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Getting Lean VS Staying Lean

I am cutting up & it is tough. Assuming you eat right after the diet which is harder? Getting lean or STAYING lean once you have gotten there?
Thanks for your input guys.

I am assuming getting there is the hardest part (it may be the hardest thing you ever do.)
After the diet maintaining it for a while is fine-the longer time goes by that you are lean the easier it will get. (Because your body will get used to it and want to maintain homeostasis-and or stay the same…)

I am at 9% BF it took me 18 weeks to go from 22% to 9%.
I look so much better now! The hard part was definatly getting down here!

going from 34% bf to 4% bf the first time around was really not that bad believe it or not. prolly because of the newness of it all nad the mountains of motivations. i stayed there for about 6 months. staying there was pretty easy. i tried on several occassions to push it further just to see how far i could go and that was not fun at all. i was always tired, lethargic and really irritable because of all the added stress. i finally decided to hover around 6% and never stray too far away even when trying to gain size. i recently increased up to 10% and am now in the process of cutting back down and i don’t remember it ever being this hard to do before. though gains are slower there is something to be said for staying fairly lean year round.

KEVO

How long did it take you to drop that much Body Fat - That is a HUGE drop!!! Did you try any special diets and up training, cardio? I’m at around 22% and have been here a while. Can you help me out??? I’d love to be around 9% BF. Your Abs must be pretty RIPPED huh???

I know that this is a very old post but looking back, I was realy interested in Kevo’s input. Dude you’ve worked magic on your body, got any helpful tidbits that could help me out??? I’m around 22% BF and want to drop to 10%. Does that sound realistic to you??? Should I try the Fat Fast to drop the fat quicktime??

tbear - sorry for missing your earlier resurrection of this post. as you pointed it’s really old. :o)

that 34% was really a guestimate and looking back now it was prolly closer to 30%. i was 234lbs when i started this whole thing. i am 6’-0" tall and i carried it mainly in my upper thighs, butt and torso. i never developed a big gut (thank God!). i didn’t start out a t-man, but i did at least educate myself on doing it right and read everything i could get my hands on. i never wanted to be a “bodybuilder” so to say, but i at least knew that they were obviously onto something given their sculpted physiques. so i paid attention. at the outset i didn’t really care about gaining muscle, but i didn’t want to lose any either, so i incorporated some resistence training along with shitloads of cardio.

i figured up my caloric needs and ate my maintenence of 2000cals - 50c,35p,15f while lifting 4 days per week with l hour of cardio per day. after 9 weeks i had lost 34lbs down to 200lbs where i got stuck for a week or so. so i kicked it up a notch by increasing my cardio to 1.5 hours per day, decreasing the calories to 1500cals - 40c,40p,20f and took my lifting a bit more seriously. cardio was tough with the decreased carbs and i was worried about losing muscle, so i bought an impedance monitor and began taking readings daily (impedance monitors aren’t the most accurate things around and the actual % may not be correct, but they are useful for guaging progress).

after 7 weeks of this i dropped down to 183lbs with no muscle loss. i got stuck here for about 2 weeks. this plataeu was a bit frustrating so i turned to my first thermogenic. i adjusted my diet to how i started off and increased my cardio to 2 hours per day. 8 weeks later i hit rock bottom at 160lbs @ 4%bf. i lost 2lbs of muscle during this last run and looked VERY thin, but was rather pleased anyway. total time in the torture chamber was roughly 7 months. :o)

that was about 2 1/2 years ago. i have been walking a fine line of maintenence and growth ever since. i have done several other smaller cycles with my most recent one leaving me at 179lbs @ 7%bf. my abs show well now although when i was most ripped i didn’t have much muscle to see anyway. i feel my best between 6%-7% and can maintain this indefinitely at 2400-2600cals per day.

i have a real fear of gaining any fat now and never stray beyond 12% during any mass phase. this makes the road long and slow, but i find that i am happiest this way. i have never tried anything really drastic besides the ocassional monster caloric defecit for short periods of time. my diet is insanely clean and strict (ok…i breakdown every once in a while). i usually eat around 55c,30p,20f and range from 3000cals down to 1600cals at times. cardio has been the cornerstone of my training since the beginning and i try to do some amount of it at all times.

i think it is possible for you to drop to 10% with a well thought out plan. my approach has always been a little more “old-fashioned” and “traditional” when it comes to macronutrient ratios and cardio work. i would go nuts if i tried to do the fat fast and have had so much success with cardio that i really don’t see the need to go so extreme. if you have the will power and the determination to see it through the fat fast might work well for you. a lot of people on this board have had great success with it. i hope i didn’t bore you with my autobiography, but i love to hear myself type. :o) good luck. kevo

Thanks KEVO - You are an inspiration. 7 months seems like a small price to pay for a huge/ripped body. I was just re-reading all the stuff you posted, and was wondering how you ate. Mainly, what you ate and how you spread it through the day. I’m still figuring out if I should go Fat Fast or try your way. In terms of intensity, how hard did you push yourself on cardio(treadmill/bike) I’ve done 1 hour of cardio before and I felt toasted after. Hearing your story, I must get my ass in the gym and work it hard. Thanks for all the help.

t-bear - thanks for the kind words. i don’t know many bodybuilders who do it my way or at least will admit to it. :o) cardio is not very well received in most circles. my diet is more or less a 55c,30p,15f ratio and consists of these basic foods:

protein: lean beef, chicken, turkey, tuna, eggs, fat free cheeses, protein powders & bars.

carbs: green beans, corn, peas, lima beans, carrots, new potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, various fruits, stone ground whole wheat bread, rice, oatmeal, pasta and legumes.

fats: efa, flax oil, nuts, natural peanut butter.

i do so much cardio that most of my meals are heavy carbs, moderate protein, low fat. except for my pre-cardio meals which are heavy protein, low carbs, low fat. this helps to clear the insulin from my system while increasing glucagon release to assist in fat burning. i eat every three hours (7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm) except for in the evening where i have one extra at 8:30pm. my 10am and 4pm snacks are usually my protein only meals to prepare me for my cardio at lunch and after work. my 10pm snack is usually cottage cheese to prepare for sleep. my meals are usually no bigger than 500cals each, but will vary depending on what i am hungry for. with the exception of my post workout surge i rarely have actual insulin spikes because of the slow releasing carbs i typically eat.

i don’t eat the same thing meal after meal day in and day out and don’t think i could deal with that kind of grind. so i have a system where i create “base” meals where the protein and fat sources are accounted for while i leave a certain amount of calories free to be spent on carbs. we all have foods that we routinely eat to make it easier to track this sort of thing, it’s just my list consists of about 200 foods. i have all these broken into grams/100calorie equivilants and cals/gram multipliers so i can easily interchange whatever carb source or combination i feel like eating at the time. this gives me an endless number of meal combinations that can be created very easily. this may sound coverly omplicated, but it’s really not bad at all. eating variety doesn’t mean having to spend hours in the kitchen as long as you think things through.

my cardio is usually on a stationary bike while i watch the news. while leaning i will do upwards of 2-3 hours per day spread over 2 or 3 sessions. i do a pace that keeps my heart rate at about 70%-75% mhr. i get a burn rate of about 800cals/hour 40% of which is from fat. if i keep this pace i can go indefinitely without feeling it. i can push it harder, but i end up exhausting myself if i am not careful. there is a fine line of exertion that when crossed will leave you totally gassed and not yield very much in the way of extra calorie expenditure. find where that is for you and you will thank yourself.

fat fast will prolly get you there faster without having to do all the cardio as long as you can deal with the pressure. i wasn’t aware of the fat fast at the time and i always looked at it more from the total fitness aspect and how cardio + lifting + nutrition was the best way to go in terms of overall heath benefits. it’s definitely a personal thing as to which method you choose. i am happy i took the road that i did though. hope this helps. good luck. kevo

Kevo’s post to me only affirms that you need alot of cardio and don’t undertake some whacko bulking diet to do it RIGHT. Here’s a guy to emulate. Its common sense and hard work and that’s what it takes to get where we all want to be!

jay - thanks for the props, but i am really just your average “joe” who walks the same tightrope as other t-men. it’s hard for us at times beacuse in the search for the “best way” to achieve our goals we all get caught up in parsing, hair splitting and minutia to some degree. we sometimes overlook the most basic and obvious components of a successful program while trying to implement the latest theory or training method. i have a very basic and traditional approach that seems to work for me. i haven’t yet really seen the need to get overly complex with my methods. i try to add new ideas to the mix whenever i can as long as it doesn’t detract from what i know works.

i know that as long as i pay close attention, listen to my body, maintain a consist approach and exercise a bit of patience i will get to where i want to be. kevo