T Nation

Need Advice and Motivation


Hello everyone,
I'm looking for some advice on what to focus on. I'm 20, about 6 foot even, 170 lbs. I've been lifting off and on for a few years. My problem seems to be a lack of motivation and commitment.

I'll start a program and it'll peter out after a few weeks and i'll change my mind and try something else. I can't choose between trying to gain weight, or trying to cut. I think I have pretty small arms and generally lack muscle, so I would want to bulk up. But I also have a fair amount of fat in my opinion, mostly in the abdominal area.

I can't decide between bulking or cutting. I want to be bigger because I have little arms, but i want to be smaller because I have too much bodyfat. Any comments, opinions, and advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance!


How about you try to correct your habits and establish some consistency before you make any decisions about what direction to take your body? If you can't even stick with a program, then decisions like whether to bulk or cut are useless to you, since you won't follow through.

Follow Berardi's 7 habits article and a basic program like Big Boy Basics for 8 weeks. This is your only goal. Chances are you'll see improvements in both directions (more muscle, less fat). If you can actually stick with it for this time period, then maybe you'll be in a position to make some longer term goals.

Here are the links:




The main problem why I can't stick with a program is because I decide I'd be better off doing the opposite of what I happen to be doing at that time. Like I'll be "bulking" and then I'll wake up one morning and look in the mirror and just be like okay I dont like what I see and so i'll change it around and start to cut instead.


i'm gonna be super honest with you...what do you think you would look like if did go ahead and cut?...and does that appeal to you?...if it does, than go ahead...i can tell you what i think you would look like....doesn't look like you have much of a chest, arms, shoulders, traps, even abs...personally i think that if you did go ahead with a full cutting cycle you would loose a bit of the muscle you do have now and the end result would be just about what you have right now...same look just smaller...

my opinion is bulk...i'm not saying to go crazy and get downright fat...be sensible about it and even with the bit of fat that will come with the muscle you will have a better shape and look worlds different...good luck with your training and the choice you make


When I say cutting I suppose I should mention that I don't mean a full-out "cutting cycle." I mean to lose overall weight and lower my bf% because I don't like the flab I do have. The last few weeks I have been following ABBH I. Any thoughts on that? What do others use as their form of motivation to stick with their goals? Thanks to everyone so far!


don't know much ABBH I, never done any of the routines here...i love to read them and see what the writers where thinking when they came up with them...but i still do my own thing...from what i've read alot of people have seen good results from it so if it makes sense to you make sure your diet is in check and go ahead and do ABBH I to the end...as far as motivation, i seriously picture myself at a level that few ever get...something like the Olympia stage....


Good post. This is exactly what you should do. You need to find the motivation to stick to it yourself. I'm not sure how we could give it to you. But if you are consisent with diet and training along these lines you should see some results, and that should be some motivation for you.


Pick a goal and stick with it for a period of time, no matter what other people say. That includes you, don't use the mirror to talk yourself into ending/changing a program. Let the calendar decide for you instead, and you can measure, evaluate, and re-assess as appropriate.

I think you'll be more motivated if you're more focused.

Judging by your stats and picture, I would bulk.


When I need motivation I look at my old pics and compare them to my new ones and then I get on T-Nation and that normally does the trick!!!
Try lifting in front of a mirror with your shirt off .. IMO seeing your muscles working is major motivation!!!!


Cutting should not even be in your vocabulary for 2 more years. Please see my profile. I am cutting, but only after over a year of bulking and 35 lbs later. This won't happen in 3-6 or 10 weeks. And it won't happen if you eat like a girl.

What do you eat, what programs have you tried?

I don't see a body that has 2 years of switched up work out programs.

I see no-going-to-the-gym syndrome
or .....
I-fuck-off-and-talk-to-my-buddies-while-in-the-gym syndrome.

Also I see that you don't eat much.

All your shit needs to be re-arranged. You have come to the right place.

Keep it SIMPLE for now. If you have gleaned anything from this site, you should know what to do already.


Cutting!!!!!!!! wtf!!!!!! cutting what? cutting off a limb?

Here is your new routine: follow it for 3 months solid:

Mond: squats 3x8

Weds: squats 3x8

Fri: squats 3x8

Add 5 lbs to the bar each workout. Add one set to the workout each week. In 12 weeks you should have added 180lbs to the bar and be doing 15 sets of 8 squats 3 times a week.

That approach is only 10% insane compared to your current approach which is 90% insane.


Thanks again for the responses guys. Rockscar, I think thats the kind of motivational talk I need. I'm going to finish the abbh routine and go from there. Any suggestions on caloric intake/macronutrient division?


Why don't you go with carb cycling. It promises muscle gain AND fat loss. And there's and article about it here somewhere.


For me, my motivation is the sport of fighting. If you could find a sport that you love and work out to become better at that sport, might motivate you. It sounds like you just start working out with no direction. Maybe try to find a direction in your workout and stick with it for a given time. Good Luck