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Comment My Approach to Body Recomposition


Dear all,

after reading the forums for quite a while, I’ve decided to post my questions and am hoping to get some feedback. I’m a 33 y/o male, 5’8, roughly 158 lbs, body fat percentage around 18 %. I very much enjoy road cycling and have been lifting on and off for years. I just recently got into swimming, as well, and I intend to swim for my cardio during winter. My goal is to reduce my BF to around 8-10 % and stay at about 155 lbs; this would mean I am looking to lose around 13 lbs of fat and build about 10 lbs of muscle.

My goal physique is lean and not too big, something like this:


I’ll try hard to get as close as possible to my goal before May 2017. My workout routine is as follows:

  • full-body weightlifting workouts 3 times per week on non-consecutive days (usually Monday-Wednesday-Friday). Every workout I do 5 exercises, 3 sets each, reps in the 6-12 range. I only do the big compound exercises (dips, pull-ups, goblet squats etc.) and usually stop one or two reps before hitting failure. I try to do about the same amount of pressing, pulling and squatting movements every week.
  • swimming 2-3 times per week on non consecutive days (usually Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday). If something interferes, I would try to get my cardio in another form (ice skating, walking, …).

I’ll probably switch to cycling in March, if the weather turns out OK, and replace at least two of my swimming workouts with it. As far as cardio is concerned, I usually do some intervals once or twice a week, while the rest of the workouts are mostly “zone 2” (aerobic) work.

I try to eat as cleanly as possible (plenty of vegetables, lean meat, fish, eggs, fruit, …) with a slight calorie deficit on my cardio days. Still, I do eat some chocolate just about every day. My body weight has increased by roughly 7 lbs since the cycling season ended (for me, that would be September) and is pretty much stable at the moment. Unfortunately, at least half of that was fat, because my time trialling season was very hard and I needed a mental break from training hard from March until September.

My questions for you would be:
1.) Do you think my approach is OK or would you recommend any changes?
2.) Since swimming uses the upper body muscles to a great extent, would it be wise for me to only do two full-body lifting workouts every week and instead do a bit more cardio?
3.) If weather permits, I enjoy spending time out of the gym - therefore I am thinking about focusing on doing some basic calisthenics (mostly weighted dips and pull-ups, heaves, chin-ups etc.) instead of hitting the weights in the gym. Do you think it would be possible to build a physique l’d like to build with some very basic out-of-the-gym calisthenics?

I kindly thank you in advance for your answers!


Your training seems fine although getting on an actual program would be better. There are plenty on t-nation, pick one that fits your schedule and do that.

What you need to focus on more is diet. That accounts for 80%+ of whether or not you get leaner. This is my preferred approach - it is currently working nicely for me:


Yeah throwing a spanner in the works right there.

Over thirty this is gonna hit your waist hard, drop it completely and up your good fats if get cravings