T Nation

Complete Program Guidance


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.



ABBH is a solid and popular program, and it'll have you training every other day throughout the week already. I can't imagine you'll have much energy to do intense cardio on top of that, or at least if you do, I'm not sure there's much benefit to combining a serious muscle-building program with serious cardio for fat loss.

It all depends on the type of cardio you're doing. Intense intervals or Tabata training is for major fat loss. A 30-minute NEPA-type walk in the morning is more for recovery. If you want something inbetween, you might look into doing Waterbury's GPP ASAP plan two days a week.

If you go for the bike riding, that's four hours of cardio per week (since you'll be training four days a week.) I wouldn't add the HIIT on top of that.

A common fear, but unnecessary if you plan your training and nutrition ahead of time, like you're doing.

Depends. In a sentence or two, what are your specific goals for this next training cycle? Specific as in, how many pounds and inches do you want to gain, how much do you want your strength to increase (specific weights lifted), and how long will you be sticking to this program?

If you don't know exactly what you want, you won't know when you get there.



Do both. Which ever you like best. Try say one session a week of HIIT and one session steady state. Try that for a month and see what turns up.

Dont make it more complicated then it as to be no need at this point, enjoy the ride train hard and eat big.


I agree with Chris and will take it even further and say what are your Ultimate goals?? Or more long term goals. You should make the short term ones lead to that in as pointed way as you.

Like if you want to be HYUGGGE then dont even worry much about the fat, thats a LONG time off, worry about training hard and continually progressing in strength and size, years down the road when you think you have the size desire then cut. Since you had been training HARD for those years and eating you will have put on a LARGE amount of lean mass and likely your BF% will have not gone up much and you also have a metabolism like a nuclear reactor which will make taking the fat off easy. Putting muscle on takes years taking fat off takes weeks or months.

What im geting at is figure out point A and point B first the start and the end then you can map the road between them