T Nation

Advice on Strength Training, Fat Loss


#1

Hi,

Sorry for the all in one thread here, but I’m really confused by my own over thinking and I’m seeking some clarity. My absolute priority right now is fat loss. I am currently 164 cm tall and weigh 70 kg and 34 years of age. I am led to believe heavy, lower rep strength training is best for maintaining as much strength as possible whilst dieting. But I am really confused as to which program to follow as ones like Starting Strength are geared towards people eating enough to get stronger and I get told not to do that on a cut. Might it be better to eat at maintenance and hope over a longer period of time fat decreases?


#2

This is my personal opinion.

  1. Lift 2-4x a week. Any program from this site.

  2. Eat wholesome foods. Don’t worry about calories. Eat 3 square meals a day. (Meal template below)

  3. Condition/Run 2-3x a week. You can do whatever you want.

  4. Do EXACTLY this for 6-12 months.

  5. If you follow steps 1-4 exactly for 6-12 months I promise you by the end of month 6 or 12, you will be happy with your body.

Meal Template

Breakfast
-Eggs
-Oatmeal
-Fruit

Lunch
-Meat
-Potatoes
-Veggies

Dinner
-Meat
-Rice
-Veggies

Only drink water. Eat one bad meal a month. If you have to eat out, eat a salad with meat. If that’s not possible eat a meal where it’s literally just meat, veggies, and some sort of carbs. Also eat your meat/veggies/fruit before you even touch the rice or potatoes.


#3

What I would do is strength train Monday’s and thursdays, hard conditioning like hill sprints or prowler Tuesday and Friday and easy conditioning like weight vest walking, swimming or going for a bike ride on Wednesday and Saturday. Take Sunday off. For strength I would do:

Day 1:
Squat and bench using 5/3/1
50-100 dips
50-100 pull ups
50-100 low back exercise

Day 2:
Deadlift and press using 5/3/1
50-100 dips
50-100 pull ups
50-100 abs exercise

What timetoball said is exactly what I’d recommend for diet too


#4

Thanks, is 5/3/1 okay for a beginner? I’ve always been told it’s for intermediate lifters but been keen to try it. I quite like this one https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/building-a-bigger-yoke especially as I can do power cleans quite competently. I’ll probably have to swap out pressing for Kozlov presses due to a low ceiling.

That meal template is very achievable, it’s pretty much what I have now but with some nuts, whey and a protein bar in between meals.


#5

I agree with everything that’s been said with the exception of counting calories. In order to drop fat a calorie deficit has to be created either through exercise or diet. Diet seems to be primary factor. To create a deficit you need to figure out your TDEE then simply eat below that level. You can then dial your diet in and safely lose .5-2lbs a week.

I’m also a beginner so it’s best to listen to the other guys, however I’ve been on a slow “cut” since January with ok results. Year to date I’ve dropped 46 pounds, lost several inches on my waist, and have increased my strength along the way. I personally chose StrongLifts only because 1 - I had never performed compound lifts and needed something easy, 2 - I heard 5X5 was ok for cutting, and 3 - there’s an app that does all the thinking for me.

One of my biggest learnings is exactly what @timetoball123 mentioned…plan to work for 6-12 months to reach your goals. Also, depending on your body fat goal, plan on losing more weight than you think you need to. For instance, if you think you need to drop 20lbs to look good prepare yourself to drop 30. I started at 235 and 20-35% body fat and thought that I’d look great at 200, wasn’t even close. Then I though 195, 190 etc. now I think I need to get down to 170ish to hit my goals. I’m looking at a 12+ month journey, but definitly glad I started 10 months ago rather than 10 days ago!

Pick a plan to follow, eat right, work your butt off over a long period of time, and hopefully you’ll earn the body you’re after.


#6

Then, do 5/3/1 for beginners.


#7

^ listen to this sermon.

Consistency is really the key. The best program for you to choose is the one that you will stick with. That is all. Find something you enjoy that’s sustainable and you wont have to worry about anything else.

My best advice for the diet (because I know counting calories can be a pain… wait. can be? no… it IS a pain) is just eat when you’re hungry. Really. If you think about how often you eat because you’re bored, or how often you just grab a snack simply because you’re watching TV, you’ll realize how much food you eat on a daily basis that you really don’t need to.

I’ll say it again, to drive the point home: Consistency is key. Find something you enjoy. You will see results, I promise. Good luck!


#8

While I do believe the whole…

And

…do work for someone who had a large amount of fat to lose or for someone who already has a good understanding of their intake and nutrition, for somebody who has these stat’s:

I believe a more meticulous method may be required. The OP obviously hasn’t got a huge amount of muscle mass to drive up that metabolism and he also doesn’t have a huge surplus of fat.

IMO @Samd83 will need to track calories for at least a few weeks just to get a good handle on what is actually going into his body. Track everything because small calories here and there add up.

Also, unless the OP has a very fine structure, I’m not sure how much more weight should come off before muscle building should be a priority…?


#9

I lost a lot of weight in 2012 but I still have a bit more fat than I’m comfortable with. I’ve been through a brief phase of putting on muscle which did a lot to counteract the skinny fat look I had developed. But with an upper chest that looks like it could benefit from some more fat loss and a similar issue with a flat but undefined stomach, I figured maybe I wasn’t quite done with cutting yet. Admittedly I’m a bit of a slave to what gets said on the internet, and something Dan John said about focusing on cutting fat before mass building has always been in my head.


#10

everybody wanna get shredded, don’ nobody wanna count calories


#11

You heard it 1st from Yogi Coleman :sunglasses:


#12

I know of two beginners who used 5/3/1 and managed to get stronger. It does seem strange so perhaps they were outliers


#13

Please tell me you are being facetious…?


#14

I don’t get what the fuss about counting calories is. We all count the weight we lift so why not the calories we eat?


#15

I think it has a very low long term success rate.


#16

Bro, is that an allusion to Serge’s Coleman?


#17

Just pick either of these below, both very effective. Eat a lot of lean protein


#18

This is an interesting observation given what many on this forum would say. Not saying you’re wrong by any means, just that it’s a less common point of view.


#19

I don’t mean to say it won’t work. I mean most people fail to execute it successfully over the long term.


#20

Ahh yes, that’s totally fair haha. It amazes me that people can screw it up, but then again, when left to their own devices what don’t people screw up?