Building Muscle: Why Is It Harder for Some People Than for Others?

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If you’re intent on building up your muscle tone, you’re not alone. Lots of people want to get firmer and grow bigger muscles, but why is it so much harder for some people than it is for others? For the most part, it has to do with your workout routine, the way you eat, heredity, your muscle “memory,” and where you are currently when you start your training.

Once you realize what your problem area is, you can sometimes do something about it. Let’s take a look at each of these things in more detail.

Why Do Some People Grow Muscle Faster?

Some of the things listed below you can change, while others you can’t. While there can be many reasons you’re not building muscle as fast as other people, here are the main reasons to consider:

1.  Your Workout Routine

For a workout routine to be effective, it should be changed up somewhat every two or three months. You have to keep challenging yourself and changing the routine to push yourself to do more because doing the same thing for months or years at a time doesn’t challenge the muscles to move onto the next level of efficiency.

If you’re working on your abs, for instance, try concentrating on crunches for a few months, then switch over to situps and then to planks. And if you find that doing a certain exercise is far too simple for you, that means it’s necessary for you to push yourself to the next level.

2.  Your Diet and Nutritional Habits

This should come as no surprise to anyone, but the way you eat will directly affect your success in muscle-building. In fact, according to most experts, if you’re not going to eat right, get plenty of rest, and stay away from smoking and drinking too much alcohol, you might as well forget about doing the exercises.

If you work out at a gym, they can probably help you devise a nutritional plan that’s right for you and which can help you build up your muscles even faster. And when we say “diet,” we don’t mean starving yourself to lose weight. If you’re going to work out regularly, you need to keep your calorie count in check so that you have the energy to work out properly.

3.  Heredity and Genetics

While this isn’t as big of a factor as many people believe it to be, it can still affect your ability to quickly build up muscle tone. It starts with the body type you are born with, which can be broken down into three different types. These include:

  • These people are very thin naturally and sometimes find it difficult to build up their muscles.
  • These are people who find it a lot easier to build up their muscles and usually have those perfectly shaped muscles that other people envy.
  • These are athletic people who find it easy to body-build and in fact, most professional body-builders are mesomorphs.

4.  Your Muscle Memory

If you work out hard and consistently – and long enough – then quit for a while, it’s possible for your muscles to essentially “remember” where they were when you stopped. In practical terms, it means that when you start working out again, your muscles will remember exactly where they left off and proceed like you never stopped exercising.

If you’re a beginner, don’t expect your muscles to have all that much memory. It takes a lot of discipline, as well as hard work and the right nutrition, to get to this point. But muscle memory does exist and once you get to that point, it’s much easier to start up again in the future.

5.  Where You Are When You Start Training

When people work out, they each start out at a different level. Some are absolute beginners and some have been working out seriously for many years. Most people, however, are usually somewhere in between these two extremes, but your level always affects how fast you’ll get the results you desire.

If you work out long enough, you’ll become fitter and much stronger, but your muscle growth may slow down a bit. This is nothing to be concerned about because consistency is the key to being a successful muscle-builder. Just set goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them, and soon your muscles will look terrific.

Are There Other Things That Affect Muscle Growth?

There are also other factors that come into play when you’re trying to build up your muscles. For one thing, we all have fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are large and used mostly for activities such as jumping and strength training; and slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are smaller and are used for activities such as long-distance running and even swimming.

Unfortunately, many people are predisposed to have more of one type than they do of the other type of muscle fiber. As a result, it is simply easier for some people to be better at body-building and others to be better at cardio activities.


It can be more difficult for some people to build up muscle tone than it is for others, and there are several things that can affect how fast you do just that. Things such as body type, heredity, muscle memory, diet, and where you are when you start working out all affect your success rate.

Fortunately, you can change some of these things and improve your chances of growing bigger muscles, but unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to all of these things.


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