T Nation

BF Testing

I’m going to get my body fat tested, to decide whether I should bulk or cut. I’m guessing anything over 15% and I should be cutting correct? Or should I go even lower?

200lbs at 6’4" isn’t very big at all. There is no way I would tell someone with those stats to diet. I would tell you that you may not be able to get away with eating anything you want and will probably have to stick to a cleaner diet while gaining. Gaining more muscle will increase your metabolism making it easier to lose any fat later. I, personally, am against everyone telling every single poster that logs in with a body fat higher than 15% that they all need to diet first. You will learn over time how your body responds to training making it easier to make these decisions on your own. The level you allow your body fat to reach when gaining is an individual choice and is based on what YOU feel comfortable at, not on some arbitrary number that people throw out. If you become one of these people who tries to drop weight every time they gain the slightest ounce of fat, you will never gain much muscle mass to begin with.

I got it tested at 4 sites. 19.3%. I can’t stand the thought of cutting. Is it feasible to lift hard, eat majorly clean, but alot, and actually lose some BF% by sheer virtue of adding muscle mass? I just wanna get bigger. Opinions? I’m also 200 1/4lbs, to be exact.

How long have you been training? That puts you at about 161lbs of lean body mass which, for your height, is not much size. If you are a beginner, I would still have you clean up your diet and work on strength and size gains. I would monitor your progress about 2 months out and make changes from there. With a body fat percentage that close to 20%, I would not have the mentality of simply “eating lots” but more of eating enough to gain about 3-5lbs over the course of a month. Beginners do have the ability to gain muscle while making changes to their body composition simply because your body is getting used to being trained regularly.

Sadly, I am not a beginner. I first picked up weights when I was 17, now I’m 21. Granted for much of that time I was uninformed and knew nothing of diet. But it’s my own fault I guess, even when I found out nutrition is even more important than any workout program, I never really got the hang of it. It was always so much work to eat that much food I would always skip meals and such. In the past year I have made almost no progress.

My biggest obstacle is always eating enough.

If you have made little to no progress in that time, your body may still respond well once you FINALLY begin eating right. Being a beginner isn’t just based on how long it has been since you first set foot in a gym. It is also based on how fast you adapted to all that training involves. If you have made such little progress in the past 4 years, you are still a beginner. Let me ask, is your diet right yet or are you still waiting to get that under control?

Infinity-

Prof-X has given you some good tips.

I thought I would add that I HIGHLY recommend that you check into John Berardi’s articles. He is very good at explain how to not gain excess fat while bulking. And then conversly, how to not lose muscle when cutting.

Here’s a very brief summation of his teaching: you need to eat most of your carbs in the 4-6 hours post workout. That is when you are in the anabolic and growing phases and carbs will mostly be used for glycogen resynthesis. During the rest of the day (rest phase) you should have a 1:1 or 1:0.5 or so protein/fat to carb ratio. Simply meaning when you are resting, your body doesn’t necessarily need that many carbs since you should have replenished them properly post-workout. Even though you may be only eating what is recommended for your size, excess carbs will get turned to fat. I have transformed my physique from 240ish at 25+% BF, to 230 at 12-13% by using a lot of John’s advice (losing 30 lbs of fat, gaining 20 lbs in LBM).

To have a mentality of only total caloric intake is a big mistake made all too often. Rather, it should be proper timing of the correct foods.

I hope this helps…

Infinity-

Prof-X has given you some good tips.

I thought I would add that I HIGHLY recommend that you check into John Berardi’s articles. He is very good at explain how to not gain excess fat while bulking. And then conversly, how to not lose muscle when cutting.

Here’s a very brief summation of his teaching: you need to eat most of your carbs in the 4-6 hours post workout. That is when you are in the anabolic and growing phases and carbs will mostly be used for glycogen resynthesis. During the rest of the day (rest phase) you should have a 1:1 or 1:0.5 or so protein/fat to carb ratio. Simply meaning when you are resting, your body doesn’t necessarily need that many carbs since you should have replenished them properly post-workout. Even though you may be only eating what is recommended for your size, excess carbs will get turned to fat. I have transformed my physique from 240ish at 25+% BF, to 230 at 12-13% by using a lot of John’s advice (losing 30 lbs of fat, gaining 20 lbs in LBM).

To have a mentality of only total caloric intake is a big mistake made all too often. Rather, it should be proper timing of the correct foods.

I hope this helps…

I wrote out a huge reply not sure if it went through. Basically this past year is a disaster. No gains hardly. I’d like to drop my BF to around 15%, all while gaining muscle. My short term goal is 215lbs at 15%. I plan to follow mostly massive eating. Most of my diet will consist of eggs, cottage cheese, raisin bran (hate oatmeal) salads, fruits, bread, tuna, chicken, hamburgers.

I just need some help on timing of this stuff. I workout at around 4:30 every day at my school gym. I’m following the ABBH Part 1 program. I can’t bear to workout without results anymore. This has to work, and now. No more bullshit. No more exscuses. No more looking in the mirror and lying to myself trying to see any extra muscle. I want to be jacked.

Short term goal: 225lbs @ 15%, realistic? I’m currently 200 @ 19%. Supps include Surge PWO and whey protein.

Any ideas on how to reach that goal? I’d say I’m a beginner, 4 years of training with little results. I need it now. I’m going to lift now, look forward to your responses.

You’ve got some advice already from Professor X and Top Sirloin.

The thing I might add is to start doing some HIIT. This has a profound effect on losing bodyfat while sparing muscle mass. As another positive, HIIT will increase your maximal aerobic capacity (VO2 MAX). Since people with a higher VO2 MAX have a greater thermic response to feeding (i.e., they burn more calories from a given meal) you’d be better off this way as well.

If my math is correct your short term goal means increasing your lean mass by 29lbs (from 162lbs to 191lbs) and decreasing your bodyfat by about 4lbs (38lbs to 34lbs). So…the answer is how short is your short term goal? If you’re planning to get there within the next 3 months I’d think it unlikely unless you’re using some gear. Most of us aren’t blessed with the genetics to achieve this goal. I know you want it “NOW”, but the reality is that this pursuit takes a lifetime. Why not break your goal down into smaller increments such that you try to hit one every month.

PS: Cut out that raisin bran unless it’s post-workout. The raisins are sugar coated. If you must then eat regular bran…or better still shredded wheat.

And what specifically are you having trouble with the timing? We aren’t going to write a diet for you. :slight_smile:

1 Year ago I was a fat bastard, 103 Kg at 180 cm. I really had to strech my fingers to be able to grab my “spare tire”.

Today I’m 98 Kg with a visible sixpack.

How I did it? Westside training and following JB’s 7 Habits… combined with “The cheaters diet”. If I can do it, you can. I’m 45 years old and have been doing weights and various sports for over 30 years so I’m not really a beginner.

Don’t overanalyze things, follow JB’s guidelines and bust your ass in the gym and you’ll be surprised over how much you CAN gain.

Well I got two questions then:

1.) I started ABBH today, but not sure I followed it correctly. I started with day 5, since today is a Friday, and you are supposed to do 5 chest/5 back sets, 10 reps each at 60% 1RM. Does that mean doing like…5 sets of bench all with the same weight for 10 reps? Or do I go up and down?

2.) I’m guessing if you’re telling me to cut the raisin bran I’m shit outta luck with this new oatmeal cup I found. It’s 270 cals, 2g fat, 60g carbs, 8g fiber, 22g sugar and 7g protein. It tastes really good, but it does have some sugar. I just can’t stand oatmeal…so nasty.

[/quote] I just need some help on timing of this stuff. I workout at around 4:30 every day at my school gym. I’m following the ABBH Part 1 program. I can’t bear to workout without results anymore. This has to work, and now. No more bullshit. No more exscuses. No more looking in the mirror and lying to myself trying to see any extra muscle. I want to be jacked.

Short term goal: 225lbs @ 15%, realistic? I’m currently 200 @ 19%. Supps include Surge PWO and whey protein.

Any ideas on how to reach that goal? I’d say I’m a beginner, 4 years of training with little results. I need it now. I’m going to lift now, look forward to your responses. [/quote]

Infinity-

READ JOHN BARARDI’S ARTICLES LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!!! HE IS THE NUTRITION DUDE!!! WE all could give you bits and pieces, but you might as well go right to the horse himself!!!

As far as “getting jacked”, NUTRITION is #1!!! I don’t care if you lift with Jay Cutler… you have to eat the correct foods at the correct times or you might as well just eat pizza and play video games like 99% of your friends! Again, since you didn’t seem to hear me the first time, JON BARARDI is your answer!!!

GOOD LUCK!!!

[quote]infin|ty wrote:
2.) I’m guessing if you’re telling me to cut the raisin bran I’m shit outta luck with this new oatmeal cup I found. It’s 270 cals, 2g fat, 60g carbs, 8g fiber, 22g sugar and 7g protein. It tastes really good, but it does have some sugar. I just can’t stand oatmeal…so nasty.[/quote]

Yep, SOL unfortunately. Look, it ain’t gonna be easy to hit your goal. Oatmeal doesn’t taste that great, but have you tried tablespoon fulls of flaxseed oil yet? Long-term hard work (including nutrition) is the only way to hit your goals, there are no shortcuts. Listen to what people are telling you about nutrition.