T Nation

Need Serious Help Breaking A Plateau!


#1

I am on a cutting phase to where my goal is to get down to about 6-7% BF. I have been on this phase for about 12 weeks now and have made some pretty good results. However, about a month ago the progress came to a screeching halt. I have not been able to loose even a single pound in the last 4 weeks no matter what I do.

My training consists of 5 days a week bodyweight excercises. MWF I am doing about 5-7 different bodyweight excercises in a circuit. Ex. Pushups(25-30 secs), Dips(30 reps), Squat Jumps(25-30 secs), Spiderman Crawls(20 reps), Plank(30 secs). I repeat a circuit like this about 4 times with about 90 secs of rest between each circuit and no rest between excercises.

Cardio is done on tue. and thur. and consists of interval training. Ex. warm-up 5 minutes at about a 3 on the Percieved Exertion Scale(PES). Then Ill do six 1 min intervals with a movment like running at about an 8-9 on the PES with 90 seconds of rest between each interval.

My typical daily diet looks something like this:

Meal 1 930am
3 slices of bacon(no nitrates or nitrites added and hormone free)
3 whole eggs (Organic and Omega 3 enhanced)
1 slice of organic sprouted bread(I sprinkle some cinamon on top)
1 small serving of fruit

Meal 2 1200pm
5oz Steak
1 Cup broccoli
1 serving of fruit
Some days I replace this meal with a fruit smootie

Meal 3 300pm
5oz Chicken Breast
1/4 cup brown rice cooked
Medium green salad

Workout 430pm-530pm

Meal 4(after workout)
Protein smoothie (Myoplex Deluxe and 2 different fruits)

Meal 5 900pm
5oz Tuna and medium Salad.

My body type is enodmorph (with a fair percentage of ectomorph)
My current weight is 213 lbs.
I am now at about 12-13% BF. I really would like to get to about 6%.

Has anyone had similar goals and experiences and overcame it and reached their goals? If so, how was it done? Help please!!! As Im sure you know, this can be very frustrating.

Thanks
Jor-el


#2

How tall are you, what’s your estimate maintenance level of calories, and what’s the daily caloric value from your menu above? And do you have access to weights?


#3

Height is 5’11

With the above meal template, I usually get about 2200-2400 cals

Yes, I have access to weights. I started doing bodyweight movements such as these through a program of a fitness coach. However, Ive been training about 6 years and Im no stranger at all to weights.
My lifts are:
Bench: 320lbs
Squat: 350lbs
Deadlift: 385lbs


#4

Okay, your diet looks good. My advice to you is stop with the bodyweight exercises. Those are only so good. for so long. You NEED to start hitting the iron again. You look pretty strong, so start lifting heavy.

For so long, I was convinced that circuit training and bodyweight exercises from mens health, etc. would get me ripped…no, you know what gets you ripped? Lifting heavy ass weights and a solid diet with some cardio. Right now, every workout, I lift heavy, really heavy. I carb cycle. And I’m getting ripped and big at the same time. Keep everything the same but start lifting again. Either do an upperbody/lower body split. Like mon/tues. wed off. thurs/fri. Do cardio on off days and in the morning before your upper body workouts, NOT lower body. I’ve been there. You just gotta lift some heavy ass weight.


#5

I would add some more protein and cut all the fruit, brown rice, and fruit smoothie. Make sure you get a fiber supp. Lose the bacon and add some ground beef or turkey.

Between 3 and 9 all you are getting is a protein smoothie?

Also, most diets should only be used for 1-2 months at a time. Maybe you’ve just gotten stale on it and need to eat regularly for a month, then try it again.


#6

Instead of the just a PWO smoothie, I would add a steak and salad.


#7

If I were you I would consider taking like 3-4 days off and just do some NEPA stuff…maybe your body needs a quick break to recharge.


#8

I would add resistance training to the program.
I would add more cardio - some steady state in the morning, adding days to a total of 6 days a week if necessary.

It is notoriously hard to get very low in bf - as it isnt natural for so many.

So when (thats WHEN) results stop - you should do one or more of the following:

Reduce calories from carbs or fat.
Introduce re-feeds/cycling methods.
Add cardio - steady state is best at the latter times due to it being less catabolic.
Increase volume of RESISTANCE training (add resisted workouts to preserve as much muscle as possible).

Remove the fruit. You simply cannot go on a low carb diet with a view to attaining single digits and still include fruit after 2 months.
Remove rice - save the carbs for the re-feeds - either every 7 or every 10 days, depending on metabolism/results.

I am a little confused how you can be endo with a large percentage ecto!

At 213lbs and 11% and 5’11" you should have a decent amount of muscle mass there and you would currently look really quite lean with visible abs and a flat stomach - you’d be relatively muscular and thick. Does this sound correct? If not, then your bodyfat is likely off by a significant degree.

But to conclude, you need to drop the fruit and carbs, allowing planned re-feeds to promote anabolism and metabolic rises. Then you should include more resisted training and add AM cardio. These changes if managed well will see you through to your goal.

Brook


#9

Thanks guys!! this definitely helps!

*Brook
What I mean by being mixed body type is that I easily gain fat and hold on to it like an endmorph, However I have long limbs like an ectomorph. Also, im a bit confused on the suggestions you give above. would you mind giving me a sample idea of what you are saying my daily diet should look like including the suggestions youve made? That would be a great help! Thanks!

Also, Im a little confused about your cardio suggestions. I have heard that morning fasted cardio is a great technique to loose bf. At the top of your post, i think this is what you are referring to. But then you say steady state cardio is best done later. Can you explain this as well?

Also, you all have confirmed my thoughts about returning to the weights! I have been thinking this for a while now so im definately going to do so!


#10

That just means you’re a long-limbed endomorph.

  1. Keep lifting heavy weights. You’ve got some good strength and you should preserve it. Bodyweight exericises won’t work, you need to keep lifting heavy.

  2. Those bodyweight circuits sound great, from a cardio perspective. You could perhaps do them on off days in between lifting, or even after lifting. (you could mix in your more traiditional interval cardio as well).

  3. It seems like 2300 cal per day should be a deficit that would give you some fat losses… have you tried using the harris benedict formula on yourself?