T Nation

Help, I Need Advice

Hi guys I need your help. Desperately.

To start things off I would just like to mention that I am a huge fan of T-Nation and frequent the site daily. I often spend a lot of time reading various articles and forums and have become incredibly interested in improving my strength and physique over the last year.

I have participated in sports ever since I have been able to walk and had always enjoyed competition.

I had never truly realized what it took though, to participate at a varsity level until sophomore year of high school. Between sophomore year and junior year I began lifting and using creatine despite possessing only elementary knowledge in these areas.

It was not until the summer between junior and senior year when I met an avid T-Nation reader and training veteran that I finally began to lift and eat correctly.

That summer while bulking and training for football I began to learn the ropes of proper nutrition and lifting and went from 170 lbs to 200 lbs and raised my bench max about 50 lbs and improved vastly in many other areas.

This was accomplished in the span of about one month and a half, utilizing a healthy high calorie diet and supplements such as whey protein, methoxy pro, zma, bcaas, xtend, ice, Metabolic Drive and anagen.

After football had ended, in order to prepare for wrestling I began to cut weight using the velocity diet. I dropped to 173 lbs and maintained that weight while lifting and wrestling and became leaner through out the months.

I wanted to get bigger though but without counting calories and as a result I �??bulked�?? to 205 at approximately and significantly increased my strength…and bodyfat for that matter as well.

At 205 and between 17-20 percent bodyfat I decided that I needed to get lean and did the V-diet a second time around and am currently around 174/175 at what I estimate to be 11-12 percent bodyfat. (Pictures provided below).

I have been training for about a year and a half seriously and have tried all different types of training from Waterbury’s ABBH, to Dan John’s OLAD, to Thib’s OVT and HS100.

I have gone through many cycles of weight gain and loss. I have made many mistakes and have learned a lot over the years. I try to read everything under the sun and talk to as many professionals as possible but as a result of my fascination with lifting and nutrition I feel a bit overwhelmed and am looking for some advice.

My current consesus is that I should primarily focus on strength, especially in my 3 main lifts and that I should use John Berardi’s methods of 7 highly effective nutritional tips and monitoring progress each two weeks adjusting calories as such.

I have eaten completely clean for the last year and half and rarely ever cheat, I am just confused as what method I should go about to gain lean mass without adding much fat. At the moment I follow all of Jb’s 7 rules without error eat approximately a little over my protien requirement, eat veggies and fruits with every meal and supplement pre during and after workouts with Surge.

I would like to stay around the same bodyfat while gaining muscle mass and strength. Would the zone diet or Thib’s carb cycling codex be a good place to start? I own John Berardi’s scrawny to brawny but feel like I will gain too much fat with his calorie recommendations. I am incredibly paranoid about putting on fat and �??losing my progress�?? since I really really dont want to be fat ever again but understand I must eat a caloric surplus in order to grow.

Should I follow John Berardi’s massive eating calculator and use the zone ratios? Or should I follow his method for finding RMR and so on and thus determining calorie needs that way? I just need help at this moment and suggestions for finding a nutritional regiment that will allow me to gain muscle while minimizing fat.

In regards to training I have decided before starting any new intense programs I should correct my body’s imbalances with a 3-6 week corrective program as recommended in Scrawny to Brawny.

I will appreciate any advice given as I am desperate to improve my body composition and strength.

My current stats are:

Age: 20
Weight: 174
Bf: approx 12?
Height: 5’9�??

3 Rep max:

Flat Bench: 250
Squat: 315
Deadlift: 350

Here are some pictures before and afters:

before vdiet:




I know my chest and V spread look is lacking but I am not looking to be flamed I would just like some advice that could help point me in the right direction.

If JBs calculator is too high, back off a little. It’s not set in stone but a recommendation.

And don’t be afraid to put on fat, it will limit your progress. Apparently, it has to be said though, just don’t put on a lot of fat in comparison to muscle.

nice swingset

who is this training vet you speak of? :wink: