T Nation

Finally Asking for Help


I’ve been lifting for a good 6 years now. I’m a married, shift working, Dad, makes for a pretty brutal schedule. I grind out at least a good 4 days a week in the gym. I’m 6’ about 192lbs and no clue as to body fat %. I consider myself loosely a “hybrid” athlete, I enjoy getting out and running a 5k but I still like to move heavy weights. I’m trying to chase a better physique, and I know I may get ripped for saying it, but I’d like to get close to Zac Efron’s Baywatch build, or Stephen Amell’s Arrow. I cycle workouts, always follow a routine, currently following Stoppani’s Strength cycle. I’ll try and post some pics of current situation when I get home. But any help/advice is much appreciated!


I’m sorry if I’m misunderstanding but what is it you want help with?


Your situation (family, shifts, etc) sounds like mine. I think you would do well to check out 5/3/1. I’ve been using it for around 10 months now and it was a game changer.


Thanks for the input, I’m just at a stalemate it seems, I keep my diet in check 85% of the time, make sure I’m taking in plenty of protein, try and limit empty carbs, bust my butt in the gym. I’m just chasing that aesthetic, I guess I’m asking the age old question of how to steadily gain muscle and not hold fat as much? I know it takes time, but I’ve been the same visually for the past 2 years. I’ve made strength gains, but little muscle and no weight change. I’m sorry if I’m not making much sense, brains kind of scrambled from work today.


This stuck out to me. With you having trained for 6 years and being a dad, I assume you’re not a teenager/early 20s, so your metabolism probably isn’t like a humming bird.

As I got into my late 20s I noticed I couldn’t get away with sticking with the diet only 85% of the time. I have 1 cheat meal a week (not a cheat day, a meal). To break this down, let’s say I have the traditional 3 meals a day. 21 meals in a week, 20 of them on point. Mathematically, this is sticking to the diet 95% of the time. 85% would allow for 3 cheat meals per week. Ask yourself WHY you need to cheat on a diet 3 times in one week, especially every week of your life. It ends up being 156 cheat meals over the span of a year, and your body will reflect that sort of cheating.

I know not everyone is like this, and some folks do the IIFYM thing, some folks can eat whatever they want, some folks think the idea of “cheating” on a diet is goofy, but for me, to get results better than 95% of everyone else, I had to stick with the diet 95% of the time.


This is me too.


I’ve had decent success following this approach:

The thing I like about it is that it’s pretty easy to do. It takes a week or so to figure out what protein sources are low fat and what carb sources don’t make you bloated, but once you do that it is very simple.


Try this below. Actually only 2 days a week lifting but plenty of heavy work. Instead of the jump rope sessions I would just do 45 mins HIIT on bike/treadmill etc…