T Nation

500-1000 Kcal Under Maintenance


As a former fat guy I'm hoping to get visible abs THIS summer. And I kinda deserve it too after training hard for about 2 and a half years. Went on my first real cutting phase starting in the beginning of February. Weight started going down from about 188 pounds, and I am now stuck at 172 pounds.

My bathroom weight can measure body fat - although I highly doubt its any accurate - and I've gone from a measured 15% to about 13%. I can now see the big blood vessel on my biceps (for the first time ever).

I've started doing intervals 2 times a week, about 1,5 hours of soccer once a week, and I try to get some steady state morning cardio (depending on the weather really). Still I cant see any further improvement.

I can always see my upper ab now, and given the right lightning conditions I look pretty damn good - almost like a underwear model (sans the pretty face sadly). In clothes I get a lot of compliments, and I've got a nice V shaped back (at last). However, I have a bit pec flab left (genetic non-gyno I guess, my father has it as well, and according to him it goes away when hes super low on body fat), and some lower abdominal fat.

Any sweet tips?

And please no comments about 170 pounds skinnypack. Of course I'm going to try to get bigger, but I'd like abs in the summer.


What does your actual training look like, and what does your diet look like?

Honestly, I would like to know your definition of "training hard for 2 and a half years." By that, you mean that you train your balls off week to week, try to push heavier weights every time, etc? And that you take your diet seriously?


Dropping from 15% to 13% in 2 1/2 years is training hard?



If your in a calorie deficit you will continue to lose fat.

Keep lifting heavy + cardio + calorie deficit = visible abs before you turn 80.(I promise)


The dude could very well be working his ass off doing a lean bulk... Thought of that?


not so much caloric deficit....its hormonal changes you food causes that make a big difference...cut out carbs other than veggies, and pound the hell outta beef, chicken, fish, veggies, minimal fruits, and lots of EFAs, and handfuls of BCAAs everytime you think of it.....

heavy full body workouts with compound movements, stay in the rack or on the platform, and polish off every workout with 10-15 minutes of ball busting intervals at the end..either in real sprints, agility drills, versa climber, or a Woodway treadmill if you have access, or maybe some heavy ass sled drags....you will drop weight...

the more Ive played around with diets over 20 years, and the more Ive read and experienced, the whole calorie in calorie out is not so accurate....everyones genetics is vastly different, and its the hormonal changes the food we eat that makes a difference..you can cut calories and chew up your precious lean muscle tissue if your not eating right, and if your trianing like a moron doing lots of steady state cardio on top of your lame bodypart training....

If anyone on here that hasnt dieted "strict" in a while, I challenge you to eat nothing but beef, chicken, and salmon each meal, with veggies, and protein shakes with handfuls of EFAs every few hours....you wont need to count calories, and you will get leaner....

train big in a rack or on a platform lifting like a powerlifter or olympic lifter, then do some "real" intervals....not the elliptical or other panzy machines...


Sorry for the late reply guys, I don't frequent the internet too much now due to exams and life in general.

Anyhow, regarding the question about 2 years from 15% to 13% BF. I have added quite a lot of muscles in these two years, but I don't remember my weight when I started. What I have done is go from 15 to 13 since the beginning of February.

I've tested a lot of programs, but the ones I feel is best for me is three full body workouts each week. This scheme allows me to train in different rep ranges over certain amounts of time, and try to push more weight each week.

Currently I do these exercises each workout (in this order): Push-press, Deadlift, Cable chest press/bench press, Pullups, hamstring curl and some abwork. I've also added an exercise for the upper chest since its lagging behind.

The intervals I do is 4min FAST running (just below lactic threshold), 2-3 min pause, and repeat that 4-5 times. I also keep progressing on this each week/training (obviously depending on my day, if I feel like shit I take it easier).

Morning cardio is about 30-40 min of slow/moderate walking in steep terrain. I dont always do this, but I try to get as many as I can each week.

This leaves my diet, which I think is the best place for improvement. How low can I go on daily kcal before I start stripping of muscles? 1500? 1200? Obviously not for longer periods of time though! Any idea on evening snacks after I've eaten my carb share for the day (I try to get them in after workout and during breakfast). I've eaten so many almonds and walnuts now I need something different :confused:


This is what i was thinking.


Ok then. Thanks for clarifying. I rescind my OP.


Canned salmon is a good snack and has a lot of protein.

I would suggest keeping a food log first and make sure your being consistent before you start dropping calories.

Once you track your food, your body comp will probably start getting better without a change in activity (you'd be surprised on how much a consistent diet can make a difference).

Once you start to stall, start adding in some fasted walking twice a week.

Once you stall again, make it three times a week and do low carb on low intensity days but keep your carbs the same on high workload days (think back and legs). This should be easy since your tracking your food.

I think you see where i'm going with this.

It's all about baby steps and doing the least work possible to achieve fatloss if you don't want to lose a lot of muscle.


Lo and behold, my abs are coming in! I feel like a 14 year old girl thats noticing her growing boobies! Seems that life has blessed me with full looking abs, once the fat is off. This might be the coolest thing I've encountered in a while.


By the way guys, are there some cool tips on what to do the week prior to an event? Like shedding water etc?


You really don't know how to use the search function do you?



Bro could you change your avatar? I cant count the number of times over the past 2 months I've tried to read a thread and then been interrupted. Or at least stop posting so often. haha


I agree, it's pretty distracting - but as distractions go, it's nice. And Jskrabac - your post didn't need to be rescinded - you made it in statement form yet added a question mark at the end, both of which cancel each other out anyway. The OP addressed it, but I wouldn't.