T Nation

cutting up

I am a female natural bodybuilder. I am 30 years old and am 5’7", 133 lbs. I am at about 16% bodyfat and need to get down to at least 10-12% for my show in May. I eat about 2200 calories a day and I teach 5 cardio classes a week on top of my own early morning hour of cardio session. I only eat a cup and a half of oatmeal in the morning and that is all of the complex carbs I take in for the day the rest is protein and fiberous vegetables. I take the methoxy-pro and am on week 3 of the MD6. I need to drop at least a lb. a week to meet my goal. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I train hard and 3 days a week do split lifts. I do need the carbs in the moring to get through my back to back cycling classes. I eat clean all year and am afraid that there really is nothing else to drop out of my diet to cut up. Is that possible that I am now screwed? I have not seen much happen yet with the MD6. Do I need to give it more time or what? thanks for your advice!!!

If you are preparing for a BB comp. cals are a little high. If you want to make significant noticable progress, you’ll need to lower cals. Need more specifics about diet. What are you eating? Macros? What do you mean by “split lifts”?

I hope you meant to say Methoxy-7. MethoxyPro has been tested and it doesn’t have enough methoxy in it to do anything. It’s a rip off.

Your cardio is screwing you up. My girl does zero cardio to get ready for a show. She is 5’4, 125, 36 years old and gets down to about 6-8% naturally without any supplements. Instead she lifts heavy and eats a lot of red meat. She also does not cut out the carbs, just cuts out the fat and beer. Someone suggested meltdown training for her maybe you should try it.

My trainer says to keep my calories the same and just bump up the cardio. Like to 2 40 min. sessions a day. I do lift heavy and by split lifts I mean one bodypart in the am and one in the pm. My diet ratio is 50% protein 40% carbs and 10% fat. The only fat I eat is whatever is in the protein I take in. I do a tablespoon of flax every morning. My calories do seem high, but remember I am doing on some days close to three hours of the crap because I am a fitness instructor.

what is meltdown training???

Can you post a meal by meal outline of your diet? My first inclination is that you’ll need to load up on carbs a few days to stimulate your metabolism once again and once you begin your diet lower caloric intake a bit and eat a high carb meal about every 3rd or 4th day.

You are probably in an overtrained state already because of the classes you teach. Doing more cardio will probably hurt more than help. Even if you do get lean, with all that cardio you will come in looking flat.

Almost forgot, use the search engine to look up melt down training.

I agree with Kely. Sounds like one of those Beverly International diets might work where you carb up every 3-4 days. I can’t imagine trying to hold onto any muscle with 3 hours of cardio in a day. Can you say catabolic?

That truly is a lot of cardio… I also think that you may not be getting in enough essential fats (or even total fats). Remember that the body won’t let go of that last bit of fat if it isn’t receiving an adequate amount of efa’s. By upping your efa’s you can trick your body into releasing more fat and can therefore attain that super-lean condition.

I’d have to agree with some of the others here. You may be overtraining a bit. For competition dieting, you may consider higher ratio of fat and a little less carbs. 40%protein, 40% good fats, 20% carbs. Try to take in carbs first thing in the morning after cardio sessions and postworkout only(evening). This might allow better retention of muscle glycogen. As far as increased fat intake: Eat more flaxseed oil, try to incorporate more salmon into the diet, and eat lots of nuts for fats. If your skin is starting to dry out and get flaky, this is a sure sign that you need more “grease”.

Hi - I’m Ko’s girlfriend. My suggestion is to dump your trainer and start using your own instincts. Your trainer is obviously not looking at the whole picture here and relying on old, old standards of training. For example, women need more cardio. That’s BS. Being a competitive BB, I need to build muscle. Aerobics (especially in your case “EXCESSIVE” aerobics) are catabolic - instead of spending time on treadmills, stationary bikes, etc - I hit the heavy bag, do drills(Karate). And being natural myself, I know that the only way for me to compete against the druggies is to really pay attention to my recovery time. For instance, I will take 3 days off between training sessions. I also train heavy - right up until the day of a show. My heavy is 160lb benches (for reps) and 235lb deadlifts, 245lb squats - and yes, as Ko said, I’m 5’4" and weight 125lbs. After a 30-minute training session, I’m done. It’s over. And I need to rest AND eat. I eat red meat up until the day of a show. And I need to eat MORE when I diet for a show. And I get down to 6% bodyfat. Between shows I am at 11%. Which is where you should be between shows -NOT for a show. Here’s logic: with all the cardio you’re doing now and as little fat as your ingesting - shouldn’t you be leaner than me? I do NO cardio whatsoever. Yet, I’m leaner than you. Nah, it’s not genetics. Trust me. I know. Also, I’m almost at the 20-year of weight training mark. I’ve NEVER hit a plateau. I’ve always made gains. And that’s because I make sure I RECOVER properly. So - you need to REST. Take a break. It sounds to me you are clearly overtraining and if you are committed winning your class in this show, you should STOP the cardio craziness for a month or two. You’ll see some huge gains from this.

consider adding CLA and L-Carnitine

I’m very interested in what Patricia is saying. I have 10 weeks till contests start for this season and I am concerned about dropping cardio and adding fats. I don’t want this to snowball on me. Last season I was 11% bodyfat and took first place in a number of contests. I don’t want to disappoint myself this season. What is your thinking behind dropping cardio and adding fats, adding red meat?

As I mentioned before, I firmly believe the excessive cardio is cutting into whatever gains you might be able to achieve in the weight room. You might try to cut out your own cardio session instead and just keep teaching the classes you do already. And try static posing instead of the extra cardio. “Static Posing” means hold the compulsaries for 3-10 seconds at a time. It’s serves two purposes: gets you hard AND you practice your posing. you should be doing this between sets: For example, if you’re training biceps you would hold a front double bi in between sets for 5-seconds. Trust me - you’e not going to WANT to do cardio after you incorporate this into your pre-contest training. BUT I am in firm belief that if you want to steadily progress in building muscle: you need to stop the cardio and start spending more time recovering between workouts. You should also be doing JUST the basics: squats, benches, deadlifts - and these should be heavy. You could thrown in more pressing movements for the shoulders and pulling movements for the back. However - your weight training should be simple and straightforward to conteract all that cardio (if you insist on maintaining the cardo). As for bodyfat: Fitness gals usually compete in the 11% plus area. They can get away with it. If I were to compete at 11% I would NOT win in my area. Competition is way too tough. SO on diet: I’d say slowly start incorporating red meat. Now, my boyfriend (Ko) is a chef and he knows which cuts of red meat to get. But man, we eat ALOT of it. And my breakfasts are HUGE (big bowl of oatmeal with one egg, two slices of toast with peanut butter and jam and an hour later I usually have a treat like a chocolate chip cookie). And I don’t like to eat past 6or 7PM. But during that time, I’m eating ALOT of food. So I say you should start eating a larger breakfast and by early evening you should be pretty satiated. This ain’t overnight stuff - just slowly start incorporating small changes to give your body some time to adjust. But I guarantee you will see results - your metabolism will probably increase(which you can usually tell by a increased appetite and energy) and you will see strength gains (which means you’re muscles are getting BEEGER). I say also to stop the split training train only once a day - but kick your ass during that one training session. You also probably just need a 3-day training cycle (weights).

I know John Beradi is a big proponent of liquid fish oil supplmentation while dieting. And L-Carnitine in large enough doses is also effective

Okay, I wanted to add something, but I see that you say you are a Fitness Instructor, so I’m assuming you know of what I’m about to say, but for the sake of anyone else, here goes. The one thing many people fail to realize is that the human body is very stingy when it comes to “giving up the fat”. In other words, the body is a vessel which stores fat. Why? Well, if anyone remembers from high school history, humans (long before grocery stores and refrigerators) would go through long periods of time where food was scarce (remember? prehistoric hunters/gatherers…Great Potato Famine…etc). So, the body learned - it learned that muscle was a good source FIRST to use in times of starvation and that fat would be the last resort. What’s going on is that since you haven’t fed any extra calories into your body (or really varied the calories on a day to day) and have been doing a unbelievable huge amount of aerobics - you’re body is saying “uh uh, I’m holding onto this fat, since you need it and I’ll just take some of that muscle then for my needs”. You need to trick your body into believing that that last bit of fat is not necessary. From just what you said here, I’m thinking you have been following the same routine for awhile now. So now it’s time to surprise your body and have it say “whoa, cool - now I can let go of this percentage of fat…” - and that’s by either giving yourself some rest/recovery days of NO activity or increasing your calories - OR both. I know that Arnold Schwarzenegger was a big believer in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” - but I think he was a genetic freak and could have grown muscle from just watching powerlifting on TV - however I also believe that maybe if he did try new/different training regimens or routines back in his glory-days, he would have seen incredible gains. Which is why I firmly believe that the body desires change - which is what you’re seeing. You probably saw alot of gains early on with a similar routine. But that’s natural. Now that you’re body got “smart” it’s telling you that a change is needed in this routine. Ko and I train heavy the majority of the time, but we do have other training days where we really don’t push ourselves and it’s more for maintaining. And there are times when I row on the row machine for 10-minutes after weight training just for something different. And the eating is the same way. I don’t eat alot of food ALL of the time. I listen to my body and there are days that it seems like all I do is eat all day - but there are other days where I really don’t feel like eating, so I don’t eat as much. Trainers are valuable for competition experience ( I had a trainer for when I got ready for a national level show - cuz he had competited at that level…). However it’s all up to you to learn the signals your body sends to let you know what it needs. And right now it’s telling you to recover and eat. THIS is when things get exciting - when you really start to learn about your body and how amazing the human body is. Pretty kewl stuff.

I dont know if you do any drugs or how well your knowledged about drugs…but i have heard and read great things bout clenbuterol…i am waiting on my first shipment to come in…i plan on giving it a try…anyways do some research on the internet…its not an anabolic steroid so you do not have to worry about the masculizing affects of it…and its out of your system i read in 6-7 days so you could stop a few days before your contest…and not get detected…also i am sure u use a thermogenic already but if you dont then take xenadrine…anyways good luck…ps a lady at my gym used clenbuterol and she wound up placing well in Mrs. … i dont wont to reveal the state…but she said it worked wonders for her…good luck