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I need help...fast!!!

Whew. Now that I have completed my three mag-10 cycles, I’m taking 5 full days off of the iron and working out light for the next two weeks. Believe me, the 'ol bod needs a break.

My question is on diet. I was taking in close to 5000 calories per day (400 grams protein) while working out three times per week. I know I have to cut down now, but I’m pretty stumped on what to reduce it to. I’m not too concerned about losing fat as fast as I gained the muscle, but rather preserving my lean mass.

I’ll be taking Methoxy-7, Tribex, M, and of course Myostat. Here are my questions:

  1. Should I keep protein as high as possible while keeping calories from carbs down?

  2. If I was taking in 5000 calories per day, how much should I reduce it to now for the next two weeks during recovery?

  3. I’m not looking to get shredded; I’d just maybe like to lose 5 or so pounds of fat and keep my newly earned muscle. Any ideas?

Once again, thanks in advance. This forum was instrumental in helping me gain 40 pounds; now I need your help in keeping it!!!

Bump fat intake to ~30% and consume maintainance calories. 1.35 g/lb of LBM is sufficient protein intake. Whatever is left over is your carb intake. This is ideal for natural testosterone recovery and retention of gains.

Mike - While I generally agree with Joel’s advice, I need to know what volume of lifting and cardio you plan for these weeks? How long have you been bulking? What was your body comp before bulking and now? I just need more background to give you a better answer.

Thanks for the quick response, guys.

Jason, unfortunately I didn’t do body comps before I started. My gym, as good as they are in other areas, wanted $75 to do the tests. I couldn’t fork over that much cash and still buy the amounts of Mag-10 I would have needed.

I can tell by looking in the mirror that my gains were mostly muscle, probably on the order of 80 percent.

As far as my workouts, I was lifting 3x per week, hitting each body part 1x per week. On major muscle groups I would do anywhere between 13 and 17 sets (all in reps of 10). Minor muscle groups received 8 to 10 sets each (again, all in sets of 10 reps). My calorie intake was at around 5000, with 400g protein.

For the next two weeks I will be doing moderate lifting, cutting back by 30 percent on both weight lifted and the number of sets. Cardio will be 3x per week at 30 minutes in the very low end of fat burning range. I know the body comp is the main piece of info you would need, but as I said, they want a lot of money to do it. I would guess my bodyfat at around 12 to 14 percent. Right now I’m 5’8", 208 pounds. Hope this helps you to help me!

It has been my experience that keeping the calories up, a little above maintainence (for the week after) will help you keep the gains with adding minimal body fat. Don’t drop the calories right away, do it slowly.

OK, I would still keep protein high and it is now time to boost your fat intake. Maintenance for you is probably right around 3500 calories or so. I personally like an isocaloric (1/3 protein, 1/3 carbs and 1/3 fat) approach when not on androgens, and I think it would be appropriate for you based on your style of training. This puts you at about 300g protein, 300g carbs, and about 125g fat (I round to whole numbers in general, so it is not exactly isocaloric).

Training looks ok, but I would focus more on strength. Keep intensity high, but cut back on volume. A classis 5x5 approach with heavy compound movements would be perfect in your case rather than cutting back on both intensity and volume. Poloquin's "Training with Maximal Weights" article way back in the first few issues would be a good place to start.

As for body composition and "fat burning zone" stuff. I have much more to add to that, but I would suggest reading the current post by Mufasa about bioimpedance. That should get you started with my thoughts on bioimpedance and body composition in general. Just scroll down to find that post.

As for the fat-burning zone concept, it's wrong. What is your goal with cardio? How do you handle it? Does it impact recovery? I can give you a few tips on maximizing your cardio time if you provide some feedback about your experiences and goals.

Sorry to keep bugging you, but everyone is an individual, so I'd rather get feedback from you and address your needs rather than bore you with a dissertation on cardio, although you can find that in some of my old posts.

Bonecollector adds some very good points. Drop your calories slowly, maybe 500 intially and 100 a day until you hit maintenance.

Jason, first of all, don’t be upset in the least about bugging me for information. I’ll answer as many questions as you throw at me :slight_smile:

Ok, let’s start with cardio goals. The reason I do such low impact / low intensity cardio workouts is that I want to burn some fat and give my heart a little exercise…nothing more. Is my thinking wrong? I tried to find the Mufasa article that you spoke about, but the search engine on the left isn’t working. I looked up “Mufasa” and got a user-defined error. Perhaps you could give me the link directly. In any case, if my thinking or my approach to cardio is off, by all means let me know how to rectify it.

The 5x5 approach definitely interests me. After 12 weeks of 10 rep sets, I’m ready for a change. Just so I’m clear, though, are you recommending I start this program now? I thought the whole point of the two-week “recovery” training was to take it easier on the body and to get it ready for the next wave of attack. Again, if I’m wrong, let me know.

Also, along this same subject line, don’t you think strength training and bodybuilding are different? In other words, the bodybuilder may not be the strongest of the lot, but clearly he or she looks the best. That’s really my goal. I don’t care as much about being powerfully strong as I do LOOKING powerfully strong. I’m a little nervous that the 5x5 program will give me huge strength gains but significantly less mass gains than I would have if I used the approach I had been using. I’d like to know your opinion on that as well.

As far as diet, I’m taking your advice. I’ll work my calories down to 3500 per day, reducing it steadily over the course of this week. I’ll keep the composition of food at 33/33/33 (or thereabouts!), and keep my protein intake at about 300g. I’m looking forward to your feedback.

“Ok, let’s start with cardio goals. The reason I do such low impact / low intensity cardio workouts is that I want to burn some fat and give my heart a little exercise…nothing more. Is my thinking wrong?”

No, your not wrong and it that is your goals then working out in the so-called "fat burning zone" will be ok. If you really want to burn some calories, then you need to crank up the intensity. I prefer Fartlek training where you adjust the intensity up and down as you go, but don't stop. (Read the current Cardio is Anabolic Post or the Sprinting for fat loss thread (they are both still active) for more info or I can bump up an old post where I discussed aerobic intensity and its relation to fuel mixture (carb/fat) burning, but it gets a little intense.)

"I tried to find the Mufasa article that you spoke about, but the search engine on the left isn't working. I looked up "Mufasa" and got a user-defined error."

Yeah, the search engine is up and down here, but just scroll down to page 3 or 4 for the post titled Jason N:BF% Follow Up.

"The 5x5 approach definitely interests me. After 12 weeks of 10 rep sets, I'm ready for a change. Just so I'm clear, though, are you recommending I start this program now?"

Yes!

"I thought the whole point of the two-week "recovery" training was to take it easier on the body and to get it ready for the next wave of attack. Again, if I'm wrong, let me know."

No, you are right, but by doing a 5x5 based program, you will be significantly cutting volume while providing a stimulus to maintain muscle mass and increase strength. Believe me, you will be taking it easier than a high volume hypetrophy based workout.

"Also, along this same subject line, don't you think strength training and bodybuilding are different? In other words, the bodybuilder may not be the strongest of the lot, but clearly he or she looks the best. That's really my goal. I don't care as much about being powerfully strong as I do LOOKING powerfully strong."

Yes, they are different, but both athletes need to use each other's primary training techniques from time to time. There comes a period in a bodybuilder's life when they have to become stronger before they can become bigger and there comes a time in a powerlifters life when they have to become bigger to get stronger.

"I'm a little nervous that the 5x5 program will give me huge strength gains but significantly less mass gains than I would have if I used the approach I had been using."

If all the work that you have been doing is 10+ reps, then you may be shocked to see that lower reps still cause significant hypertrophy and strength gains.

"As far as diet, I'm taking your advice. I'll work my calories down to 3500 per day, reducing it steadily over the course of this week. I'll keep the composition of food at 33/33/33 (or thereabouts!), and keep my protein intake at about 300g."

Very good! What are your goals for the future? How long do you plan to cycle 2on/2off with MAG-10?

BTW, as of when I wrote this, all the posts I referred to by title were active on the training/nutrition board, but they could be on page 1,2,3 or 4 so look around a bit.

Jason, just curious, when I write on this forum I am constantly making new paragraphs but only the first few lines seem to show up that way when my entries get posted. How are you able to make paragraphs throughout your longer posts? I’ll try adding two spaces in between paragraphs and see if that works.

Okay, onto the good stuff. I would definitely like you to bump the article on aerobic intensity and its relation to carb/fat burning. I was a personal trainer a LONG time ago in college (1990-1993) and the school of thought was always lower intensity + higher duration = fat burn, while higher intensity + lower duration = carb burn. If this thinking is now antiquated, I’d certainly like to know.

As far as the 5x5 routine, were you recommending that I use this only for two weeks and then return to my hypertrophy workout, or would it be better to perform this workout for an extended period of time; say six or eight weeks or something else?

Along this same line, you might be curious to know that while I did my Mag-10 cycles my lifting was almost non-existant in my off weeks. After such high intensity workouts, when you cut sets and weight by 1/3 you walk out of the gym feeling like you didn’t do much. But I have to tell you, each and every time I returned to the gym at full throttle my strength always improved. I think there’s some real value in making the recovery period a true “vacation” from any type of intensity. I never believed this myself, that taking two weeks “off” could be beneficial, but the proof in my case was unbelievable. I would only lose 1 to 2 pounds during this time, and it quickly came back once I started training hard and eating big. Another advantage to the break was allowing my body to rid itself of the little aches and pains that developed over the two weeks of high intensity poundings. I will DEFINITELY do the 5x5 routine, but I still think my body responds better when it gets a two-week break. If you’ve never tried taking a true “intensity” break, you might want to give it a go. It may not be the optimal way to train, but it certainly has worked well for me.

As far as the Mag-10, I don’t think I will be using it very often any more (maybe once every 5 or 6 weeks and only 1 dose per day as opposed to 2). With my weight gain goal reached (208 pounds as of yesterday), I’m not that concerned about adding muscle as quickly as before…I’d be happy to gain 10 pounds of muscle and lose 10 pounds of fat over the next year.

In that respect, I think the Myostat will help me do that. Just curious, are you taking Myostat? I’ve been on it almost 20 days. I think avoiding Mag-10 for a bit while I’m on Myostat will give me a good indication of how well the Myostat is working after 2 or 3 months.

Lastly, I would like to post some pics. I know someone on this forum had a web site that invited fellow T-Maggers to send him before and after pics and he would post them. Do you know who that is, or his e-mail address?

Ok, to make a paragraph, just use the following symbol: “<”“p”">" (delete the quotation marks).

I'll bump up my past post. What I originally say is almost totally correct, but Professor R. helped me clarify that there is a point where intensity increases so high that fat oxidation begins to get inhibited. We are actually working on an article together to further explain our thoughts on cardio. I'll bump it up for you.

As for lifting, if you don't plan on using MAG-10 for a while, then you may want to use a 5x5 program for longer than the 2 week recovery period, but you are also on myostat, so I would suggest 5x5 for 4 weeks and then go back to hypertrophy work with a focus on slow eccentrics and loaded passive stretching to stimulate satellite cell proliferation (this is completely a guess on what would help cause muscle cell hyperplasia). I think you will find the 5x5 refreshing.

As for complete rest periods, I agree with you. We need them. I just don't think you should take them immediately after MAG-10 or during Myostat.

As for what I'm doing. I'm cutting right now for at least 2 more weeks. Then I'm going to phase into an 8 (maybe longer) myostat bulking phase with 2 mag-10 cycles. You can read all about what I have been doing in the Getting Ripped Support Group version 2.0 thread and you can do a search for the original Getting Ripped Support Group thread for more background.

If you want to post pics, Eric has offered his site. I do have his email, but you are not allowed to post emails on this forum(not sure if you knew that). You can contact him through his website www.ericcressey.tripod.com/

Good luck!

Jason,

Thanks for bumping your article. While it was somewhat complicated technically, I did get the gist of it. It’s very interesting, and I will take your points into consideration when I delve more deeply into cardio after my bulking phase is completely done.

I tried to click on the website you listed, but it appears that site is no longer available. Any ideas?

Lastly, good luck with your cutting phase. I'm sure you'll do great. I know you would prefer that the "rest period" be avoided while on Mag-10 or Myostat, but my body was giving me the signals that said, 'enough already...give it a rest'. I am looking forward to doing the 5x5 regimen. I will certainly let you know how it turns out after the first two weeks.

Mike - Glad I could help you out.

Here is the site: http://ericcressey.tripod.com/

The "www" was a mistake in my original link. Later.

Try it without the “www” as such:

http://ericcressey.tripod.com

I’d be glad to help you out.

Hi, Eric.

I like your website, and you've obviously made some good gains. Good job! Would you be interested in posting pics of other T-Maggers like myself? I'm going to snap some tomorrow now that I'm done with my last Mag-10 cycle.

I’m not Eric, but I know that he is really busy right now. Eric and I talk frequently through email, so if I’m jumping in on his territory, he’ll let me know. Eric mentioned on the “Getting Ripped Support Group” thread that he would create a T-Man gallery of a bunch of us T-maggers. Just send him a few pics (not too many as they take up a lot of space in his email account) and a bio that explains your stats and training background. Once he has a few guys pics, he’ll post the T-man gallery. I’ll be sending him my pics fairly soon.