T Nation

Help a Fat Bastard Out


Hey guys,

After boxing 7+ hours per week for 2 years, and a sudden 2 years hiatus - I picked up powerlifting. I think I have been effectively lifting for 4 months. Started during the summer, but I just f*'ed up during the winter. Lack of boxing (which I was doing intensively, but suddenly stopped when entering College) made me quite a fat bastard. So did the pause from lifting. Okay.. eating probably also had something to do with it.

Normally I wouldn't care about bf% and just try to be as good as possible. But... oh my.. I really let myself go.

I've gained 41 inch (104cm) gut and 26% bf @ 196 lbs (= 89kg) for fuck's sake. I've only recently become 20yo, so this isn't a bright prospect for the future. I need to do some recompositioning.

I really need to pull myself together and make some drastic changes! I started doing this 'Leangains' program I found somewhere, which is basicly a 16/8 fast. I kind of like it (but this is just the 3rd day) because it enables me to go to sleep with a satisfied feeling instead of craving for food in the night.

However, I think need to complement this with a solid PL training program. To prevent strength losses while losing weight, and as a beginner perhaps even hit some PRs. I haven't really had a real program before - I would just focus on 3x a week full body workouts with the big 3 at 80%'ish. The 5/3/1 thing looks pretty interesting tbh.

All help will be appreciated!

PS: I posted this originaly in the PL-section of the forum, but thought I might as well ask the bodybuilders what they think about it. Afterall, recompisition is kind of a bodybuilding-trade (:. So don't be offended to see the same text twice haha.


Leangains works.

Do 5/3/1

Start your first cycle pretty light and then progressively strive to keep lifting heavier after each cyle....

I like beginning strength programs with "light weights" the first cyle through because it gives me a good base to build on and keep the nervous system ready to adapt and make progress....Pounding it too heavy all the time causes me to stall out fast...steady progress week after week even if it's small progress adds up to big results.


Hey man, thank's for the quick reply. About that leangains thing: the guy (Berkhan I think he's called) says on the website that he believes the cals should be -20% on off days, and +20% on training days...

But that doesn't really make sense does it? I mean.. that would leave a 0 deficit.. but isn't deficit that what's it all about?

Do you guys have any tips regarding how to plan the 5/3/1 within a fasted state?

Btw, just for the record:
I'm 20yo
26% bf
196 lbs/89kg
6ft / 182cm

According to exrx my maintenance cals are:
+/- 1750 on off days
+/- 2050 on lifting days


the program is set up to make lean GAINS. In your situation you want to cut . therefore you would want to drop cals. A good starting point would be 300-500 cals and work from there.


Good point, it's 4 am so I'm not thinking all too clearly I guess! Would you say -20% on off days and 0% on lifting days is a solid way to cut with reserving as much strength/muscle as possible?


+20/-20 is great for making strength gains while maintaining body fat. If you want to drop body fat then you will need to do something more like 0/-30. 5/3/1 is a great, program but it's a little trickier with leangains for fat loss because it's four day per week training program. With leangains you typically eat around maintenance (a little more or a little less depending on your goals) on training days, and below maintenance on rest days. This works great with a 3 day per week training program, but won't yield very much fat loss with a 4 dya per week training plan.

If you want to do 5/3/1 (which is a great program) and combine it with Leangains, I'd recommend choosing three of the four workouts as "primary", in which case you would eat around maintenance level calories on those days. Then on your three rest days, and one other training day (possibly standing press day, or bench day) eat -30% maintenance level calories. That should yield pretty quick fat loss while still maintaining or gaining strength.

Martin also recommends walking several times a week for cardio, while 5/3/1 recommends two sessions of sprints or prowler work per week. Don't know which is more useful.


Training 4 times a week is actually a nice thing I hope. It will keep me sharp. Though training while fasting is a bitch (like i experienced yesterday). But it's probably just a mental thing right? If I had to pick a day, it would idd be the Press-day that I would -30% on.

The bike-ride to the gym is about 3k. If I add some walking (30 minutes) on off-days, would that be a good thing, or a bit too much with -30%?

Would there be room for calisthenics (push-ups, sit ups, BW squats) in this schedule? It's just that I downloaded some sweet apps on my smartphone that train you too reach 100+100+100 pushes,sits and squats lol.


The bike-ride to the gym isn't gonna cause any issues as long as you aren't going balls to the wall. Also, 30 minutes walking on off-days is a great idea. Good way to get some extra calories burned without interfering with recovery. I did a leangains cut at the end of last year, training three times a week and walking on the off days.


Be honest with yourself, these diet recommendations for someone with no disciple with food are probably going to never happen. Just make or buy the normal amount of food you eat and no matter what the case only eat 3/4th of it. Drink 3/4th of that pop. Cut a 1/4th pie slice out of your cheeseburger and toss it out etc... Do that for a couple weeks and let us know where your at. If you can start exercising more in that period do that as well


Yeah.. a 26% bf automaticly means I'm stuffing myself with cheeseburgers all day.

Let's just keep assuming I really am stuffing myself with cheeseburgers all day: how the hell would slicing just 1/4th away of a burger help, and is recommending smaller portions for someone who (in your words) has no discipline with food really something that would work instead of a 16/8 fast? Did you ask yourself these question before posting?

Not to be a dick mate but after austin's, jtown's and ethanwest's great advice - this what you are doing is just like telling a 12yo to stop wanking cuz his dick will fall off. Oh my, I'm a mean fat bastard jiggles his belly


Ah cool to hear. But me sticking to 4 days won't really be a problem right? Cuz I did see something on the leangains website about training 3 times a day, but I don't really think the guy has any strenght-coaching capabilities. He just seems like a Men's Health kinda guy. So I'll just do the press day with -30% cals.

But what do you think about calisthenics I meantioned earlier? We used to do those a lot with boxing, and I don't want to give them up now that I'm getting a hold of myself again. Should I do them on off days, or would that be too much?


I dont think doing that stuff on your off days would be a issue. Heck, in the 5/3/1 ebook Jim tells you to do hill sprints or prowler on your off day(s). I just started 5/3/1 and I feel your pain on the fasted training. Squats at 5am with nothing but coffee in my system got me pretty lightheaded by the time I was done. Might try just having a granola bar + water next time.


Hehe, couldn't it be that being awake at 5am is what got you light headed? ^^

Good point btw, calis won't really be more taxing than hill sprints I guess. However, as far as I know JW never intended 5/3/1 as a cutting thing. But I guess what with excess cals make muscle should burn fat with deficient cals.


You could be right, but I didnt really get light headed until I was in the car on my way home. I've de-railed your thread enough already. Try the cali's on your off day and keep us updated. This is pretty much pulled right from the ebook.. "I donâ??t care when or how you get this conditioning done, and I donâ??t care whether it happens on your off days or not. This only time this matters is when you live in the Land of the Vag. Do it when you have time. Make time for it. Just get it done. Nobody ever got strong or got in shape by thinking about it. They did it".

Hope that helps!


I stuff myself with cheeseburgers all day



In Wendler?s ebook he has a 5/3/1 template in which he uses bodyweight exercises as assistance work, he uses dips, chins, one legged squat or lunges, push ups and glute ham raise. So I think you could use you?re BW exercise program as an assistance program after the main lift


you also train like the world's gonna end tomorrow

you should start something like the "Blackaggar Street Meat Bulk" diet

OP, post some pics of mandatory poses. as Elevenmag said, maybe all you really need is to eat sensibly and train regularly.


A lot of, shall we call them "modern age" bodybuilders do this sort of thing the day after training a certain body part to speed up recovery (I believe CT has talked about this). Say the day after squatting, you'd do bodyweight squats. Just so long as you don't push it too far, it won't interfere with recovery.

Also, I wouldn't get too hung up with the percentages calorie-wise; just go by your weekly feedback (losing fat? no? reduce more...)


Ok thanks! That's a good idea too keep expanding the "100-insert exercise here" goal. And to focus less on maths.

About the mandatory poses... ehh.. what do you mean?


It was fr0IVIan who said that...maybe he wants to see your belly? (I've heard he's into that sort of thing) :stuck_out_tongue: