7 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Stronger | STACK Fitness
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

7 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Stronger

December 11, 2012 | D'Angelo Kinard

Must See Strength Training Videos

Knowledge is the true essence of power in the classroom, weight room or field of play. Lacking a good foundation of information will prevent you from reaching your goals. No matter what the latest training program, supplement claim,  equipment benefit or philosophy says, there is no denying the effectiveness of the basics. (Stuck in a rut? Read Five Ways to Keep Progressing and Avoid Training Plateaus.) If you want to take your strength gains to the next level, make sure to avoid the common muscle-sabotaging mistakes below.

Poor Nutrition

Growth is fueled by proper nutrition, meaning a balanced diet is the most effective way to promote strength gains. The most common diet mistakes are not eating often enough and not eating at the proper times. It's key to give your body what it needs when it needs it. Don't make it complicated. Just eat the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats. (Here are 10 Nutrition Rules To Live By.)

Inadequate Water Supply

Another simple but critical component of a proper eating regimen is drinking enough water. Again, aim for simplicity. All those sport shakes, shooters and energy boosters should be secondary to water. Another tip: as an athlete, you must exceed the recommended eight to 10 glasses of water a day. Training demands more of your body and thus requires more water intake. Minimum intake will produce minimum results. Consume water continually throughout the day, with the goal being a gallon each day. Water is also important for cooling the body during activity, because an elevated body temperature can impact performance.

Insufficient Sleep

Many athletes don't allow enough time for their bodies to repair themselves through proper rest. Choosing to downplay rest as a part of building strength is a poor choice. Real strength is created in the bed. Muscle is broken down during a workout, and new, stronger muscle is formed during sleep. Overtraining is one of the most common reasons why athletes are unable to reach their strength potential. You can literally sleep your way stronger by getting eight or more hours of sleep per night—and even taking naps of 30 minutes to an hour daily.

Napping has been shown to have the same muscle building benefits as many popular supplements on the market today. Getting sufficient rest is not as exciting as a new training routine, but it's an important part of building strength. (Read Secrets for Better, Muscle-Building Sleep.)

Unbalanced Training

Your current routine may be what's preventing you from getting stronger. Any decent program consists of routine pushing and pulling movements to ensure good body balance and overall strength. For example, training chest and back on the same day incorporates a push and a pull.

The mistake of many old school training programs is working chest and triceps—i.e., training two muscle groups essential to push movements—meaning that one or both areas cannot be worked to their maximum capacity. If your chest training is the priority, then training your triceps will suffer. Balance in training will speed results.

Group training days to maintain balance of push and pull movements. Here is a simple way to pair muscle groups for effective training and improved results:

  • Quadriceps & Hamstrings
  • Chest & Back
  • Biceps, Triceps & Shoulders

Weak Commitment

Commitment to consistent training will make you stronger, guaranteed. Quality muscle is not created in a single day. To get stronger, you must train, train and train some more. A dedicated athlete must have a long-term view of his or her strength goals. It's not about how much stronger you can get in a few weeks, but over the course of a year and for many years to come. To better assess your strength and muscle gains, measure your results every month. You cannot neglect your nutrition, recovery or training and expect optimal gains. Champions are made over time. To be elite you must be committed to the goal that you seek to achieve.

The Fear Factor 

One of the biggest factors preventing you from being stronger right now could be fear—and fear has many faces. Some  athletes dislike trying anything new or unfamiliar, training outside their comfort zone or depending too much on what others think of their training. Remember, you are training for yourself, so your routine should be suited to your unique needs. It might not be popular to go against what others around you are doing, but it's important to do what's necessary for your individual performance. Fear is usually the largest obstacle in reaching ultimate strength.

Fuzzy Focus 

To become stronger than you were yesterday, you must train harder and smarter than you did yesterday. Strength is built by moving beyond your normal capacity. In order for improvements to be made, athletes must admit their weaknesses, then focus on curing them. A good rule of thumb when it comes to training is to work what you hate. If you hate training legs, that is exactly what you should focus on. Chances are the muscles you enjoy training are overdeveloped, and those you skip training are underdeveloped.

photo:bodybuilding.com

D'Angelo Kinard
- D’Angelo Kinard is the founder of Advanced Sports Performance (Washington, D.C. Metro Area). He is a certified personal trainer, and he also has a certification...
D'Angelo Kinard
- D’Angelo Kinard is the founder of Advanced Sports Performance (Washington, D.C. Metro Area). He is a certified personal trainer, and he also has a certification...
Must See
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 5,019,009
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 83,805
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 25,368,487

Featured Videos

Abby Wambach Power and Stability Workout Views: 300,475
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 55,686
Andre Ethier's Arm-Strengthening Superset Views: 647,833
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

How Greg Nixon Gets More 'Twerk' on the Track
Views: 950,900
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,223,481
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 5,298,334
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,252,897
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,360,898

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

The addition and subsequent boom of CrossFit in the fitness community has brought a dramatic increase in the use of Olympic Weightlifting in strength...

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

Build Awesome Arms With This 15-Minute Workout

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Can You Survive This Insane 100-Rep Push-Up Challenge?

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

The Best Lower-Body Landmine Exercises

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

Build Wrestling Strength With the Gable Lock Isometric Hold

Prevent Volleyball Shoulder Injuries With These Exercises

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

The 3-Minute Total Arm Pump

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

3 Simple Strategies for a Better Workout

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Get a Full-Body Workout With Just 2 Exercises

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Train Like a Pro: Damian Lillard's Basketball Core Workout

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

Train Like a Pro: Peyton Manning's Core Workout

4 Exercises From NFL Players to Build True Game Speed

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

3 Keys to In-Season Baseball Training

When Not to Try Unstable Hockey Training

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

What Happens When You Do The Same Exercise Every Day?

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Deadlift Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Save Your Shoulders With These Barbell Landmine Exercises

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Todd Durkin

Grab a Broom for This Fast-Paced, Full-Body Workout