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Noob to Complexes and Conditioning/Cutting

I’ve been lifting for almost 2 years now, which isn’t much for most of the guys here, but I was able to put on 15 pounds (fat and muscle) after being stubbornly skinny throughout my high school years.

I’m currently starting to do cardio (swimming and free weight complexes) and dieting. My cardio-vascular health is absolute shit though and I’m not sure if I’m doing things right for cutting.

I’ve been doing the Crosgrove Evil 8 complex with a descending rep setup starting with 7 reps down to 2 reps following lifting (I’m able to lift everyday this summer, so only one muscle group everyday) and on my off days, I do freestyle intervals in the pool.

As for dieting, I’m limiting caloric intake to 1750 calories a day with 50g from fat and 120g from carbs. I’ve been keeping a food log using the MyPlate log from the LiveStrong website and staying below my limit hasn’t been hard at all (which is probably why bulking was so hard for me…I’m not a big eater).

Does anyone have any advice, criticisms, or comments for me?

And also, I have two questions:

  1. Is sleeping after intense cardio deleterious to my conditioning/fat loss goal?
  2. Is a single circuit of Evil 8 sets(7x-6x-5x-4x-3x-2x)enough for cardio when I’m in the gym? I feel like death after the last set, but I’m new to this it’s such a short workout that I can’t tell.

1750 calories is…well it IS something i suppose. What it isn’t is good for building a nice strong physique for your level of activity lol. It worries me that you didn’t list how much protein you were getting in. You need to set your calories higher (2750-3000) so when you do stall you can adjust your calories lower IF needed.

  1. Sleeping is always good, never think sleeping is in anyway bad towards your goals.
  2. Yes that is more than enough cardio…actually it’s probably too much considering how low your calories are to be honest.
    That’s all i have to say, I’ll admit i don’t like anything about this. Just because of the calories, you need to eat more. 5 day bodypart split and complexes are great but not if your only eating 1750 calories a day.

3000 calories even if I’m cutting? Even the V-Diet calls for as low as 1580 calories on off days for my stats.

I’m getting about 150-175g of protein a day which I guess is in line with the 1g per lb of body weight rule for proteins, but should it be higher?

I’m pretty sure I’m only about 15% BF give or take, but all my adipose tissue aggregates around my waist and under my neck (I can see arm, chest and back definition already, but based solely on waist and neck, calculations say I am up to 18% BF).

I wish I had a good camera for a progress log and also to show you what I mean, but I don’t.

Well i was just making an example to bump calories a bit so you have room to work with. Yeah the extra calories should come from protein and fats. Carbs around workout times…breakfast too. Don’t go by the V-Diet calculator unless you are doing the V-Diet. Bump the cals at least up to 2500 though (or more)…you don’t want to start out low or you will run into a lot of trouble losing more weight later on. Wait for others to chime in because im not an expert or anything, i can say for a fact the calories are too low though.

I see. I was under the impression that if I shocked my system with a huge caloric drop (ate around 3500-4000 calories while bulking) while maintaining high protein and free weight workouts, I would drop fat quickly (I was hoping for up to 2 pound/week).

Your input is much appreciated though.

It’s kind of like filling your car up quarter full and wondering why you have to keep stopping to get further lol (1750 calories and you keep stalling). Compared to filling it up all the way and then when you do have to fill up you will have a clearer picture on how much more gas you will have to get to reach your destination. (2500-2750 calories then dropping it down gradually).

What you are saying makes sense. I think I will up the calories to just below maintenance (for me I calculated 2200 calories based on several calculators).

While this is very much a beginner thread I think I should’ve posted this in the conditioning forum to get more opinions, so if a mod sees this, please move it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Start eating

Couple things. First, what is your height/weight and how much are you looking to lose? 1750 is a pretty low number of calories unless you are small guy (which then begs the question why you are trying to cut in the first place). Second, your numbers are a little off. You said 1750 calories from 150-175g protein, 50g fat and 120g carbs. That comes out to a range of 1530 to 1630 calories. Lastly, although short in duration, complexes are pretty fatiguing. Don’t feel compelled to do more right away. But keep in mind that you should be progressing in some nature, whether it be heavier weight, longer duration or less rest between sets.

You should have been able to gain much more than 15lbs in two years. You’re obviously not eating nearly enough.

What are your long-term goals? Are you training for a specific sport? Aspire to be a bodybuilder? Just want to look awesome on the beach?

No bodybuilding or powerlifting aspirations, just looking to be fit. I have a hard time getting the calories I need. My only other option is very dirty bulk as I am unable to cram down more than 3000 calories a day without vomiting it all back up…it’s simply too much volume for my stomach.

This is more about conditioning and seeing if I am able to drop some weight from my midsection (I’m one of those guys who are lean everywhere else except the midsection). I’m very bored with lifting (and to be honest I hate lifting for strength/mass compared to things like complexes and swimming).

[quote]Dangles wrote:
I’m very bored with lifting (and to be honest I hate lifting for strength/mass compared to things like complexes and swimming).[/quote]

This right here is going to trump any advice that anyone here gives you. If you don’t love to lift, you’re not going to stick with it long enough to build a decent physique.

If you’re not lifting heavy you’re going to lose a lot of muscle while dieting. Period. And complexes aren’t going to help you retain much muscle because they aren’t heavy enough to be a real muscular challenge. They’re more of an energy-systems type challenge.

Oh yeah, a point I forgot to mention. If you can down 3000 Cals clean, you can hit 5000 easily by eating fairly ‘dirty’. Eat dark meat pork and chicken, don’t be afraid of fat (just try and make most of it unsaturated). Whole milk, whole eggs, olive oil in your shakes.

Yeah, it’s tough to get enough Cals in by just eating chicken breasts and rice, but you don’t have to eat lean all the time. Most of us strike some kind of balance between clean and dirty eventually, for just that reason. The sooner you understand that the ‘fitness industry’ is full of shit, the better off you’ll be.

Eat big, lift heavy. Once you start making real gains, you’ll start to love lifting.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Eat big, lift heavy. Once you start making real gains, you’ll start to love lifting.[/quote]This is key.

There’s all kinds of ways to lift. I could never be a body builder. As a therapist peripheral training seems like complete boring nonsense. I LOVE the Olympic lifts. I enjoy basic compound lifts.

Experiment! Maybe kettlebells are more to your liking?

If your goal isnt to be big than not enjoying lifting isnt a problem.

Whether or not youll be able to reach your ideal physiqe without lifting is another story though. The difference between fitness models and successful bodybuilders is the degree of intensity they take. They both have intensity however. Fitness models just dont take it to the extreme that bodybuilders do. They still lift weights and eat with the goal of adding muscle and losing fat. Barbell complexes and 1700 calories wont achieve that for 95% of people.