Why Did My Muscles Stop Growing?

Hey Davey,

I’ve been following your advice for about a year to build my muscles. For the first 8 or 9 months, I had a lot of success and my muscles increased in size pretty dramatically. I haven’t changed my workout strategy and I’m still eating what I’ve always eaten. So what gives?


This is a common problem - and the solution is surprisingly simple.

Of course, all of this assumes that your workout plan is designed around muscle growth and that it will include low reps of heavy weights and constant progressive overloading. Since you were able to see muscle gains for so many months, it seems likely that your workout strategy is very effective. Good job!

The culprit is most likely your diet - and here’s why.

To build muscle, you must have a calorie surplus. Without the extra calories, your body won’t have the fuel to build your increased muscle mass. As such, it’s generally recommended that individuals who are looking to build muscle through their workouts consume a surplus of 250 - 500 calories per day. In other words, if your daily calorie requirement is 2,500 calories for maintenance, then you’d want to eat at least 2,750 calories for muscle growth.

But as your body becomes more muscular, you burn more calories each day. With added muscle, your calorie requirement increases. And so while 2,750 calories may have been sufficient a year ago, it’s no longer resulting in the required calorie surplus. And without the surplus, your body won’t build muscle. This is why you were able to see muscle gains for many months, but then things tapered off - even though nothing in your workout strategy or diet plan changed.

To solve this issue, simply increase your daily calorie intake by another 250 calories. It’s basically one extra snack per day. As simple a fix as it is, it’s the number one reason why muscles stop growing.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Is it self defeating to try burn fat and also eat more to build muscle? Do you have an ideal eating plan?

    • The more muscles you have, the more calories you burn/your body needs. Trying to do both at the same time will mean a careful integration of both muscle-building fitness and cardio including a personalised eating plan. It isn’t self defeating at all, provided you can keep it up, stay motivated and stick to the plan. But that goes for any excersize-routine.

      I’m actually doing this at the moment where my fitness routine revolves around the larger muscle groups in order to spurr the amount of calories I burn and my overal metabolism, with an added amount of cardio to keep up my heartrate.

      Eating plans are very personal. What’s good for one may be completely off for the next. In my opinion, the best would be to have your daily calorie maintenance calculated and start building a plan from there.

      Getting professional help would be advised preferably from someone who can also closely monitor your progress.

  2. What is the best way to increase muscle/size in/of your butt ? 🙂


  3. I believe Davey is wrong on this one. I think the real answer to this question is to change the workout routine. Our bodies our master at adapting. It will therefore get used to the routine if it hasn’t been changed for a while and it will stop having to grow to achieve the pressures your “same old” workout routine is putting on it. After all, that’s the reason our bodies to grow. To adapt to the new stresses it has to deal with.

    Try some new exercises and you should overcome your plateau 🙂

    • That was my initial thought as well. Hence that in my gym they always recommend to switch up your routine on a relatively regular basis.

    • Exactly right. The answer is in the question, i.e. “I haven’t changed…” It’s all about change. Everything is hard and gets easier. That’s adaptation. Once your body adapts to a workout it’s time to change it. Keep your body guessing. Make it adapt all over again, and then change.

      • Not necessarily. He stated he hasn’t changed his ” workout strategy”. His strategy might well be to change things round every few months.

  4. First of all, thanks for posting a pic of what looks like a black guy 🙂

    I always really like your videos and blogs. But could you take a shot at this? I am a pro ballet dancer and I am looking to lean out my muscles a bit more. I do believe that it is happening but a bit too slowly, if seemingly not at all. I just want a sleeker look.

    My main question is: How can a naturally muscular guy, who is vegetarian and pro ballet dancer, get his muscles to lengthen out?

  5. christopher says:

    this could be my problem as well.weight loss-maintain-after weight loss.workout needs to changed.but added problem-im 58 yrs old.muscle gains are hard when youre middle aged.any suggestions?

  6. This is some good advice!! Thanks for share, I will bookmark this blog for shure. I also find some good idea about food and top proteins for this year (2013) http://www.howtogetmusclesfast.net/whey-protein.html

  7. Hi,

    Nice Post. I am happy to read this post. thank you for this sharing. Keep Posting.