T Nation

Dont Know What to Do


Hey Guys,

I have been lifting since the beginning of June now and I am seeing great improvements that I'm really happy with. I am looking to add another aspect to focus on. I am currently 5'8.5" and 168lbs. I play lacrosse so I am looking to get stronger but not really bulky. I have come for help on cutting weight but keeping muscle.

Reading through a bunch of other threads I'm getting mixed answers and its not "personalized" to my stature either. I'd just like to know if I have the right idea. Ideally I think I should be around 150-155lbs. Thanks in advance and if you need any other numbers let me know.


Oh, you're obviously getting too bulky with 168lbs...
Okey, so how strong do you want to be exactly? You want to curl pinkys, 20 lbs, 30lbs? Be able to press 50lbs, 100lbs? That's important so let us know.


Haha, I didn't mean it that way but its all good. I'm looking to be able to bench my bodyweight + some, strengthen my core, build muscle strength and endurance. I am looking to be physically bigger, yes, but not extremely bulky just "built" I guess is the term.


I'm not sure I get your problem.

If you're too heavy, you probably should burn off some fat. How much body fat are you carrying?

I doubt you're carrying so much muscle that you need to worry about losing any.


I know I am not carrying a ton of muscle but I have improved. Body fat percentage is what I'm disgusted with. I'm hovering around 20% body fat. I think I worded it a little confusing in the OP. I want to lose body fat without losing what little muscle I have built up within these two months of lifting. Is there an ideal body fat % area to be in or what percentage should I shoot for?

Again I'm 5'8.5" and 168lbs currently.


If you lose bodyfat, you will also lose muscle. If you want to lose fat now and you think your % is about 20, what are you gonna do, lose 20-25 lbs. and get down to a bitchin 5'8.5" and 135? You will still think you are fat because you won't have any muscle poking through. How about you keep lifting and don't worry about the bodyfat. I'm sure your lacrosse coach will run your fat ass skinny anyway, so what does it matter?

When you get to 5'8.5" and about 200 lbs, maybe 210, THEN you should worry about losing 20-30 lbs of fat. Then, you will end up 5'8.5" and about 168 ripped when you lose the fat and some muscle.


Thanks for the great post arms afire. I never thought of it in that aspect. A little in my defense, I am by no means fat, haha. But that is besides the point. So stick to lifting and dont worry about bodyfat as long as I am active with lacrosse. 200lbs? I really hope to never be there fat wise. If you could, elaborate on what you mean. Thanks for the great advice Arms Afire!


Maybe I was confused when you said you were "disgusted" with your bodyfat %.

You have to gain far above where you really want to be, especially if you have never cut before, because no matter how much weight you think you should lose, you are going to need to at least double it to get cut. This is because you already had existing fat stores before you started trying to gain mass. Once you have done this a couple times, you will not be gaining as much fat and it will get easier.

200 lbs is really not that big. Really. Especially when you plan to lose most of the fat. 200 lbs cut would be huge for you, but let's not do too much dreaming right now.


Couldn't think of another word to use at the moment, sorry for the miscommunication. Thanks for breaking it down and explaining everything, that was exactly what I was looking to understand. So as I'm gaining weight it'll be a mixture of muscle and fat I presume? Or does that depend? So I'd want to "gain" to about 180-190 and cut to 165 or so? Cutting would be exactly what it says, correct? Cutting calories out while still lifting and taking protein in order to cut fat?


Gaining weight well consists of going about 500 cals over maintenance so that you are gaining about 1-2 lbs per week. I usually use a protein/carb/fat calorie ratio of 34/33/33. You will be gaining muscle/fat at about a 50/50 ratio.

Losing fat is best done by eating at maintenance cals using a p/c/f ratio of 55/20/25, then using cardio to create a calorie deficit and lose fat. By eating at maintenance you do your best to minimize muscle loss, but you will lose some.

Since this will be your first cut, I would go to 190-195, stay there for 4-8 weeks, then begin with fat loss. The loss program should not be used for more that 8-9 weeks at a time, so you may have to cycle through it a couple of times the first cut to get to the weight you want. If so, just maintain weight for about 4 weeks using the 34/33/33, then go back on the loss program.