T Nation

I'm Down ... NEED SUPPORT!

OK … here’s the deal. My whole life I’ve had a little roll (used to be bigger than it is now) and I just want to get rid of it. Problem is, I also want to get bigger. Ah, yes, gaining and losing … the impossible dream. Anyway, my thought was this: just get bigger. A bigger chest, arms, and shoulders will make the gut look smaller anyway. So I’ve been on massive eating (4,000+ cals a day) and Ian King’s 12-week upper body workout. Cycling Androsol and Tribex … also stack MD6 and T2, creatine, and Surge post-workout. The fact of the matter is this, though. I just don’t think I’ll be happy, no matter how big, if I have this gut. It’s been a lifelong issue. So I’m thinking of abandoning bulking for a while to retreat back to German Body Comp and dwindling the calorie intake, adding more protein and fat, but still maintaining the massive eating guidelines (I know I’m not disciplined enough for fat fast). I figure, if I get the abs going, then I can gradually put on pounds over the years, rather than try to make it happen quick. I have a girlfriend who unfortunately likes me no matter how I look. Not good motivation, right? Am I making sense? Anyone out there with similar psychologicial issues? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not fat. I’m about 10-11% BF, 5’10" and 165. No monster I’ll tell you, but I have big shoulders which help. Any advice? Support? Anyone go through this drama themselves? My goal is not to be huge anyway … maybe someday get up to 185 with minimal body fat. I like the lean, cut, muscular look, call me a pretty boy wannabe, I don’t care, LOL. Thanks!

growth - don’t despair dude. you will get to where you want to go eventually. i am going the lean-as-hell-pretty-boy route myself. bulking is a bitch for me too. i hate the thought of smoothing out, but it has to be done. i leaned first and have been squeeking my way up the lean mass ladder ever since. and i do mean squeeking. i try to never go into double digits in bf% if i can help it before i start trimming it back off. i endlessly futz with my caloric intake/timing to make gains on a maintenance diet. it’s a bitch of a tightrope walk sometimes.

if you do decide to start leaning out again instead of bulking take it as far as you possibly can because once you get in the leaning groove it is best to stay there until you achieve what you are after. plus you will know where your bottom is. you WILL know when you hit bottom…believe me. my botom is at 4% at which time i turn into a real asshole. i get so damned stressed that my wife doesn’t even want to be around me. that’s pretty bad. most guys at my gym don’t agree with my approach, but it works for me. gains are important to me too, but just not as important as staying lean. figure out which is more important to you right now and focus your efforts. over time you will learn how to balance between the two. good luck bro.

Kevo, thanks so much for the advice and sharing your experience with me. I think right now my goals is fat loss. It has to be. I’ve never known a lean me! Also, since I never plan on giving up training (it’s a lifestyle as we all know), I can pack on the muscle gradually over time and keep the fat in check. Thanks again!!

Been there, done that (and still there somewhat). Currently I’m at 5’7, 172 and 11.5 percent. My first question: why are you using MD6 and T2 during a bulking phase? Actually I understand why you’re doing so, but you’re burning off a lot of cals that could be supporting lean mass gains. No offense, but at 5’10 and 165 you’re pretty thin. I understand your desire to be ripped but personally I would add some mass. Let’s assume you’re really at 10 percent. Why not bulk until you’re at 12 percent, using Massive Eating. This will give you a little more LBM w/o too much added fat. Then you can cut down to maybe 8-9 percent, and start over. I am not a big fan of bulking, or especially dieting, for weeks on end. You either end up losing too much lean with extended dieting (and you may run into problems with compliance), or if you try to get up to 200 in one fell swoop like a lot of the current “SB’s” are, you’re really gonna end up with what you call a roll. This is coming from someone whose last diet was a miserable 18 weeks. If you go up to 12 percent at the most, it won’t take you too long to diet the added fat off, especially if you’re using thermos/T2 and whatnot. I have a feeling that if you cut now, you’re going to be bitching because you’re too small and we’ll see you on the Skinny Bastard Support Group. If you go up to 12 percent, it would take only 4-6 weeks max to get back down to 9 or maybe a bit less if you’re doing things properly. Save the thermos for your cutting phase. It’s all about baby steps, my friend.

SO surprised not to see the “frees” of the board helping out here. Doubt they’d be lurking again waiting for their next “contribution” in the form of an ill informed or troll post. On the bright side, its good to see “Free” stick with it after called out as the ass he is by even the gurus here.

My 2c, if you have always had that roll you should lose the "excess" 5-10 pounds in a very focused 1-2 month diet. Until you lose it, you wont ever feel that you have the necessary contol over your body comp to bulk in earnest. And it shouldnt be that hard - just stick to the diet and dont tell yourself "well if I crave x I should eat it cause my body needs it" - the cravings are a mental thing and in any event its horses for courses (ie the diet may not be nutritionally perfect but it should serve its purpose). My diet recommendation would be a strict Dont Diet (count calories and weigh food). Teddy's excellent dont diet post should make it easier to plan things.

If you already had a gut then maybe you were already eating “massive” for your metabolism. Maybe, you should cut back on the calories and see if you lose some bodyfat from your training alone. Then, if so, began to slowly add some calories back in. Remember the X-factor.

dre has a good point about the feeling of control needed to make it possible to change one’s body. bodybuilding is every bit as much a mind game as it is diet as it is training. conquering a lifetime demon is a great confidence builder. of course, that’s what the T-lifestyle is all about - conquering and overcoming. it sounds like you have already had some success with the fat loss, so why not push that envelope and see what you are capable of? for me bulking wasn’t even an option until i shed all the fat i could. i felt like i had something to prove to myself. i was a skinny little shit when i got done (6’-0" 163lbs 4%bf). but i had gained SO much confidence because i proved to myself once and for all that i was in control of my own body and not at the mercy of the fat gods. it was truly empowering. without that first critical victory i would have prolly given up. that was 18 months ago. now i am 185lbs 7%bf. still a skinny waif by some people’s standards of course, but rome wasn’t built in a day. my point is that you sound a little hesitant about bulking prolly because deep down you want to eliminate your “roll”. you have unfinished business so to speak and won’t really put together a whole hearted run a bulking until you take care of it. i think it’s time for you invite some friends over for dinner and serve up some of them tastey “rolls”! later.

Once again guys, thanks for your support. Today I have been tetering back and forth … do I go T-Dawg style? Continue with massive eating and the King workout? Eeks. Kevo, you make a good point about conquering this demon. I was almost swaying toward sticking to bulking but you’re right … I don’t think my heart will be in it until I shred up a bit. Quite honestly though, I’m not too concerned about losing muscle. In fact, I wouldn’t bee too surprised if I gain some LBM in the process, thanks to supplementation with Androsol/Tribex cycle, MD6 and T2 stack, and creatine. Doing the 'Sol and Tribex to help keep what I have, a la the Fat Fast methodology. Hell, it’s summer. I’d like my abs to peak out. Then, come September (or however it takes for me to see my six pack revealed) I will GRADUALLY bulk. Training is a lifestyle … one that will never stop. I don’t need overnight results, just continuous progress. I welcome any more thoughts on this. But thanks again guys for your experience, motivation, and support.

Dre: What on earth are you talking about in regard to “Free”? Did I miss something over the weekend?

Bob - I posted a rant with the heading “vent”. It was clearly that but it attracted troll posts like shit does flies and I got branded a full blown commie whinger by some. As usual, certain members of the board overdid it. Read it if you want the definitive list of assholes on his board.

GrowTH - my training partner is in exactly the same boat but the tetering thing drives me nuts because you just end up spinning your wheels. Once you decide you need to write it down or do something to physically signify the decision you have made that you can refer to when you start to teter again.