T Nation

Lifting 2 Years, Trouble Losing Fat


I'm posting this in the beginner section because, even though I thought I had things figured out, apparently I don't.

I've not lost any body fat this whole month of Jan.

Age: 32
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 225
BF%: 20
Squat: 415 lbs
Deadlift: 405 lbs
Bench: 250 lbs

in 2010 from July-Dec I put on 22lbs of muscle but also 18lbs of fat. I'm a hell of a lot stronger now but I have a gut to go with. (Nov, Dec was full of hot buttered rum) When eating clean my maintenance diet was 4000 calories, growth was 4250. Now that I'm cutting up I've lowered my cals to 2500ish.

I lift heavy 3 times/week and run 4 times/week. I don't feel any of the lethargy typically associated with a drastic cut in cals (I've felt that before), in fact I feel great. I consume under 50g carbs on non lifting days and 100-200g pre-workout on lifting days.

I feel like I'm doing everything right but the fat isn't budging. Can you help me troubleshoot? What the hell am I doing wrong?


Just our of curiosity, what makes you say you aren't losing any fat? I assume you are tracking both your weight and your BF%, correct?




I highly recommend CT's destroying fat program:


Eat more fat
Different stimulus's for energy systems work
Are any aspects of your training becoming easy? People tend to adapt quickly to some things.


@Ziggy, do you recommend that from using it? What was your goal/results?

@dnl, I'm getting about 50% fat right now. I was starting to think that might be part of the problem.
Nothing has gotten easier, just switched up beginning of Jan.


You haven't really told us anything about your training. Strength training for the cut is no cake walk, and requires very high intensity. Also, why are you running 4x/week? If you are training for the cut, I'd personally drop the slow and steady cardio (unless you meant intervals). It will not only prohibit fat loss; it will interfere with the intensity of your strength workouts.


Training week:

Sunday -
5 hours organized sports

Fasted running 20 mins first thing in the morning
Heavy Bench
Heavy Bent-over Rows
Plyometric Push ups

60 min brisk walk

Fasted running 20 mins
Heavy Squats
Heavy Overhead Press (200lbs now)
Heavy Delt assistance for maintenance. Made great gains on these last year and don't want to lose them.

60 min brisk walk

20 min fasted running
Heavy Deadlift
Heavy Legs assistance work


Actually the fasted cardio in the morning has improved my lifting intensity greatly. I just must be one of "those" people. Sure would like to know what I'm doing wrong on the fat loss front though.


Well, that's not a bad program, but it's not a fat loss program. You can lose fat with it, IFF your diet is in line. Read the link about CT's maximizing fat loss program.


I have been on it for 8 weeks and I went from about 30%BF to about 20%BF while gaining maybe a couple pounds of muscle.


Ziggy, would you be willing to share the specifics of what exercises you're using on the program?


try some HIIT and bb complexes a couple times a week.

And are you sure you're squatting to proper depth? (at least the hip crease getting at the level of your knees). Unless you have really short legs and really small hands I don't see how that can be right (squat to DL ratio).


LOL I actually do have short legs and small hands. Curses.


It sounds pretty simple, but it really is. If you're not losing any fat/bw, you are eating more than you burn.

2 solutions, drop cals, or add more cardio.


On the heavy chest/back day I did bench press and assisted chin ups for primary with high cable crossover and backwards crossover for secondary.

On heavy leg days I did squats, deadlifts, leg curls, and leg extensions.

On the circuit days I did the following:

circuit A
45 deg bent over rows
back squats
standing overhead press
romanian deadlifts

circuit B
t-bar rows
front squats
romanian deadlifts
leg raises


Thanks, man. I'm trying to put together my own program based on this, and I was wondering what I was going to do on my heavy leg days with movements I could switch to in 10 seconds or less at my gym.

Have you given any thought to what you'll follow up the program with? Have you ever looked at Thib's Get Jacked program?


Austin, here's the deal. When I was on my bulk I had to consume 4250 just to gain. At 4000 I was maintaining - neither gaining nor losing. But now that I'm attempting to cut I've dropped it down to 2500 cals and I'm still maintaining... no gains no losses. That seems like a pretty big gap.

Anyhow, I've added in interval sprints and will let you know if that makes a difference.


Mind writing out what you ate and drank today being completely honest and not leaving anything out? Maybe something isn't adding up, or a quick adjustment can be made to quicken things up.

Try any fat burners like HOT-ROX or something similar?


That just doesn't sound correct

Ditto what Austin said


It is correct. I've used Fitday.com and Calorieking.com in conjunction religiously for 2 years to manage my calories. I'm about to head out right now but when I get back I'll be happy to post a day or two as examples.

Re: Fat burners - I have used HOT-ROX in the past with success, but seeing as I'm just starting my cut I don't want to resort to that until I'm closer to my goal. 20% BF should not require chemical assistance to lose unless I have some sort of metabolic problem.