Let's get straight to it. You're killing it in the gym but your progress is coming along very slowly or not at all. You're wondering what you could be doing wrong. Nine times out of ten improper nutrition is the culprit. One of the best analogies I often use to illustrate the role of nutrition in fitness is 'Building the House'. You see, building your body is a lot like building a house. When building a house you have your blueprint (your fitness program), your tools: hammers, nails, ladders, etc. which translates to your dumbbells, cables, machines, etc., and you start your construction (labor) from there.
That's as far as most people ever get. However, they are forgetting one crucial element... MATERIALS (the foods you eat). When deciding which material to build your house with you want something that's sturdy and strong (packing on lean mass effectively). A straw house can be built, but will most likely look like s**t, and not to mention the big bad wolf can blow it down (ok, I couldn't resist)! Adding/maintaining lean mass applies to those of you who are looking to lose fat and tone as well. As I've said before, "tone" is short for muscle tone so you need to preserve or add muscle to achieve this effect.
While exercising you break down muscle and it's during recovery (rest and nourishment) that the body super compensates for the damage of the workout by rebuilding the muscle bigger and sturdier. So before you start construction on your current 2 bedroom 1 and 1/2 bath, you may want to start getting your materials lined up.
P.S. Congratulations again to our first athlete Andy Jenkins on his 1st place finish in the physique category of the Max-Muscle show!