T Nation

My Journey to Getting Back into Shape


I used to train a lot, I trained in weight training along with mma. I met the love of my life and get real lazy. I was at 175 9%bf then. Two and a half years later I became a whopping 185lbs at 19%bf. Recently, I proposed to my girlfriend. She said yes, and goodness.

However, I decided iit's time to get my act together again. 8 weeks ago, I started dieting fairly strictly and doing a lot of hardcore weight training. I'm now at 202 12% body fat. Give me encouragement, advice, and constructive criticism.


No back and leg shots yet, but this is 7 weeks later at 202 12% bf
My first pic was 185 19%


My poor chicken legs =( I realized that back squats may not be as good for me as front squats... So that's what I'm gonna try from now on


Legs are weak =/


Anybody wanna critique me????


You dont know how to smile on camera and need to trim your leg hair.


your numbers don't add up buddy. You're claiming a gain of 30 lbs of muscle in 7 weeks, and a loss of 10 lbs of fat.

Didn't happen.

I honestly don't even think you lost any bodyfat, for one thing. If anything, I would have guessed your bf% stayed right about the same. I would say you probably increased water weight by at least 5-8 pounds (typical of someone getting back into lifting), leaving about 10 lbs split between fat and muscle gain. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say it was a 60/40 split in favor of muscle.

Best case scenario, you gained about 6 lbs of muscle, and 4 lbs of fat, which is perfectly fine. That's respectable progress for 7 weeks. My advice on any pictures you take in the future would be to use the same camera angles, lighting, and poses to gauge your progress more accurately.

Side note: I'm not 100% convinced that you didn't just take the before and after on the same day.... just being honest. You did the whole 'change the hair and shave thing' and you posed unfavorably in the first picture. I dunno man. If this is real, good luck, and keep lifting.


I'm very confused by your stats, I don't feel like doing any math but I don't think you gained 30 plus lbs of lbm and reduced your bf % by 7 percent...Why are you gaining weight when trying to get lean? Gaining 17 lbs in 7 weeks when "bulking" would be extremely ill-advised, let alone gaining 17 lbs in 7 weeks of a fat loss phase lol


Checked my weight again, I was at 202. My goals is to do a clean bulk, not just lose fat. I did gain 17 lbs, not 30. I DID check body fat on those scanners, perhaps they're not entirely accurate. However, my theory is, if take at the same time, it should remain consistent, vendors with slight inaccuracies. Sorry about the lousy first photos, I really didn't think of posing because I was pretty depressed.

Though, if you look closer, you can see I have massive tan lines in my new pictures. I will keep posting. My strength even doubled from beginning until now.

Week one was:
Bench 145x8
Deadlifts 225x5
Squat 145x6

Week 8:
Bench 225x6
Squat 275x4
Deadlifts 325x3

I will post pics/video of my strength training if you want evidence.
I will also post 30 days from now update.

Thanks guys for the comments, makes me want to work vendors harder to perfect everything


Did you even read my breakdown? I'll explain the concept more thoroughly.

If you claim that your bodyfat percentage decreased by 7 points, and you said you gained 17 total pounds, then that inherently means you're claiming you gained more than 17 pounds OF MUSCLE to gain that amount of weight. This is what I'm saying didn't happen. Your bodyfat measuring device is wildly inaccurate.

If I take a long break from lifting, and start again with the intention of gaining muscle/strength, I usually put on right about 10 lbs of water/waste weight in less than a week (drinking more water, particularly during workouts, and eating more food).

After I put on this weight, I can start measuring my lean gains. So if it were me, eating at a caloric excess that allows me to add about a pound per week (this would account for your weight gain), I don't believe I could expect anything more favorable than a 50/50 muscle/fat gain. This would equate to a gain of 3 1/2 pounds of muscle over the 7 week period. This is what I think you gained. My original post suggesting you gained 6 lbs of muscle was being very, very generous.

Keep up the good work on your lifts, those are solid improvements.

I do see the tanlines, so you're obviously not trolling.


My condolences for not fully understanding your original post. I'm somewhat new to solely bodybuilding. I used to compete in muay Thai and always dropped weight for my fights. I'm eating a 40/40/20 with about 270 grams of protein. Any tips to get bigger?


It sounds like you're doing just fine. I don't think putting on that much weight that quickly will yield great results as you move forward, but there's a good chance that will slow down naturally anyway, assuming you've never been significantly overweight in the past. I wouldn't make any wholesale changes until progress slows. Don't fix what isn't broken. You're taking in what most would consider plenty of protein, so you're good there. I'm assuming you're making good food choices, since this diet didn't make you fat.


Definitely this. And I'd say make adjustments on a bi-weekly basis. My weight seems to fluctuate up and down on a daily/weekly basis, but slow has been going up .5-1 lb/week on average. In 2 months I put on 10lbs with only a 3 mm change in my total 7-site caliper reading. That's what you want! Trust me, I've sat between 160-200lbs most of my life and every time I've put on weight, it's been mostly fat until this time. Not worth it. Don't buy into the media blast of how quickly people have put on muscle and stuff. Eat FOR YOU, not what people expect from you. And make changes in 300-500 calorie increments.

You'll be happy in the end.


Thanks! Yeah, it's unfortunate how my mind has been warped from a young age about how much a bodybuilder has to change from all the propaganda bb magazines. No matter how much I remind myself that things are going well... Those stupid pseudo images are not the back of my head... Ahh... Good ol' murica