No more muscle gain

Hi Everyone,

My name is Matteo. I’m 28 years old and have been training with Freeletics since 2015 (and I loved every single day of it).

I’m frustrated though. In the past 5 years or so, I haven’t seen any more changes in my body.

I certainly have improved my performance, both in learning new skills - such as pistols and muscleups - and in obtaining new PBs, but I always see myself slight in the mirror (and I would love to look as strong as I push myself during the workouts).

I have always curated my nutrition.
I fixed one error lately, which was to eat to little (I used to eat a little because I wanted the muscles to be visible) and started to eat way more - but this way I look again as a slightly fatty athlete.

What am I doing wrong? Is it really the moment to change the training program? I love bodyweight and even though I tried the Freeletics Free Weights Program, I still want to train outside instead of in a room.

Do you have any advice?

Thank you!

Hey Matteo :wave:t2:

Ok, so there’s a few things to unpack here :+1:t2:

I am 100% sure that all of us have felt this way at some point in our personal training. If you have conquered advanced skills like Pistols and Muscleups, I can assure you that you’ve been crushing it though :muscle:t2: So huge :clapclapstatic: to you.

I think you have probably realised that if your training goal is to build a bit more muscle, you do want (well in fact need) to be in a slight calorie surplus. Your body will not put on any weight if you are not. So, you need to make sure that you are taking in more calories than you use on a daily basis. It is important to also look at the make up of what you are eating, and ensure that you are taking in enough protein. You will almost inevitably also put on more body fat during this process.

Athletes building muscle will often have to go through cycles of putting on mass (slight calorie surplus) and then of losing body fat (slight calorie deficit).

This may be the case. If you really want to focus even more on building muscle then increasing the resistance in your workouts could be helpful. Maybe start with Hybrid Strength which would allow you to mix your training between weight and bodyweight training sessions if you still want to be able to train outside.

Also, there’s quite a lot of articles like the one below on our blog that you might find useful regarding nutritional needs when building muscle.

Just want to end with a personal message to keep up the great efforts :+1:t2: I think you really should feel very happy with yourself and the progress you’ve made so far.



Thank you so much Ben. That helped a lot.
I’d love to start the Hybrid Program but have to wait to “settle” somewhere, since I’m always moving from place to place (and also need a corner for my weights and racks). Happy training to you too!

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Ah I’m glad to hear that :+1:t2: Let us know how you get on if you decide to switch to weights!


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I feel so indentified with you my friend! I’ve been training with Freeletics since the very beginning and the changes were outstanding.
I gained a lot of resilience and resistance and my body looked lean and all, but up to a point I hit a plateau and as much progress as I’ve made in my performance, physically I don’t see myself as I’d like.

And I know that my “problem” lies 80% in my nutrition as well, and in the need for also aiming for a calorie surplus, (especially given I’m 100% plantbased -for 8 years now-; and a 20% in focusing on strenght workout. That’s why I’ve also started Hybrid Strenght, cuz I also don’t want to give up outside training.

But also that’s why I’ve been so insistent on having a full vegan program on the Nutrition App, cuz I really find myself lost if I don’t have like a “path” to follow.

Anyway, as Ben said, kudos to you for all the work you’ve done so far, which is not little, and kudos for your commitment and your dedication, that’s quite important as well!!


There is said so much already but I wanted to share some tips I use my own. I was 90kg at 1,78m height so nutrition was a big point for me even before I started freeletics.

I am vegan now and it is easy to get your protein even with plants.

So first of all I can give you the advice to track food. If you hate it, you should at least do it for some weeks to get a routine, to read your body. You will get used to calories in your food so you dont need to track every single food. But it is great to track protein and understand how it all works.

Next I can give you the advice to look for some blogs, youtubers etc you like. I myself love Derek from Simnett Nutrition. He does calisthenics and vegan protein recipes. It tastes great and you will reach your goals.

Every body is different but you should try to get 1.4-2.2 g protein per kg of your weight. I myself try to reach 1.5, it works good for me.

Also you could try to add some weight to your workout. I am buying a weight vest soon.

Greetings from Germany and feel free to message me😊


I’m in the same situation! I was vegetarian and then became vegan (and has been the best choice of my life so far) but I have no problems at all regarding protein intake (may need to increase carbs too!).

Hope to be training together once! What about Weighted Pullups and Weighted Dips? Wouldn’t they be enough to build a lot of muscle mass? What about weighted Pistols and/or Leg Extensions? Shrimps?

However, I still love Dumbbells and Barbells and it’s obvious that they’re the king of strength and hypertrophy, but bodyweight and conditioning workouts are so much fun!

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I think combining everything and having fun is the most important💪