T Nation

How Long to Reach Your Goals?

Something that’s been rumbling around in the back of my mind. I’ve been training for almost a year and a half. I’ve learned a great deal. Here’s the snapshot

Beginning - 10/2006
Bodyweight: 240
Bodyfat: 24%
Bench: 135
Squat: 225 (half-squat)
Deadlift: 245

Current
Bodyweight: 230
Bodyfat: 20%
Bench: 245
Squat: 350 (full-squat)
Deadlift: 380
Clean&Jerk: 245
(all in lbs)

My original reason for lifting- to drop my bodyfat to 10%- still eludes me though. When I tried the velocity diet, I got freaked out when the fat-loss stalled for over a week and aborted it. When I add HIIT to my training, it either doesn�??t work fast enough or I do it too much and burn myself out.

My point isn’t to complain about how hard it is to achieve weightlifting goals. I�??ve learned from every failure, and I feel I’ve finally got the patience to cut wisely.

In the early weeks of the physique clinic, Shugs posted an article about his Phoenix theory, what drives people to change. The thing that got me about it was that he pointed out (from his experience) that while the spark itself is often sudden, the physical change sometimes takes several attempts to manifest.

And that’s kind of what I feel I’ve been going through. I’ve developed a healthy consistency with both my lifting and my eating, and I’ve developed the time management skills and priorities that enable me to do both even when pressed.

So, to end a long rambling post, it’s taken (and will take) a while for me to reach my initial physique goals. How long has it (will it) take you?

Well I haven’t reached my physique goal, as I tend to look at the big picture, and along the way set timelines and mini goals.

It’ll prolly take me a lifetime, as I’ll continue to want to push myself to new levels of fitness of differents types.

It took me about two years to reach my original strength goal, the good old 300 bench 400 squat 500 dead. I gained about 40lbs in that time and was happy with the level of size and muscle development my training had brought me. I have occasionally gotten stronger and bigger but for the most part have only trained to maintain for the last eight years.

Never

I’m not saying to be a dick man. But if you’ve only lost 10 pounds in a year, you need to switch you shit up.

I’d drop the weight lifting all together, and just focus on running and building a running base.

When I got serious about cutting, I cut about 30 lbs of fat in 2 and a half months.

This was for wrestling after football in high school.

I’d suggest doing alot of running and calisthetics cuz you’re progress sucks right now.

I doubt your lifting is really doing anything for you. You’re obviously not making a serious composition change.

Go back to lifting when you’ve built up your other base.

That’s what I’m doing right now.

Post your training and diet. You don’t give enough info to make a judgement call.

At first glance, I would say your diet is not very tight.

[quote]Sikkario wrote:

I’d suggest doing alot of running and calisthetics cuz you’re progress sucks right now.

[/quote]

Worst advice I have ever heard. Maybe you should quit trying to be an expert. You obviously know dick about training and diet.

Caloric deficit. You need to eat less. That’s basic. Eat less than what you spend.

I doubt I’ll ever reach my physique goals because I set them too high.

Not trying to be an expert, just relating what I know works for me.

If he runs, ALOT and he does alot of pushups, situps, squats, frog jumps, wall pushups, backwards bushups, triangle pushups.

He’ll make alot quicker gains, than driving to the gym, lifting some shit. Drviing home, three days a week.

Ya you’re right about diet, but I don’t really think he knows what he is eating considering he has only lost 10 lbs in a year.

Right now, I’m doing the running calisthenics and just some basic lifts cuz I’m overweight too, so I was just trying to help out with what works foe me.

[quote]Sikkario wrote:

He’ll make alot quicker gains, than driving to the gym, lifting some shit. Drviing home, three days a week.

[/quote]

I doubt it. Cardio only is the worst way to maintain any muscle mass.

The guy has not offered enough info for any type of advice. You’re telling him to leave the weights alone and do cardio only without even knowing what he is doing in the gym.

This is not the political forum. Half assed opinions like yours don’t need to be posted until you have enough info to make an educated guess.

Let’s not hijack this thread man, and I’m not tyring to assassinate your opinion you obviously have good knowledge on the subject.

But I never said anything about cardio, I said running, and calisthetics. Calisthetics are strength building exercises and MAINTAIN muscle mass.

Running builds muscle as well and burns fat, something he direly needs, it will build up the core if he gets serious about it.

Most MMA fighters, do calisthetics to maintain their strength and mass.

I’ve increased my bench going from pushups and running only and back into the gym.

Also, he never asked for advice on his training methods, he indicated how long it takes to reach your goals. I saw he hasn’t done shit, so suggest an alternative.

I don’t need to argue this anyways. I’ll stick with my idea, and post results. I stand by this assertion I’ve made.

Let’s make a pact man, we argued in one political thread, but let’s not take this all over T-Nation. I have no intention to single you out.

My room-mate lost 30 pounds (205 to 175) in about 5 months by going to the gym every day and eating alot better than he was. Cut down big on sugary foods.

He ran about a mile a day and did some light lifting, and now he runs 5k every day with the same light lifting.

I am in no position to give advice, but thats what worked for him.

The statement that calisthetics maintaining mass and strengh is not true. If all you did was a lot calisthectics after you have been lifting for a year and half, you would lose both mass and strengh. I took martial arts after several years of lifting. I stopped lifting while i was taking martial arts and i lost both mass and strengh. However, i still was in great shape; but in a different kind of shape than i was lifting.

I agree with others; dont stop your lifting program; the only reason to go to a heavy calisthectics program is if you are going into a sport that demands this type of program.

One thing i will say though is that i have found doing aerobic activity on my off lifting days a very effective method to burn extra fat off while maintaining or even still building mass/strengh. The main thing is when you combine the two is that the amount of aerobic activity and intensity must be kept reasonable. I usually do less than 30 minutes of aerobic activity on my off days; any more than this and i start crossing the threshold. I vary the intensity of my aerobic sessions based on how i feel. You mentioned HIIT burns you out; i am unsure how long or intense you are doing HIIT training; but i find most HIIT training to demanding.

Something more reasonable like MIIT (medium intensity interval training) might be better — jog one minute and walk one minute might be more appropriate as most HIIT programs are like sprint/jog— the intensity is just to high – also many people do HIIT well beyond 20 minutes which is also to much —at any rate, the fact you feel burned out after HIIT training means you are doing to high intensity or to long or both ---- something to think about.

I also disagree with others as far as your progress with your program. Your squat has increased from 225 to 350; this is great progress. You have lost 20 pounds of fat while gaining 10 pounds of muscle which is great. I would not listen to the people claiming they lost 30 pounds of fat in 2.5 months; this is not a healthy or longterm way to lose weight and is unrealistic for most people to achieve; however, your way is very realistic. I think your doing great… i would keep doing what your doing… change things up when you want to…but would not change in the sense of dropping your lifting program as some suggest you do…

iv been working at this for years…i’ll never quit, neither should you

I might as well add in my opinion, sikkario is wrong, rainjack is right.

A. at 240 you more than likely were not 24% bodyfat, you would have been a pretty big guy, and judging my your lifting numbers it isn’t so. What method did you have for testing your bodyfat.

B. we need to know your diet, trainign routine, and at least your calories per day.

C. this process takes time, but you progress seems to be a little lackluster. Though, judging my the increase in your lifting numbers you lost more than 10lbs of fat. Probably like 20-25 with a 10lb gain in lean mass, good job.

Losing weight is about 90% diet, 10% trainign, and about 50% mental. If we get more information we can give you some better advice, but judging by your “snapshot”, you are on the right track. Remember if you chase two drastically different goals at the same time you will have mediocre progress in both(which is about what your snapshot shows).

On to the positive and advice part, pick something and stick to it, pick the v-diet and finish it, regardless of what the scale said during the week(it lies). HIIT will work, you jsut need to keep it up and use it in moderation(2x a week). But, HIIT is not a good idea during the vdiet or any other large calorie restriction as your body will start canabolizing lean mass and you WILL burn out. Some simeple things taht you can do would be to move more.

Get up every morening a half hour early and go for a walk. I have lost just over 50lbs now in the last 10 months, IT IS EASY, JUST REALLY HARD. Tighten your diet down, for me it is about 2400 cals a day to drop fat(all clean and properly timed), 3500 cals a day to gain mass, and about 3000 cals a day to maintain.

Keep up the good work, take everything with a grain of salt and be a man in the kitchen, it is where it really counts.

Wow. I really appreciate the response from everyone, thank you.

I wasn’t really fishing for tips/tricks. What I really wanted to do with this thread was acknowledge that sometimes our goals take a little bit longer than we expect to acheive them, and I wanted some feedback to make sure I’m not alone in this experience.

However, you asked, and I’d welcome some advice.

Diet:
Right now I’m on maintenance. I wanted to try out the anabolic diet, and have really enjoyed me experience on it so far.

  1. 6ggs, 1cp Mozcheese, 5 slc bacon.
    900 kcal
  2. 2scp whey, .5cp p-nut, .66cp flax meal
    900 kcal
  3. 8 oz. ground chuck.
    500 kcal
  4. 2cans tuna, .25cp EVOO
    800 kcal
  5. 8oz chicken, .25 cp EVOO, 5 slc bacon
    1000, 4100 total

As per Anabolic diet, I carb-up on Saturday, usually
2 cups oats
2 bowls capn crunch
5 whole wheat eggos
.5cp karo syrup
some things I can’t remember.
Probably about 3000-3500 kcals.

To head off the first ten responses THIS IS MAINTENANCE ON THE ANABOLIC DIET. My weight and BF have stayed the same since I started it, which is good. I mean, it’d be cool if it had dropped, but I wanted to make sure I did the transition right, eating enough food. And I think I have.

Training: I’ll lift M-W-F, shifting between these two workouts.

Day 1:
Deadlift 5x5
Weighted Pushups 5x5
Barbell Rows 5x5

Day 2:
Front Squat 5x5
Lat Pulldown 5x5
Dumpbell Military Press 5x5.

WHEN I CUT (which should start late in March due to religious fasting), I’ll cut out the bacon and trade the cookies and junk on my carb-up day for fruit in the morning and pasta in the evening (several helpings of both). And I’ll start following this training program

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/bodybuilding/the_waterbury_summer_project

I think what’s taken me so long is that I have only recently been this consistent. Consistency, it turns out, is key.

So there goes guys. Tear me apart. And post your own stories of success, mitigated or otherwise!

I didn’t mean drop the weights for good, I meant build up a base of weight loss, whatever. I’m not the experienced guy on this subject so I’ll stfu.

[quote]Otep wrote:
Wow. I really appreciate the response from everyone, thank you.

I wasn’t really fishing for tips/tricks. What I really wanted to do with this thread was acknowledge that sometimes our goals take a little bit longer than we expect to acheive them, and I wanted some feedback to make sure I’m not alone in this experience.

[/quote]

I think your right on with the point you were trying to make. From personnel experience, i can say the programs that work best are the long term programs that may not give the fasted results; but continue to give results over the long term even though the results may come slow.

To many people like to go into the super bodybuilding/lifting and diet routine for quick results; however, many people end up dropping these “super sized” routines because they are just to much for the long term. Sure, some of these super routines work for some people, but not all of us.

As far as feed back, i am afraid to give any as you are still making progress; you pointed out that you have not been as consistent as you should of been in past year; however, you still made gains; which means if you want faster gains you only have to make your consistency better (which is something you seem already aware of) and not necessarily change your program.

With regard to diet, if its working for you; i would keep with it-- if this is the diet you have been following for the past year, i would not change it as you have lost wieght and if you were more consistent with your exercise program; you would probably lose weight even more quickly without changing the diet.

Will say that in general that many people make the mistake of not getting enough calories when starting a lifting program in combination with a diet program; seems like you have avoided this mistake- think you are on the right track with what ever you are doing with your diet.

With regard to workout program; wonder why you have weighted pushups rather than bench press as i would think there would be a limit on how much wieght you could put on your back to do wieghted pushups unless you are just going to higher reps? If going to higher reps, you may end up with strengh imbalance as you are doing bent over rows and other exercises in the 5 rep range. Just something to think about.

[quote]ds77 wrote:

With regard to workout program; wonder why you have weighted pushups rather than bench press as i would think there would be a limit on how much wieght you could put on your back to do wieghted pushups unless you are just going to higher reps? If going to higher reps, you may end up with strengh imbalance as you are doing bent over rows and other exercises in the 5 rep range. Just something to think about.
[/quote]

All the benching stations at my gym are usually full this time of year. Benching within 2-3 months of new years seems to take much longer than it should. Weighted pushups, on the other hand, have almost no set-up time, and no wait.

And they’re surprisingly difficult. I recommend them.