T Nation

Need Some Advice


Hello Everyone,

I've been reading articles and threads on the site for a couple of weeks now. I just joined and wanted to say hello and also what a great site this is. Now I'd like to ask for any help or advice that any of you may have.

I'm 25yo, 5'11", 36" waist, weigh 200lbs. I have a endomorph body type, so it's hard to lose weight. I recently started to train in Muay Thai/Boxing about a month ago, but I only started going on a healthy diet about two weeks ago.

My Current Eating Habit for the week*:
Breakfast - I eat 2-3 slices of whole grain bread, sometimes with natural peanut butter. On weekends I'll make an egg sandwich.

Lunch - Small serving of pasta salad w/broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, chicken breast pieces, olive oil, and some fat free Italian dressing. Sometimes I'll have chicken breast with brown rice and veggies.

Dinner - A meat product, generally chicken breast, sometimes fish, or lean steak once a week. Always served with vegetables, and either brown rice or the pasta salad.

  • Sat nights I usually go out to a restaurant with friends, so I'll have fattier foods. There's also alcohol involved.

My Current Exercise Routine:
M & Tu - Just work and school.

W & Th & F - Train 1-2 hours a day, then I lift weights. I also runa mile, but this week I'm starting a new running program found on this site. Has to do with jogging, then sprinting and also 400m sprints. (Sorry, I don't have the link).

W & F - 3 sets with 5-7 reps(bench press, bicep curls, situps, close grip bench press, butterflies, and squats).

Sat - I'll play basketball or spar/mitt work with my friend.

Sun - Usually no exercise. Sometimes I'll do some pushups and situps/leg lifts.

I'd like to fight competitivly in the future, so my goal is to drop weight while gaining strength. I'd like to drop back down to around 150lbs and also back to a 32-33" waist. I'd like to be lean with muscle definition, but not huge.
Do you have have any suggestions or advice for my routine?

Thanks in advance.


5'-11" and 150lbs? You want to be that skinny? As an endomorph you may never be able to get down to that unless you surrender all LBM that you have. You would become skinny fat. [/rant]

Really there is a wealth of nformation here on plans and diets that should help you go on your way. I hesistate recommending any specific one as I think you need to re-evaluate your goals, and then go from there.


I chose 150 because thats what I was during college and had a 32" waist size. I've never been muscular so I'm not sure what a healthy weight for me would be. I just really want to lose weight and gain strength, but not mass.


Just an observation, but if the order you listed these is your order of emphasis/importance, then it seems you have a long way to go. There are 3 chest exercises, no dead lifts or back exercises. If you are involved in a combat sport, you should incorporate some Olympic lifts and work on overall power. Ask your coach what he/she recommends for conditioning because he/she knows you on a personal basis.

Your diet doesn't look too good. Look at some of Berardi's articles and start a food log (if you haven't already).

My $0.02.


HMM a question to conbsider. You want to get back to that weight and size from college AND fight at a competitive level. OK the question?? was that size and weight what you need/want for those goals. At the same weight and same size on the same body your performance is likely to be well the same as prior or very close. Remember muscle is heavy and dense doesnt take up much room for the high amounbt of weight.

So if the answer to the above is no then readress the weight/size goal. I would aim to train for perfomance at first and find at what BF% etc your perform the best if fighting is your goal. many times that is NOT the lightest weight you can get to.

address those questions and the others and im sure we can all help point you in a good direction or two.

Hope that helps,'


Bottom line- don't get hung up on the specific weight you want to be. Train hard and eat smart and you will eventually end up where you need to be. I could see you at around 165-170 at <10% BF and be pretty competitive. You would look as lean as you did at around 150, but be considerbly more muscular. Also- be aware it's rather tough (don't specifically quote me on this) to gain strength without gaining some mass. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Mass will be helpful, and it shouln't hinder your performance- quite the contrary. I doubt you will just gain mass out of nowhere, just avoid the hypertrophy.


Hey buddy,

You and I are probably fairly similar in build from the sound of it. We are the same height, and at 18 I was 210lbs, 36" around the middle. First off, I want to congratulate you on your willingness to change your habits. Keep in mind that more important than where you are now, is where you are headed; find satisfaction not with an end result but with the gradual (and I highlight gradual) progress you are making. Doing this will ensure your success.

I do want to point out one thing. If we are really similar, your goal of 150lbs is quite unrealistic, and even unhealthy. I know because I've been there. I dropped down to ~145-150 lbs at the lowest (with 6% bf), and looked like I was starving to death. My waist was around 28 inches, which made finding clothes a real pain too. I was sick constantly, and caught every cold worse than anyone I knew. I felt frail and miserable.

The take home point is this, 150 is way too low a goal. If all you want is a 32" waist, with some exercise you should have it by 170-175 lbs easy. I wouldn't recommend dropping below 165, instead focus on eating a good deal of clean food and gaining muscle.

I'm an endo myself; it can both be an asset and a pain. You will at some point try to increase cals to gain weight, it is really important that you do this slowly. I'm pounding back 4k atm with almost no fat gain, but at 2500 cals I gained 10lbs of mostly fat because I had been so calorically deprived prior.

One last tip, don't cut out saturated fat completely. You need it for hormonal reasons.


Try eating more for breakfast. Ideally, breakfast should be the largest meal of the day. It will help to maintain your metabolism all throughout the day.

If you're like me and you're in a time-crunch in the morning, try getting some pre-made protein shakes. Either buy ready-to-drink shakes (expensive) -OR- do what I do: collect a bunch of Gatorade bottles and make 5 or so shakes on Sunday night. Then each morning just grab one and chug. It even works well to drink them on the drive to work.


Is it possible to have too much protein? I was thinking of purchasing whey/casein mixes fopr pre-workouts and maybe as a meal replacement sometimes. I do I calculate how much protein and calories I require daily? Thanks


You bring up a good point regarding my weight and how effective it would be now. I was at that weight from playing on the HS basketball team, but I imagine that it wouldn't be a good fighting weight for me as I wasn't muscular.

What kind of a goal should I be setting for myself?


The usual recommended amount of protein for body-building is somewhere around 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body-weight. You'll want to adjust this for your own goals, i.e. competitive fighting doesn't require HUGE muscles, it requires STRONG muscles. I'm not a nutritionist, so I don't really want to talk out of my ass in regards to exactly how much protein or many calories you should be eating, that'll depend greatly on your own metabolism.

Dr. John Berardi has written an outstanding book on nutrition for fighters titled "Grappler's Guide to Sports Nutrition" Check it out, John Berardi is held in very high regard on this site.

Keep in mind also that protein shakes tend to be digested faster than, say, chicken or beef; thus they work better for times when you need speedy-protein, such as post-workout. Surge (found on this site) is one of the best post-workout supplements, as it contains the right mix of carbs/protein, and has whey protein hydroslate (super-fast digesting) to get the amino-acids to your muscles as fast as possible. Casein protien is great for pre-bedtime, as it digests slowly, and 'feeds' you for most of the night.

Just FYI: other than the light breakfast, your diet looks pretty good. Move some of the calories earlier in the day, and you'll have a great starting point. Going out to dinner once a week for a cheat-meal isn't going to hamper you much. Same thing with alcohol, a couple of drinks per week isn't going to hurt much.

Since it hasn't been mentioned on this topic yet, you'll want to read: http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1034530 Its an article on MMA-specific training. This site has a good mix of weightlifting guys, but most (including me) don't do competitive fighting, and we're kinda ignorant on the subject. We can give plenty of weight-training tips, tho. Just keep your goals in mind.