Hi, my name is Rick. I’m 36 years old, and when my wife was pregnant with our second child, I noticed that I once again was gaining weight with her. So, I decided to start working out and eating right. I can’t afford a personal trainer and a nutritionist to help me in this regard, so I have been flying blind for about six months now. This is my goal:
Obviously, GSP is a genetic freak, so I have no delusions of actually looking like that. But that is the direction and the general body-type I would like. I want to be lean and muscular, with good definition - not massive. Of particular interest to me (and I guess everyone else) is having the elusive six-pack, and I guess I need to get down to about 10% body fat to see that.
I started out at about 170lbs and about 20 - 25% bodyfat. I had a 34 inch waist. I am now down to a 29 inch waist, 147lbs, and about 13% bodyfat. This in six months. I should be ecstatic. But it seems like the more progress I make, the more impatient I get. Go figure.
Here’s what I did for most of the six months so far:
I did HIIT on an elliptical machine on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 30 minutes. In the last month or two, I also incorporated an ab routine on those days before the cardio. I’d do two giant sets:
- On a decline board, raise slightly and twist with dumbell in hand, punching upward. Twelve reps each side
- Press sit up X12
- Leg lifts X 20
- Swiss ball plank 1 minute
- Side plank X 20 each side
- Vacuum stomach 5 times
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I would alternate between two routines. Both were two supersets with moderate weight for 12 minutes a piece. One one day, I would do an upper body pull exercise paired with a lower body push, and on the other day, I would do an upper body push with a lower body pull. I’d follow that with 2 sets of 15 on an opposing muscle group. So, if I did upper body pull, I’d do an upper body push for those two sets. Then, I do 5 minutes of balls-to-the wall cardio.
I’d change out the exercises a lot to keep it interesting and keep my muscles confused. And I’d try to do exercises that work large muscles and activate my core.
As for my diet, I was eating 1700 calories a day.
My first meal (7AM) was 1 1/2 cups of Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Antioxidant Cinnamon Oat Crunch Cereal with 1 cup of 1% milk. And I take at this time 3000mg of fish oil supplement and a multivitamin.
Then I go work out.
When I get back (10AM), I have a protein shake, with 1 scoop casein and 1 scoop whey, mixed with 1 1/2 cups of 1% milk
At 1PM, 4PM, and 7PM, I eat again, about 200 calories, always with a protein like tuna or chicken or lean beef.
At 10PM I have one scoop of casein protein mixed with 3/4 of a cup of 1% milk. If usually have about 100 calories or so left, and I’ll snack on sugar-free jello and popcorn or something.
At the end of the day, I’ve had about 1700 calories, 150g of protein, 35g of fiber, 200g of carbs (mostly whole grains), 2500 miligrams of sodium, 200mg of cholesterol, and 35g of fat.
I also drink 2 liters of water, mixed with lemon juice, throughout the day, and about 20oz of coffee with splenda and 1/4 cup of fat free french vanilla creamer. I might have a can of diet soda at night while watching TV.
I made a lot of progress in that time, and got to the point where I could see a “four pack” in the right lighting. My stomach is definitely flat, except for a slight swell over my lower abs. I don’t have the definition I want, overall, though. I love the way I look when I am actually lifting, and I wish I looked like that when I am walking around.
I’ve been feeling lately like I’ve been getting thin, but not getting the actual shape I was going for. I still have 3% bodyfat to lose, but I’d like to put on a little more muscle, too.
So, I changed my workout and diet a bit to tweak it. On cardio days and off-days, I have been sticking with the 1700 calorie diet, the protien shakes, etc. But on lifting days, I have upped my caloric intake to 2000 calories.
The workouts have been tweaked, as well. I dropped the ab routine from cardio days, and now instead of alternating between two workouts, I just do three different workouts. I still do the 12 minute cycles, but adding the extra day helped me expand the workout to include more muscles. I’m also focusing on doing heavier weights. Here’s what that looks like this week:
1st set (each exercise 10 reps per superset)
Dumbbell bench press
2nd set (each exercise 12 reps per superset)
Incline dumbbell press
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
Ab roller - 2 X 15
Cardio 5 min
One armed dumbell row
Pallof press (2 X 15, each side)
Cardio 5 min
Offset farmers carries, 2 minutes each hand
Cardio 5 minutes
So far, I have noticed at least one difference - I am sore as hell. Do you think these changes in my routine and diet will help me add a little muscle without throwing off my fat-loss? I really want a six-pack by summer, so I don’t want to sabotage that, but I’d like to have a better shape - a little more mass particularly in my chest, back, and shoulders. And I’d like to get that kind of definition in my shoulders and chest that indicate - this guy doesn’t just look like this: he worked for it.
I know it’s really hard to optimally gain mass while optimally losing fat, but will these tweaks and the extra calories on lifting days help me to maybe put on a LITTLE more mass while maintaining my fat loss?
Thanks in advance,