T Nation

I've Dropped the Ball


As of December 16th, I weighed in at 196.4, with 14.3% bodyfat and a 32 inch waist. This is nowhere near where I wanted to be right now, and to me that is unacceptable. My goal was to be at 205 with 8% bodyfat by the time I was 18. Thats 10 pounds heavier with 6% less bodyfat. For this to come true, I have to lose 16 pounds of fat, and gain 24 pounds of muscle. (roughly?) Thats a long shot to say the least.

I need your help vets. I've never had a coach, anyone to lift with, anyone to steer me right or wrong, and I'm asking for that from you. I want to do this the best way possible, and by myself, I simply can't do that. An outside perspective is needed often, and I lack that from anywhere else.

I think I should cut. I want to get lean first, under 10% lean. I'm sick of being this "heavy" I haven't seen my abs, and Id like to. I know this has been beaten to death again and again, so the issue is NOT WHETHER I SHOULD BULK OR CUT AT THIS MOMENT. I am comfortable enough at this musculature, that I think I would feel better leaner. I then plan to milk the rebound and see how big I can get while trying to stay moderatly lean.

I want to be under 8% bodyfat by mid april. The lower the better. What are reasonable results to expect in this timeframe? It seems like 16 weeks is really long to make a cut, but I've never try to cut down super low before. Does anyone have any comments on that?

As far as lifting, I'll be using


My BMR is 2063, says an online calculator, so I'm going to try to get my daily caloric intake in that range. I'll be erring on the higher side as things progress, and eventually dropping it slowly. I'm not following a specific diet. I find that when I get hung up on eating NO carbs or NO fats or NO whatever, I tend to eat only the same food over and over again. I'm going to follow a balanced diet, while trying to eat home cooked foods with little carbs.

As a guideline I'll use carb to protein ratio to determine whether or not the food is "good" to eat. Through most of the day I'll try to keep it 1-1 or under, and around workout times I may eat foods that are 1-2.

I'm going to try a little "g-flux" type thing here, where On days I have nothing better to do, im going to ride a stationary bike for an hour or three, and then replace all, or some of the calories I burned with fish oil.

Before pictures will be displayed after I am 7-8% bodyfat :].

Comments, questions?




I ment they will be posted together. Too many people post before pictures, never following through. I bet there there are over 200 random pictures of skinnyfat people with 3 post floating around on this site

If they are wanted I can post them, I just feel it would be more impressive to display them when I am less average, so the difference can be noted.


I don't think 16 weeks is a long time at all. In fact, most cutting should be done as slowly as possible if you wish to retain the muscle you do have. Of course, you have no clue what you'll look like once you get rid of the fat, so you may end up looking very different than you intended.

Make sure that BMR figure is correct,.. It may be, I'm just saying because it does sound very low to me (when I calculated mine, it was about 3300/3400, which pretty much lets me drop weight while still eating 3k a day).

As far as rations go, I don't think you need to overcomplicate things. Certainly don't do zero fat, or zero carbs (you're body needs both to some degree), but if you are indeed carb sensitive (tend to pudge up pretty easily), keep your carb sources clean, and don't go eating 500g a day worth.

As long as you're in a cal deficit, getting enough protein, and keeping your carbs from veggies, and oatmeal, you'll see slow results (keep training for hypertrophy though)



What rate would you consider "safe"


well, it';s an individual thing, based on your skeletal frame size, muscle mass, and metabolism. I'll go out on a limb, and assume that I have more muscle massthan you do, which essentially allows my body to burn mroe cals each day. The fact that my BMR is so high, is because of that. Just like Dorian Yates used to 'diet' on about 4k a day in his prime.

I TRY to get 500 cals less than my BMR (I dont do any cardio). You could do a 300 cal deficit, and a little cardio (a LITTLE, so as not to eat too much lbm), and stretch things out. Again, every is different, but I will say that initially, you may not noticed any real changes, at a 500 cal deficit, I plan to lose a lb a week, but it gets a little mroe complicated than just the math. I couldn't be hopping on a scale every week and seeing a drop like clockwork, even something as simple as my water levels would keep me fluctuating a few lbs up or down. I just had to have faith that my numbers were correct, and that I was taking in less than I needed.



According to CT one or two pounds per week is safe. So I would shoot for two pounds initially and one pound later on.

I think dropping 16 pounds in 16 weeks without significant muscle loss should be quite doable.


BMR refers to how much energy your body uses at rest, not total calories for the day. Were you thinking about total energy for the day? Calories burned per day is probably around 3000, on average. I'll start a bit higher then at like 2700ish, and see where I need to go from there.


I could easily do 2 pounds a week. I mean.. I can do this as fast or slow as possible. I have the time at my disposal. If it takes 3 hours of light walking on top of it, to get get my where I want to be, Ill do it. I want to do this as efficiently, quickly, and correctly as possible.


Just curious...

Why do you consider yourself overweight at 5'11" 196 lbs? I've got 3" and 30 lbs on you with 14% bodyfat and I'm nowhere near wanting to cut.


Hmm, losing 2 pounds a week at the start of the diet may be easy, especially due to water loss. I doubt losing 2 pounds a week after several weeks of dieting when you are getting close to 10% will still be easy but you can try.

To check for muscle loss, I would:
- Make sure stength levels do not go down
- Measure BF regularly with skinfold calipers and check that BF reduction corresponds more or less with the weight loss
- Take tape measurements: At 14% your arms and legs will not have much fat on them and therefore you should not see drastic changes in circumference.


I've always wanted to be lean. I was spinning my tracks, and in need of something different to do. This is something I just want to do really. I think I'm big enough, although barely, where cutting will yeild better results than bulking. I'm by no means done, I'd just like to be lean for a bit.

I eat like a pig, honestly, and I think I can do a lot "cleaner" of a job bulking up. I put on some muscle, but I was eating a TON more than I needed to. I overshot my "sweet spot" this time up, and am looking to do things perfectly the next time around.

I built my base, foundation, now its time to clear the way and build the house.


Will do. And yeah, youre right. I've never been really lean, so the difficulty is probably going to scale a ton.


Defekt, right off the bat I can tell you that Waterbury's 10X3 isn't the way to go.


Any sugestions on what to follow lifting/cardio wise, and why you feel that wont work?


Trust the mirror more than the scale. The water fluctutaations will be inconsistent at first. Certainly don't try to lose 2 lbs every week, or you won't be happy where that 2 lbs is ocming from. I'd suggest doing as little cardio as possible, and adjust accordingly every few weeks.



Alright, thanks.

As for lifting then. Should I continue to try to progress as if I were eating a caloric surplus? I mean, I have a few lagging groups, could I start to hit them while dieting, or is it a waste of time?


Try Dave Tate's Trilogy Ebook. It's a program made for putting on/keeping size during a cutting phase. You cycle between High Volume/Low Intensity, Medium Volume/Medium intensity, and Low Volume/High Intensity.

So Chest workouts on High Volume might be Machine Press, Medium Volume might be Dumbbell Bench, and High Intensity might be a 1-Board Press.

Legs would be High Volume - Leg Press, Medium Volume - Belt Squat, Low Volume - Safety Squat Bar.

You can obviously change exercises to suit your needs and suit what's available. Substitute Belt Squat with Hack Squat, etc.

It's free right now if you buy anything.


Well, I've been training as hard as I can while dieting, and although I wouldn't do anything 'stupid' (my training partner keeps reminding me that I'm more suceptable to injury), definitely keep the intensity up if you can.

I don't see why you can't bring up lagging parts a bit. YEs, everyone will jump on the 'you can't build and cut at the same time' thing, but I honestly think my hams have come up while dieting (sure, the detail may just be making them look bigger).

Cordova told me, when I asked about this, that he has made gains while dieting as well. He rationalizes that when the body is in preservation mode, it may actually be more suceptable to growth. I'm not the one to get into the scientific mumbo jumbo, but even if you can't gain,... train like you can -lol.



Defekt, I'm kind of in a similar boat as you mentally. I got up to 6'1", 225lbs at maybe 16-17% bf (hard to tell due to the constant food and water bloat), and I'm currently leaning out.

Everyone here has thrown a lot of good advice your way. I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm doing lifting wise, attempting to maintain/increase strength levels, keep an eye on different bodypart measurements and make sure the weight comes off slowly.

You can do it man.