T Nation

Frustrated Need Guidance


I haven't posted here in a long time. I'm mainly a lurker, and I prefer it that way.
But now I'm asking for advice. I seriously, just don't know what to do.

I'm your typical 16yr old skinny fat case. I know most people will just tell me to "eat right, lift hard, and It'll all come together bro". That's what someone told me before. I did that, and from my experience it just doesn't work like that.

A year ago I had maybe 13-14% bf and I was roughly 160lbs. Now I'm around 200lbs and I look worse than I started. I don't know my bf percentage, I just know that I look like utter shit. Weak shit.

I have eaten 'right' for years (my mom is a health freak). I eat a diet low in carbs and high in protein, with lots of fruit and vegetables. My carbs come from oats, and occasionally rice (but to be honest I've cut that out a few weeks ago).

I drink lots of water. I never cheat. I don't go out partying or drink alcohol and my friends think it's weird (I don't tell them I go to the gym, because, quite frankly, they would laugh looking at my physique).

So anyway, last August I decided the best thing to do was a clean bulk, so I started a full body routine (Chad's TBT I think - bear in mind this post is in NO WAY dissing his program) focussed on the basic compound lifts.

I lifted very hard (I'm serious, I'm not a pussy in the weight room. I've passed out in the gym several times). At first it was good, my strength went up, my bf stayed the same, I though "yeah, this is great, I'm on the right track."

I gained no muscle. The scale went slowly up, but it ended up to be just fat. I'm still weak. I look like that guy on the "How To Dirty Bulk" thread somewhere around here, albeit with more fat.

So now I'm going to ask the classic question: Cut or Bulk? (I'm laughing while typing this)

Actually, screw that, I don't know if even cutting or bulking is what I need. I feel pissed off when I see skinny bastards complaining about "how they can't put on weight, boo hoo!"
I would kill to be in a position like that.

I think maybe my metabolism is so screwed up that my body will add fat no matter what I do.
My mom complains about my gut and about the fact that I can't fit into any of the pants I have from a year ago. It's just fucking sad.

Please don't tell me to clean up my diet and lift harder. But to be honest, I guess any advise would be great. I seriously start thinking my genetics are just full of shit. But I love weightlifting, it's like therapy to me. It might sound silly but to me it would a horrible tragedy if my bullshit genetics would force me to remain a weak, fat bastard forever.

So what do I do? I just need some guidance. Please.


put up a daily food log and what your lifting looks like. That will make it easier for people to give you advice.


Post accurate diet and training for the past few weeks.


Here's a sample of my diet:

Cottage cheese
Low-fat yoghurt

Omelette - 5 eggs

Roast chicken
Stir-fried vegetables (e.g broccoli, string beans, red+green+yellow pepper, onion, carrot)
Fruit (e.g apple, pear, strawberry)

--workout-- PWO shake (40p/40c)

Vegetable stew

6 egg whites

Cottage cheese
1 glass of milk.

I cook with olive oil.

At the moment, I have started a bit of a fatloss phase. I don't know if I should be doing this though (I am afraid it will screw up my metabolism even more).

I am doing the types of workouts that Thibs recommends in his Warroom Strategies For Fatloss article: http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1499282

However, over the months prior to this my workouts varied a little. They have always been full-body workouts with 4-6 compounds. Maybe an isolation finisher.


Start checking out Tabata protocol and interval training. Use the T-Nation search function.


You know, you hear a lot about how you have to watch your carbs when it comes to avoid gaining fat. But if you look through some of the articles on here, you'll notice the importance of carb cycling, even when it comes to getting lean.

It might be possible that you've trained your body to work in an environment devoid of simple sugars, and therefore have become hypersensitive to them. Carbs are not the enemy, but there are strategies about better and worse times to consume certain types of carbs. I understand you are in the weight room, but have you tried to add in any HIIT workouts or sprints?

If you are a lurker on this site, you undoubtedly know about Surge. I've been trying to lean out over the last couple months, but I still drink two servings of Surge along with most of my gym workouts. I have not really lost much weight, but I'm looking leaner than ever, and that's a lot of simple sugars in about 1.5 hours. I also make sure to include sprints on my off days.

Sometimes it can take a little while to learn EXACTLY how YOU have to eat. My first serious bulking cycle ended with me looking and feeling fatter than ever. I've learned a bit about what is necessary and what is sufficient as far as diet goes, but it took me 8 months of slight changes to my diet to find what works perfect.

I really liked how Thibs talked about bulking in his article "The Truth About Bulking." I'm one of those guys that likes to look good along the way, so it was nice to see one of the authors on this site proposing a way to get bigger while considering this.


You are getting more carbs than you think.

If you want to reduce carbs, take out the cottage cheese, yogurt, fruit, stir fry, vegetable stew. Only eat salad greens and raw veggies. And your morning oatmeal and PWO carbs.

Add more meat to your meals.


Have you considered you might have a food allergy or be lactose intolerant?

That can lead to bloating, extra stress and cortisol, and general hormonal funkiness.

Perhaps you have some general digestive problem? Low stomach acid?

How regular are your bowel movements? What sort of consistancy, smell, and colour do they generally have? Do you notice they change significantly within a few hours or a day of eating certain things? Do you have much internal gas or discomfort of that nature?


Obviously, I'm a beginner, too.

However, I'm a damn logical guy if anything.

So here is my advice - you think you have a genetic or medical problem inhibiting your ability to lose fat or put on muscle?

Get some simple blood tests...check blood glucose, thyroid stimulating hormone, etc.

If you DO have a problem, there's no sense putting yourself through all the shit you are going through if it won't help you.

If you don't end up having a problem, then it's ruled out. That seems like a logical first step to me.

Just my two cents.


Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it. As I understand it what I should be doing is dropping my carbs even more?

What about training? Should I continue going on this fatloss phase? To be honest, I hate cutting. I hate being hungry and I hate losing strength. I am also afraid of slowing down my metabolism even more. I don't want to end up just a smaller and weaker version of my current self.

So I thought, would a different approach be better? What about if I did something like this...

I follow Westside for Skinny Bastards, but I add some GPP workouts. My weekly breakdown as follows (I shifted the workouts 1 day forward because it suits my schedule better):

MONDAY �?? GPP/conditioning
TUESDAY �?? MAX-EFFORT Upper Body lift
THURSDAY �?? GPP/conditioning
SUNDAY �?? Lower Body lift

I've been reading some of Dave Tate's articles, like the Eight Keys, and I've gathered some ideas on what the GPP workouts should have. Maybe stuff like:

Speed Deadlift or maybe high rep light dealdifts
Kettlebell swings
Light front squats
All sorts of Ab work.

As for my diet, how about if I eat slightly above my maintenance, like 250 or 500 cals? I would also like to switch my carbs from breakfast to around my workout. In the morning, carbs tend to make me sluggish.

What do I hope to achieve with this 'program' of sorts?
Well, I probably won't put on much muscle. But I hope to gain a lot of strength and lose fat, and generally improve my body composition.

I plan on getting my insulin sensitivity, test and estrogen levels checked. Yes I am lactose intolerant, but I drink lactose-free milk.

Any advice?


Cut back your carbs, add meats. You won't be hungry.

Use any workout routine you want.


Since you are lactose intolerant I suggest cutting out the cottage cheese, and any other cheese you may eat. You do not mention other cheeses, but often they go into omellettes which you do mention.

You will have to decide if you can handle yogurt or not. Often times the digestive enzymes in yogurt make it acceptable but for now I would cut it out too. Give your body some time to heal.


Check that entry from Shugart's Hammer out. It deals with HCL/digestive enzyme supplementation proposed by Charles Poliquin to improve digestion. Supposedly 90% of the population could use at least a little therapy. I am doing it and it does seem to help some.


Thank you so much for that link. As soon as I read it I went and bought a jar of those capsules. I will try them tomorrow.

Thank you again.