T Nation

Need Help Sculpting This Mass

Hey t-nation, first time poster here. I’ve been inactive in the gym after a shoulder injury and my body began to lose it’s shape and definition. I am disappointed to see my body come and go and I need help finding the motivation to kill it and get the ball rolling again. I just regained strength to my shoulder and I would like to know, where do I go from here?


Having just had shoulder surgery in January myself, I have to ask…how long were you out? To be blunt, you look like you haven’t see the gym in a very long time. You bodyfat is probably in 25+% range.

You need to make some serious changes to your lifestyle, not just going to the gym. How old are you? How tall, how much do you weigh?


How long were you out?

Honestly, I’d focus on fat loss and conditioning ASAP because that’s not “mass”, that’s fat.

Complexes are a pretty versatile way to ease yourself back into using weights and jacking up your heart rate. Start on the lower side with volume, maybe a little more rest between sets, but I’d get going there.

And, of course, tightening the diet is essential. How have you been eating while out of the gym?

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I’ve been out for well over 2 years. I am 25, am six foot and weigh 203lbs.

I’ve been eating straight garbage fast food really.

I appreciate the tips it’s been 2 years since a serious routine has been executed.

You’ve got a lot of bodyfat to lose and its gonna be difficult. You need some drastic diet changes to see drastic changes in your body.

Go look at @jackolee transformation log. He has tons of daily food logs for you to use as examples.

Why so long? Life just get in the way?

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Damn I have a hard time believing you are 203lbs. Im only 15lbs lighter then you while 4 inches shorter and have abs. You havent worked out how long?

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I’ll definitely give it a look.
Honestly there’s no excuse, I was just lazy. But now I want to work hard and convert my body into a working machine. Just didn’t really know how to get that extra push to realize I’ve really let go.

2 years solid, most of the in between didn’t count as a workout. I’m just shocked it took me this long to take a hard look in the mirror and go, “woah, this ain’t right”. Better days to come.

Good luck and welcome to the forum’s, you can make a log later,Ill be interested to see your progress.

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well then the answer to your question is as easy as it gets… don’t do that! lol.

the first step in your journey should absolutely be to ingrain good eating habits in yourself. Cooking is a good way to do that, along not keeping junk food at home at all. Just eliminating sodas, cookies, candy, chips, baked goods, whatever your thing is, will go a long way. You’ll likely see a tremendous difference in how you feel and look within a month or so if your do this, and really stick to it. Don’t allow yourself ‘cheat meals’ where you indulge in the above products. If you eat something unhealthy, at least make it real food. Some pizza, a burger, whatever. Don’t cheat with sugar.

The gym is the next step. I highly recommend running a professionally written program, so that you make sure you’re using your time wisely. What program you run is entirely up to you. At your level, anything will work as long as you are consistent. If powerlifting programs appeal to you, do that. If lifting logs and stones appeals to you, do that. If you like high rep bodybuilding programs, do that. Whatever keeps you coming back to the gym will be your best bet for getting into better shape.

Cardio (IE running on the treadmill) should not be prioritized. Conditioning work is good, but long runs or bike rides or whatever won’t give you much results for the time and effort you put into them. Higher intensity conditioning work is preferred. If you’re going to run, don’t jog. Do sprints. Do high rep squats with short rest periods. Hit a tire with a hammer. Flip a tire. Hell, you can even do crossfit workouts.

Anyway. If you want more specific help, feel free to ask questions, a lot of people here love to help.


I appreciate that. And yeah, I’ll be sure to track my progress and post it.

Only way to get started is to do it. Eat a gram of protein per lb of body weight. Keep fat super low, and shoot for maybe 150-200 grams of carbs to start. Easiest way to think about clean eating is to go with Whole Foods. (Meat, veggies, grains, fruits). Follow 40_50% protein, 30-40% carbs and 20% fat. There are lots of examples on my log of what a day could look like for you.

I’m surprised by your stats based on the photo. Thought you’d be heavier than 200 at 6ft. Your young man so if you implement changes and work hard your body will respond pretty quickly. Start a log and track your progress

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Yeah thats exactly what I said earlier, his fat must have helium in it or something lol.

what it means is that there is very, very little lean mass underneath the fat.

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I do not believe this. I am also 6 foot and at this point last year weighed in excess of 230lbs. I looked slimmer than you do.

I now weigh 185, accounting for daily fluctuations, with a far from ideal lifestyle. I am far from the most committed, smartest or most genetically gifted on this site. My point is that this stuff is achievable, even for me. You can do this.

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Good shit, I’m on the ball already. Overall you’d say any exercise with body weight, pull ups and push-ups as well as added weight on dumbbells and barbells will help me achieve to make something out of my stomach and chest?

For sure man, thanks . I’ve already started one for today. Just rough getting my body to be pushed like before.

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What can I do to increase my lean muscles in the meantime while cutting the fat out of my life?