Need Advice for the Next Step

Hello everyone. I have been a long time lurker, posting now for the first time. Here is a bit of my fitness background before I go into my question. I am a 35 year old man who started workign out using the Scrawny to Brawny book I bought last December and jumped into it right away with the nutrition and the workout programs. I began at 160lbs, and have recently achieved my goal of getting to 180lbs. (Not sure what my body fat % is now or when I started out, but I was pretty lean.)

I work out at home with an barbell set, bench and squat stands to save $$$ and time of going to a gym. I have since been using Ian King’s “Book of Muscle” to continue my workouts knowing confidently that it focused on the essential elements of S2B which is compound lifts and lifting as much as possible, but still following according to the eating plan of S2B.

But achieving my goal has come at a price (a small one at that…one I was happy to pay) and that is a bit of a gut…at least more than I am used to. I have gone from a 32 pant size to a 35, but it seems to be mostly from fat. I have bulked up everywhere else in a good way, legs, arms, chest, back and have been extremely please with results.

My question now is, how to loose the gut, without loosing my extremely hard earned muscles/weight. I have several ideas rattling in my brain should I a) cut my calorie intake back to my maintenance level and add cardio 2-3 days a week? (I had not been previously doing much cardio at all on my S2B journey mainly due to balancing life…8 year old and 5 year olds kids) b) cut my calorie intake back 300-400 calories below my maintenance? (perhaps not doing cardio?) c) keeping my calorie intake at the 500 calories above maintenance that I used during S2B, but just add the cardio.

Also, I had previously been having a Protein + Carb shake before during, and after my workout. If I am going to cut back calories, should I be perhaps eliminating one of those shakes? Also, if I am going to cut calories, should I only cut the calories on non-workout days? I apologize for all the questions, but for 8 months I have been doing nothing but trying to add as many healthy calories into my body as much as possible (which was a struggle), so the whole idea of cutting back seems foreign now, so I am feeling a bit like a fish out of water now. I wouldn’t mind a break from all the eating, but I just want to make sure I do it the right way.

Like I said above, I do not want to loose anything I have gained except the gut! Once I loose a bit of the belly fat, I’d like to head toward my next goal getting up to 190lbs. I would really appreciate any comments from some of the fine people here at this great forum. I really respect your knowledge.

As much as I understand the feeling of need to get rid of the gut, you’d probably be better off just keep on trucking up until your weight goal. And I don’t know any of those programs or books so as for that part of the equation, I can’t say.

Going from a 32" pants to 35" is not minor thing in my book. I’d keep hitting the compounds lifts, but seriously look at your diet. Going from a “lean” 160 to a not so lean 180 with a 3" waist gain doesn’t sound ideal. Hopefully you can salvage some muscle without actually dieting, but merely pulling back a bit.


post diet with macros

post routine

anything else that would matter

What strength increases did you see with the increased weight/gut?

My work out routine changes every 3 weeks, but it centered around the basics. My current 3 week block is focusing on Waves Loading. (Not including warm ups)

Saturday (warm up 10 rep, 8 rep, 6 rep) of both exercises (Always in the morning)
Bench Press (6 rep, 5 rep, 4 rep)
Deadlift (6 rep, 5 rep, 4 rep)

Monday (warm up 10 rep, 8 rep, 6 rep) of both exercises (Evening workout after dinner)
Weighted Pull Ups (6 rep, 5 rep, 4 rep)
Seated Shoulder Press (6 rep, 5 rep, 4 rep)

Wednesday (warm up 10 rep, 8 rep, 6 rep) of both exercises (Evening workout after dinner)
Bent Over Row ((6 rep, 5 rep, 4 rep)
Back Squat (6 rep, 5 rep, 4 rep)

Typical Daily Nutition

6:00 am - Breakfast 250ml egg whites, 2 whole eggs, a cup of veggies

9:00 am - 400 ml Greek Yogurt, 24 almonds

12:00pm - This can vary, but often it is a chicken or beef wrap with some veggies (chicken shawarma, lean beef burge

2:30 - Varies greatly (spinach/chicken salad, a 6-8 oz piece of chicken, ground turkey or steak)

6:00 - 8oz of lean protein (fish, steak chicken etc0 with a serving of veggies

9:00 - 150 ml cottage cheese, 1 scoop cassien protein powder, 2 table spoons of nat peanut butter, and handful of walnuts. Or, 1 serving of Oatmeal with cassien protein powder and 2 table spoons of nat peanut butter.

Workout days always include protein/carb drink before, during and after workout. (welches grape juice, whey protein.) I use 5 g of creatine in my post workout drink.

I hardly ever eat fast food, and do not drink pop at all. Will have a couple drinks on the weekend.

Strengh Increases for 1RM over 10 months (I don’t have my exact numbers with me but I have a general idea)

Bench Press - 135 lbs to 170lbs

Squat - 150lbs to 215bs

Deadlift - 160lbs to 260lbs

Bent Over Rows - 135lbs to 180lbs

Once again I am 5’11 and started out at 160lbs, and am now up to 180lb.

Again, thanks for any criques or advice.

so how many grams fat, grams protein, grams carbs is that?

and idk where you got that from but you need a real BBing routine…

[quote]MAF14 wrote:
and idk where you got that from but you need a real BBing routine…[/quote]

I agree with this, that routine is garbage.

Your progress on your lifts is very good man

Your diet looks like a typical clean diet but knowing how many grams of protein, carbs and fat you are getting every day and adjusting that to what you want to do - get bigger- lose your gut wille be really helpful with achieving your goals.

If I were you I would join a gym and commit more time to your training. Maybe working out 4 or 5 days instead of 3 and following an actual decent program

Here are some numbers from a non-training day. Training day is the same, except adding the 3 protein/carb drinks before, during and after.

120 g
793 mg
2477 mg
201 g
35 g
289 g
68 g

As for the critique of the routine, this is just a 3 week block of what I happen to be doing now. It is a 6 month long routine. This is an Ian King (a guy who is pretty respected in this forum I believe) designed workout. It covers all the major lifts, and offers more variety in other weeks. From what I’ve read from John Berardi from the Scrawny to Brawny book, 3 days is good to start for a beginning ectomorph like myself, as sometimes “less is more”. As a I progress I will add more I am sure. I am a bit surprised at the negative feedback on the routine, since alot articles on this site stress on keeping it simple for beginners…focusing on the major lifts. But I do appreciate the feedback and getting others opinions for sure. Thanks guys. I welcome all comments.

As for the original reason I posted, I am still looking for help on whether I should be cutting calories and continue to lift big, or keep eating big, lifting big and then just add cardio? Can I get away with doing cardio right after my workout, or should I do them seperately on a different day?

that set up is way too simple… even for beginners

you need more exercises and more volume. you should be doing “the basics” 4-5 days a week as well

i know you said you work out at home but you can do plenty of different movements with what you have

trust us, drop the Ian King crap… it is obviously not best for your goals