Why You Can’t Gain Muscle or Strength During Parkour

With online fitness or parkour forums, the number one question they always ask is why they are not gaining muscle or strength during their parkour training. At most times, it is a common story for people with no experience or knowledge on how to build muscle as well as gain weight. There are plenty of things that you need to know before you can gain the muscle that you need for parkour training.

You are not getting enough calories or eating the right foods, not getting enough water, and your workout routine is not effective, you are not focused on progression, and not getting enough rest are just some of the reasons why you are not able to gain muscle or strength. 

Every traucer would like to get muscle and strength since it is a great factor to have when training for parkour. In this article, I will talk about all the reasons why you are not able to gain muscle strength. I will also discuss the different ways how you solve these problems and gain the muscle as well as strength that you please.

Patience is Key When It Comes to Gaining Muscle or Strength

When you are a beginner, the first phase of your training program should result in changes that you are not able to see. At most times, your coordination will improve with every exercise that you do for parkour training. The amount of contraction between your muscles usually decreases when you perform your exercises.

Your brain will get better at communicating with your muscles and can actually activate a higher percentage of muscle fibers which is called neuromuscular efficiency. Make sure not to look in the mirror after two weeks and wonder why you are not getting bigger.

It is important to be patient and be sure to put in the work. Trust that the result will come eventually.

Be Motivated Enough to Get the Work Done

If you are not gaining any muscle or strength, it may be because of your lack of motivation. You can’t always say that you give your 100 percent every time that you go out for your parkour training. There are different ways how you can help yourself stay motivated and focused on your goals.

First, make sure that you keep a training diary to track your daily exercise logs. For you to maximize muscle hypertrophy, make sure that you keep track of all your workouts, weight used, the tempo of your exercise, repetitions performed, and weights that you might have used during your training.

Be sure to keep a training log that will allow you to track your progress as well as your energy levels. The logs are a great way to look back to see how you got injured or over-trained.

Next, set a small bi-weekly goal that is realistic and achievable and take before as well as after pictures of your body. After that, find inspiration for what you want to look like, print it out, and stick it to someplace you will want to see at all times.

Masure to get involved with discussions about muscle building and do research more because the more informed you are, the better result you will get. Before you start your training, it is best to watch some training and workout videos from pros.

Lastly, fire yourself up before any parkour session by playing some music that will get you going.

You May Not Be Getting Enough Calories: Know What Foods to Take

One of the best solutions to gaining muscles or strength is knowing they have the right calorie consumption. Your body needs a particular number of calories so that you can maintain your current weight. This number is known as basal metabolic rate (BMR), and this depends from person to person depending on your weight, activity level, muscle mass, etc.

When your calorie intake is more than the result of your BMR, it will be most likely that you will gain weight, and it is known as a calorie surplus.

How To Know the Calories Your Body Would Need

The best way to know your calorie intake is to calculate your BMR, and you can use BMR calculators online. There are calculators that use the Harris-Benedict Formula, which is one of the most accurate methods to calculate your daily calorie requirements. Take some time to go over the calculator and work out your daily calorie intake.

Make sure that you focus on your goal. If you want to build muscles and strength, your calorie intake needs to be more than your expenditure. Take the result that you got from the calculator and add 500 more. The result of this would be the calories that you should be eating every day for you to build the muscle you need.

Make Sure to Add Some Protein to Your Diet

Protein should be between 15 to 20 percent of the average person’s total caloric intake. However, you will need more if you want to build more muscle mass. This percentage should be part of your diet if you are not into weight lifting.

It is important to keep in mind that the unused protein will go to waste when there is a particular intake. Now, you can get all the protein you need through natural food sources. When you choose to go the supplement route, it is best to get a combination of whey and casein protein.

Know What You Are Eating: Very Crucial in Gaining Muscle and Strength

Whenever you eat, it is just as important as what you eat. The days of eating, which are usually three square meals, are no longer available. Research has shown that when you eat smaller meals, it is not only great for promoting fast metabolism but it also helps maintain, lose, and gain weight.

You can think of your body like it is a log fire. When you put too much wood at one time, the fire will burn slow and sluggishly. However, when you add wood gradually as the fire gets bigger, it will burn more efficiently and bigger.

Aim for about six meals spread at even intervals throughout your day. It is best to make these meals as even as possible, but it is okay to eat a little bit more for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner when you don’t have time during other breaks.

Now, you may be thinking that you are too busy to eat all of these meals in one day. To be honest, all you need is a bit for forwarding planning, and you can achieve six meals a day. There are a lot of ways how you can cook and store food for your meals. You can spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon cooking up your lunches and snacks for the entire week.

Make sure that you use your imagination to make your six days a meal work. Some of the food that you can include on your diet are stir fry, pasta bowls, beef stew, and so much more.

Another option that you can do to gain muscle or strength is weight gain shakes. There is nothing easier than taking some water into a shaker with some powder, having a shake, and drinking. Replacement shakes usually have 600 calories with good amounts of protein, BCAAs, glutamine, and carbohydrates.

You can count weight gain shakes as a meal in a cup. All you need is a couple of shaker bottles, weight gain powder before work, add the water, and drink it while you are on the go.

You May Not Be Eating the Right Foods

When you are eating excess calories on your meal every day and training with a decent workout, you will surely gain muscle and strength. If you are not eating the right foods, then there is a huge chance that you will be limiting your potential on gaining muscles, you will be putting on excess body fat, and not grow enough lean muscles.

The best way to build your muscle and strength is to split it up into protein, carbohydrate, and fat diet ratios. The best ratio for these is 30:50:20, which means you are getting 30 percent of your total calories from protein, 50 percent from carbohydrates, and 20 percent from fats.

Get Enough Water: It’s Just As Important as Eating

Water is nature’s wonder supplement, and water is crucial for the whole host of bodily functions. There are plenty of moments when people train for parkour underestimates the importance of being hydrated well before training. When you feel dehydrated before you are about to train, it might be too late. You won’t be able to rehydrate yourself in time.

Making sure that you are hydrated should be a priority from the moment you get out of bed. Dehydration is one of the most serious problems that you need to deal with, as in extreme cases, it can lead to death. Aside from being thirsty, you will fatigue, dry mouth, headache, loss of appetite, and dark urine are some of the symptoms that you are dehydrated.

Drinking enough amount of water is pretty easy, and there is no excuse why you are not able to do it. Just take your water bottle wherever you may go, and you should increase the amount of water you are consuming.

Always Work Big and Not Small: Great for Building Muscle

Though bicep curls can be fun, you have to challenge your body even more when you want to gain muscles. One key to doing gaining muscle and strength is working through multi-joint movements, and this can be the backbone of your training. You can do exercises that challenge multiple joints and muscles at one time.

Using multiple muscle groups can allow you to lift more weight, and it is the key stimulator of growth. It will push you to use muscles together, just like what you do in real life. Make sure that your moves include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pullups.

Doing all of these exercises will stimulate multiple muscle groups simultaneously and will help you build your muscle and strength for parkour training.

Don’t Work Out Too Hard: Can Result to Fatigue and Exhaustion

It is important that your body should move every day. However, this doesn’t mean your workouts should lead to fatigue and exhaustion. When you train your hardest, you are not giving your body a chance to grow. Make sure that you pick your spots to attack whenever you are training.

It is best to limit your workout to 12 to 16 total sets of work, and don’t go beyond that. Don’t make your workout brutal, and aim to finish every workout feeling good. You need time for recovery to grow your muscles and strength.

When you are constantly training to the point of exhaustion will be counterproductive for your muscle growth recovery.

Take A Look At Your Workout Routine: It Might Need Some Adjustments

It is best to choose the right routine that will suit your body type. It is important that you have training experience and you can set a goal. Plenty of traceurs gets their workout routines from different YouTube videos or articles that are done by professionals. Now, these workouts are not designed for beginners and will only lead to wasted time, frustration, and energy.

A good workout routine should have training days arranged to allow for adequate rest. You should also have muscle groups arranged so you can avoid overtraining and so that your muscle can be worked to maximum effect. Also, you should have a good selection of compound and isolation exercises as well as a good warm-up and cool-down.

You should know and understand the characteristic of your body type since different body types respond to different methods of training.

You Have Been Using the Same Workout for Too Long

When you are building your muscles, it is simply the process of the body reacting to increased stress. Putting stress on your muscle while training will help them grow bigger to cope with the stress. The body is quick to adapt to any changes, and this includes your workout before you hit the parkour environment.

When your body adapts to a particular routine, you will not see the need to build more muscle or get stronger, so this means you would need to change your workout. The general rule is to change your workout is if in 12 weeks and you are still growing, don’t change your workout routine.

Everyone is different, so if you feel like you are still growing, make sure that you stick to the routine. There are plenty of great workouts that you can research for all experiences. We have written an article about some strength training that you can do to gain muscles; check it out.

You May Need to Improve Your Exercise Technique

Yes, you are doing your exercises, but you need to make sure that you are doing them the right way. If you want to place the maximum amount of stress on your muscles and prevent any serious injuries, you need to execute every movement with good form.

Don’t copy whatever the other person that you are working out with as it is a bad habit that can spread. There are a few general rules that you can apply to most exercises. First, make sure to keep your repetitions slow and controlled. Next, don’t use momentum to move weight, so this means there shouldn’t be any swinging involved. Lastly, make sure you use a full-range motion and don’t lock joints out of your movements.

You May Be Doing the Wrong Excercise: Find A Routine that Fits You

Doing your exercises right goes hand in hand with a solid workout routine. Most newbie traceurs tend to make this a common mistake. At most times, you are either doing too many isolation exercises or not enough compounds. These big compound movements have the most muscle fibers and place the most stress on the body.

The ratio for a good compound to isolation should be two to one or three to one. This means for every two to three compound exercises that you do, and you should do one isolation. However, this doesn’t apply to your arms, forearms, and calves, where most exercises are isolation movements.

Some of the big mass exercises that you can include in your routine are deadlift, chin up, squat, bench press, shoulder press, rows, and wide grip pull up.

Make Sure to Get Enough Rest In Between Your Workouts

Rest is just as important as your training. Plenty of people who practice parkour believe that muscle building takes place in the gym, but it is actually the opposite. Weight training usually creates millions of tears in the muscle tissue, and as a result, you are damaging your muscles.

Once your muscles get ‘pumped up’ due to the swelling that is caused and increased by blood to the area. Your actual muscle building takes place out of the gym whenever you are resting and sleeping. There are different ways how you are not getting enough rest.

First, you may be training too many days without taking days off. Now, it might not feel like it; your body needs days of complete rest to recover from your hard training sessions. It is not just your muscles that need to recover; it is your entire neurological system, joints, tendons, and even your brain needs the rest.

Another way is it comes back to your workout routine, and you may not be allowing your muscle groups to recover between your training sessions fully. When you don’t allow enough recovery time, your muscles won’t have the time to grow.

If your muscles are still sore from your previous workout, don’t train just yet. One training session per week is enough for you to gain the muscle you need. Some smaller muscle groups like calves and abs may be trained twice but will still need at least two days of rest in between your training.

Get Enough Sleep: At Least Six Hours A Day

Most often, sleep is one of the most forgotten variables in the journey to gaining muscles and strength. You may spend plenty of time training, but what you don’t realize is when you sleep, your muscles recover, and your body grows. Sleeping is the period when your muscle-growing hormones are secreted.

Ideally, you want to get about eight to ten hours of sleep which, of course, doesn’t always s happen. So you want to do what you can to maximize the quality of your sleep. Six hours is enough sleep when you are not able to hit eight hours.

So when you are setting up your sleep, and you are serious about gaining muscle, make sure that you are getting enough of it. Try to go to bed at the same time every day, and the same thing goes when you are waking up. Sleep in a fully dark, quiet cool room as it can optimize your sleep quality, and it can have an underrated effect on your ability to build muscle.


For you to gain the muscles and strength that you need for parkour training, it is important to know what you are doing wrong. Enough research is important for you to reach your goal, and you will also need a bit of patience as it may take some time. Always stay motivated and stick to the right food. Also, don’t forget to enjoy your training as it will be a big help in gaining muscles and strength. If you want to know if parkour can build muscles, here is an article that I have written for you. Happy training!

Leave a Comment