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.