive overload point above)

    Do any of these look likely in your case? As already mentioned, you gained 24lbs in 7 months so calorie surplus is not an issue (if anything it is probably too high).
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  6. #6
    Registered User EL99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    You've gained 24 pounds in 7 months? You need to slow your roll significantly if that's correct. You're adding more fat than muscle...
    In the first 4 months I gaind only 1% of body fat, so most of the gained mass isn't fat.
    Though, in later 3 month I definitely gain fat but not so much maybe 1kg(2lbs).
    Last edited by EL99; 03-03-2020 at 02:29 AM.
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  7. #7
    Registered User EL99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by beowulf359 View Post
    Well I’m glad to see you are doing more than arms but you sure have a lot of isolation movements in there. How long does it take to finish a workout?

    For a beginner, I personally would have gone with a full-body routine 3 days a week that keeps things simple and focuses on just the main compound movements like bench press, shoulder press, rows, and deadlift. More complicated splits can come later once you get to a more intermediate stage. I’m no trainer but the routine you have doesn’t seem great for someone new to lifting.

    There could be many things causing muscle gains to stall:
    - not adhering to concept of “progressive overload”
    - not being in a caloric surplus
    - not getting sufficient protein
    - not allowing sufficient recovery
    - not getting sufficient sleep
    - not performing exercises correctly
    - sticking with same routine too long and your body adapted (related to the progressive overload point above)

    Do any of these look likely in your case? As already mentioned, you gained 24lbs in 7 months so calorie surplus is not an issue (if anything it is probably too high).
    Well, I don't know if I'm considered a beginner.
    I use to work out before that, on and off.
    About year and a half ago, for around 4 months, I started to take it more seriously, train with a nutritionist-trainer but, I stopped again becuase several reasons.
    So I have got knowlege about training and I think that I have what people call "mucsle memory", that's why I was able to gain so much mass in short time.
    At that time, my peak weight was 82kg(180lbs), now as I said, I'm at new peak.
    So am I still beginner or not..?

    As for the reasons that causing muscle gains to stall, I think (according to you) that the most reasonable option is that I am sticking with the same routine too long with only minor changes, I didn't know it could have had such bad affect on the progress of tha gains...

    Every workout takes afound 1 hour.
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  8. #8
    Registered User CommitmentRulz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EL99 View Post
    In the first 4 months I gaind only 1% of body fat, so most of the gained mass isn't fat.
    Though, in later 3 month I definitely gain fat but not so much maybe 1kg(2lbs).
    Measured how? I'll go ahead and post this in anticipation of your answer...

    https://weightology.net/the-pitfalls...impedance-bia/
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  9. #9
    Registered User beowulf359's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EL99 View Post
    As for the reasons that causing muscle gains to stall, I think (according to you) that the most reasonable option is that I am sticking with the same routine too long with only minor changes, I didn't know it could have had such bad affect on the progress of tha gains...
    You can definitely stagnate on the same routine as your body adapts but the biggest thing is “progressive overload”. If you are not increasing something incrementally over time you are not giving your body a reason to add muscle. I assume you are tracking your lifts (weight lifted, set and reps) and programming in some kind of progression like adding 5lbs to the bar once you can hit a certain number of sets/reps or keeping the weight the same but increasing reps within a range or even just getting your form better or something? If you are just repeating the same exercises with the same weights and sets/reps without introducing progression you will stall for sure.

    It really seems like a good time for a programming change. You don’t necessarily have to wholesale abandon your existing one but I honestly would drop some of the isolation ones and focus more on the main compound lifts at the very least. You can also make some changes to your main compound lifts like incline instead of flat, dumbbell instead of barbell, high reps instead of low reps. Also take this time to re-examine your diet and make sure you are hitting your macro targets and maybe even adjust your surplus.
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  10. #10
    Registered User EL99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by beowulf359 View Post
    You can definitely stagnate on the same routine as your body adapts but the biggest thing is “progressive overload”. If you are not increasing something incrementally over time you are not giving your body a reason to add muscle. I assume you are tracking your lifts (weight lifted, set and reps) and programming in some kind of progression like adding 5lbs to the bar once you can hit a certain number of sets/reps or keeping the weight the same but increasing reps within a range or even just getting your form better or something? If you are just repeating the same exercises with the same weights and sets/reps without introducing progression you will stall for sure.

    It really seems like a good time for a programming change. You don’t necessarily have to wholesale abandon your existing one but I honestly would drop some of the isolation ones and focus more on the main compound lifts at the very least. You can also make some changes to your main compound lifts like incline instead of flat, dumbbell instead of barbell, high reps instead of low reps. Also take this time to re-examine your diet and make sure you are hitting your macro targets and maybe even adjust your surplus.
    Thank you very much for the information.
    I am going to change my workout more often from now on, and maybe I'll give up on some of the isolation exercises.
    Hope I'll see good results soon.
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    On another note, I want to point out that all of us have hit plateaus at some point. They happen.

    Maybe take a deload week where you only use about 70% of the weights you normally do. You'll maintain what you have but give yourself time to actively recover. When you do that, you might find you have an increased response.
    Positive crew.
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    Registered User rikrstrong's Avatar
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    Here are some Reasons Your Muscles Have Stopped Growing:

    You don’t eat enough protein
    You’re doing too much cardio
    You’re overtraining

    You can Maximize your fitness gamebook personal training sesh with a trainer for that one on one attention and a customized workout. Please Visit:

    [ do not advertise external websites - or your account will be suspended ]
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 03-18-2020 at 01:36 AM.
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    Originally Posted by beowulf359 View Post
    Well I’m glad to see you are doing more than arms but you sure have a lot of isolation movements in there. How long does it take to finish a workout?

    For a beginner, I personally would have gone with a full-body routine 3 days a week that keeps things simple and focuses on just the main compound movements like bench press, shoulder press, rows, and deadlift. More complicated splits can come later once you get to a more intermediate stage. I’m no trainer but the routine you have doesn’t seem great for someone new to lifting.

    There could be many things causing muscle gains to stall:
    - not adhering to concept of “progressive overload”
    - not being in a caloric surplus
    - not getting sufficient protein
    - not allowing sufficient recovery
    - not getting sufficient sleep
    - not performing exercises correctly
    - sticking with same routine too long and your body adapted (related to the progressive overload point above)

    Do any of these look likely in your case? As already mentioned, you gained 24lbs in 7 months so calorie surplus is not an issue (if anything it is probably too high).
    That about covers the possibilities, well said.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008
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  14. #14
    Registered User Genefrancis22's Avatar
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    i know many have pointed out the possible key reasons but how much rest have you been getting? Getting 8 hours a night might be possible for some, but it goes a long way for the muscles to replenish.
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