T Nation

Love Handles, No Matter How Fit


#1


Hello all. I am an ex multi sport athlete now in college. I have always been in good shape because of athletics and training, but have moved more into the fitness world since finishing high school. No matter how fit I have been, I have had love handles my entire life. I have tried to lose them and its just not happening and honestly I'm desperate. I just want to have a midsection that I am not ashamed of but there is so much information out there that I am a it overwhelmed.

"Eat low carbs, carbs are your friend, workout extremely intense with high reps, workout heavy with low volume, this or that will eat away at muscle, use lactic acid training". With all this I just do not know where to start and it is driving me nuts. I have been lifting pretty consistently for a few months and have some slight muscle growth that I am pleased with, but I just want the love handles gone. I have no problem being completely dedicated to a program and a diet, the problem is what program and what diet? I am so close to where I want to be, but I cannot seem to get past this hump. I'll include some pictures to show where I am.

Note that I lack abs because I have neglected them while lifting (a poor choice). I would love to get some input from someone who has done this successfully and maybe include some before and after pics if possible. I just need advice on the best diet (I understand that its not one size fits all) and the best program to retain my muscle, but tone and carve my midsection. Any and all advice is appreciated.


#2

I apologise if I come off as a negative dick but…

No offence dude, but your not in ‘good shape’ - maybe better than the average Joe but not in relation to some of the guys on T-Nation,. I know an 18 year old who’s been training for 12 months who looks better. ‘Neglected abs’ - they’re covered by fat mate. You could have the best in the world and you wouldn’t see then at your current bf.

16% + bf at best, stop kidding yourself

Post details of your current diet and training then maybe we can give some input.

Moog


#3

Right now I’m in a slight caloric deficit daily (300) eating high protein, moderate fats, and filling in the rest of my calories with carbs. I’m just following a strength routine I used to use back in football.


#4

Yes, sorry to the the bearer of bad news but you’re too fat without enough muscle.

Follow some basic rules:

  1. Strength training 3x per week (531, Juggernaut, etc - include mobility and explosive work)
  2. Conditioning (eg prowler, hill sprint, stadium steps, etc)
  3. Sleep 7+ hours
  4. Eat 3-4x per day (good amount of protein each time, 40-60g, some carbs (including veggies) and fat)
  5. water

If you consistently do that each day for 12 months. You’ll be okay. You can get to 10ish% body fat and decent muscle with the above.

If you manage that, then worry about low carb, high carb, cycling, fasted cardio, etc. There’s no need to make things more complicated than they need to be.

By consistently, I mean 90% of the time. You’ll need to track it.


#5

[quote]tsantos wrote:
Yes, sorry to the the bearer of bad news but you’re too fat without enough muscle.

Follow some basic rules:

  1. Strength training 3x per week (531, Juggernaut, etc - include mobility and explosive work)
  2. Conditioning (eg prowler, hill sprint, stadium steps, etc)
  3. Sleep 7+ hours
  4. Eat 3-4x per day (good amount of protein each time, 40-60g, some carbs (including veggies) and fat)
  5. water

If you consistently do that each day for 12 months. You’ll be okay. You can get to 10ish% body fat and decent muscle with the above.

If you manage that, then worry about low carb, high carb, cycling, fasted cardio, etc. There’s no need to make things more complicated than they need to be.

By consistently, I mean 90% of the time. You’ll need to track it.[/quote]

Yep, this chaps just about nailed it…


#6

I think people above do have a point but anyway to your question, this is a fine article

Good Luck


#7

I try not to be negative on these boards, but these posters are right: you look as though you’ve never lifted a weight before. It’s not a big deal–you’re a young guy. Just consider yourself at square one, and don’t think you know one way or the other about how your body will react once you are actually pursuing becoming stronger/more muscular.

Just start fresh, get on a sensible program, enjoy the new guy gains. It’s a long process.


#8

As one additional note, you do not have abs because you are not lean, not because you’ve been “neglecting” them. Most people on these boards who do have abs do minimal to no ab work.


#9

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
Most people on these boards who do have abs do minimal to no ab work. [/quote]

I would actually be pretty shocked if that was true, although we may just have varying definitions of “minimal” in regards to ab work.

Everything else that has been said is spot on. I will say that I too ab a love handle sufferer, and the best thing I did to get rid of them was be less fat. It tends to be the first place I put on fat, and the last place I lose it, but it just means getting less fat.

TC: In regards to diet or programs, don’t interpret there being so much information as a sign that this is a confusing endeavor. This shows you that there are TONS of ways to succeed. You said you’re willing to follow any diet or routine, so pick one, stick with it, hit it will skull splitting intensity and consistency (no cheat days, only cheat meals, and only infrequently) and watch it work.


#10

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
Most people on these boards who do have abs do minimal to no ab work. [/quote]

I would actually be pretty shocked if that was true, although we may just have varying definitions of “minimal” in regards to ab work.
[/quote]

Just to clarify, I mean this insofar as doing, eg, four or five sets of an ab wheel and maybe one other movement for four or five sets twice a week would be considered “minimal” to Average Joe who goes to the gym.

I concede this is purely anecdotal, but it seems that most people I know who are gym goers, but not “training” in the way people on these boards are, find it advisable to be finishing each workout with, you know, 200 crunches or several sets of situps (etc), which doesn’t seem to be the norm for most on these boards as a matter of daily practice.


#11

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
Most people on these boards who do have abs do minimal to no ab work. [/quote]

I would actually be pretty shocked if that was true, although we may just have varying definitions of “minimal” in regards to ab work.
[/quote]

Just to clarify, I mean this insofar as doing, eg, four or five sets of an ab wheel and maybe one other movement for four or five sets twice a week would be considered “minimal” to Average Joe who goes to the gym.

I concede this is purely anecdotal, but it seems that most people I know who are gym goers, but not “training” in the way people on these boards are, find it advisable to be finishing each workout with, you know, 200 crunches or several sets of situps (etc), which doesn’t seem to be the norm for most on these boards as a matter of daily practice.[/quote]

Ah yeah, we’re on the same page then.


#12

I might be an anomaly, but unless you count heavy barbell work in the big 3 as ‘ab work’, I do none at all. Although whether or not I have reasonably developed abs is debatable I suppose.

Tarheel: You don’t have abs because you’re carrying too much fat, plain and simple. Neglecting ab work over the last few months has nothing to do with it. And for that matter, having visible abs has basically no correlation to being good at high school level sports.

In order to give diet recommendations, we need to know how you eat now, how long you’ve been eating that way, and how your weight has changed within that timeframe. Otherwise, there is no way to give proper advice.

I didn’t start with your bodytype, but I have gained about 75 lbs, mostly muscle, since I started lifting, and I’ve stayed lean the entire time, so I have a reasonable understanding of the process. The first picture is me at 18, the 2nd picture is me at 31.


#13

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I might be an anomaly, but unless you count heavy barbell work in the big 3 as ‘ab work’, I do none at all. Although whether or not I have reasonably developed abs is debatable I suppose.

Tarheel: You don’t have abs because you’re carrying too much fat, plain and simple. Neglecting ab work over the last few months has nothing to do with it. And for that matter, having visible abs has basically no correlation to being good at high school level sports.

In order to give diet recommendations, we need to know how you eat now, how long you’ve been eating that way, and how your weight has changed within that timeframe. Otherwise, there is no way to give proper advice.

I didn’t start with your bodytype, but I have gained about 75 lbs, mostly muscle, since I started lifting, and I’ve stayed lean the entire time, so I have a reasonable understanding of the process. The first picture is me at 18, the 2nd picture is me at 31.[/quote]

LOL End. Thread.


#14

Read The Stubborn Fat Solution by Lyle McDonald.