T Nation

Abs By Oct. - Comment On Plan?

Let’s start at the beginning: I was never in great shape before. I’m probably now in the best shape of my life, which doesn’t really say all that much, but today fitness and my body are among my top priorities. I’ll post my way-before pic below, just so we can make fun of that fattie…and my current pic as well.

Anyway, back in college I topped the scales at around 240 – I’m 5’10, so that was pretty bad. I got the idea that I was doing something wrong when my mom saw me for the first time in a while and she started crying.

After blaming her for being unaccepting for a short while, and of course all those hot bitches who wouldn’t do me let alone talk to me, I realized that I was unhealthy. Eating half a domino’s pizza 4 nights a week was unhealthy. Snacking rice krispie’s treats was unhealthy. I really liked Mr. Pibb (a Dr Pepper wannabe), and my school cafeteria didn’t carry it in diet…oh well. I had never done a pullup in my life. I could beat my other fat (and even not so fat) friends at racquetball though!

Anyway, after starting on my righteous path which I learned some of from the Abs Diet book, which basically came down to stopping eating unhealthy crap, and eating 6 times a day, and doing a bit of weight lifting.

Now, I stand at 170 (I was really excited to have gotten to the high 160’s a week ago), and I’m determined to make my mom cry again…by looking just THAT good.

By October 1st, I want to have ripped abs. I’ve been dedicated since about the start of April, but I’m not sure that I’m seeing a lot of results (I’ll show you before and after pics for 2 weeks, which isn’t that long…).

My workout routine is something like this:
-every morning: some sort of cardio. Previously, I was doing 45 minutes of “aerobic training”, something that kept my HR at around 140-170bpm the whole time (I’m 23 so my MHR is 197). Yesterday I did my first HIIT workout (23 minutes plus cooldown), so I’ll try to do another tonight (woke up later than usual today), and do those at least a few times a week, but try to do at least some kind of cardio daily.

  • 4 days a week, weight training. Tuesday/Saturday are my leg/abs days, and Thursday/Sunday are my upper body days.
  • 3 days a week, I go to my jiu jitsu class. In my class, we usually do some “warmup”, which is like 20-25 minutes of running around, and lately he’s been having us do a circuit of about 8 exercises, 1 minute on/1 minute assisting our partner.

A typical upper body day is something like:

  • Pullups or chinups/some chest exercise(cable crossovers, or incline bench) superset, 3x. I try to keep in the 8-12 range mostly. I can do 8 pullups for 3 sets, and then I start at a weight where I can do 12 reps…if more I add a little until its either very hard to 12 or I have to stop around 10.

  • seated cable rows/other chest exercise (pushups or db bench press etc) 3 sets again, shoot for 8-12 reps, usually towards the higher range

  • dips/upright rows superset 3 sets

  • military press/shrugs superset 3 sets

  • triceps pushdowns/biceps barbell curls superset 3 sets

legs look something like

  • squats/decline abs curls (the crossover kind)
  • deadlifts/some abs exercise I don’t know the name of (where you sit on a bench and straighten your legs out in the air in front of you, and then bring your torso and legs to each other, etc)
  • last time I did hack squats, but usually I do leg extensions/side lifts (hold a weight in one hand, bend to that side, and bring it back up)
  • last time I did good mornings but usually I do leg curls/heavy ab curls (on some machine, i can put enough weight so that 12 reps are hard)

Right now, for example, my hams are a bit sore (trained them sunday night, now is monday) but usually I don’t feel too bad…my shoulders and elbows feel “delicate” sometimes, but I’m sure this is mainly the jiu jitsu.

How is this training regimen? Anything I seem to be missing out on?

PWO drink btw is usually 1-1.5 cups skim milk, 2-3 scoops of EAS premium protein (the kind they sell at costco…sorry I don’t use Surge, haven’t tried buying any of these sorts of things online) which was 27 g protein in 2 scoops (so about 40 in 3), and then 1.5 cups frozen blueberries…or some other random fruit.

My diet has been very clean. I drink water and tea (2-4 cups daily, of green and earl grey(black)) during the day, and when I go out to bars I only drink diet coke…I gotta at least have my smartass answer (“virgin rum and coke”) when the girls ask what I’m drinking =)
Healthier and MUCH cheaper =)

I eat roughly 6 meals a day.

Most often is an egg plus 1 cup of egg beaters for breakfast (so 30 g protein total, and 5 g fat) with 3oz spinach, with some olive oil (.5 Tbsp, but I’ve started using a whole Tbsp after reading some JB articles)

Later on is usually 6 oz chicken (40g protein), 6 oz broccoli, 4 oz baby carrots, and until recently 1 oz olives (again, the JB talk on P/C vs P/F meals only, makes me not want olives and other veggies together…is this stupid of me?)

Later on, some turkey with 6 oz assorted raw bell peppers (yummy huh?) or somethin like that

Later on PWO drink

Later on either some beef (yucky I know, but I got canned roast beef at costco…35 g protein and 4 g fat per can which is good I think) or salmon or shrimp or tuna or something…with fruits or veggies or something

Later on cottage cheese and nuts (almonds or walnuts) or half an avocado.

This is pretty representative of my lately diet. I stopped having bread/rice/pasta/oatmeal following JB’s 7 habits.

However, after reading this massive eating article I got confused – P/C or P/F only means that you can’t eat fruits or veggies at each meal (since they have carbs, and if you want fats you have to leave off the Carbs right?)

I was previously aiming for 2000-2400 calories a day, but after reading massive eating by JB, that says I ought to be having about 4000.

I’m confused! With the diet part. Do I really need to worry about PF vs PC meals, or should I focus only on the 7 habits?

My current stats are 170 lbs and my scale claims 19-20% BF (does that look believable from my pics?).

My current thoughts are that I’m a bit confused, because I’m not sure whether it will be easier to:
(i) gain 20-30 lbs of muscle in 2-3 months, and then focus on fat loss
(ii) just spend all the time til October maintaining/slowing gaining (if possible) muscle mass and losing my fat.

Thoughts? Comments? How can I best go about my goals? (The real goal is to get ripped – getting a little bigger is good too, but it should be secondary, unless it really does make fat loss a lot easier)

Thanks a lot guys!
—Tom

Guess which guy I was? (OK…the fat one)


My before pic (apr 12)


my NOW pic (apr 22)

PS all of my food, exercise, and daily pics are at tom-abs.blogspot.com, if you need more info about what I’ve been doing…

Thanks again
–Tom

www.menshealth.com/cda/homepage.do

[quote]Professor X wrote:
www.menshealth.com/cda/homepage.do[/quote]

Haha

I’m not sure if that was meant to be an insult or not.

But anyway, Men’s Health seems to suck – they really talk more about sex and style than they do about real fitness.

I know I said my main goal wasn’t to get huge, but really, I don’t want to get tiny either (though I’m already pretty tiny by T-Nation standards now huh). But I’m sure fat loss is as relevant to the big guys as it is to me…

[quote]Professor X wrote:
www.menshealth.com/cda/homepage.do[/quote]

HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!

[quote]Professor X wrote:
www.menshealth.com/cda/homepage.do[/quote]

I belive you mean: http://www.theelitephysique.com/

[quote]tmowad wrote:

<<< I’m not sure if that was meant to be an insult or not. >>>

[/quote]

I’m not sure either =], but the fact that you are showing before and after pics 10 days apart demonstrates that your needs run much deeper than your abs.

As you’re someone whose never been lean and ripped up before, I don’t fault you for wanting abs. Many here will do this. But the reality remains this: your body has probably maxed out and it’s time to take a break from dieting. Up your calories, take some time to build a little quality muscle, get your metabolism revved. Go back to dieting after you’ve packed on 15-20 lbs of lean mass. Go for abs NEXT October. You’ll have a much easier time getting them. And look much better when you do.

The P + F and P + C Berardi talks about is mostly limiting fat accumulation when adding muscle. It’s a good one. Not for everybody. And those who are naturally skinny and have trouble adding mass should just focus on eating, a little junkfood and all. But for you JB’s approach is likely to be a good one as you work on adding muscle. Which is really what you should do for awhile.

I’d have to agree here. By dieting/dieting/dieting your not always helping yourself long term because of the effects on metabolism, etc.

However, I think you can get your abs before next october. I’d suggest alternating months of dieting with months of not dieting to pack on some mass, get stronger, and stoking the preverbial furnace that is your metabolism.

You’ve worked really hard, and come a very long way as far as your health and body comp are concerned, but you’re dealing with the law of dimishing returns. Sometimes going in the opposite direction will get you where you want to be with some extra bonuses too.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
As you’re someone whose never been lean and ripped up before, I don’t fault you for wanting abs. Many here will do this. But the reality remains this: your body has probably maxed out and it’s time to take a break from dieting. Up your calories, take some time to build a little quality muscle, get your metabolism revved. Go back to dieting after you’ve packed on 15-20 lbs of lean mass. Go for abs NEXT October. You’ll have a much easier time getting them. And look much better when you do.[/quote]

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
tmowad wrote:

<<< I’m not sure if that was meant to be an insult or not. >>>

I’m not sure either =], but the fact that you are showing before and after pics 10 days apart demonstrates that your needs run much deeper than your abs.[/quote]

Its not like I think 10 days are getting me where I want to go. But I’m taking pictures on a daily basis, so I posted the earliest and latest I had. You imply that I’m the kind of person who thinks that spot reduction works or something – not that I really care to defend myself, but the section is called “Beginners”, and I’m asking for people’s advice, though feel free to keep supplying the snide remarks instad.

Thanks bro
–Tom

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
As you’re someone whose never been lean and ripped up before, I don’t fault you for wanting abs.

Many here will do this. But the reality remains this: your body has probably maxed out and it’s time to take a break from dieting. Up your calories, take some time to build a little quality muscle, get your metabolism revved. Go back to dieting after you’ve packed on 15-20 lbs of lean mass. Go for abs NEXT October. You’ll have a much easier time getting them. And look much better when you do.[/quote]

So it sounds like 18 months packing on muscle first is better than 6 months of focusing on go straight to the abs – I had always felt like I should try and get to 15% fat rather than being aroudn the 19-20% my scale says first.

Thanks for the tip.

[quote]RSarin wrote:
I’d have to agree here. By dieting/dieting/dieting your not always helping yourself long term because of the effects on metabolism, etc.

However, I think you can get your abs before next october. I’d suggest alternating months of dieting with months of not dieting to pack on some mass, get stronger, and stoking the preverbial furnace that is your metabolism.

You’ve worked really hard, and come a very long way as far as your health and body comp are concerned, but you’re dealing with the law of dimishing returns. Sometimes going in the opposite direction will get you where you want to be with some extra bonuses too.

[/quote]

So would you keep doing what I’m doing – and just eat more food on the “get bigger” months and less on the “get smaller” months?

Should I keep from doing fasted HIIT cardio everyday if I can? Will that make me lose muscle, or instead will it just keep me from gaining very much?

Thanks
–Tom

[quote]tmowad wrote:
though feel free to keep supplying the snide remarks instad.

Thanks bro
–Tom[/quote]

Thanks,
Just do like this guy and you can have abs today.

I’m jist givin ya a rough time. Here’s a thought though. If you set a goal based primarily on your physique instead of the calendar you may not have “abs” by this October, but you just may wind up with a very improved body (and mind) by the one after. A couple more and you might have to introduce yourself to your mother. Think about it.

A goal like “abs in 6 months” will get you comparatively little

[quote]tmowad wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
tmowad wrote:

<<< I’m not sure if that was meant to be an insult or not. >>>

I’m not sure either =], but the fact that you are showing before and after pics 10 days apart demonstrates that your needs run much deeper than your abs.

Its not like I think 10 days are getting me where I want to go. But I’m taking pictures on a daily basis, so I posted the earliest and latest I had. You imply that I’m the kind of person who thinks that spot reduction works or something – not that I really care to defend myself, but the section is called “Beginners”, and I’m asking for people’s advice, though feel free to keep supplying the snide remarks instad.

Thanks bro
–Tom[/quote]

First off, don’t take the shots to heart, if you read around you’ll find that everyone gets some form of initiation. You posted a pic, expect to get honest answers/opinion.

Second, and I think everyone here will agree, DO NOT take pictures on a daily basis. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Every, say, three months is more like it. These kind of things take time even if you’re doing everything right.

Lastly, listen to the advice given here. Analyze your true goals, and what you ultimately want in the LONG term. Then read this site and come up with a plan to get there. The peps here will respect that you have a goal, a plan and the determination to get there.

Good luck.

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=05-151-training

You can do the jail workout and get ripped abs. Strictly pushups pullups and situps hanging from a pullup station. If need be some sprinting for legs.