T Nation

Confused. What to Do, Where to Go


Hi guys. I'm feeling really confused and somewhat frustrated lately. I don't really know where to take my diet. I would really appreciate some help. This is gonna be a pretty long post, which I'm sorry for but I feel if anyone is going to help me, I might as well give as much info as possible.

Basically here is my situation: I'm fat, weak and look like shit.

20 yrs old
25-30% bf
38 inch waist

Some lifts:
Back Squat, 315x5
Bench, 225x4
Deadlift, 355x5
Push Press, 155x8

Okay, so, for the past year or so I've really taken this stuff seriously. I have been focussed on getting my diet right and gaining strength, but it's hard. Strength comes really slow. I did lose some off my waist but my body basically looks the same as before, just a bit more muscular and leaner (still look like shit thought).

I'm constantly unsure of whether I should try and gain weight and strength or go on a cut to get rid of the chub. The reason I don't go on a gaining phase is because I don't think I could tolerate any more fat gains. I would just be a fat fuck. Well ok who am I kidding, I already am a fat fuck but you get the point. The reason I am hesitant to cut is because I have so little actual muscle I am simply afraid of losing any of it and possibly damaging my already slow metabolism.

Diet (this is a general outline of how I eat):

To put it short, its high protein, medium fat, low carb.

5 eggs
protein shake in milk
vegetables, apple

4-6oz tuna in oil/ground beef/chicken
protein shake
vegetables, apple

4-6oz tuna in oil/ground beef/chicken
protein shake

Post workout:
400ml fruit juice
whey, creatine, leucine etc

4-6oz tunain oil/ground beef/chicken
protein shake

  • I will maybe once a week add in a small (½cup) of oats pre workout as a light carb up.
    Other than that, I eat no complex carbs. I have found that if I try and add some more (say a small bowl of oats for breakfast), my waist quickly shoots up about an inch in a week, which is pretty frightening for me.


Day 1, Chest/Arms
Flat Bench
Incline db bench
Preacher curls
overhead ez-bar tri extensions

Day 2, low intensity cardio 45 min

Day 3, Legs
Front Squats
Calve raises

Day 4, low intensity cardio 45 min

Day 5, Delts/back
Push press
side raises
pulldowns or pullups

Day 6, low intensity cardio 45 min

Day 7, Repeat routine from day 1

  • Everything is ramped to 1-2 sets to failure, 6-15 reps depending on the exercise. Pretty standard bodybuilding stuff I'm sure you'd agree. It's pretty low volume too. I've tried adding more volume in the past but I tend to hit a wall fast. What I'm trying to say is I feel like I respond better to low volume. I'm sure a lot of guys here will disagree and say my volume is too low but tbh, this is what has me gaining (even if it is very slow, like a few reps every few weeks). In the past when I would add volume I just wouldn't gain shit.

To sum everything up, I am basically between a rock and a hard place. WHat the fuck do I do? I'm too fat to try and gain strength/mass seriously, and too weak with little muscle to cut. AT least this is how I see it. Maybe I am completely wrong. But thats why I am here, asking for advice from you guys. I would really appreciate some help. My goal is to be big and strong, thats why I am posting this on T-Nation, on a bodybuilding forum. I couldn't give a shit about having a six pack to be honest. I just want a lot of muscle and strength with a normal bf level.

It's incredibly frustrating to kill yourself in the gym, cardio when you are not lifting weights, eating so strictly... but still looking like a sack of shit. You can't imagine how irritating it is to be in this position. I don't even tell people I work out because I am embarassed at somehow being such a failure. It's like this massive skeleton in my closet. I spend so much time and money on this shit and it just comes to nothing. I'm fucking ranting. If anyone has any advice, anything, I am all ears.


At 6'3" and 210 its very hard for me to believe your at 25 - 30% bf. Post pics and we'll be able to help you.


One, be honest. Those are not your numbers.

Two, You are not too fat to gain mass/strength, bet on a program.

Three, Your diet is almost anabolic (not quite though), except for the fruit juice and extremely low calories.

Either do a full blown Keto diet or add some carbs.

Four, Hitting a wall?? Push thru, stop being such a wimp. And I don't believe your numbers. You are not progressing, because you are keeping it at a "low volume".

Now go read the stickies in the beginner section.


Get a smart phone and download a calorie tracker app. Track what you eat and don't be a douchebag and lie about portions, not track beverages or otherwise placate yourself. After a couple of weeks, and you have a general idea of how much and what you are eating, shave a couple hundred cals off your total. Hold at that base line for awhile, and then shave a couple hundred more. Rinse and repeat.

This should allow you to keep gaining or at least maintaining your "numbers" better than if you just go on a crash diet trying to cut a ton of fat.

There a quite a few people that cut down to more reasonable BF's and got stronger. Austin comes to mind.

I really only skimmed it, but your routine sucks balls.

You can do low intensity stead state everyday. Shit I walk a mile and a half a day, minimum. It isn't going to effect your recovery or any of that bullshit, unless you are a massive pussy or WAY under eating. So the days you have that listed as "training" are actually off days.

Big picture, something tells me you aren't being honest with yourself or us, or both...


Those are my numbers. I don't understand why you don't believe me. They are not even impressive... at all. Heck there are threads on this beginners forum (and all over this website) with people weighing less than me and lifting more, probably with less training experience too. I am 100% honest. I would not come here for advice without being completely honest because the advice wouldn't be something I could use. It has actually taken me ages to get to a 225 bench. I suppose I can work on getting some vids though, if it will help.

About the diet: I thought carb cycling was a good thing? generally my carbs (when I count them roughly) come to somewhere around 180g or so per day. This is with the fruit juice, carbs from milk, other fruits etc taken into account. Is this too little? If you think I should add more carbs to my diet, what do you think is the best way to do it? Half a cup of oats pre workout/breakfast or something?


Thanks for the advice. This is exactly what I wanted to hear. What kind of routine/training would you recommend? I mean I based what I am doing now off of C_C's posts on dorian yate's 3 way split. I am just using low volume. Do you think I should increase the volume or do something different? What would you do in my position?

Oh btw, the cardio days are not training days or anything. I didn't mean to state they are training days. Its just not 'lifting' days (so yeah, basically off days).

I thought a:







was a standard split?

I am also completely honest. I don't eat any junk food and I train hard. I mean I don't know what else to say. I have NO reason to be dishonest in ANY way, because it would be shooting myself in the foot. I obviously can't prove that I train hard, until I get a video of my lifts. I should be able to get the bench vid tomorrow.


Alright, I took some pics. To be honest I am a bit hesitant to post them, considering how already one of the posters doesn't believe my numbers. But hey, I have nothing here to hide. I hope that with these pictures I can get some more help.


next pic


I didn't use calipers but i am ESTIMATING that this is 25-30% bf.


Actually, now that I look at these pics, I can see why someone would call bullshit on my numbers ahahaha. I'll get the videos up when I'm able.


It isn't the split, it the the sheer lack of work.

Your leg day is front squats and calf raises for fucks sake... How many total reps at a working rate are you getting? 20? maybe 30? 30 reps a week for your legs isn't enough work.

I don't do 300 exercises a session, but I'm not having the problems you are. You, probably, need more work than you are doing.

Track your diet for a couple weeks before you "feel" like it is good or bad. Trust me, your estimates could be way fucked up.


You aren't really as bad off as you think you are.

Up the volume and intensity for awhile.


Also, get to work on those delts...


Thanks for taking the time to reply countingbeans. I guess I should add some volume and try and work harder. So for my diet, I should basiv
Cally do a slow and controlled cut?


I'm not going to cookie cut it - you look like you don't train.
Your program only reinforces that you don't train.

You need to increase your volume as CB has already said. You mention that low volume is what's working for you but I'd disagree. At 6'3 you need to focus more on filling out your frame and less on losing weight.

Here'e the good news - you're 20 yrs old and just getting started. After you've started working harder what you're going to find is that your diet isn't going to cut it and you'll need to start eating more. I'm not a nutrition/cardio guy and can't help you there.


Why am I questioning?

I've been to four meets (as a spectator). Your pictures tell the story that contradicts your numbers. If you prove me wrong, I'll be the first to admit it. And I would sincerely love for you to prove me wrong.

In the meantime, point number one stands n


Start with tracking what you eat. Be anal about it. Not anal about what you eat, but be anal about recording what you are eating. Eat like you have been and track it. You need to understand what you have been doing that isn't working diet wise in order to change it.

Many people don't have to do this. Based on your posts, you are the type that need to see it laid out in front of you.

Just start with tracking what you are doing for now. This and this alone will have a significant enough effect, I believe, to make a difference for YOU.


Alright man, bench vid will be coming tomorrow. Deadlift and push presses a few days after.


I can see how people dont believe this. i am 210 @ 18% BF with a 34" waist at 6ft. which gives me about 172lbs of lean mass and you 158, with 25% bodyfat. that puts me 14lbs of lean mass ahead of you and i cant push those numbers. here are mine as a comparison.

squat, 5x5@225, 1rm 300 - 71% of yours
bench, 1rm 185 - 82% of your 4rep max
deadlift, 1rm 375 - 95% of your 4rep max
overhead, 1rm 120 - 77% of your 8 rep max

now i have spent most of my life as a moderately guy that was weak. couldnt bench 135 or couldnt squat or deadlift my BW until this year. but hey it could be that you are just really strong for your lean mass. if thats the case then push it hard and gain more. it will help keep the fat off once you shed it.


I personally am not so surprised at the numbers as much as how he looks for being 210 and 6' 3"

I look quite a bit like him but I'm 6' 0" and ~235