T Nation

High Body Fat Percentage


Hey guys,

I'm still a little new (10 months in) to powerlifting, when I first started I weighed about 140lb and since then I reached 160lb but my bf % is around 25% which is too high for me.

My height is 5'8 and I want to maintain my 160lb weight, maybe go up to 165lb but I'd rather not, all while reducing my bf %.

At the moment I'm doing 5/3/1 (4-day split). I never really had a diet plan, I kind of just ate whatever I wanted to but I will begin to eat clean, unprocessed food.

Aside from eating cleaner, I was debating whether I should

1) add a medium to high intensity cardio exercise like incline walking (4 x 30 mins/week) to burn bf %
2) bulk up to 170-175 then cut to 160lb, repeat till i'm satisfied
2) or cut down to 145-150lb then bulk to 160lb, repeat till i'm satisfied


You are at a place where you should neither bulk nor cut. Just recomp. Add 1-2 sessions of sprint intervals or hill sprints per week, and watch the results. Those also boost GH and testosterone levels, causing a sustained metabolic increase. Find a hill that takes anywhere from 20-40 seconds to run up it as fast as you can, and do 5 repeats, with decent rest time between, maybe a couple minutes. Find a track, warm up, and sprint a 400m, rest 3 minutes, and sprint 300m, rest 2 min then sprint 200m, rest 1 minute and sprint 100m.


Sprints or other "hard" conditioning are a good idea, but don't discount walking. I'm not sure why you consider incline walking "medium to high intensity" cardio, but it IS a good option for low intensity work that won't interfere with recovery. If you're on a treadmill just keep your heart rate under 65%. If you're walking outside you don't have to worry about heart rate or anything and just walk until you don't want to anymore. Do that at least a few times a week, but every day honestly wouldn't kill you, especially if you choose the outside option.

Clean up your diet, sprint or do other hard conditioning 1-2 times per week (start with 1), and walk for a couple hours a week. You'll look like a new person in no time. Also, obviously don't slack off on your lifting in favor of conditioning, but realize that it may take your body a few weeks to adjust to the new stimulus you're adding. Don't freak out if squats are harder after your first sprint session, and adjust your lifting volume and intensity accordingly.


Thanks guys, I was debating walking to the gym (45 min round trip) but now I'm convinced I should


Try it and see if it affects your lifting. If not, do it. If so, find a way/ time to fit some conditioning in that won't affect your training. Because if a 20 minute walk wears you out, your conditioning needs work.


How old are you and how much training experience do you have?


At 25% BF I would focus on getting that down. It is just unhealthy. If you are lifting 4x per week there is no reason why you cannot reduce BF% with just correct dieting. Nothing crazy needed. Figure out your total calorie requirement, macros and design a meal plan. Plan your meals, no more eating whatever. If you are lifting heavy you will recomp just fine once your diet is on point.


5-8 and 160 at 25% bf? Means you are about 120 without the fat.

dude just lift and eat. nothing more, nothing less.


I parked my car in a grocery store parking lot last night walked to the gym and back which was about 20 mins. It wasn't bad at all and soothing actually. I'll up that to 30-40 mins next then by the end of this week I'll try and walk to the gym from my house which should be about 50 mins.

About 10 months of experience, all in powerlifting. I'm 24.

I started tracking it since yesterday:

2640 calories
72 fats
354 carbs
152 protein

I go a bit over in my fats (+9 today) and carbs (+11 yesterday) but for the most part its all close, I need to work on it just a little bit more and get it all within my limits.

Also, I did start tracking my food and I'm doing the IIFYM with the numbers posted above, yesterday I ate healthy but today I went to pizza hut buffet (lol) but stayed within my limits for the most part, went +9 in fats.

That's the plan, just won't go over my calories/fats/carbs limit.


Adding the walking in should have you right where you need to be by October.......2017. The human body is very efficient at walking. Doing some type of occasional sprint, or HIIT is more for the hormonal response than just the net calorie burning. Don't go crazy, but 1 session every 5 days will start to show results within a few weeks.