T Nation

Need Help. Not Sure Which Direction to Go

Hey, everyone. I’ve been trying to get some decent help for a while now from different forums, but I just can’t seem to get answers. So I decided to turn to you guys at T-Nation. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a beginner. I have done my fair share of research, and a few years ago I was overweight and lost about 30 pounds. But since then, I’ve worked out off and on and gained that back plus more.

However, a lot of what I gained back is muscle, so I’m okay with that. But my dilemma is this: I really want to gain size, but I hate carrying around this extra fat because it’s all concentrated to my midsection. I feel like I’m stuck because I don’t want to cut and then lose muscle mass, but on the other hand, I don’t want to bulk and gain more fat. I don’t want to go up another pants size! I’m already at a 36x34! That size is hard enough to find as it is. This is where I need your expertise.

First, my stats: Male, 29. 6’4". 235 pounds. Here’s my MWF workout. I lift as heavy as I can so that I am at or near failure by the last set.

As for my workout, I basically took Stronglifts 5x5 and added to it. I’ve caught a lot of flak for not sticking to a pre-made program. So I am considering Power Training from Robert dos Remedios as I have the book and I did it for a short while some time ago. But as of now, this is my workout.

Squat/Deadlift (I alternate days on these) 5x5
Overhead barbell press 5x5
Pull-up 5x5 (I still have to use the assist machine for this, but I’m working my way away from it. One of my goals is to do pull-ups without it.) Dumbell/Barbell bench (I alternate days on these) 5x5
Bent barbell row 5x5

Like I said, that’s MWF. On TRS, I do two miles of HIIT. After HIIT, I do some core exercises (not sure of their exact names but stuff like chops, weighted sit-ups, planks, etc.).

My goals are to, you guessed it, gain size and lose fat. My chest has always been my weakest area and the hardest for me to make gains in. But I’ve started taking creatine to help with the size gain. This is kind of worrisome to me. I want to gain size, but I don’t want the creatine to cause extra fat gain. But honestly, all of my excess weight in concentrated to my stomach, and that’s it. And it has killed me for, like, forever. I just can’t seem to get rid of it no matter what my diet or workout is. I feel like I’m working my ass off and making little progress. Any suggestions?

Also, here is an example diet:

Breakfast (same every day): Smoothie with one banana, one scoop peanut butter, two cups spinach, one scoop protein, frozen fruit and a bit of almond milk.

Mid-morning snack: Protein or protein bar and some fruit

Lunch: Turkey and ham sandwich on whole wheat with fruit or almonds

Pre-workout: Protein

Post-workout: Creatine and protein

Dinner: Whatever wife makes. Usually more on the healthy end. I know this is vague. An example would be, I don’t know, whole wheat turkey spaghetti or chicken with sweet potatoes.

Night-time snack: Something with protein

I don’t cheat eat that much; maybe once a week, if that. That’s a lie. I cheat more than I should. I’ll be honest with that. And I drink tons of water. I just feel like, I don’t know, maybe I’m doing something wrong and I could use some advice.

Again, I’ve started taking one dose of creatine monohydrate immediately after lifting, and I take it immediately before HIIT. I read the examine.com article on creatine, which is what kind of prompted me to start creatine.

So, any helpful advice or whatever would be so greatly appreciated. I couldn’t do it without you guys!

Thanks, everyone!

I think you’re just going to have to bite the bullet and decide what direction you want to go in. You can cut weight and keep muscle loss at a minimum if you do it slowly and ensure adequate protein intake just as you can bulk up and not gain as much fat by cheating less and keeping your diet under control and just adding quality calories. You seem to have your workouts under control as well as your diet if you have it all planned out like you said, its just time to make a decision and see where it goes.