Thanks for all the replies guys, I appreciate it.
I cut down to 8% body fat 2 years ago and by then I weighed just 65kg. Funnily enough - a lot of my friends from the gym who were bigger than GSP were actually jealous of my physique. But I was really dissatisfied with how much smaller I had got. It was the end of April so I decided I'd try and bulk again. I lost my six-pack and haven't seen it since. I'm currently one month into my cut down, and I'm not going to repeat my mistake. I know how much size I can expect to lose from a cut down. I've made my decision so I will stick with it. I was 83kg before this cut-down compared to my 73kg I was 2 years ago before that cut-down, so by my own standards I have done the necessary bulking, I think it's time I got lean again.
P.s. disappointed to see who you really are, I was enjoying that avatar ha, but you do look in good shape so well done for that.
You have a very typical attitude as do a lot of the guys at my gyms, and also at my university. I go to Loughborough University, which is no.1 for sports in the UK. Everyone here is massive - everyone plays rugby, goes to the gym and has big muscles. Nobody stands out with big muscles here. People with visible abs do.
You say "No one will be impressed by your physique if you lose 8 pounds of fat between now an June",
which is very wrong. My girlfriend is 5ft3 (160cm) and slim, and I look like a tank next to her. I know it sounds silly, a little 12 stone guy on a bodybuilding website calling himself a tank, but I really do look stacked when we look into a mirror. Girls average at 5ft5 or thereabouts, and any girl that I'd be interested in would most probably be a lot smaller than me - and would probably be impressed with my size.
It may be the case that nobody can tell I lift weights if I'm wearing a large t-shirt, but I'm okay with that - what I really care about is when my top is off. I'd rather be that guy that surprises people when his top comes off with a ripped physique, rather than fill out a t-shirt - only to reveal a fat stomach at the moment of truth.
"If you aren't even serious enough to workout 3 lousy days a week, you are dead in the water already. Pick a new hobby. "
I workout with weights 5 days a week. When I said I don't stick with a programme for more than a week - I meant I don't necessarily do the same exercises, I don't keep track of what weights and reppage etc. Although as of today that changed - I got my notepad out. It's only in this last month that I've let cardio take priority over resistance - because I'm on holiday and I can afford to wake up as late as 9:30am and still go to the gym before breakfast with no hurry to get to work or whatever.
I am very determined to achieve what I want. I don't consider cardio to be soul sucking at all. I have the patience of buddha (provided I have my ipod). All it takes is to listen to some Rammstein, and I can sprint for minutes at a time if I want. Otherwise I'll listen to other music which gets me psyched for steady state cardio (Pendulum, Sub Focus, Prodigy). I enjoy it. I don't listen to music at any other time of the day. I look forward to waking up in the morning and doing energy systems work. I may be out of the ordinary because I can stick to doing cardio for hours. I can keep it up in the long term.
I am not making any excuses as to why I can't train. I didn't say exams were going to stop me, but my back injury certainly has. I used to look forward to deadlifting, as I was lifting 160kg (1 rep max), or sets of 120kg. It is not an excuse that I have a back injury, I have been doing physio and taking care with what exercises I have been doing.
My schedule isn't so busy that I can't make the time. This last month I have been off, so I have the time to do cardio 7 days a week and I have been taking advantage because I know I can't keep it up from the start of term. I will have to switch to HIIT energy systems, and I won't be able to keep that up every day.
"What I was mainly trying to say was, as Lonnie alluded to, shooting just for maximum bodyfat loss without also caring about building lean muscle won't allow for the greatest long-term progress."
You're right. You're absolutely right, and if you read what I wrote to jskrabac you'll see the problems I occurred two years ago when I foccussed too much on maximum fat loss. You should assume I'm not going to repeat that - it's just difficult to convey that message through text when I'm writing about how much cardio I'm doing. So far I haven't lost any obvious muscle mass, but my stomach is a hell of a lot leaner. I am however going to find a good weights programme and stick to it. At the moment I think I'm going to start a 2 week arms programme that I once found on this website. If anyone has any reason why I shouldn't train just arms over the next 2 weeks please let me know, and have a good reason prepared. After the short arms burst I'll look into a proper 8 week programme involving all muscle groups.
and GTFOmypower rack: thanks, I think. Hard to decipher with that spelling but I think that was a compliment to me.
I really do appreciate all the replies. I was initially looking for extra 'hints and tips' such as: "use some HOT-ROX", or "try increasing your vitamin D intake" or some kind of little things that could give me that extra edge. Obviously I need to get a damn weights programme and stick to it. But I am definnitely 100% set on getting lean. What's impressive is totally subjective, and I personally think that being lean is much more impressive than having big muscles with a bulky stomach.
I would still appreciate any extra little tricks too.