So I wrote a few posts on here after after getting back into the lifestyle in order to get some feedback on what direction to go, and I think I've got it narrowed down pretty well.
The general concensus from my pictures that I posted was that I wasn't exactly "lean" yet, but I was on my way there. The problem that most saw with my physique, however, was that I need to gain a significant amount of muscle before I start cutting the fat.
My stats are about these... I am 175 lbs., and roughly 20-22% bodyfat. I have no idea what percentage I was before my military deployment, but I dropped from a 215 lard ass to 170 lbs. "skinny fat guy" in about 6 months. I ate a decent amount of protien given the circumstances (postage/shipping unreliable at times when in need of protien supps), but I made it by decently. I did some strength workouts about 3 times a week with my rep ranges anywhere from 4 - 8 sets, and did whole body work outs. I ran about 2-3 times per week for about 20 minutes and did kettlebell/jumprope HIIT sessions about 2-3x/week.
Currently I'm doing the transition part of the V-Diet, and after about 3 more weeks, I'll be moving on to ABBH I and II. I'm eating about 2500-2700 calories per day, comprised of about 1 lb. of protien per lb. of bw, 100-150 g carbs on non training days taken mostly in the morning, and 200-250 g of protien on training days taken in the morning and the meal after my workout (with Surge during the workout).
My fats are mostly olive oil (used when cooking), fats from the small amount of cheeses I use, the sat fat from the occasional steak, and about 17-20 g of fish oil/day (including the use of Flameout). I try to adhere to Berardi's mantra of veggies/fruit at every meal, but there are some that I'm having trouble getting them in (late night at work, for instance), but getting better at it every week.
My supplement regiment includes: Metabolic Drive, Surge, Flameout, Creatine, Superfood, Fish Oil, BCAA's, and TRIBEX.
I am unsure of what cardio regiment to do based on the opinions of the board; most say that some low intensity cardio is good while bulking. Others say that HIIT is the only way to go. I'm not sure I'm understanding the point of cardio while bulking other than for recovery purposes... Isn't cardio or energy systems work designed to make a calorie deficit, but gaining mass requires a calorie surplus? I was thinking about riding my bike to and from the gym on training days (30 mins. each way) and doing one HIIT session/week (mostly k-bell circuits or jumprope).
I guess I'm throwing this up because I'm super paranoid of getting fat again. I gain mass fairly easily, and am using the compound moves in my training... Deadlifts, Squats, Bench Press, Pullups/Chinups, Bent Over Rows, Lunges, etc. Am I attacking this from the right angle or do I need to be doing something different? I want to get back to having a lean muscular body, but it seems that the 3 year break of debauchery has put my body into an unrecoverable state... I know that's not the case, but that's what it feels like.
I need help... I think I'm almost there, but I feel so lost. I've spent most of my lifting "career" trying to lose weight in between a couple of successful mass gaining phases that put me at a respectable stature. I think that I've got my diet and lifestyle habits dialed in better due to some maturity, so that will help.
Please help put this into perspective.