In every athlete's career, there will be stalls -- moments when even though you know you're following all the directions, you physically can't push yourself further.
Unlike plateaus, these happen as you work to advance from beginner to intermediate or intermediate to expert. For all intents and purposes, this should be time where you're seeing steady progress.
When you find yourself stalled, the answer to your dilemma is simpler that you'd think.
If you're shoveling protein down your mouth but can't seem to put on any muscle, chances are you aren't getting enough carbs or fats. Fats and carbs are what power your workouts. Protein is what repairs everything so you can go again. Without enough energy, your body will start eating the protein you've just eaten, rendering it useless. With those gone, your body has no more construction materials and the gains stop. Add more carbs to your diet.
On the flip side, if you know you're eating a lot of carbs, then your protein intake isn't high enough. Increase your daily intake.
A solid split is generally 40% carbs, 20% fats, 40% protein. Check your current split against this and see where your percentages actually are. Once you're making progress again, feel free to slowly adjust each percentage until you find a split that works for your body.
Not Enough Sleep
You fix yourself when you're asleep. You gain muscle when you're asleep. Without sleep, your body sort of repairs but instead of a beautifully patched hole in the wall that blends in perfectly, you've got lumpy, discolored plaster that doesn't even close up all the cracks. Even one more hour can make a world of difference.
In the end, though, sometimes the stalls are all in your head.
The best thing to do? Sit down and have a heart to heart with just yourself. Why are you holding yourself back? What is so bad that it's stopped your progress entirely? Face this fear head on and get back to gaining.
Co-host of HeroesForge, founder of Battle to Be Better, gamer, singer and all around happy person.