I have been lifting weights for the past 1 year or so and my muscles barely show, i can see some growth but nothing more then that.

Before starting lifting i was skinny fat(mostly around the waist area),and after following a balanced diet(1:1 ratio) i almost reduced my weight by 18 kg's in 3.5 months and my weight has remained constant throughout the year after that.

So I am really confused that even after following a good diet, sleep pattern and gym routine my muscles won't grow.

Interestingly I have gained a lot of strength over the same period of time.

So can anyone give a tip or point any mistakes that i may be doing that's hampering my growth.


I am 24 years old 6 ft and before starting to lift my weight was around 106 kg and after 3.5 months my weight dropped to 87 kilos .

And now i weight around 85 - 86 kilos

Nutrition Plan

I am following the fat loss plan as i have still fat around my waist area http://www.gurumann.com/Muscular_8_eBook.pdf

  • 1:1 ratio of what? How are you objectively measuring progress? Generally you need to be eating at a maintenance or surplus to grow muscle.
    – John
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 6:55
  • 1
    So you are lifting, fine. Anyway, we do not know anything about your program. This is a crucial detail to be added.
    – Paul K
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 7:21
  • If you're not growing, then 99.9% of the time it's going to be a) you're not sleeping enough, b) you're not eating enough, c) you're not progressing your training.
    – Dark Hippo
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 7:56
  • @JJosaur i am following a 1:1 ratio for carbs and protien and when i look in the mirror i just look the same just with less fat around my waist area.
    – nik6018
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 8:05
  • 1
    Aiming for 0 dietary fat is a really great way to mess up your body. Calorie intake matters most, focus on managing that.
    – John
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 10:24

1 Answer 1


I assume by skinny fat you mean that your muscle mass is low. A total mass of 85-86 kg and height of 6 feet (interesting combination of units) would therefore imply that you should lose some 10 more kilograms to reach a bodyfat percentage of about 8-10. It is possible to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously on a hypocaloric diet but it is usually easier to gain muscle on a hypercaloric diet. In order to maximize muscle gain, you should start the hypercaloric diet in a lean state. Otherwise fat gain will not be as low as it could be. Also you should adjust your training for maximum hypertrophy. Since you have already gained a lot of strength, probably no harm will be done if you focus on hypertrophy. Studies (e.g. Hubal MJ et al. Variability in muscle size and strength gain after unilateral resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Jun;37(6):964-72) have shown that people exhibit a wide range of hypertrophic response to resistance training. Some people, around a few percent, gain almost no muscle. You could be among this group but it is not possible to definitely conclude so with the data available. You need to take time to gain knowledge and experience on how you respond to training. My recommendation is to use training programs from reputable authors in order to eliminate rookie mistakes. There is some correlation between strength and hypertrophy gains in individuals but definitely this is not 1:1. Gaining strength but not muscle is not anything out of the ordinary.

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