T Nation

After 5 Months, Progress Is Slowing

I am currently in my fifth month of working out.
I am 5’9" and weighed 207 lbs at the beginning of July. After changing my diet and actually doing some exercise, i am down to 178.
Here is my current setup:

I do a variation of lifts on Monday (legs), Tuesday (chest/arms), Thursday (core/legs), Friday (arms/shoulders), and do a 20 minute jog on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Diet (varies day-to-day but on the lines of)
Breakfast: 1 piece of whole wheat toast and 1 egg
AM Snack: Handful of mixed nuts, a small apple, protein shake
Lunch: Shrimp stirfry w/ mixed vegetables and about a handful worth of brown rice, grapefruit
Afternoon Snack: Orange
Post Workout: Protein shake
Dinner: Oatmeal with berries or grilled chicken with mixed vegetables
Late snack: Small bowl of chili beans with lean beef

Fish oil, multi-vitamin, CLA when I wake up
Leucine and BCAA with breakfast (about half hour after I wake up)
Leucine and BCAA with AM snack/shake
Leucine, BCAA, Creatine, Glutamine pre-workout
Leucine, BCAA, Creatine, Glutamine, shake post-workout
Leucine, BCAA with either dinner or late snack (I take them with one or the other, not both)

The only drink I really ever have is water, occasionally I’ll throw in some skim milk with breakfast but usually water all-day

So since July I have lost a substantial amount of body fat and gained a fair amount of muscle. I had a nice beer belly before and had no definition anywhere, but now my legs have some decent definition and my back and chest have visible muscles. I want to lose more body fat still, but my progress has slown down over the last month and a half.

If anyone can give me advice on what to change to help me lose more body fat and gain some more muscle please let me know. I don’t want to get massive with muscle, but a bit more would definitely be nice. And I am trying to slim down a bit more (especially in the gut) and hopefully see some ab definition (granted I can see my ribs a little bit, which was definitely a fulfilling site!). So if anyone has any tips or input please feel free to post. Thanks

Do you do any pulling?

Congrats on the weight loss.

Id suggest picking a solid beginner’s program and trying to add a bit more lean mass before trying for fat loss.

If you have only been lifting for 5 months you probably don’t have enough lean mass to see the results you want, even with more fat loss.

For pulling (or what I think is pulling anyway) I do pull-ups, chin-ups, curls, good mornings (pulls on my hamstrings).

jga: how long do you think i should wait before attempting “fat loss”? and when i get to that point, what exactly am i supposed to do?

oh i forgot a couple other lifts that involve pulling: snatch, power clean, hang snatch, upright rows, dead lift

Most of that is really up to you, have you read through all of the beginner’s articles?

could you give me a little bit more information about your workout? (specific movements, rep and set ranges, etc.)

You could also try changing up your diet a bit, the t-dawg diet is pretty straight forward and effective.


Yeah, you pull. Rows won’t hurt to add in now and again.

jga seems to have you covered. A new routine, more food… etc etc etc

If you lift & eat right, you will gain lean mass, and lose excess BF. There is nothing wrong with a little fat IMO.

Initially I was just lifting whatever with no real pattern or reason. But after that little period of half-assing things, the first month I did 3 x (12-16)
Second month: 3 x (8-12)
Third month: 3 x (6-8)
Fourth Month: 3 X (4-7)
Now: 3 x (3-6)
The actual lifts change each month, but are generally variations of similar lifts or muscle groups.
This month looks like this:
Snatch, Rack Pull, Good Morning, Seated Calf Raise, Russian Twist, BarBell Side Bends (working on balance and grip with this one)
Incline Press, Decline Press with Dumbells, Military Press with Dumbells, Seated Clean and Press with Dumbells, Close Grip Incline Press, Incline Tricep Extensions with the Easy Bar
20 minute jog and some body-weight ab workout
Box Squat, Hack Squat, Front Squat, Standing Calf Raise, Crunches on the ab machine 3x(8-12), Cable Crunch 3x(8-12)
Clean and Press, Bentover Rows, Pullups, Hang Clean, Barbell Shrug, Cheat Curls, Seated Hammer Curls
20 minute jog and a light ab workout

I wrote this routine myself just using advice and stuff from this and other websites, and it was a 5-month plan. The variation in lifts month to month and the changes in weight and reps I figured would keep my body and muscles guessing until I am knowledgeable enough to figure out what I really need to do in order to enhance my growth. I understand that my reps this month may be low but please understand I am not overloading the weights to where I will hurt myself - they are within my comfort level. I have read the beginner articles and I am just looking for more assistance. Thanks to both of you already for your contributions, they are useful and I really appreciate it.

I would suggest finding another workout that was written by a coach or trainer. (there are plenty of workouts on the site)


Also, your protein intake seems to be lacking, and you might be taking in too many simple carbohydrates. Consider switching the oatmeal to the morning, and replacing some of the fruit and rice with more green, fibrous vegetables. As far as protein intake, just eat more. If you’re concerned about saturated fat then try turkey, fish, and some leaner cuts of beef.

What I may try doing then is adding some lean ground beef in with my breakfast and perhaps fit some oatmeal in with my AM Snack or something. I’ll also try to find a way to switch out one of my citrus fruits with a salad or something

Your breakfast wouldn’t fill the stomach of a starving orphan. A slice of toast and an egg? Friggin’ starvation diet, dude. Make yourself a big omelette with at least 4 eggs, throw some veggies in there (onion, mushroom, peppers, whatever you like) and have a big smoothie to go with it (I have 500ml low fat natural yoghurt, 100g blueberries, a banana or two and some rolled oats) and then even have an apple or something after it.

Your breakfast should be the biggest, most important meal of the day and should have a lot of protein and carbs in it.

I recall Thibs saying your first 30g of protein is used up by your immune system, which is why my omelette usually has tuna in it as well.

ok i have jacked up my protein intake by about 50g spread throughout the day and am now taking leucine before every meal