T Nation

Hey, Paul, Fan of Your Stuff, I Have a Couple of Questions


#1

Hey Paul,

New poster here, really like your articles. I’ve provided a bit of a background to give you some guidance in answering my questions here, but the gist is that I’m a young guy, not very developed, and with a poor skinnyfat physique. Ive given some basic outline of how I’m currently eating/training, I’ll elaborate in my questions. There’s a lot of conflicting diet tips in many articles, such as that with macro and nutrient timing which has led to confusion, and you’re a guy I trust to clear those up. I have a basic understanding of what “good bodybuilding foods” are, it’s just the amounts and ratios that confuse me.

Question 1: As a skinnyfat, do I bulk or just recomp (you can decide from my thread). I’m already at a lowish weight, I’d say maybe around 13%bf but you say people should be 10% in this article.

Question 2: Regarding training, I am doing 5/3/1; it is simple and easy for me to actually do the most “Accurately”, as I homegym (barbell, pullup bar, barebones style) and can’t really get to an actual gym to do a real training program with cables and stuff. Anyways, on the training front, I had a question about cardio, how do I approach that? I am doing maybe about 1-2hrs a week, but I don’t really know what type and how often I should be doing it…HIIT? Steady State? Some people say no cardio should be done, while some like Wendler advocate for it.

Question 3: You say your macro split should be 60/30/10 C/P/F respectively for "skinny: guys , could you elaborate on that? That’s pretty low fat, which is contrary to what guys like Chris Shugart and TC Luoma advocate for.

Sorry if this comes out a bit unclear, but there’s a lot of stuff I’d like to understand, tell me if you need me to clarify my questions.


#2

The macros thing is usually the most confusing part for bruhs.

Mainly you have to look at these things as guidelines. What I recommend may be different than what someone else recommends. We’re both “right”. They all work, but the law of individuality will dictate that each person will naturally do better with one “style” of dieting than another.

I personally have found that I do better with fat loss by using a low fat approach. I’ve had clients that did better with moderate carb/fat intake, and of course clients that did best with low carb and higher fat intakes.

It really all comes back to sustainability. The approach that you can adhere to on a consistent basis is the one that will work “best” for you. That means you’re going to have to experiment. Despite what “science” tells you or what you read in an article or a study, eventually YOU have to figure out the dietary approach that works best for you, your goals, lifestyle, and preferences.

And the only way to go about finding out which one, is to actually be your own scientist.

Your n=1 is really the only one that ultimately matters. A study or article can’t tell you what diet is REALLY best. And science has actually done a good job of telling us that when protein and calories are equated for, that they all work fairly equally.

This is why I have never gotten into the whole “diet wars” thing because I know through both my own experience and from clients and science, there is no “one size fits all” here.

The one thing I can say is this, you can’t go wrong with emphasizing protein and veggie intake. From there, it’s really about manipulating carb and fat intake to your preference.

One you figure out your caloric intake for fat loss or gain, then you’ll have the foundation to work from that works best for you all the time.