I have been a follower of t-nation for quite some time now and regularly read articles involving advice and usually apply some of the principles but I'm at a stand still in my workout and dietary regimen and I'm having issues removing the last fat I have to get to around that 9-10% mark so I can begin a proper bulking phase for about 6-8 months and do a fully clean bulk but this dead end has been extremely hard to get the body fat off to start that phase.
I have some questions I'd like to ask in regards to this but first I'll go through my current setup:
I am a natural body builder at 5'7 with 79 kilos (174pounds) and I would say myself is currently at 15-16% body fat.
My workout routine is as follows. I take exercises from Greg Plitt's website and I usually just follow them for the following days. I'll tend to stick with a specific body part routine of his for a month or 2 then move to another and then swap back, etc:
sometimes I will swap arms for legs
I do forearm work on arm and back days at the end of those exercises. a 2x superset usually with extensive work on just exhausting the arms and forced tension to burn them out even further on pull day and arm day.
I also do a 20 minute 7x3 (7 exercises , 3 sets) of ab work targetting 2x upper , 2x side, 2x lower with an ab wheel roll out phase after to exhaust them. This seems to work well on the abs for me. This is usually after every workout I do.
My diet currently is:
Meal 1: Eggs whole usually
Meals 2,3,4: 6-7oz protein , 100g sweet potato , 2 cups of vegetables each meal
Final meal is usually: Protein 6-7oz with a vegetable mix equaling out to 2-3cups.
Each post workout meal consists of whole eggs usually or nuts mixture. I'll tend to use things like barbecue sauce and stuff like that to help with taste.
I take no BCAA / Protein powder supplementation and mineral supplementation only is: Multi-vitamin, vit b complex, fish oil. Outside of that I have no extra dietary supplementation.
My questions are:
- Where am I going wrong?
- Is my calorie intake sufficient enough?
- Is there something I should change up in training to induce more of a fat burn or keep it relatively the same? I'm trying to at least KEEP muscle mass during this cutting phase. I know putting on muscle mass may be impossible (or it may not be, im not entirely sure).
- Is it safe to introduce HIIT into my regimen? I used to do field training and would do soccer interval drills and football drills in an agility ladder and endurance training drills for functional training and to keep my heart rate elevated for around 60 minutes or so. This seemed to work but I was afraid of burning muscle mass. Or is Metabolic resistance training / weighted circuit training a way to go as well?
- Good fats - How should I be taking / ingesting them and what time of the day? Currently I use olive oil to cook (extra-virgin), fish oil and fats from fish/eggs.
My ultimate goal is to get to around 9%-10% body fat range to begin a full clean bulk phase for 6-8 months so I guess another question would be is it a good plan to do that or could I start bulking at my current 15-16% body fat range?