I eat properly, but how do I get my muscles to show?

Last updated on August 20, 2020


I want to eat better. I don’t think I eat bad right now though, like, I don’t drink any kind of pop (haven’t in three years) and I don’t eat pizza all the time but no matter how many crunches I do, my stomach muscles are never showing a whole lot. Like, you can notice them, but it’s not as noticeable as some weightlifters but yet my arms the muscle definition is very noticeable. Though you still can’t see veins in my biceps as I want. I keep trying to look up what kind of stuff I should do for my arms and shoulders, but all I find is safety tips which I’m not looking for. I want to get a routine and schedule filled out. What would be the ideal number of days a week to work on my shoulders and arms?


Everything that you describe as wanting is dependent on the amount of body fat you have. You would have to get into the lean range of about 8% body fat in order to get the definition that you desire.

Exercising will increase the size of you muscles and as a side-effect cause you to burn more energy, even when resting. But you won’t see definition of the muscles if the gaps are filled in with fat.

If you are part of an exercise club, ask if you can have a body-fat measurement done. Most are where folds of skin are measured at various points on your body with a caliper and then the numbers are compared to a chart. This will tell you were you are currently.

To decrease the body fat, cut down on your portion sizes if you are making good food choices. If you usually eat a double cheeseburger, limit yourself to a single cheeseburger. Nothing drastic, just train yourself to take a little bit less than what you would normally take.

Then periodically, say once a month, have another measurement done to see how you are progressing. Since skin-fold measurements are notoriously imprecise, I would look at a series of three to see if there is a pattern in the changes. Weighing on a scale will help a bit, but you might actually increase in weight as you build muscle even though your overall body fat is going down.