T Nation

In A Rut

Hi everybody,

I’m somewhat new to this forum, but i’ve been reading T-mag for quite a while now. I’ve read all the diets, and tried many of the lifting programs. I’m especially partial to CT’s programs. With Summer right around the corner, I, like most of you, would like to get shredded. Now my problem is that I’ve been dieting for quite some time now like since February because i know how hard it is for my body to drop fat, but my weight would go down, then seem to go right back up.
I started with Fat Fast and roughed it out for two weeks. I did manage to lose 5 lbs(from 200 to 195). After Fat Fast I went to the Anabolic Diet with all protein and fat, but i still counted calories(about 2400kcal/day), then carbed up on the weekends. The weight would come off extremely slowly during the week, but the weekend carb-up would just ruin whatever I lost that week. So I jumped right back to 200lbs. As far as body composition goes, don’t see much of a difference in the mirror, but my strength has been pretty steady all through this dieting. Since the weight isn’t coming off anyway i’m deciding to put Surge back in there for post-workout.
So here is my diet for everyone to critique…

6:30am- 20g Low Carb Grow (preworkout)

8:30- Surge (2 scoops)25g protein

9:30- 1 cup egg whites w/1/4 cup eggbeaters,2 thin slices American cheese, 3 pieces bacon<(anabolic diet says its allowed), 4g fish oil, (46g protein)

12:30pm- hamburger patty w/ slice of cheese (40g protein)

3:30- beef jerky, almonds, 20g grow (40g protein)

6:30- 8 oz. sirloin steak (50gram protein)

9:30- 40 grams Grow, 4g fish oil, 15g flax oil
This comes out to about 2400kcal

So thats my basic diet on a workout day. A non-workout day is about the same minus the Surge.

My Training: I’m currently doing the OVT program by CT.

Cardio After lifting: HITT on treadmill for 15 minutes
6.0 mph for one minute, then switching to 8.5 mph for 30sec. to 1 minute
Sometimes moderate jogging on off days on an empty stomach for 45 min.

Thats pretty much it. I thought it wasn’t a bad program but maybe I’m wrong? My current weight is 200lbs., i’m 5’6 tall, and my bodyfat level is somewhere probably in the mid teens, and I’m 20 years old. I’ve been training for about 3 years now, but i wanna take getting shredded to the next level, and be in my best condition by mid august.

So am i doing too much? too little? To many calories?/ too little calories? Is my metabolism shot because the fats not comin off like i wnat it to? Could my thyroid be f’d up? Sorry for all the questions, but I know a lot of you know your stuff. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance…


Stallion, FWIW, seems like you’re almost on target. You may try subbing the relatively heavy dairy/animal fats with salmon and chicken or tuna for two weeks. In addition, up your heart rate on a regular basis not just ‘sometimes’ on your off-lifting days. Maybe those two minor adjustments will burn off the small amt of fat you currently have.

Program looks good to me. Try doing some HOC workouts as well to ramp up your cardio. See my HOC article here at T-mag.

Mike Mahler

italion Stallion,

I love what you are doing! One question, are you eating enough quality vegetables and fruits?


I am a little short on time so will give you a quick couple of things I notice.

1= I dont see one vegetable that I remember. You need the nutrients and fiber from these. You might check out and read T-dawg2 and Dont Diet Diet, Both have great track records.

2= I would seperate the HIIT session from your weights AM and PM etc. As`well as was allready suggested get your HR up on some of your days you dont lift.

3= There are much better sources than bacon to get some protein and fat. While on the fat subject, supplementing with some fish oils and flax would do you some good. Also maybe some nuts in place of some of the dairy and meat fats.

that is about all I can recall right now.

Hope some of this helps,


thanks guys for your help. mike i’ll check out your HOC training. and to answer the question about the fruits and vegetables, i don’t eat as much as i should, but will this help or hurt me on my quest for shreddedness, especially the fruit? i’ll try cuttin out the bacon and the dairy, but if anyone has any good food ideas let me know

thanks again,

One more thing… can someone clarify the whole cheat meal thing? thanks

Here’s some suggestions

  1. Lose or modify the weekend carb up. You didn’t specify exactly what you’re doing for this. It’s possible that you are doing something very wrong here.

  2. As far as workouts. You might want to switch to a circuit type workout where you accumulate volume over 3 to 4 weeks and then jump into a BB/strength workout. For example, you would pick 4 to 6 weights exercises, work each one for 30sec, then rest 15sec, and do the next exercise. Like Davies’ Fat to Fire or Alessi’s meltdown training, but you could throw in easier exercises like regular pushups and crunches instead of snatches and front squats. Each week you add another set. The idea is just to work your ass off (literally) by always moving. Mahler’s HOC does this also.

This would be very different from OVT. OVT is bodybuilding/strength workout whereas this would be “I just worked my ass off” workout. Let me know if you’d like to try this out. I’m doing some stuff like this too and it works pretty well.

  1. Two places to add fruits are either a)first thing in the morning or b)in the meal after the post workout surge meal.

  2. Switch turkey bacon for the regular bacon, it has a better macronutrient profile. Or switch to BBQ sauce or something else for your eggs (I’m assuming you eat bacon b/c of the eggs.) I don’t think the carbs in BBQ sauce will hamper your progress, at least not anymore than eating bacon would.

Hey bro, sounds like you’re doing good…I might suggest trying to cut your calories a little more, are you taking any supps? I’m not suggesting this, but right now I’m taking in around 2000 with probably the same lean mass as you (maybe a little more) concurrent with a prohormone cycle. So far the results have been good, but I have also been following a more “traditional” lean down diet, with come carbs and lower fat calories.

Hey man here’s something you can try with your HIIT…turn the speed all the way up on your treadmill (mine goes up to 11MPH),you can also turn up the incline(I put mine at 8-10%) and then run at this speed for 30 seconds, then hop off and walk/jog in place for 30-90 seconds. This way your heartbeat gets up where you want it and you don’t have to constantly adjust the speed on your treadmill…hope this helps :]

My supps are: glutamine, amino acids, M, ZMA, multi-vitamin, extra E, and extra C, i have a bottle of hot-rox that i don’t wanna use just yet cause i wanna get this diet perfect first. I also have two bottles of Mag-10 for when i get down to the very end of this cutting phase, when i’ll try maybe some steroid dieting. Any others I should be using?

Hey, there, Italian.

You need to be taking advantage of a few tools.

  • A scale that weighs in tenths of a pound. Use it once a week, when you wake up, after hitting the restroom, without clothes, of course.

  • A digital food scale that weighs in ounces and tenths of an ounce (and also grams)

  • A food log (which it looks like you may already be doing.

If you get your BF% taken by someone who knows what they’re doing and whom you can go back to, I’ll run the numbers for you.

Right off the bat, though, I’d recommend that you take a look at T-Dawg 2.0. A lot of people here have used it with great success. It does a good job of dealing with PWO nutrition, and it allows some (not a lot) carbs.

The bottom line is, you need to increase activity or decrease calories (either one by about 250 calories per day).

Thanks everybody,
I’m gonna try some of these new tips. I was just wondering if I split my a.m. HITT training with p.m. lifting in the same day, can i lift around 12 or 1pm if i run at 6:30a.m. or is this too close together? The reason i’m asking is because i’m takin a few summer night classes at school, and i also have work on days i don’t go to school. 12 - 1 would be a convenient time for my workouts. Will this affect my weight training?

Italian, I’m inclined to say, give it a try, but be sure to increase the number of HIIT sessions per week slowly. It’s extremely demanding and can affect recovery. In other words, don’t go from once a week to 4 times a week if you’re lifting 4 times a week, too.

If you’ve got a couple of meals in between the HIIT and resistence training, it shouldn’t be a problem. Make sure they’re P+C meals. You don’t want muscle glycogen depeleted going into a resistence training session later in the day.

And, too, make sure you don’t do HIIT on an empty stomach.

Other than that, see how it works for you!

All I’ll say is I hope you are using a fiber supplement!

Hey Italian,

If you have access to a track, you might want to try a lil sprint work out for 2-3 weeks.

Other than your warm up and cool down laps try to start out with 2 laps of jogging the curves and sprinting the straights. Keep your effort between 80/90% on the sprints.

If you are in better shape than most people then feel free to do 3 laps.

Make sure to stretch though.

By the way I am by no means an expert just a guy who was never ripped despite always being active in JH, HS and College until I joined the Track team for Sprints.

Here’s my $0.02.

  1. Drop Kcals to 2200 for a week to see what happens.

  2. As mentioned, more veggies, lose the bacon and incorporate additional fish, flax seed or Udo’s Choice oil into your program.

  3. 30 - 60 second cycles of HI is not a very HII. I’d drop the slow part from 6.0 back to 3.5 to 4.0 mph. I’d do the HI part for 400m (.25 mile), and I’d do it all out, full tilt boggie! I’d do the slow part for ~30 to 45 secs to recover for the next HI iteration. I would attempt to up the number of cycles (i.e. slow/HI) by one each week until you hit 25 minutes per WO. Take a look at CT’s Running Man article in Issue 251.

  4. Drink two cups of Green Tea daily.

  5. If financially possible, add a Hot-Rox cycle during your cutting phase.

Otherwise, it looks like a good program.

Good luck,