T Nation

Help Out a Long Time Lurker on Training

Whats up T-Nation?

I need some input.

I have been lifting pretty much consistently (3 days a week or more) for the past 14 years. I had some big years and now I am trying to restructure my body. I am in my early thirties, my knee joints are worn out from sports, and I am ready to just sit around 10 percent body fat and under 200. Currently, I am 6 foot 2 195. I measure at 12.5 percent body fat using a hand held unit. I want to get down to 10 percent. I am not sure how I need to approach this because I spent the majority of my lifting years trying to get damn big. I have posted some pics of me in the last few months, one is flexed the other is casual. Please note, I have always suffered from skinny not cut, I guess this is called ectomorph. My big days I was 240 and pretty strong but goals and life has changed.

My current routine is similar to dogg crapp training in structure, with the last set being a hard working triple drop set on most exercises.

3 days a week lifting alternating workouts between 1, 2, 3, 4. 1 and 3 focus on chest, shoulders, tris, and back. 2 and 4 focus on biceps, forearms, calves, hams, quads.

1: Incline Bench, Smith Shoulder Press, Weighted Dips, Weighted Pullups, BB Bent Over Rows
2: Curls on Curl Bar, Hammer Curls, Calf Press, Seated Leg Curl, Hack Squats (bad knees)
3: Incline DB Press, Standing BB Press, Skullcrushers, Weighted Pullups to back of head, Stiff Leg Deadlift
4: Preacher Curls, Forearm Curls, Calf Raises, Sumo Squat/Press, Leg Press

I am now throwing it some thai boxing 2 times a week. I would like to also implement some sort of HIIT cardio until I get my bf percentage down.

As for diet an example meal is:

breakfast: Protein fruit smoothie, couple egg whites
Prework: chicken, veggies, applesauce
Postworkout: chicken, veggies, applesauce
Dinner: Rice or potato, Beef or chicken, some veggies
Snacking: guilty of taking in around 350 or so calories of snacking, such as a cookie and chips etc.

I have work to do on the snacking.

Just so my goals are clear: get down to 10 percent body fat then maintain. Try to keep what muscle I do have currently.


What do I need to do?
Am I what some deem skinny fat? Not sure what that even means?
Do I need to put on size or would a cut down work effectively?
So any input would be great, thanks for looking.

Here is the picture with some flexing

Do not ever label yourself. Bad for the psyche.

Short answer? Eat more and lift more. You have a good base, now the real fun begins.

Longer answer? Im 6’3, 225 and considered small by T-Nation standards. So, yeah.

Look, I also have bad knees (5 operations total), but I still manage to reach 300 lbs squat (before I got hurt last summer). Squats (in moderation) is the best exercise I’ve done for my knees. I’m actually back at 225 and should reach 275 by mid summer. Nothing amazing here, but if you saw my knee xray, well, you would be happy like I am.

I personally don’t like your split. But that is me. I always recommend a proven program.

If you don’t mind Plyo’s and jumping, WS4SB v3 is excellent. Will work nicely with your Thai boxing.

Texas Method is also a nice one to follow.

And even a 5/3/1 with emphasis on conditioning might be what you are looking for.

There are a lots of effective programs, choose one, start today and be consistent.

But damn, you need to eat.

Thanks JFG for the response. You are not the first to tell me to put on more muscle instead of worrying about cutting down. My only issue is: I do not want to get that big anymore. I had fun doing it in early adulthood and now with kids, etc. I want more of a leaned out build with less weight. I know it sounds about as qu33r as twilight movie but I want to see some cuts. So if you are stating that I need more muscle to even make the cuts worth it I understand.

At 196 and 12 percent bodyfat, how much would I likely weigh at 10 percent bodyfat. I know it is guesswork but an educated guess is likely to come from t nation than elsewhere.

^^if you lost 5lbs of pure body fat you would be right around 10% but that doesn’t take water weight/glycogen stores/possible muscle loss into account so in all actuality it would probably be more (probably closer to 10lbs)

Im not exactly sure what you’re going for with the 10%BF deal but, in all honesty, at 6’2 185 and 10%BF you’re just going to look very skinny.

When you say you want to get to 10%, I am guessing you wish to look leaner. At your body composition, the best way to look leaner IMHO, is to focus on getting stronger and increasing scale weight slowly.

You want to see the scale weight going up slightly to know you are in a surplus, but make sure your weights in the gym are moving up progressively to ensure you are putting on muscle. Adding some muscle to your frame will make you look leaner at this point than trying to diet down.

Think about working UP to 10% bodyfat; you can either lose fat to get to 10%, or add muscle and get to 10%, which method do you think will make you look better?

gonna have to agree with JFG, creating your own workout plan is doomed to produce less than optimal results. I’ve been following WS4SB for about 2 years (check out Joe Defranco, use google) and i like it alot.

as for nutrition, at a glance, those veggies should be consumed at another time. Post workout is when you want simple carbs. swap “dinner” and “post w/o”. I’d also lean towards dropping the applesauce, which is often packed with sugar unless it’s organic, and even then sugar content is pretty high, which you should avoid, except for post w/o. Maybe consider swapping applesauce for cottage cheese. As well as your breakfast, i’d maybe go with some slower digesting carbs like oatmeal instead of the fruit, although i’d still keep the protein shake, sans fruit.

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Thanks everyone for the replies. After a TON of research, utilizing the input I have received from the posters above and this website specifically, and checking out quasi clinical studies, I have decided to go forward with WS4SB. I spent excessive amounts of hours, in turn pissing off the wife and kids trying to narrow my choice.

I will begin today.

This is not something I take lightly. Hence why I put myself out here for input and criticism. I am now changing my methods to reach my goals. I will put on some muscle to offset the body fat % and at the same time maintain a good level of athleticism. I still do not want to get real big. I am at a point in my life where bodybuilding is important but I need to not just work towards “all show no go.” I appreciate the advice and I will keep everyone updated. I realize that most could give a sh1t, rightfully so, but perhaps I can be used a test subject.

SW4SB is a good choice here. Just focus on diet and modify the snacking.

Whats up everyone?
Just some updates. It has been around 4 months since I posted my questions. I have since implemented ws4sb III over this period. I have experienced some big gains in terms of strength. For instance, I have gone up by:

70lbs on my stiff leg deadlifts
30lbs on incline bench
20lbs on flat bench
80lbs on bb shrugs
30lbs on bb shoulder press

I have also enjoyed gains in every single exercise I have incorporated in the program, although most not nearly as dramatic as above. I think I can attribute this to higher intensity along with a much better workout program. At the same time I have lost some weight because I cleaned up my diet (controlled snacking?huge issue, controlled caloric intake, better protein intake, ¾ non-meat diet, etc.)

For summer, I have started to incorporate the finishers from the Built Like A Badass program into the ws4sb III program. I only hit muay thai once or twice a week at best so I believe these finishers will go a long way. Combat sports are just not very accommodating to my family, work, and general desire at this point in my life.

I am stronger but not yet at my goals. I am working on definition and strength at the same time. My goals are the same, get defined and gain strength in order to build the body. Kind of a paradox but right now it is working as long as continue to lose fat in a slow sustainable manner and not try to drop too fast.

I still lurk all the time and it seems those achieving great results are those that get stronger in the weight room and have a good diet. Pretty simple yet pretty damn grueling some days.