T Nation

Need help with

Background: In February I was at 17%BF. With modest changes in my diet and exercise I quickly lowered my BF to ~12%.


Now comes my problem. In the past 11 weeks I was only able to drop 1%BF!!! I’m currently at 11%. Im STUCK. I tried each of the following training and diet protocols for 3 weeks without results before moving onto the next routine.

- T-Dawg/Meltdown I training

- JMB WinFormula diet,HIIT,aero/ 5x5 training

- Steroid diet(Androsol) / Blocks training.

Could my lack of progress have to do because I’m retaining a different type of bodyfat? When I roll my lower abdomen fat between my fingers it feels fibrous or lumpy. It never used to feel that way when I was fatter, nor does it feel like that anywhere else on my body.

If anyone has any theories on this STUBBORN lower body fat, or simply any suggestions to lose it I would appreciate your input. It would also be nice to hear from others who have the same problem, regardless if you have dropped the fat or not. =) Thanks

Eventually just about everyone reaches a bodyfat loss sticking point which you are obviously in. Whether this happens to one when they hit 11% bodyfat or 5% bodyfat is individual but you must do 1 of 2 things:

  1. Drastically lower your calories and increase your activity level.
    or
  2. “Trick” your body into releasing it’s fat.
    If you were dieting for a contest or photo shoot you would probably have no choice but to opt for #1 which would typically entail a drastic increase in cardio and the use of drugs such as thyroid etc. Since you probably aren’t on any type of deadline#2 would probably be much easier. My advice is to increase your calories and put some muscle back on. To do this you’ll have to feed your body which will stimulate your metabolism and hopefully talk your body out of hanging on so tight to that stubborn lower body fat once your resume dieting. If it were me, I would do a 2 week cycle of something like 4AD-EC, Androsol or Mag 10 for partitioning. Not a full blown bulking cycle but with calories slightly over maintenance. You could of course do this without any androgens etc. but you would probably put a little fat back on. You can expect to fill out nicely and after this short little refeed you can expect to once again be able to lose fat and break your sticking point once you resume dieting.

crunchy:


You’ve most likely reached that point where you are battling two VERY strong forces:


1)“The Plateau”: That point in which the body is attempting to establish a new “setpoint” or point of “homeostasis and normalcy” after being shocked into change by whatever forces have acted upon it. This is ESPECAILLY true if that change is both a) rapid and b) dramatic (“dramatic” being defined roughly as a change much different from what it’s “baseline” is.


2)The body’s attempt, as we get closer to essential body fat stores, to protect those stores. The closer we are (percentage wise) to those stores (defined roughly as 3% of the total fat in our body), the more the body will fight in order to prevent tapping into those stores.


What do you do?


Take it easy. Maybe for a month on so:


1)MAINTAIN your current BF% and weight (or at least attempt to avoid fluctuations of greater than 1% or so), by maintaining at or near maintenance caloric levels.


2)“Zig-Zag” periodically during that time from hypo- to hyper- to maintenance calories in your diet, BUT not dramatically. Just enough to keep the body “off balance”.


3)Keep workouts and cardio less intense (maybe 50% of 1RM, no failure, no intervals and just enough to break out in a light sweat and to talk comfortably).(Think in terms of doing “warm-up” types of workouts and cardio. Take it easy, but keep the body stimulated).


At the end of this period, hit the body HARD with your pre-determined workout strategy. IF you’ve done a good job of maintaining your current bodyfat levels, fat loss should resume nicely!


Hope this helps!

Thanks guys for the input.

Kelly : I’ll give your #2 recommendation a try. It would almost be impossible to give #1 a try after doing the steroid diet at 1200cal/day.

Kelly/Mufasa: First off, I’m going to take 3-4 days off any kind of training/cardio/HIIT before resuming a lifting only program. Do you think I should use Massive eating nutritional guidelines, or would that be too much food?

I almost forgot. Do you guys have any idea why my lower body fat would feel fibrous/lumpy?

Crunch: You are getting to deeper layers of fat, going from sub-epidermal to dermal. The dermis has much more connective tissue, etc. that the fat courses through. The sub-epidermal layer is the MAIN layer that we tend to lose and gain over and over, but as we get to lower and lower bodyfat percentages, we simply begin to go to those deeper layers, which are imbedded in more connective (fibrous) tissue.(Take a look at a section of a fatty piece of meat in the grocery store. That gives you a good idea as you go from the epidermis to the deeper layers of meat).


Hope this helps!