I’m a 5’7.5", twenty-year-old Asian guy. I started working out last year after having packed on a freshman 25. When I took my first bf measurement, I was at 166 and 20% bf, and I’d estimate I was as high as 175 and 22-23%.
Fortunately for me, I used to be a cross country runner, and I like to run, swim, and play frisbee and basketball, often several times a day. Along with lifting and more careful dieting, I was able I was able to drop down to 135 and 12% bf within six months. My goal was to get a six-pack, and I figured I needed to hit 10% bf, or lower. However, I was unable to get below a low of 11.3% over the next six months, despite trying much harder.
Before you flame me, I eventually figured that I probably needed to add more muscle to be able to get that six-pack. I’m deciding to set aside some of my other physical goals that are not conducive to getting bigger (i.e., running a marathon). I’m quitting basketball (which I sometimes would play for as much as 6 hours on Fridays) and reducing the length of my runs, perhaps incorporating more HIIT.
I’m also eating completely clean, except for two semi-cheat meals a week. I have to go to this meeting at lunch, and they only have pizza, and I have no way of getting food before coming to this meeting. I also eat with my parents once a week at a Chinese restaurant, and the only thing I like is Kung Pao Chicken. Otherwise, my typical day looks like this:
10 a.m.: 3 egg whites, 1-2 cups oatmeal, 1 Light Yoplait yogurt (6 oz), 1-2 cups strawberries
1 p.m.: 8-12 oz. chicken breast, 1-2 cups broccoli, 1-2 cups brown rice, 1 cup fruit (strawberries, grapes, or blueberries)
4 p.m.: 1-2 cups veggies (carrots and celeries), 1 Light Yoplait, 1 Balance bar, walnuts/almonds (6 oz)
7 p.m.: 6-8 oz. chicken breast, 1-2 cups broccoli, 1 cup brown rice
10 p.m.: several scoops of peanut butter (I should try better to portion this more rigorously)
I tend to throw in another meal somewhere, because my meals often shift one hour early or late depending on my work schedule.
I’m lifting (full-body workout) three days a week and doing cardio on the off-days. I sometimes also do cardio on my lifting days as well. I’m taking my whey protein, my multivitamins, my fish oil capsules, and recently, decided to go for some creatine. I’m going rather conservatively on the creatine pills for now (1.5 g only on workout days, before the workout).
I’ve put on about 10 lbs to about 145 lbs in less than 3 weeks. Unfortunately, my body fat, is in the 13.5-15.0% range now, whereas it used to be in the 11.5-13.0% range. I know that I should expect to put on some fat during the bulking phase, but I’m worried as a FFB, that I might be putting on fat too quickly. I think when I was actually dieting down, my bf % at 145 was comparable to what it is now, perhaps even lower.
My goal, again, is to eventually get a six-pack. I might be considered ridiculously small, but I don’t think I should get to much higher than a LBM of 140 (because Asians don’t tend to be as big and because our peers don’t tend to expect us to be either), with hopefully 10% bf or less. I’m going to continue to bulk, but I’m worried that when I cut down, I won’t be able to lose the fat while keeping the muscle (and thereby end up yo-yo-ing).
My current lift numbers are probably something like this:
Bench Press: probably 1 RM of 165… I can do 3 sets of 8 reps at 135 pretty easily with minimal rest (1 min, but alternating between bench and another workout).
Squat: probably 200+. I’ve done 3 sets of 8 at 185, and I feel I can go higher. However, I have weak knees from my cross country experience, and only recently started squats, so I’m taking it slowly.
Deadlift: probably around 200? I don’t know how much the deadlift barbell weighs, but I can do 3 sets of 7 with 35 kg on both sides. However, I need to use a split grip because I get too much tension in my forearms otherwise.
I know these numbers are pretty pathetic, but they’ve actually been an improvement for me. Even though I’ve lost overall weight (and LBM) in the last year, I’ve gotten stronger.
I was wondering how much longer I should bulk (and whether I should worry about packing the fat). When I do stop bulking, when do I shift into a “maintaining” phase (and how do I approach it), and when do I shift into cutting??