Here is some of my background.

I have been constantly going to the gym like 3 times a week for about a year. I work on chest and triceps, back and biceps, and shoulders and legs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday respectively, though I don't really work on triceps and biceps that much, I'm also working on abs on Wednesday and Friday recently.

I have seen noticeable results for the past few months. But the problem is I don't see any progress now and it's kind of a bottleneck for me. My weight is around 145lbs the whole time, it doesn't change much. I'm 5'9'' tall and I'm Asian if ethnicity matters. I was very thin before and I have built some muscle and people could tell that, I have some definition now and I would consider myself toned. I also noticed that my body fat percentage is kind of high, although I never tested it. I can see that I have some belly fat around my waist and that's why I started to work on my abs. I don't have a restricted diet since I always think that I'm too thin. I follow the some routine and work out exercises every week. In addition I swim twice a week, 1000 meters freestyle every time.

I would like to know what I should do to gain more muscle and make more progress and at the same time decrease my body fat percentage. My work out routine? My diet? My cardio? Thanks.

  • "I have seen noticeable results for the past few months. But the problem is I don't see any progress now and it's kind of a bottleneck for me." I don't understand what this means. You've seen progress over the span of a few months, but not since? Don't expect to have the same results month after month. And don't keep expecting results over short periods of time. If you're comparing yourself over the time of less than a year, you shouldn't always expect the results to be visually clear. – Alec Aug 21 '15 at 13:02

I was in the same situation a year or so after starting working out. It just plateaued. Though I will say it's easy to think your progress has stalled, when in fact you just don't measure it. Get a caliper for your body fat, measure tape for circumferences, a scale for bodyweight, weekly photos and record that.

The biggest bang for your buck is in your diet. If you haven't given it a lot of thought before you will see incredible results after cleaning it up.

There's many, many ways to go about it and you'll have zealots for every one of them, proclaiming their superiority. However, they all work because they force you to control your intake and be conscious about what you eat.

My recommendation would be to eat lots and lots of veggies (biggest portion of your plate) and make sure you get around 2 gram of protein per kilo bodyweight (whether that's from legumes, nuts, grains, meat or egg – that's up to you).

Measure the food! Put it in a food log like MyFitnessPal. That's the only way you will know your intake and you should not skip this step.

Next is exercise. If you can't squat twice your bodyweight I would switch to a beginners strength program with linear progression. My personal favorite is StrongLifts but some people like Starting Strength too. The important part here is the built-in progressional load – it keeps pushing you to lift heavier and heavier, thus helping you break through plateaus.

Add in 5-10 minutes of intense Tabata as often as you feel you can still progress. Sprints, rower, skipping rope, etc. Go as hard as you can for 20 seconds and then slower for 10. Rinse and repeat.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.