Help This Big Gutted Beginner

I went from 268 to 196 in about 6 months doing a cardio/boxing class 5 days a week. I learned to clean my bad eating habits in the process and transformed my body from a tub of lard to a regular guy with a gut. I have zero muscle definition and am ready to go to something intense like building muscle.

I am thinking of starting Rippetoes for six months.
My QUESTION is this:
Should I use this six months
to loose weight, cut more calories, even going low carb,
or should I use the fall and winter months to bulk and
worry about cutting later?

Heres a sample of my current diet:
3eggs and 2 whites
bowl of oats.

Protein shake- 52 prot

2-meal (post workout)
with either meat or a shake
to give me at least 25 grams of prot.
(5grams creatine)

1or 2 cups of green veggies
with 4-6 oz of meat/fish/or chicken

with either meat or a shake
to give me at least 25 grams of prot.
(5grams creatine)

1or 2 cups of green veggies
with 4-6 oz of meat/fish/or chicken

6-meal at bedtime
a shake with skimm milk and either P-Butter or come cottage cheese. to get me through the night
to give me more than 50 grams of prot.

I take a multi, fish oils, Flameout, and some generic bcca.

Oh: I forgot to mention:
Last friday I went to the gym to asses where I am at and boy do I suck!
I was able to do
after a warm up of each
3x5 of the following
I could probably do a little bit more weight but was terrified of breaking something.
Bench press:


full squat:


Since you’re a former fat boy I would keep cutting until you are at, say 15-14% Bodyfat.
It’s best to restore some insulin sensitivity before going on a bulk.

You should continue Rippetoes program and GET STRONGER while losing your flab. Cutting calories might leave too weak so I’d say carb cycling would be a better approach in your case. By the way, you must up your protein PWO to something along the lines of 70-80grams.

To sum this up, keep cutting while getting stronger (this is what preserves muscle mass during a cut actually) and watch your body transform. Do not get caught up on scale weight either but take some pictures instead and assess your body composition at regular intervals (say once every month or so).

I want to continue eating correctly and am afraid of carbs creeping up on me. I had read about carb cycling and thought it was meant more for maintenance of a lean physique. How can I continue loosing weight on a cabr cycle?

That’s a valid point, however, since you are new to muscle building I see the danger of you ending up as a skinny mo-fo if you restrict calories and carbs too vigorously.
If you say, have low carb days at 40grams, high carb days at 150grams (out of which at least 50% should be around or during your workout) and then medium days at about 80 grams, you would still lose bodyfat while allowing your muscles to be properly fueled on work-out days, which in turns translates into larger strength gains.

There is no need to be carbophobic as long as the carbs come from complex sources such as oatmeal, veggies or brown rice. Peri-workout carbs on the contrary should be fast-acting (bananas, maltodextrin, etc.). Again, I understand that because of your past you feel repulsed by carbs but don’t fall into the trap of avoiding them completely. When placed in the right amount at the right time they will benefit you.

Good read!

Good read indeed! Thanks.

Since my cardio consists of an hour of cardio/boxing, (shadow boxing/burpees/push ups/core training/ and hitting the heavy bag until you drop dead), should I leave my fear of carbs and consume a few more simple carbs before and after my cardio workout?

My second question would be, since I want to loose fat and keep muscle (and gain some if at all possible), should I do cardio at all on lifting days?

  1. Yes with regards to cardio carbs, since you have very taxing exercises in there.

  2. You can do your cardio on lifting days, just make sure that it’s a separate session AFTER your weight training in order to not compromise it.

Oh, and I can’t stress this enough, up your protein and bcaa’s , especially with such an activity level!

What I have gathered from this is that:
1- (as scary as it might sound to me) I will have to start eating more calories. Even cleaner, and more protein.
2- Time my Carbs to the point of fanaticism. release most of them, pre and post workout. (bannanas and maltodextrin (dextrose? from powdered sports drink?)
3- And since im over 35 start looking into supplements now rather than later (BCAA/ oils/ more protein/ milk (yes it is a supplement for some)/ and maybe some testo help for old farts)

And by the way, thanks a lot DRE for taking the time to reply. Its not easy going solo at this.