T Nation

Damn, CT, You’re Getting Bombarded With Questions


I grew up when Deion Sanders was one of my idles. “Prime time” can do it all. But I’ve been reading lots on why multi tasking is not necessarily a good thing. For instance your new article on deadlifts I find is an interesting coincidence because another article on “Jumping deadlifts” on T nation was posted today, too. Which by the way nobody has responded to my question on the forum.

All this…Causes my mind to think, heck “I’ll do them both” tmr on top of conventional because I like to see progress. Just joking, I’m not a complete dumbass. When first allowed back in gym, I did Romanian deadlifts because I had to build up hammies and always have had hip flexibility. So now I’ve been doing conventional back flat “good form”. But mixing up to keep me motivated is good, but me doing them all is my “stupid mind trying to catch it’s tail” I know other parts of my routine would suffer.

Just like this post, I got interrupted by a very complex phone call. So, it took me ten times longer to post. I need to learn to focus and stop myself from doing too many things at once. It’s “quality” not “quantity”. Thanks for teaching me that I was the wrong one and you are the smart one! My ass got schooled! Ty


Hey how you doing? New here, been working out for 5 months on a “beginner” program fr 5 months, i stopped slightly hurt my lower back, but its almost healed up and no pain. Took2-3 weeks off and looking to restart with a new program

I am 5’10 222 pounds, I work retail my BF is 22%. I used the tape measure method for my BF%

Is there a program for me that suitable? or can you point me in the right direction?

I want to get shredded and lean and lose body fat. Idealy I want to be 10% to 15 percent body fat. Thanks!


Im in transit (airport), giving a seminar tomorrow and sat, will try to catch up tonight


No problem good luck


How did things go?
You available?


Stop doing things to bump up your question. I find that to be disrespectful.


Are you talking to me, cuz I am not working on questions. I’m actually practicing focusing my energy on fewer tasks at once. Oh, it’s the guy who posted on Paul’s. Yeah, I know you’re busy, I know what it’s like to live out of a suitcase. if I ever bother you, just post a picture of a “Canuck”, and I won’t bother you again.


Sorry bro so anxious!


He’s talking to me pretty sure


No, I was talking to shrednation


Ok first I have the impression that you are more than 22% body fat. The tape measure isn’t worth much when it comes to evaluating body fat percentage. I’d need a pic to be sure but from your post you seem to be a sedentary beginner. At 5’10" and 222lbs it means that if lean (10%) then you would be 5’10" 198lbs. At a TRUE 198lbs is VERY muscular… heck in the picture under I was 202lbs on 5’9" at 9.2% body fat!

So you tell me that if you get down to 10% you would have the amount of muscle that people have after years of training?

It is much more likely that you have around 30% of body fat. Few people think that they have that much, but I would say that pretty much everybody who is “heavy set” is around that percentage, if not more.

I’m not saying that to be an arse. I’m saying that so that you have realistic expectations as well as can plan your journey correctly. For example if you are 222lbs at 22% body fat you would have to lose 15lbs of fat to be at 15% (probably 20lbs of body weight with the drop in water) and 22lbs of fat (so likely 27lbs of body weight) to be at 10%.

If you are 30% more than 22% (which I’m willing to bet) then you could lose 20lbs and not look anywhere near what you want to look like and it could kill your motivation.

If you are indeed 30% like I suspect, we are talking about at least 15-20 weeks of diet and more likely longer because the process is never linear.

And even though some programs can help speed up fat loss a bit, 90% of the fat loss comes from dieting. Even if you follow a “fat loss program” if your diet is not properly adjusted for body fat loss, you will not reach your goals.

So you are asking the wrong question: you should have asked about the proper dieting. That would have shown that you have the right mindset to achieve your goal.

Are you mentally prepared to eat a restrictive diet, that will be a lot more bland than your usual, devoid of most of the things you like, ideally without any cheating. Focused mostly on chicken, fish, lean meat, green veggies and a small amount of rice, no sauce, no drink containing calories? For 15-20 weeks? Because that’s what it will take.

I’ve been a coach for 20 years or so. And I’ve been helping people online for 15 years. During that time I’ve seen my fair share of impressive transformations. But I’ve seen more people not achieve their dream. And it’s not from a lack of knowledge or resources: getting lean is actually really simple… but it’s not easy. Especially since people who have accumulated a good fat surplus are normally people who really enjoy eating, and also are prone to emotional eating (eating when they feel bad). For that reason, these people can never get into the right mindset to stick with it long enough to reach their objective.

Those who will achieve their objective are not those who want to be lean, not those would like to be muscular. It’s those who need to be lean and muscular. People for whom it is almost a matter of life or death, almost like they don’t have a choice. Can you imagine the biggest craving for junk food you ever had? How much you wanted, need to eat your junk to feel good? Well your desire for that lean body must be much more powerful than that craving. Because during a diet to get really lean, your cravings will be larger than that bigger craving and they will stick with you for a long time. So if your desire to get lean do not far out-surpass your desire for food, you will fail.

And you know what? Not everybody can do it. Everybody can physically do it, but neurologically/psychological not everybody can. Heck, even myself I can’t always do it. If I absolutely need to get shredded (for example is a photo shoot has been scheduled in advance and I need the pics for my business) then I will be a machine, because the need to get lean is stronger than the desire for food. But when I don’t have such a goal it’s pretty much impossible for me to stay very strict with my diet. So I’m not judging those who can’t stick with it.

But you must be aware of these things when you decide to embark on a leanness journey.

I will tell you that I used to be fat. I was close to 25% body fat with a 40" waist. I was strong, because I was a competitive olympic lifter, but I didn’t look good. Once I really had enough of not even looking like I lifted I decided to get shredded. It took me several tries because my mind was never in the right place. But when I had enough, when I got sick of looking at myself in the mirror I was able to do it. It took me 16 weeks. I think I cheated once in those 16 weeks. And it was one of the best thing I did for myself. I became a lot more popular with the ladies (years later, my wife looked at a book I wrote in 2000 that included some old pictures of me and she told me that she would not even have talked to me if I had looked like that when we first met), my personal training business exploded and it allowed me to become popular on the web; both of which allowed me to have the career I have today.

I was a life changing even for me. But it took me so many tries to succeed. Not because I didn’t know what to do, but because my mind was never in that right place.

So if I have an advice it is to get into that state of mind. You need to want it bad enough that it will exceed any potential competing desire.

And know that you will have to be in this for the long run… you will even have periods where you look worse! The first 10-15 lbs you lose will only make you look smaller without making you more defined. And that is disheartening, that is where most people fail: they are dieting hard, feeling deprived, training hard and they don’t look better… why bother? Well you need to keep plugging because you have to go through that “dead zone” to reach a point where you will start to look better and better.

Then you need to figure out the dieting portion. Because that is the real key to getting lean, not the program. Heck, if your diet is in order, you can get lean on any program. In fact the program you enjoy the most will likely work best because when your energy is low from weeks of dieting, when you are starting to lose motivation, it will be a lot easier to get your ass in the gym and put the work in if you at least like what you are doing.


That’s an awesome and inspiring story. I know it takes dedication and perseverance. I once had to lose 80 pounds and after gaining it over the winter one year and did it. I didn’t lift weights so I wasn’t defined but losing the weight and the discipline to change my diet for months and sticking to it did mountains for my self esteem. I have also quit smoking cigarettes, a pack a day for 5 years, I failed quitting 100s of times before it clicked and I successfully quit cold turkey, same with Marijuana. I want this bad I’m 32 and don’t like the way I look and I have acid reflux and I have eaten bland for months before and I started to a week ago for my health and my acid reflux frequency has lowered. You are probably right I am probably 30 percent body fat, most in my stomach.
Had chicken and asparagus yesterday and going bland again today. Do you have a full body workout plan or 2 for a beginner novice? The members dropped some good ones. Just wondering about when to increase weights, how much weight and when to adjust so on. Thanks for your info and story


VOmg, @shrednation do you not get the hint. He is busy and you are harassing him without sending a dime his way. Some of us are here to get help. See a nutritionist and therapist. You need some serious one on one help. CT is too cool of a guy to put you in your place, but He isn’t your life partner. If you go through articles, read posts and training logs, you’ll learn volumes.

Sorry, CT I just had to say something and you’ve got a full time job, family, this forum, etc. sorry every time he sends something I get a notice


Jesus Christ this is a question forum, you butted in my last thread out of nowhere please stop replying. You’ve said nothing help full at all


Not really to be honest. I didn’t write any articles about beginner training. Sorry


Just check Dan John’s stuff here or Starting Strength or the original 5x5


Well, it depends on the progression model you are using.

The simplest progression model to use is the double progression model.

Pick a number of work sets (for example 4) and a rep zone (let’s say 6 to 8 reps per set).

All of your work sets are done with the same weight after a couple of warm-up sets.

You add weight when you can complete all of your work sets at the top of the rep range with the same weight.

For example:

Let’s say that workout 1 you do…

200lbs for 8 reps, 200lbs for 8 reps, 200lbs for 7 reps, 200lbs for 6 reps

It means that the next time you do that workout you keep using the same weight.

If on the second time you do the workout you are able to do:

200lbs for 8 reps, 200lbs for 8 reps, 200lbs for 8 reps, 200lbs for 8 reps

The next time you do that workout you will add some weight. It might look like…

210 x 8, 210 x 8, 210 x 7, 210 x 7

In which case you will use that same weight for the next workout.

As for how much weight you add each time, always be more conservative. In the grand scheme of things it will not slow down your progression because you will be able to add weight more often so it will even out with the larger jumps.


Actually this is my thread but whatever. I’ve got more important things to do right now which I must focus on. I have a Memorial Day event coming up. I need to work on focusing training and family not multi tasking. I don’t need to be spending time on forum when I can be more productive elsewhere. I don’t use supps and I research and luckily have good genetics. Learn to read and listen dude or you’ll never get anywhere.


Excellent piece, CT. I’m sure that resonates with many folks. I definitely fit into the perma-cutting category. When I’m sufficiently lean I feel a great level of accomplishment. However, it is a constant battle and probably one that I’ll need to contend with for years to come. Recently, on a PSMF, I sat salivating at the thought of steamed broccoli and chicken breast well-seasoned with Himalayan salt! That’s when I knew I was genuinely hungry, for a change!


Sigh, I keep getting emails from this thread, I think it’s time for me to totally move on. The expectations of instant gratification are too much. I can’t use supps and have a disability where I have learned hardship as a norm. But if I don’t leave this site and follow on focusing on what someone close to me advises, I will be endlessly frustrated. I taught her how to be more feminine and she taught me over the last week that I have only grown because I have worked my ass offf to achieve my goals despite adversity and have grown too much from that struggle to tolerate people who arent willing to take control of their life. Thank you making me focus on one thing at a time and your responses to @shrednation reminds me that it isn’t about easy indulgences, but from “the sense of being in control”, It’s up to me and my efforts to be the master of my fate. I can’t always have what I want but I will fucking try my hardest and don’t need “ridiculous” distractions to interfere with my “growth”