T Nation

Advice on Taking a Step for the Better


Hi guys, first time poster here and would just like some quick questions answered and would be greatly appreciated.

I am a 16 year old male weighing in at around 162 lbs. My problem is though that I fall into either the skinny fat category or just the high body fat with little to no training (I would estimate I am around 20-22% body fat.)

My problem is I don't know where to go to begin my change would it be better for me to drop weight to around 150 ish and then put muscle on from there or would it be better for me to eat at just above a calorie excess and lift like a monster?

My last question, in regards to nutrition, searching on the forums and from past reading into nutrition, I have been told that a 40/40/20 (Protein, carbs and fats) ratio is the best thing to go by. But in regards to calories does anyone know a good BMR calculator I train around 6 times a week at the moment and 3 of those work outs being boxing would this have any drastic effects on upping my calorie intake?

I can post pictures need be, but I will probably be called a troll if you saw how out of shape I am. Thanks for all the help in advance.


I haven't got time to answer properly, but you would gain credibility (i.e. people wouldn't think you are a troll) if you posted pictures.

Either way, you don't sound like a troll. I'm sure people will help. PIctures will help people give you the correct advice, but don't if you're not comfortable doing so.


I suppose embarrassment is something I will have to overcome. Hope I have linked them right

Sorry about the bad lighting, I have still got to replace the bulbs.

Edit: The first picture was a dead link, it should work now.


Don't know if bumping is aloud, but at the moment my lifts have stagnated on a 1700 kcal a day diet. Just wondering if someone could point me in the right direction on either either eating more to gain lean mass or cutting down what I am eating to slowly lose body fat.

I guess it would help to at least give a general idea of my goal. I am generally hoping to slowly make progress so instead of looking overweight, that I can look quite lean at around 170 lbs. (The weight I am most comfortable fighting at.) I Understand it will take a very long time to achieve this though.


I'd say up the calories to around 3000 a day and focus on getting strong. That will give youe the best starting point. Do Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength. Yes, it's for strength gains but will give you size gains too, especially since you're new so it's perfect for you. Once your Lean body mass has gone up it'll be a lot easier to lose the fat, but once your LBM has gone up you probably won't even care about your extra fat for a while because it doesn't look too bad aesthetically at the moment either.


I think you're creating an illusion of carrying more fat then you think. If on that second pic you maintain that sort of posture regularly without knowing. You might have an anterior pelvic tilt, thus making your stomach bulge out more then it should.

You have to stand straight as if your heads hanging from a string attached above you. Chest high, abs and glutes tight.

Do you suffer from tight hamstrings and a case of small glutes?

Rack deadlifts, stiff legged deadlifts with good form. Helped me here.

I would focus on maintaining good posture when possible, especially when sitting.

You don't look as bad as I thought you were. Many would agree with me when I'd say go with a proven upper/lower body split. West side for skinny bastards comes to mind. When I was going to get into fighting I was using that. Yet my goals then changed more towards bodybuilding so that routine wasn't suffice. Yet I felt real good on that split.

I'll link you up http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles.html

good luck as one mentioned before I'd shoot for around 3,000 and go from there. when not noticiing significant gains, increasing cals 400-800 when possible. Cut off carbs at 6 7 pm unless you train at night. Then you should try and maintain your muscles (glycogen storages) as full as possible around training. Cause you're less likely to have spill over into fat gain if you take the majority of your carbs around boxing training and weight training.

I hate the word skinny fat, I think you have a case of being lazy in the kitchen and not eating enough protein.....and carbs at the right time.


You aren't fat. Once you put on a few pounds of muscle the fat will not be a problem. If you goal is 170, get up to 175-180 and then cut down.

But in all seriousness, you aren't fat. Don't cut.



Think about it this way- If you have 10%bf @ 100lbs, and you get your weight to 200lbs, your bodyfat is now 5%.

I know that this is an extreme example, but it illustrates a point, that when you increase your over-all mass without increasing BF, that your original BF will be more proportional.

I would say that you are carrying quite a healthy amount of fat. And I would also say that for a beginner who's BW is quite low, it will be much, much easier to eat a caloric surplus while building strength, and to become concerned about BF% much later.

As tpreuss mentioned, aim to get to 175-180 then consider a cut, if you want to be walking around at 170. Remeber that in boxing you really aim to be walking around considerably heavier than your fighting weight, and use cutting methods to get your weight down in the days before a weigh in.

To answer one of you other questions- Yes, boxing will make a difference to how many calories you will need to gain weight. As someone else already suggested, start at 3000 a day, if the scales aren't moving 1-2lbs a week, then add 500 or so cal a day until the scales do start to move.

And I'll also second the idea to either do SS (or SL, very similar) or ws4sb (defranco), which may be a better chouice as it is geared more towards athletes, and I believe it has a template to include other training (in your case, the boxing workouts).

Hope this helped.


Sorry about the long reply (was on holiday) to the questions that people have asked, it is very appreciated for the advice already given!

Directed at the question regarding my flexibility in my glutes and hamstrings. I would say yes I do suffer problems in that area and have not been able to add any squats into my routine due to this. I have recently started stretching and I looked at the article on 3rd world squats. Would doing the deadlifts you recommend slowly help correct this with time and allow me to add squats? Or will I have start some sort of stretching program?

Last question I have started eating the 3,000 calories a day at 40/40/20 (started today.) would a better macro nutrient breakdown be better? Or can I just stick with my current ones?

In regards to everyone who has helped, I really appreciate it and I regret not signing up to this forum sooner!


Well the general consensus is to eat more fats (mainly good fats that is) than carbs. At 3000 kcal, 40% protein=300g a day, that's just insane for you right now. Start at 160g (1g per lbs of body weight) and adjust the carbs and fats accordingly. If you want a % try approx 20% protein 30% carbs and 50% fats, With a bit more carbs on training days, before and after training. That really just an approximation though, but its much more accurate than your 40/40/20

Why haven't you been able to add ANY squat? Isn't it just that you can't go down as low as you'd like? If that's the case no big deal, do deadlifts as your main lift, work on squatting deeper with a moderate weight, and do single leg work. And of course do stretch, dynamic before your session and static/PNF after.

The programs suggested here are all good for you, you're not really fat you just lack muscle. Also if you see you're getting fatter a bit too fast, adjust your caloric intake. Opposite is also true, if your weight ain't moving up, you ain't eating enough!


Thanks Nyral. The reason I can't squat is when I get down low my heels raise, I have tried curling my toes up but this just leads to me becoming off balance and falling over. I enjoy deadlifts though and will take your advice on swapping them with my squats. Well I think this is all the advice I can need without becoming to questioning, I suppose the only thing I need to do now is harden up and lift some iron! Thanks again everybody it has been greatly appreciated!


i had a problem with squats also. my solution (wrongly) was to lean forwards in with my body so my heels could lean back, which meant it was more of a good morning than a squat, and my hips would tilt (butt wink). this may or may not be the solution to your problem, but ill put in my 2 cents all the same. isearched and asked for ages and tried many things, the quickest progress came from the following:

-foam rolling. get a foam roller. heres a link to some rolls you can do
after you can do most with little/no pain (itll hurt on your IT band..alot) move onto a pvc pipe.

-static stretches. stretch your glutes, hams, quads, groin, hip flexors, calves (i stretched out pretty much everything personally, and feel much better because of it). 3x20sec holds per day was enough for me.

-mobility drills. ankle, hip, and thoracic mobility.
(i struggled with the lateral/rotational squats until several weeks of rolling/stretching was done)

(u can also search this site for hip mobility drills, and also buy magnificent mobility dvd for more drills)

-even if these dont help, theres nothing wrong with some foam rolling and mobility drills. others may chime in with advice also.


^ Well that's pretty damn good advice right there!
Also doing a good mobility drill BEFORE your workout will certainly help
Check out the ankle mobility drill, that in itself could help a lot.