T Nation

Fat Loss

I have dropped from 26 % bodyfat to 11.3 % in about a year on the Bodyforlife program. I eat clean 6 days a weeks and eat alot of junk on my free day(once a week). Is it possible to get to 6-8 percent BF with 3 days of cardio(20 min HIT) and 3 days of weights, while taking a fat burner(Betalean). Or does anyone who goes from 26 to 6 percent have to drop that free day for awhile? What do you think? Ive left MM2k for T-Mag(the real deal)!

It sounds like you’ve made good progress already, but you might want to consider dropping your free day down to a free meal, once a week.

Hey, if it’s worked for you this far, why change it?

aaron…first off, congrats on the awesome progress and welcome to the “real deal!” I think Paul makes a good suggestion by saying drop the free “day” to a free “meal” or two and see how you respond. Is the reason you’re asking because you’ve reached a plateau, or you’re just curious? If you’ve hit the wall, you may consider more of a maintenance or energy surplus phase for a week or two, especially if you’ve been dieting for a long time. Also, have you been able to maintain strength and lean mass throughout your dieting thus far (ie. what was your bodyweight before and now)?

body for life program huh? well, at least you had a plan! good for you. i don’t think you should give up that “cheat day,”-it’s the only way you’ll stay sane in the long run! although you may want to cut it down to a cheat meal-but don’t give it up completely. im not sure what you mean by “a lot of junk”- why work so hard all week only to completely blow it on cheat day? just don’t over due it, that’s all.
you may also want to try to zig-zag your calories, where you would “down-zag” M-F and “up-zag” on the weekends. just a thought- but it helps to lose fat without bringing your metabolism down with your weight! check out fred hatfield’s website for more details…
good luck!

No body for life questions please! AAAAHhhhhhh!

way to graduate from MM2K!!! I used to eat like they suggested and follow a lot of their programs. But I moved on BECAUSE I just couldn’t take it to another level. The only way I had been able to get to the leanness you’re striving for is to adopt a low-carb/zero carb type diet while MINIMIZING aerobics to maintain muscle mass. Read the T-Dawg diet for some direction. When you minimize fat intake to the extent BODYFORLIFE suggests and train as much as they suggest, your body may fight to hold on to its remaining fat for dear life. Switching up the macronutrient intake may do the trick very easily for you.

Hey Aaron, congratulations on your miraculous transformation. It is a testimonial to your hard work and dedication. I do have to question the value of getting even leaner than you are right now. I used to be like you and wanted to get really lean. I wanted those abs that you see on magazine covers. Once I got there, I felt like crap. My body was not happy being that lean. I had less energy, and my performance in bed was not as good. Ironic, huh? Having lean abs is considered sexy, but it killed the libido in my case. I am up to 12-13 percent fat and I feel really good. I really question whether the extra 100% effort and metabolic resources required to lose that 5% of bodyfat is worth it. Perhaps you need to get there and see for yourself. My personal opinion is that you should maintain your current bodyfat and work on putting some more muscle on. Sorry I don’t have any advice on losing the fat, but I think the other posts covered that pretty well. Cheers.

Aaron, our paths seem similar. I went through two BFL programs. I started at 26.9% body fat, and in six months I dropped to 6.0% (a loss of 41.9 pounds of fat). At the same time, I gained 21.5 pounds of lean body mass (I’d say about eleven pounds of that were regains). So what you’re attempting is do-able. (BTW, these numbers come from BodPod and hydrostatic weighing. I’m still skeptical about calipers.)

But the real reason I’m responding to your post is because, just like you, when I hit about 10% bodyfat, I didn’t know if I could get much leaner. The idea of losing what little muscle I had mortified me.

At that point I shifted to a free meal now and then, but I stopped splurging for an entire free day. So I concur with the feedback you’re getting. And, more importantly, I started keeping a calorie log (I had been keeping a BFL food log, but not tabulating calories and protein). I needed more specific feedback to lose that last four percent. If you’re not already, I’d really recommend it. It may sound extreme at first. But it gets easier with time, and remember, what you’re trying to do is extreme in itself, relative to the general public.

I further agree with the carb feedback. I’m not a big fan of low-carb diets, and I got pretty lean without consciously cutting carbs. But, in retrospect, that’s what I did, unconsciously and by default, in the last few weeks. On BFL, there’s not much fat, and there’s no way I was going to eat less protein, so what’s left to cut? Towards the end, I was spreading about 2100 calories per day over six or seven meals, zigging and zagging about 400 calories either way on any given day.

I managed to gain 1.6 pounds of LBM as I moved from 10 to 6% body fat. But, if you don’t currently have as much LBM as you’d like, I’ll reiterate what’s already on this thread: you might want to reconsider your six percent goal for the time being.

That said, getting to 6% is really a blast. Vascularity, separation, some striations. Old hat for a lot of T-men, but a first time for me.

As far as supplements, last year the rules forbid ephedrine – this year it’s accepted. Anyway, I used EAS Phen-Free. Actually, I liked it, and it probably helped. (Needless to say, that was before the Biotest hammer was put in my hands, and now, everything’s a nail.)

Towards the end, I did shift to slow-go cardio, contrary to BFL. And, in those last ten weeks or so, I stopped running and moved to the recumbent bike – admittedly, an exercise less effective at burning calories than the treadmill. But I liked the leg pump I got from the bike. And frankly, HIIT gets old.

I really respect what you’ve accomplished, Aaron. Don’t let anyone belittle it just because it’s BFL.

Someone called Muscle Media “Muscle and Kindergarten.” Yep. True enough. But as Arnold once said, big dogs don’t bark at little dogs.
And the only people who make fun of kindergartners are junior high schoolers. High schoolers and college boys move on – even, God forbid, lend a hand to beginners on occasion (as Timbo and the gang are doing here). I question how far any bodybuilder has come if he still feels threatened by BFL.

Then again, kindergarten isn’t forever.

Hey Guys:
Thanks for the great replys,especially Steve! Hey Ive settled in here at 10.3 to 11.4 % BF.(6’00, 200 lbs),down 32 lbs of fat.Its almost like my body has said “wait a second, let me get this straight you want 6 to 8 percent bodyfat after being 26 %, after going 36 years without being an athlete or working out?, give me a break” BFL got me off the couch and to World Gym,so I give initial training and credit to Bill P, but now I can see how the “adonis complex” can set in and look forward to getting hardcore info here at T-Mag! Thanks again!

Steve…great feedback, buddy. I would imagine that your advice and experience can help out any aspiring bodybuilder. I agree that a low bodyfat percentage is king of kings. I was wondering where you have access to the BodPod and hydrostatic weighing and what the costs are. Thanks, Steve. And Aaron, go get 'em, boy. Just don’t get over-zealous, take it gradually like you have. It’s very difficult to shed the last few pounds of fat without sacrificing precious muscle.

Did you guys find it refreshing that this thread didn’t turn into a “Bash BodyforLife” forum? I agree with what everyone has said, ESPECIALLY BT; BFL has probably gotten more people off their butts and thinking about exercise more than at any point in history. It probably only compares with the running and fitness craze brought about by Cooper and Fixx in the '70’s and '80’s. However, like BT said, I too needed to go to the “next level”. BFL sort of stops short of that. Be careful though; there have been a LOT of people to underestimate the talent of the Phillip’s Jauggernaut!

Aaron; it seems like you're right on track. Just sort of "fine tune" things like everyone has suggested, and you're on your way. When the body begins to get close to it's "genetic" or "constitutional" fat, it bacomes stubborn about giving it up.(It's been suggested that about 3% bodyfat is "essential" or "constitutional" fat).

Mufasa, your Fixx analogy is well made. And another thing: the only people who really appreciate the body you’ve built are those trying to build their own. The average, untrained Joe has no clue how much work this is – at least BFL’ers are getting an inkling. And after the “honeymoon gains” of the first few months, then they really start to understand the price involved (and the undeniable role of genetics).

Timbo, I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts, and I’ve empathized with your struggles between leanness and hypertrophy. After I hit 6%, I tried to stay there and add size. *Maybe* I gained a pound in four months of hard training. I’ve since loosened the dietary reins (to about 3900 calories per day over seven feedings, 1.5 grams protein/pound), and I’m on my first cycle of Tribex and Androsol, along with ZMA and Methoxy-7. I also shifted to GVT and a renewed focus on TUT (T-mag is solely responsible for these changes). I’ve gained at least three pounds of LBM in less than three weeks. I’m probably at 8.5 percent BF – that’s a guess. But, at six foot, one half inch and 184 pounds, I’m not T-man big.

About the BodPod and hydrostatic weighing – we’ll see what the moderator lets through. For those who don’t know, the BodPod is a sealed, egg-shaped chamber. You sit in it, mostly naked, and they calculate your body composition by air displacement. Here in L.A., there’s only one, owned by a doctor in (where else?) Beverly Hills. One hundred bucks per test. Ouch. That’s a lot of MD6. Frankly, it’s not worth it. You might find one in your area with significantly cheaper fees.

But I’m a big fan of hydrostatic weighing. In L.A., there’s this truck that visits health clubs. It’s equipped with its own tank, scale, and computer. It’s forty dollars per weighing, or eighty dollars for three weighings within one year. If you go more than once, they graph your progress. They also try to calculate how many calories you’ll burn with any given exercise based on your numbers. Their website is getdunked. I don’t think I could have walked the fat loss / hypertrophy tight rope without their feedback. Getting under 10 % is a head game; you need as much science as you can find.

True story. About August last year, I got dunked for the first time. I was at 10.1 %BF. Immediately I drove from Pasadena to Glendale and had a trainer at a franchise health club assess my BF with one of those computerized plastic calipers. They took four different site readings, and we repeated the test a second time. I was told I was at 17.3 % BF. This was about forty five minutes after getting dunked, and I hadn’t eaten anything. By then, my abs were clearly visible, as was the vein on my arm, and my love handles were virtually gone. We all know about "operator error" with caliper tests, but to be this far off – wow. I’m sure a true clinician could be more accurate, and some very bright people assure me that calipers are a trustworthy testing method. But once you’re burned by an error like that, you’re twice shy.

Aaron, if you truly haven’t trained or been an athlete for thirty six years, and you’ve accomplished this change, that’s incredible. Most adults who dramatically change their appearance in short order (especially with LBM) are recovering fitness backsliders. It’s the equivalent of going into their metabolic attic, "Now where’s that body I used to have? It’s up here someplace." But to redesign a new body from scratch – very cool.

Steve…thanks for the low-down on the body composition measurement techniques. I’m not sure that I have the same resources in Indiana as you do in upscale CA, baby! Also, thanks for the positive feedback on the posts. I really enjoy the forum, sharing my knowledge and experience, as well as venting my anger and sharing my difficulties. It’s frustrating as hell, I tell ya, trying to be as lean as I try to be and think I can get massive at the same time. It’s always difficult for me to eat as much as I know I should or could because I always try to rationalize. I’m slowly overcoming the phobias though, and I know I’ll be making some major progress here in the near future. However, I’ve discovered another serious problem that seems to be inhibiting any gains–one that’s probably been present for too long without me taking action. I plan on getting this addressed immediately and I think this will supercharge my efforts. I know someone else mentioned it earlier in a different thread about leanness, but I’m one of those guys who’s always pinching that little layer of fat on the lower abs throughout the day. Anyway, to focus on the positives, congrats on your awesome progress, Steve. I would not at all be ashamed of 180+; you’re well on your way to the big Deuce (if that’s your goal), and you have an awesome percentage of lean…most trainees at your height and weight would kill for that.

If you live near a large university, you might try calling their fitness department. Most larger schools have the water tank for dunking. They have scheduled dunkings of the college athletes and if you charm the technician, they may let you get in line with the others. Viola, free body fat test. That’s how I got mine done.

Timbo, I may be in upscale L.A., but you’re going to the Arnold. Enjoy.

Carla, I feel like a moron for asking, but where’s Viola? I did a web search and found no Viola College or University – just a lot of string quartets. I’ve got friends who teach at Biola here in L.A. Is that possibly what you meant? In any case, thanks for the tip – everytime I pass a university sports complex, I suspect there’s a hydrostatic tank hiding in there somewhere.

Can you please tell me about how to drop bodyfat through thermafuels. For example, using a product like “ripfuel”.
thanks for all your help

Steve…I just fell off my chair, man. I hope you were just playing around. If not, I think Carla meant “Voila” as in “Presto” or “Magically Appearing” not as in a specific college. As in do some brown-nosing with the tech, and “Presto” you’ve got yourself a body comp test in the tank:-)

I have actually read in many places that hydrostatic weighing isn’t always so accurate. It certainly can be a pain the ass - I’ve never done it, but I hear that skin-fold calipers are just as good and it just depends on how good the “pincher” is. Just use the same technique and/or person each time to compare bodycomp changes.

I used to subscribe to MM2K about 3 years ago. But then every single issue turned into “12 weeks to a new you” and I wanted more new information that I could use to improve myself further. Every magazine seemed to be repeating the same stuff over and over. How many times do I need to hear that creatine can help build muscle and ECAs aid in weightloss? Thanks but ket’s move on. I’ve searched high and low, all over, and I think that this website is absolutely fantastic and I have spent a relative large amount of my supplement dollars on Biotest products, if for no other reason, than out of sheer gratitude.

BFL motivates a lot of people, but MM2K programs and supplements only got me half-way to where I wanted to be. Maybe some genetically advantaged individuals achieved killer results in terms of leanness and muscle gain, but I peaked with any/all of their protocols. The information here is definitely cutting edge. It's the stuff that'll make it into MM2K and others in another few years. I find this site and its visitors far more to my liking and I share most of the similar goals. Seems like everyone here is always trying to get stronger, bigger, and leaner which is a breathe of fresh air. The 5% bf people want to pack on more mass and the bigboys are looking to get ripped. None of that "normal" crap here. we need a t-mag gym...good luck to everyone

Yes, Timbo, that’s exactly what I meant. Sorry if I confused you Steve, but I guess my spelling is not that great so early in the morning. (And if you weren’t confused, I deserved the ribbing!)

I also pushed the send button before I congratulated Aaron. That’s fabulous progress, man. I started on BLF too, but how long can a person read the same things over and over? And one certainly can’t do the same program forever. I think just picking another program that appeals to you may help you lose those last few percentage points of bodyfat. Maybe your body is just too used to BFL. T-mag’s much more diverse and has lots to choose from. Plus, it’s very entertaining :slight_smile: