T Nation

Need Advices After 2+ Yrs Training

Hello everyone,

I think I need some help and motivation.
After 2+ years of serious training, I hit a plateau and feel a bit ‘lost’.

I will try to resume all the stats and history you need without getting too much in details :
37 y/o
6’3 (192cm)
currently 180 Lbs
very weak : max bench 195, max squat 200, max DL 250

At the beginning I was fat at 180 Lbs (max bench 148 !).
I first lost 18Lbs in 6 months with a deficit diet, and a bodyweight and full-body routine…I became skinny with a 6-packs…(you can see this on my avatar pic).

Then I gained those 18Lbs again.

Of course I tried different programs and diets, but the ones I stick the most with were :
-5/3/1 for 6+ months (gained some strenght but hit a plateau after 6 months)
-12 weeks with John Meadows (very motivational, I lost some BF but did not gained size)
-This winter I worked 10 weeks with Brian Carroll (good powerlifting program, back to the basics ! I gained some strenght)

For now I train Westside way.
My diet is a lean gain approach ‘ala Miyaki’ approx 3.000 cal, 180-200g PRO, 300-400g CHO, 70-100g FAT.

My problems today :
-despite training 3-4 times/week and eating clean, I feel skinny-fat. EVERYtime I tried to (clean) eat more I gained fat on the belly. I think the bulk/cut approach is def not for me. Today I am a bit lost with diet

-strenght gains, and even more hypertrophy gains are near zero for now. My fist goal is to add some SIZE, but today I dont look like I even lift :-/

Any idea ?
Thanks, and please excuse my English !

Mathieu

You need to learn not to freak out about putting on some fat or you will be spinning your wheels for as long as you decide to stick to this game. There is no magic put on 50lbs of muscle while staying at 6% bf bullet.

Sounds like you also need to figure out your goal. You’re freaking out about not being able to lose fat, get big, and get strong at the same time. If you want to be lean, cut the fat, and maintain that weight while working on other goals for 3-6 months, then you can worry about gaining size very slowly because of your age.

If your first goal is size, then you will gain some fat and you just need to make sure you aren’t gaining too quickly. 3000 cal seems way too low for somebody your height to gain size, that is why you’re stalling.

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:

If your first goal is size, then you will gain some fat and you just need to make sure you aren’t gaining too quickly. 3000 cal seems way too low for somebody your height to gain size, that is why you’re stalling.[/quote]

thanks for the advice.
Trust me, I have tried different kinds of diets, and everything above 3.000cal (no matter the diet) seems to directly jump on my belly (and nowhere else !).

As Thib once said, the ‘eat more’ dogma is not that simple…

Thank you
Mat’

Try adding minor amounts. Something like 3,100 cals. Pick a plan with loads of compund movements and some high rep work and stick to it for a year. Expect something like 0.5 - 1 lbs/month at BEST.

If what you say is true-- then unless you have a physiological deficiency or some type of disability, you’re simply not training hard enough.

[quote]Evolv wrote:
If what you say is true-- then unless you have a physiological deficiency or some type of disability, you’re simply not training hard enough. [/quote]

x2

Put yourself in a slight caloric surplus, and focus on getting much stronger in the main lifts. Being as tall as you are, weighing less than 200 is less than ideal.

Lift heavy and do some form of conditioning a few times a week, and see where you are a few months down the line. You’re gonna put on some fat , sure, but it’s way easier losing fat than putting on muscle.

two things I saw in your post.

As soon as the going gets though, you get going on something else. Not judging you, just an observation.

I’m 6’3" and 235lbs. These days I carry a little bit more BF’ then I want to, but I also know it is not forever. Hell, I know from the Anaconda protocol (prelude to Plazma), I can loose fat and get stronger at the same time. So, I already know what to do to loose it.

For me, it is not about “eating more”, although, at times, my diet could be tighter. It’s about the whole “peri-workout” thing. I’m a believer. I also know that with a shitty diet and Plazma/MAG-10/Finibar, I was gaining strength. Not loosing fat mind you. When I cleaned up my diet (and didn’t change anything else), the weight started to go down and strength kept going up (I’m doing 5/3/1 with BBB and loaded carries).

and as mentioned above, choose a goal. I wanted to get stronger and bigger. No use in making things complicated and “keep my 6 pack”. Just get stronger and bigger. Watch your diet to not over do it. Find “YOUR” sweet spot. And remember, as your strength and weight go up, your sweet spot also changes.

I remember reading "you can’t get fat on Finibars and Plazma… believe.

[quote]mat_angus wrote:
Trust me, I have tried different kinds of diets, and everything above 3.000cal (no matter the diet) seems to directly jump on my belly (and nowhere else !).[/quote]
Then you’ve either already added every ounce of muscle your body will ever have, or you’ve got a medical/digestive issue, or you’ve managed to not yet figure out your own particular sweet spot in terms of macros.

From your coaching history, it sounds like you have some disposable income once in a while, so next chance you get, it would be worth hiring a nutrition coach like Meadows, Mighty Stu, Nate Miyaki, or whoever. You don’t need help with training, you need to figure out what’s going on with your diet.

Getting a basic check-up to make sure you are 100% healthy inside (thyroid levels, hormones, etc.) would be a good idea too.

You’ve definitely gotten on track before and you know you’ve seen some good results, so consider this just a minor speedbump.

Thanks to everybody for your help.

I’ll add some intensity and track my dayly intake to see where to problem is.
Keep going :slight_smile:

And again, thanks.
Mat’

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
You don’t need help with training, you need to figure out what’s going on with your diet.
[/quote]

I would also recommend Precision Nutrition by John Berardi. I picked it up last year, found my maintenance sweet spot (I’m 6’4" and it’s about 3000 calories) and now I know that if I need to lose weight I just subtract a couple of eggs in the morning and put less meat in my lunch, or if I need to eat more for recovery or whatever I just add in a shake with carbs here and a handful of nuts there and that puts me a few hundred calories over maintenance.

Try to be comfortable, if not happy, with a bit extra body fat as long as you’re building muscle/getting stronger. You can get rid of the fat easily enough with something like complexes when the time comes.