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Is a Recomp Possible?

I have been “training” off-and-on on ridiculous (custom built) programs for 2 years. I sometimes took breaks for 4 months and I ran stupid programs I built myself. Yes, I was stupid and so I have started training properly just recently.

184cm (6’0.5"), 175 lbs, 30% body fat?

Lifts : Bench: 135lbs 5x5, Barbell Standing OHP 85lbs 5x5, Squat 190lbs 5x5

As you can see, I am in terrible conditioning. I am running Stronglifts 5x5 since the past 3 weeks and I have been going without plateauing (except I plateaued and broke it @ OHP 85 lbs recently).

Is a body recomp possible? Not really in position to bulk because of adding fat and not in position to cut because way too weak.

What should I be doing (cals, training, diet)? Thanks

Personally, I’d cut. Yeah, you’ll be skinny but at least you won’t be fat.

Cut to what though? Surprisingly enough he seems to have posted an accurate body fat estimate. He has no muscle. He would have to cut like 30 lbs of fat to end up looking like Christian Bale in The Machinist. Best to eat healthy at maintenance and choose a workout that doesn’t suck ass.


Na, I’d want rid of that gut. Each to their own, but I’d rather be a skinny guy with abs.

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Fair enough. Not gonna debate a difference of opinion.

I still think Stronglifts sucks ass though.

We definitely agree on that!


Training - I’d go 5/3/1. Choose any variation you want. Do your conditioning. There are PLENTY of other workouts worth doing, but for strength and size Im just a huge fan of 5/3/1 BBB.

Diet - eat at maintenance or cut. I’m definitely pushing for the former, and I can’t tell you your maintenance calories. You need to count your calories and when the scale doesn’t move for a week, that’s maintenance. Choose 3 protein sources (ex. beef, ground turkey, chicken), 3 carb sources (ex. rice, potatoes, pasta) and as many green veggies as you want, and mix and match them using lots of spices for taste. Get 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight. If you do decide to eat at a deficit, or whenever you decide you want to, you just subtract a few hundred calories (make it from your carbs, preferably) from your maintenance and keep it there until the scales stop moving, at which point your body has adjusted to that intake, and you can subtract a few hundred cals again.

Most of all, eat good food. I know you’re not. You could literally do anything in the gym and as long as you had a solid diet your body wouldn’t look like that. That means lean meats, good carb sources, veggies, and AS LITTLE SUGAR AS YOU CAN HANDLE. Diet sodas instead of soda. Yes, sugar substitutes are not great, but 0 cals is 0 cals. And just so you know, “pure cane sugar” is just sugar. 10g of natural sugar is worse than 9g sugar from HFCS. So don’t be duped. The only sugar you need is from fruit, or whatever you put in your coffee. Juice is bullshit.

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Agreed on everything @flappinit says

175 isn’t a bad weight if you were leaner, so I think recomping is a great idea for you. You’re back in the gym for 3 weeks, but I think consistently getting 3-4x a week in the gym will be a MAJORLY deciding factor in your training no matter what program you run. 5/3/1 would be a huge improvement from Stronglifts tho.

I would go as far to say that diet coke would be a no go because you’re better off building the habit of drinking water, coffee/tea, etc. Maybe if you later decide you need extra calories, you can go for liquid calories.

And also to add, get an idea of what works for you, and use the numbers that flappinit gave you towards simple/clean foods that you’ll actually eat

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I’d like to second the Diet Coke thing. I should have clarified - don’t go drinking diet sodas, but if you’re that person who likes soda a lot, it’s just a better alternative for weight control. Looking back at it I made it sound like a staple in a good diet. Soda is super acidic and bad for you in any form.

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Mad agreed on this and the original statement. I dont think it made it sound like a staple, but def a less harmful alternative than sugary soda.

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The less you worry about immediate results, the better your outcome will be. First learn to train sensibly and consistently. Then learn to eat properly. Get into the habit of protein and veggies at each meal, consistently making good food choices, listening to your body cues and eating 3-4x per day.

The rest will fall into place.

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Hi guys,

Thanks for the replies. I dont think I can cut down to anything. I’m legit too weak and no muscle mass. Thats why I asked if eating at maintenance is a good idea so I can lose fat and build muscle slowly.
Why is Stronglifts 5x5 bad? I’ve been gaining progress on it. I’ll switch out once I start stalling hard.
Any other advice? I know I’m a loooong way to getting fit.

I dont think it would be super healthy getting very skinny, it would be like malnutrition. I’d probably need to lower calories a lot.

I was thinking of re-comping by eating at maintanence and losing fat while building muscle slowly.

Yes, I am not worried about quick results (I’ve learned that it doesnt work). I’m wondering what my plan of action should be? Should I eat at maintenance?

I don’t think 5x5 is bad, but I’d say 5/3/1 BBB would be better for your goals.