Sometimes I get the question from some lifters that they have been avid lifters for 2 to 3 years or so and they are discouraged because they are not getting any bigger or stronger. They ask the question: "What should I do?"
The truth of the matter is that we all reach a sticking point after lifting for a few years. It's normal so don't be discouraged. Most guys want to pack on some muscle. Why else would we spend hours in the gym? To see results, of course.
Measuring Your Progress
Since we are doing a lot of things right, it's important for us to find different ways of measuring our progress. I'm sure most of us are in better shape, stronger, and leaner today than we were in the past. The measures of fitness are strength, endurance, and flexibility.
Bodybuilders, of course, add size to the mix. I think it is important we have a few different ways to look at ourselves. So consider that you have lost some fat and gained muscle and that's good. Now ask if your body fat percentage is where you want it yet? I know you're stronger, but has your endurance improved?
Before you get discouraged and for sure before you quit training, please check yourself out against these different measures. Remember, most men put on more size as they get older. The slight slowing of the metabolism with age works for you as a bodybuilder.
But check how you look in the mirror right now. My guess is that you look a lot better than you may have 2-or-3 years earlier. Every bodybuilder wants size but check out some contest pictures; those lighter guys look fantastic because they are symmetrical and cut. That might be a great look for you given your height and bone structure.
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Work With What You've Got
All of us work to make the best with what we have. You don't have heavy bone mass so set specific goals, work hard at achieving them, and keep training. As a suggestion, learn what foods work to build mass and learn more about diet and how your body responds to different foods.
Now might be a good time to set a goal of getting ripped for the summer. To do that, concentrate on reducing your bodyfat percentage instead of more size. Later, towards the end of summer, set a new goal of gaining muscle mass, say 6 more pounds by winter.
Most of all keep yourself interested. The worse thing after a couple of years is to feel stalled. Try varying your goals, routines, foods or supplements to break the stall. And most importantly of all, look at things in the long run.
Do it because you enjoy it and not because you feel like you have to. Bodybuilding or exercise in general should be about the rewards you reap from knowing that you gave it your all out effort.