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6'3 187 lbs, No Idea What To Do

So I’m 20, I’m 6’3, and I weigh 187. I’m currently trying to diet down to 169, and apparently I’m crazy for doing so. Everyone is telling me I’m already super skinny, but I’m walking around at about 19% body fat and I feel really fat. I’ve had several people tell me to start gaining, but I’m afraid to start because I don’t want to put any more fat on.

I’ve posted on here saying I don’t really have any direction as to where to start, I feel overweight but everyone tells me I’m already super light for my size. It’s not that I don’t have a base of knowledge, I spend an hour or two a day when I’m sitting at my desk at the office reading T-Nation articles. It’s more that I don’t know how to put everything together.

I’ve never been an athlete, and I’ve never had someone teach me how to lift properly or gain properly or anything. I’m posting some pictures just so I can get some feedback on what kind of program I should start doing, etc.

You do have a little bit of fat around your midsection (albeit not that much), so I understand your concern. However, as a beginner, you’re quite capable of burning fat while building muscle. If you start a good basic program, like Starting Strength, while eating just enough calories so you neither lose nor gain weight, your body will probably convert quite a bit of that fat into muscle.

However, judging by your picture I see no reason not to maintain a slight caloric surplus - just don’t go overboard. Once you’ve gained 20-30lbs of muscle (which really shouldn’t take too long), that extra fat you’re carrying will not look nearly as bad as it does right now. If you gain 30lbs lean mass (and no fat), that 20% body fat will be more like 16% body fat.

So start training 3 days a week (ideally using Starting Strength or some other total body routine), add weight to the bar every time and don’t worry too much about your diet one way or another.

The most important thing is to go to the gym regularly and really put in some effort.

you certainly don’t want to cut right now. sure, you might get your body fat down, but then what? you really should try to put on some muscle, it low BF, you’ll currently end up looking like a skeleton

just try to gain muscle. when you actually start training, your BF will drop anyway. To drop fat now will have you looking like a cancer patient

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html
great site to learn proper form on lifts.

I suggest you start hammering some machines in the gym. Plus start learning proper form on free weights. You tube guys like Steve kuclo, Justin harris, Shelby sternes for proper form on some lifts.

It’s going to take a lot of dedication yet you’ll love the results. Stay with it. Also you should checkout the thread about ramping up weights and the Professor X A Request thread. Lots of great info a newbie can benefit from. I believe I saw some routines posted on there also that are great.

Right now your goal nutrition wise should be eating more protein!! # 1 thing. Plus i imagine you like soda and all that junk. Stop that shit start drinking more water. Eat clean and limit your cheat meals some. Throw in some cardio here and there. To bump up hunger and shed off some of that fat.

Your in the right place.

My advice, read everything on here and dont ask questions for awhile.

DONT DIET!!!Lift weights and as you start putting on muscle you will lose BF.

Eat cleaner than you have been, lots of protien and good rest.And dont toss it out the window on the weekends.

Try reading some articles from the archives. Focus on nutrition and programs for beginners. Read the stickies at the top of the forum also. Good luck, pal. Oh, and mostly, stick with it. It’s not just a hobby it’s a life style … wrap your mind around that. It’s difficult every step of the way but for most (if not all) of us who live and breath for this shit, it’s more than worth it.

It’s made me a better, stronger, happier person and continues to everyday I wake up.

[quote]polo77j wrote:
Try reading some articles from the archives. Focus on nutrition and programs for beginners. Read the stickies at the top of the forum also. Good luck, pal. Oh, and mostly, stick with it. It’s not just a hobby it’s a life style … wrap your mind around that. It’s difficult every step of the way but for most (if not all) of us who live and breath for this shit, it’s more than worth it.

It’s made me a better, stronger, happier person and continues to everyday I wake up.[/quote]

Fucking Roger That!!

Quit reading and start lifting some weights for gods sake.

Start developing good eating habits:

5-6 meals a day
Protein at every meal
Avoid sugar (soda, candy, cake)
Whole foods and protein shakes are best

And then get yourself into the gym a minimum of 4 times per week and start lifting weights and getting stronger. Stick to the basics (NOT the basics “according to T-Nation”, I mean the real, freeweight, traditional bodybuilding basics)

[quote]mr popular wrote:
Stick to the basics (NOT the basics “according to T-Nation”, I mean the real, freeweight, traditional bodybuilding basics)[/quote]

Agreed, the vast majority of articles on this site are not for newbies and you’ll probably just get lost reading them.

Find Christian Thibaudeau’s ‘For Newbies’ articles(they are in my profile in the favourite articles section) and read and understand them, particularly the Nutrition articles…

Learn the basic lifts properly. Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength book or DVD will give you excellent instruction on these lifts, even if you decide not to go on that particular programme(you’ll hear both arguments for and against it).

IMHO, I don’t think you’ll need any more reading than what’s outlined above. The newbie stage is the simplest stage and logc dictates that things be kept simple.

Best of luck

[quote]ctschneider wrote:
If you start a good basic program, like Starting Strength, while eating just enough calories so you neither lose nor gain weight, your body will probably convert quite a bit of that fat into muscle.
[/quote]

While I agree with your advice, how will you convert fat into muscle? They are two totally different types of body tissue.

Overall though, don’t cut! You can increase LBM and still lose some fat at the same time since you’re a beginner. Just picking up some weights and starting to eat clean will produce some great results quick.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
Quit reading and start lifting some weights for gods sake.

Start developing good eating habits:

5-6 meals a day
Protein at every meal
Avoid sugar (soda, candy, cake)
Whole foods and protein shakes are best

And then get yourself into the gym a minimum of 4 times per week and start lifting weights and getting stronger. Stick to the basics (NOT the basics “according to T-Nation”, I mean the real, freeweight, traditional bodybuilding basics)[/quote]

x2

You are skinny fat. The absolute worst thing you could do is try to lose weight. Concentrate on making good food choices and don’t restrict calories. Once you gain a little muscle, the fat will come off that much easier.

[quote]polo77j wrote:
Try reading some articles from the archives. Focus on nutrition and programs for beginners. Read the stickies at the top of the forum also. Good luck, pal. Oh, and mostly, stick with it. It’s not just a hobby it’s a life style … wrap your mind around that. It’s difficult every step of the way but for most (if not all) of us who live and breath for this shit, it’s more than worth it.

It’s made me a better, stronger, happier person and continues to everyday I wake up.[/quote]

I want to hug you after reading this… e-hug :smiley:

Based on that pic, you have zero muscle.

Dont Diet. Start exercising!

And yeah, eating better will help as well.

Thanks guys. I appreciate the help. Here’s what I’ve come up with initially:
I looked into carb cycling and that seems to be a pretty great idea, so here’s the diet I’ve initially laid out for myself.

High days (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
Breakfast: 1.5 cups oatmeal w/ 8 oz frozen blueberries, 2 egg whites w/ onion and mushroom.

Mid morning: 1 orange, 1 can tuna

Lunch (after workout): 2 cups spinach, 1 can tuna, 1 orange 1.5 cups oatmeal

Mid Evening: 2 cups spinach, 2 cup rice, 1 orange

Dinner: 2 full eggs, 2 cups rice

Macro Nutrient Breakdown:
Carbs: 389.9
Protein: 221.9
Fat: 24.7
Calories: 2677

Low Days (Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday)
Breakfast: .5 cups oatmeal cooked with 1 cup milk and 4 oz blueberries, 3 egg whites w/ mushroom and onion.

Mid morning - 1 oz. almonds, 1 can of tuna

Lunch - 2 cups spinach w/ 1/4 cup kidney beans and 3 tablespoons feta cheese.

Afternoon - 1 cup tuna and 1 orange

Dinner: 1 medium chicken breast and 1 medium banana

Before bed: 1 cup milk with 2 tablespoons milled flax

Macronutrient Breakdown:
Carbs: 121.6
Protein: 263.1
Fat: 58.2
Calories: 2072

As for my workout program:

Monday:
Front Squat 5x3
Band hip ab/adduction 5x3
Leg curl 5x3
Leg press calf raise 5x3

Wednesday:
Standing dumbbell shoulder press: 5x3
Chin-up: 5x3
Cable external rotation: 5x3
push ups: 5x3
ez bar reverse wrist curl: 5x3
barbell curl: 5x3

Thursday:
Single leg dumbbell deadlift: 3x5
cable hip ab/adduction: 3x5
Seated Calf Raise: 3x5

Friday:
Dips: 3x5
overhead shrug: 3x5
Dumbbell external rotation: 3x5
Reverse wrist curl: 3x5
Barbell Curl: 3x5

Before and after every workout I’ll run for 10 minutes as well.

Now the workout is something I took straight from the essential Waterbury article on this site and just added some cardio to it. I plan on doing this for 6 to 8 weeks.

Any thoughts?

[quote]Bona wrote:
ctschneider wrote:
If you start a good basic program, like Starting Strength, while eating just enough calories so you neither lose nor gain weight, your body will probably convert quite a bit of that fat into muscle.

While I agree with your advice, how will you convert fat into muscle? They are two totally different types of body tissue.

[/quote]

OK, let me rephrase this.

As a beginner, your body is especially able to utilize its fat stores as an energy source thereby sparing some of the calories consumed by the individual (ie. you) and effectively creating a virtual caloric surplus despite the consumption of “maintainance” calories. The body then uses some of these “excess” calories to deposit nitrogen (some of which may have been spared from use as an energy source due to the oxidation of bodyfat) in the form of skeletal muscles.

While body fat does not actually turn into muscle, the burning of the bodyfat aids in the deposit of muscle by freeing up calories that would have otherwise been used to maintain other things (like, say the immune system). This phenomenon is possible in any trainee, but much more likely among beginners.

Does that satisfy your pedantry?

[quote]Tarrius wrote:

Any thoughts?[/quote]

I’m not completely sure that you have to carb cycle, but if you feel you must, then go ahead. However, while 2070 - 2600 kCal might be enough to maintain your body weight if you’re sedentary, it’s not going to be nearly enough if you’re training 4 days a week ontop of running.

I understand that you’re trying to lose some fat, but if you eat that little while exercising that much, you’re liable to go into starvation mode and end up catabolizing muscle while storing fat. Raise your calories, at least up to 2500-3000 (preferably even higher). Try that for two weeks, and if it does turn out to be too much (I bet it won’t be), you can lower your intake then.

As far as the training program goes, it looks well balanced and sufficient in volume. Since it’s a little heavy on isolation work, it might not be the program I’d suggest for a beginner, but it’ll no doubt work.

The calorie intake was simply based off the carb cycling program that was on the front page article of the website. I’ll up it, I did my first workout yesterday and I was still starving most of the day.

Any exercises you would recommend? I was thinking about adding bench into my routine.

[quote]ctschneider wrote:
your body will probably convert quite a bit of that fat into muscle.
[/quote]

my body can’t do that. my body can lose fat and gain muscle
fat never turns to muscle

Does it really fucking matter? I’d rather have some input on my training and diet program rather than see you two try and figure out who was the bigger internet penis.