T Nation

22 Yr Old Female- Stuck at 20% BF

Hi all,

I am a 22 year old personal trainer who was about to compete in a figrue competition 3 years ago, when my back went out due to a series of overworking my lumbar back during plate raises too fast, too long. That’s when I became a personal trainer- I learned about working out, instead of just doing it, and I learned about nutrition. I was down to 14% BF with two months to go to competition, and I needed to get only about 3-4% more BF loss.

Where am I today? Personal training at a corporate gym, trying weird dieting mechanisms, sprinting, lifting heavy for a spout, lifting light for a spout, and still stuck at around 20% BF. My father has a fat stomach, my mother has a fat bottom, I can see my body following hers. I eat pretty clean, for what I think, and I don’t know what to do aboutmy lifting. I have decent muscle.

This is my breakdown/decription of body composition:
My cheeks can gain weight if i’m not carful, right now, they are decently chiseled.
I have a thin, tall neck with no fat creases.
You can see my clavicals.
You can see my first two sets of abs.
My arms are muscular when I flex, but other than that, they look blah when I’m just standing there.
My love handles are pretty much nonexistant.

I have a 27" waist. My hips are another story…
Butt, and thighs are my fatties areas. My butt is very shapely, but not solid muscle, and my thighs, are kind of thick.

My diet?? Here you go.
Cereal in the morning with fat free milk, except weekends I cook a hearty breakfast.
Coffee…lots and lots, with splenda, and I try for Fat free cream.
My lunch is usually rotisserie chicken lunch meat on wheat with lays light (fat free chips) and a pickle, with water. A f.f. yogurt, some fruit.

dinner can range, from pasta, to steak, to chicken, but I always have a green veggie, I never fry food, and dont use oil, or cheese. My dinners are fairly large, but I can eat a lot and have a decent metabolism.
For a dessert, I will have some fruit, a 100% fruit bar, or 100 cal pack of fudge stripe (i know i know…)
I have a multi vitamin every day.

My lifting?..always 2x15 right now, I feel I have decent muscle mass.
Now its this split (back/bi day 1…chest/tri day 2…legs day 3 rotating so its 5X per week with HIIT training for 20 minutes 2 times per week. I will soon add kabatas)

So there you have it. I have a good body , and definitely in better shape than most women, but I want to compete in figrue this year, but I feel im not even close to ready.
ANY ADVISE- DIET AND LIFTING??

and,

she can’t fit into Gucci cuz her ass big enough to sit a cup on her booty

GOODNESS!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsPyYfSEjyw

I M M O R T A L

http://bunklers.com/Plain_Foods.html

replace cereal with oats and protein powder, ditch the dairy for now.
eliminate the chips and copious amounts of fruit.
eat more types of vegetables.
more fat, less sugar…ie chicken and turkey in a salad with almonds, avocado, or olive oil instead of wheat bread.

Try FINiBARs around workout time.

Be a little liberal twice a week and eat one or two meals of whatever you like.

You may be interested in these articles.

The hierarchy of fat loss

This article on how body builders should eat was written by a BB:

There are also lots of articles on carb cycling:

Maybe try cutting out carbs in the evenings (limit fruits and grains to breakfast/lunch).

You should post some pics too. :slight_smile:

Didn’t you also mention in another thread to avoid processed foods like pasta? :wink:

I read an article posted on here from an author about a month ago talking about fats and carbs…choose one, not both! I decided to chose carbs because you can find fat free dairy. That’s why I intake carbs now and no fat. Either way, I could never do a carb free diet, im italian! And I ate very limited pasta- yes I did post that article, its great advice. I can’t always follow it, isn’t it a shame? Maybe that’s why I can’t kick the BF. Anyways, does anyone have research material for females my age and nutrition? I’m sure someone somewhere has something for me!

I will start with the oats again, I just have a hard time waking up earlier than I do already for work, I’m up by 545, and now you want me to wake up at 520 to gulp down oatmeal? I guess I have to huh…

Stop eating and take HOT-ROX.

Non exercise physical activity (NEPA) daily. Like people have already been providing, it’s coming down to your diet.

1/ You can have you first meal of the day almost instantly if you blend your oats with 2 scoops of protein and water. 1st meal of the day, in 5 mins.

You can thank Shelby Starnes for that one.

2/ May need to re-evaluate your lifting as well, 2x15, really? If you cutting you want to be doing a lot more heavy lifting. Read CW’s article on 10x3. You want your body to hold onto as much LBM as possible when dieting, which means lifting as heavy as possible.

3/ You need to look at your diet a lot more. You can’t just post on here, saying I’m eating this and that. You should show exactly how many Kcals your getting a day on training and off days, and also how it is split amongst the macros in %'s or grams. Also get some healthy fats in your diet, Omega 3, EVOO, Coconut Oil etc. Or buy some Flamoeut and FA3.

4/ You say you have almost no love handles but carry fat in your legs/thighs etc. If you put any stock into Poliquins Biosig theory (I know a lot of people don’t, but I do) then it means that you can handle carbs well, but have semi high E2 levels. Look into buying some HOT-ROX from the Biotest store when it’s back in stock, and maybe a product like “Lean Legs” from the Poliquin store to help with the fat loss.

5/ Read this, and maybe buy Shelby Starnes’ e-book about setting up a carb cycling diet on the EliteFTS website.

LR

LR-

Thanks for the helpful advice. I read an article on here about splits that people look over, as well as reps. It went something like this…You can choose one of these workouts sets: 2x15, 3x10, 4x8, 5x5. All I am trying to do at this point, is retain what I have for muscle, and the lean body mass I do have, and not gain anymore muscle, that was my theory for the 2x15 split, except in places where I need a litte more muscle such as my shoulders.

My arms are pretty beefy as it is, I don’t want anymore muscle growth there, or in my legs. I switched by leg routine over to walking lunges 3 sets of 2 minutes of walking (ouch!) Since, before, I was up to a 320lb plate loaded leg press, almost 3 times my own weight, and I probably could do more. I don’t want my lower body out of proportion to my upper, which is smaller. I used to incorporate CLA in my diet, which I may bring back, but I need some research about pairing fats and carbs again.

It’s good to hear thatyou may think I handle carbs well. I can’t kick them. In terms of counting calories, it’s too hard, since almost nothing I eat is canned. For instance, do you know how many calories were in my snack? Small wheat pocket with skinless rotisserie chicken, a scoop of fat free mayo and about a quarter of a cup of driend cranberries, with about a cup of mixed fruit (kiwi, strawberry, blueberries).

I can only guess, maybe about 100 for the bread, 150 for the meat, 20 for the fat free mayo, 100 for the cranberries, and 200 for the cup of fruit? I could be totally off, because I don’t have anything to go on.

From your post, it looks like you don’t really want this. I suggest you re-think your attitude towards your goals. How much do you really want this?

Did you look through the site that Rhino Jockey posted?
http://bunklers.com/Plain_Foods.html

Read through the whole of that site (it’s not that long).

Everyone on this site that is taking their training seriously will be able to tell you exactly what they’re eating, what the macro breakdown is, and how much Kcals their getting whether their cutting of bulking right now.

Also, if you’ve read any articles on here, you’ll know that 2x15 is probably worst choice for set/rep range when trying to loose Bodyfat. The best one would actually be 5x5 to maintain LBM while cutting. You say your worried about putting on mass with that rep range? Well that’s highly unlikely while your in a caloric deficit trying to loose BF.

You’ve got a lot of reading to do.

LR

Your diet sucks for getting lean. Do you know exactly how many calories per day you’re consuming or burning? Do you have any idea where your macros are at? If you answered no to either of those questions, then that’s why you’re stuck at 20% BF.

You can’t just half ass it and expect results. Getting lean is all about the work you put in the kitchen. I hear you about carbs, my fiance is Italian but you need to prioritize. Time your carbs around your training and then go protein + fat combo’s the rest of the day. Don’t let “I’m Italian” become your excuse as to why you have to eat fuckin pasta for dinner everynight.

Hope that wasn’t too harsh for ya.

I also just read this in your above post,

“In terms of counting calories, it’s too hard, since almost nothing I eat is canned. For instance, do you know how many calories were in my snack? Small wheat pocket with skinless rotisserie chicken, a scoop of fat free mayo and about a quarter of a cup of driend cranberries, with about a cup of mixed fruit (kiwi, strawberry, blueberries).”

That indicates that you don’t have what it takes to get truly lean, sorry but you’re not driven enough and a bit lazy. You need to start eating foods that are easy to calculate. When I’m dieting, I weigh EVERYTHING on my digital scale that needs to be weighed and have my meals planned out ahead of time. I know exactly how much of what equates to how many calories and macros and how much of which foods I can eat per meal. Your snack believe it or not ISN’T that hard to calculate if you actually wanted to.

If you’re serious, you need to figure out how many calories per day you need to consume to be in a deficit of calories. Once you do that, plan out all your meals for the day ahead of time. Calculating calories on the fly is a big pain in the ass which is why I will calculate AHEAD OF TIME 3-4 breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for variety. When I’ve eaten 6 times, I know I’m done eating, I know how many calories I ate, I know how much protein, carbs and fat I’ve consumed etc.

This is what it takes to get lean. You can’t just estimate…not to mention you’re not 16 anymore, you’re going to have to get more disciplined as you age.

I’m carb tolerant, but the only way I got down to 15% was by going low carb (only from veg). No fruit, no bread, no pasta…

[quote]Davinci.v2 wrote:
you’re not 16 anymore, you’re going to have to get more disciplined as you age.
[/quote]

This made me lol. At my age I’m going to need the discipline of Gandhi :slight_smile:

You’re right, of course. Lean is mostly about the kitchen.

That being said, if the OP is going to compete then getting super lean at this point may not be the best idea. I didn’t notice a competition date…might have missed it. Tweak the diet for gradual fat loss but focusing on building the money muscles (shoulders, back and lower body) would be my advice.

edit: I took a closer look. The training piece of this puzzle is missing. You can’t make it up.

Good lord.

Hey,

I know this isn’t the most glamorous eating strategy but it definitely works well for getting lean. I am also italian and love my pasta etc… but when I really want to lean out like Davinci mentioned above, I would say outside of workout time where carbs are better utilized, I would stick to a combination of protein and fat. I generally stick to the following:

*lean meats(skinless chicken breast, pork tenderloin, flank steak, sirloin, eye round, lamb, fish etc…) *I generally avoid cold cuts because of the preservatives and excessive sodium)
*Any green vegetables
*fish oil, coconut oil, olive oil (extra virgin), avocado, nuts
*berries as main fruit
*unsweetened green tea ( i drink coffee too )
*low carb wraps ( I’ve found these with literally 3-5 carbs per wrap so these would be a good option if you really don’t like giving up all carbs, trader joes has good ones)
*low carb protein powder
*eggs/egg whites
*lots of water
*spices/seasoning

Obviously this isn’t an extensive list and it’s kinda boring but off the top of my head it contains most things i’ve had success with eating/drinking while getting lean quickly.

-Darian

[quote]selina0617 wrote:

My diet?? Here you go.
Cereal in the morning with fat free milk, except weekends I cook a hearty breakfast.
Coffee…lots and lots, with splenda, and I try for Fat free cream.
My lunch is usually rotisserie chicken lunch meat on wheat with lays light (fat free chips) and a pickle, with water. A f.f. yogurt, some fruit.

dinner can range, from pasta, to steak, to chicken, but I always have a green veggie, I never fry food, and dont use oil, or cheese. My dinners are fairly large, but I can eat a lot and have a decent metabolism.
For a dessert, I will have some fruit, a 100% fruit bar, or 100 cal pack of fudge stripe (i know i know…)
I have a multi vitamin every day.

My lifting?..always 2x15 right now, I feel I have decent muscle mass.
Now its this split (back/bi day 1…chest/tri day 2…legs day 3 rotating so its 5X per week with HIIT training for 20 minutes 2 times per week. I will soon add kabatas)

So there you have it. I have a good body , and definitely in better shape than most women, but I want to compete in figrue this year, but I feel im not even close to ready.
ANY ADVISE- DIET AND LIFTING??
[/quote]

you are right. fantastic body. but you asked, so to step it up i would get “150 healthiest food on earth” and eat NOTHING that is not in that book for 4-6 weeks. lifting wise, i’d go all complexes and condition at the same time. (also, nick tumminello’s GF is into figure so check out his youtube and performanceu stuff for ideas on training. love that guy’s stuff!)

see how you look after a month and a half and i bet you will be moving in the right direction. it took my body a long time to respond to this but you are young and it should move quick.

good luck

Are you serious?..Right, I didn’t think so.