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Please Help, Body Recomp (Long)

Hi. I need some help. First, I will tell about myself.

Weight: 200lb
Height: 6’0
Age: 17

So I have been training for about a year now. I started out with a moderately low level of bodyfat, maybe 13%. I started ‘bulking’, but when I look back I realize I did so many things wrong. I ate way too much (and too many carbs), and I kept switching routines. I also trained like a pussy. So eight months down the line I gained practically zero muscle, some strength (but not a whole lot), and a bunch of fat.

I would say I am now in the mid 20s in bodyfat percentage.
About 4 months ago I realized enough was enough, and that I really needed to lose fat and gain muscle. I cleaned up my diet how I could (I was already eating clean, so I lessened my carbs) and I lowered my calories somewhat and then I started doing Rippetoes. I also do cardio 3x a week for 45 min per session.

I am very frustrated because nothing changed, if anything I am even FATTER now. I have more stretch marks. I am so damn angry. I want so badly to lessen my bodyfat and pile on muscle. I know this takes many years of effort but I just feel like I am getting nowhere. I don’t even look like I have ever seen a gym.

I am scared of eating less because I already have a very slow metabolism, and I don’t want to destroy it completely.

So, I have done a lot of reading and this is what I want to do. I want to re-start my metabolism, and try and gain muscle while lessening my body fat. This is the split that I have come up with:

Monday: Chest/Delts/Triceps
Incline Bench Press 4 sets [first 3 sets 8, last set 3-5 reps]
Dips 4 sets max reps
DB Shoulder Press 3 x 6-8
Skullcrusher 2 x 8

Wednesday: Legs
Back Squat 4 sets [first 3 sets 8, last set 3-5 reps]
Leg Curl 4 sets [first 3 sets 8, last set 3-5 reps]
Leg Press 3 x 8-12
Calf Raise 3 x 8-12

Friday: Back/Biceps
Rack Pull 2 sets [first set 8-12, next set 4-6 reps]
Pulldowns 4 sets [first 3 sets 8, last set 3-5 reps]
Cable Rows 3 x 8-12
DB Curl 3 x 8

Saturday: Repeat sequence, so each muscle gets hit every 4-5 days

I will still be doing cardio on my off days, for 45 min per session.

After doing a low volume program like Rippetoes with blah results body image wise (but good strength results) I figured I need higher volume and I needed to bump my training to four sessions a week.

Ok, so diet wise, I want to keep it simple.
Basics:

1)I eat five meals a day.

2)Keep an emphasis on lots of protein, getting as much of it as I can.

3)Fill out the rest of my meal with veggies.

4)Restrict carbs to breakfast, midday and post workout.

This is an example of my diet at the moment:

Meal 1) Oats, protein shake, cottage cheese, strawberries
Meal 2) Chicken, eggs, broccoli, tomatoes
Meal 3 PWO) Beef, eggs, rye bread, red pepper, broccoi, orange
Meal 4) Tuna, cottage cheese, cucumber, celery
Meal 5) Cottage cheese, lettuce

I plan on upping my calorie intake. Will this improve my metabolism? Or will it just make me fat?

The last year has been a roller coaster of frustration and let-down. I just want some guidance. I know there are some very knowledgeable and experienced lifters here. I would really appreciate your opinions on this. I want your thoughts on whether this revamped diet and emphasis on lots of heavy lifting will fix my body, or if I will just end up obese.

Thank you.

I would also like to mention that a lot of the principles I want to use are things I understand from DC training (eating to make the body a ‘human furnace’, for example).

If you want to lose weight you will have to operate in a calorie deficit. The eating plan isn’t half bad. Improving your metabolism means more frequent feeding. Instead of upping your calorie intake split it into 6 meals instead including a pre-sleep casein shake.

Calorie Deficit = weight loss.

CONSISTENT SLEEP/WEIGHTS/FOOD + Dashes of Cardiovascular training.

Give it time. You have to be consistent and patient. It is a lifestyle not a fad. You’ll always be frustrated and upset like last year unless you are willing to actually dive in headfirst and make this a daily habit and routine.

Push yourself in the gym, Vary your rest time between sets. I prefer 15-30 seconds, though if I’m trying to go for one final heavy or PR set I might rest 1min. If I fail once or twice because of fatigue I might rest 2-3 minutes then attempt again.

Train to have the best workout of your life everytime you walk into your gym. Stick with it -

You failed to mention how many calories that you are consuming daily, and where you believe your mainenance level to be.

Simple dieting advice: move more, eat less.

If your diet is clean and you exercise regularily, then there is some excess of calories.

Eat frequent, balanced, small meals adn slowly drop your daily caloric needs to find the piont in which you start dropping bodyfat. If you are lucky, you will still gain muscle while losing fat if you find the right combinatino, especially in the beginning,.

Good Luck.

So you think I should eat as I do now, just over six meals instead of five? And then just give this time?

The diet doesn’t look too bad, but you might try going toward something like Berardi’s habits and/or Joel Marion’s cheat to lose diet. Different diets work for different people, but I’ve had pretty good luck with these diets in terms of putting on muscle with minimal if any fat (eating recommended foods/timings, but with slight calorie surplus).

No offense, but you’re probably still training like a pussy. As you are a beginner, I firmly believe that you could easily handle more volume. I would suggest doing 3 full body workouts per week. Also, make sure you are lifting HARD. I’m not sure what you’ve seen in terms of gains, but that first year should be like magic for strength gains. But you have to push yourself to see it. The best thing you could do is to find a lifting buddy who is quite a bit stronger than you… you’ll find it really pushes you.

does anyone else here have any opinions?

[quote]gobbledigook wrote:
does anyone else here have any opinions?[/quote]

I think you should listen to GraphicMan.

3x full body workouts are your friend.

What does Professor X have to say about this?

This I want to see!

[quote]gobbledigook wrote:
does anyone else here have any opinions?[/quote]

Yes. Like Graphicsman said, it seems you train like a pussy and expect your diet to make up for that.

Correct me if I am wrong.

It seems to be a new thing for people to actually have to be told to work their ass off in the gym. Worse yet, some even need an explanation of what that means as if they thought they would put as much effort as a bikini model on a infomercial selling an ab flex and that muscle will just climb on them for no reason.

If you are “exercising” yet only getting fatter, you are either still eating too much or your “exercising” needs to finally graduate elementary school.

Questions to ask yourself while training:

  1. Am I sweating?

If not, kill yourself.

  1. After that last set do I feel like I just ran a marathon for the following 30 seconds?

If not, kill yourself.

  1. When I get done with this workout, will I feel like I just gave it everything that I have…or do I feel rested and refreshed like I just woke up?

If you feel rested and refreshed, kill yourself.

The very first place I ever trained was a Jack LaLanne on Long Island. All I knew when I went there was that I was skinyy and probably always would be. I had no idea where to even start. They had a dizzying array of equipment that all looked intimidating to me.

There weren’t too many people there who weren’t wearing cute matching suits and were either fat or didn’t look very much like they worked out. Except one group of three guys upstairs where all the REALLY intimidating equipment was. The one guy there who was really big always looked like his face was going to burst during a set and he was always gasping for breath when he was done. His buddies were yelling "come on Kenny come on come come on, you ain’t done, one more one more.

Call me crazy, but I figured if there was anybody there who may have some idea how to proceed it was these guys. I kinda walked near them so I could overhear what they were saying to each other. The theme seemed to be make sure you get everything (don’t skip back and legs), if it didn’t hurt it wasn’t working and make sure you’re eating enough. I didn’t understand much else of what they were talking about anyway even though I clandestinely stood in on maybe a half dozen of their conversations overt the next 2 weeks.

That’s all I knew at that point and that’s what I did with no plan, random exercise selection and 2 whoppers, large fries and a giant coke across the street afterwards. No supps, no shakes and I ate fast food a lot of the rest of the time too. I was excruciatingly sore all the time, but kept at it because I had a 3 month free membership my future wife had won me and oddly enough the soreness felt good in a perverse sort of way. At about the 5th or 6th week I decided to look in the mirror in the locker room. Never even checked to that point even though I vaguely picked up on the fact that I was getting stronger.

Lo and behold every visible muscle in my body was noticeably bigger including my legs. Not by inches, but I could clearly see it. I became a believer in weight training that day.

The moral of the story is, even with practically zero knowledge, inadequate recovery and an abundance of shitty food, hard work and excess calories turned into muscle on my untrained scrawny frame. Looking back I don’t think I would prefer to have started any other way.

This should now be the part where everybody starts talking about how fast food is being recommended as the anabolic food of choice.

Thank you Professor X and Tribulus for your advice. It is greatly appreciated.

I have come to think that I probably do still train like a pussy. I try to train very hard and so that I have nothing left by the end of each exercise, but I obviously don’t work hard enough. It really is good to get an ass kicking back to reality.

I have just felt like I have been stuck in a rut for the past few months. I have been doing my program for nearly a week now (I have gotten to train all muscle groups), and it seems it is just what I should be doing.

Thanks again. I will now proceed to kill myself in the weightroom 4x a week and eat meat and veg like a mofo.

The human body does not spend it’s time waiting in anticipation of the day when it can grow you some new muscle. It’s perfectly happy keeping you safe and level. It will need to be “persuaded”, aggressively and in no uncertain terms that you are not taking no for an answer.

EDIT: I’ll probably be sorry if I don’t also mention that I’m not recommending that people have no plan or goals and eat shitty food. The point I’m making is that with no other information than bust your ass and eat I managed to make gains as a rank beginner.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
The human body does not spend it’s time waiting in anticipation of the day when it can grow you some new muscle. It’s perfectly happy keeping you safe and level. It will need to be “persuaded”, aggressively and in no uncertain terms that you are not taking no for an answer.

EDIT: I’ll probably be sorry if I don’t also mention that I’m not recommending that people have no plan or goals and eat shitty food. The point I’m making is that with no other information than bust your ass and eat I managed to make gains as a rank beginner. [/quote]

Well, you also need to add that most of these bastards spend all of their time planning and making sure they are on this week’s latest training program…yet they completely leave out that whole “bust your ass” and “eat a lot” issue.

It is like they believe they can THINK their way to muscles.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

  1. Am I sweating?

If not, kill yourself.[/quote]

For. The. Win.

This needs to go on a t-shirt. I’m constantly amazed at how little effort people consider “hard work.” I impressed a guy by pulling 315 the other day. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was my warm up set. I watched one kid do a set of squats, absolutely rock-bottom, for 25 reps, and then throw in an extra rep just because he could. Then, he caught his breath and did it again. There was a crowd watching him. And when he was done, they all went back to their curls and mirrors.

To the OP: here’s one of the routines I use when I’m dropping weight:

1a. Chins: 5 reps
1b. Dips: 20 reps
1c. Decline Crunches: 20 reps
1d. Lunges: 20 reps
1e. Dumbbell Swings: 20 reps

These are done in a circuit, as fast as possible, for five circuits. You can get this done in… guessing… 40 minutes, and you’ll feel like dieing afterwards. These are the types of workouts you need to be doing. Search around for meltdown, afterburn, and complexes. That’s the kind of stuff you should be looking at.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
The human body does not spend it’s time waiting in anticipation of the day when it can grow you some new muscle. It’s perfectly happy keeping you safe and level. It will need to be “persuaded”, aggressively and in no uncertain terms that you are not taking no for an answer.

EDIT: I’ll probably be sorry if I don’t also mention that I’m not recommending that people have no plan or goals and eat shitty food. The point I’m making is that with no other information than bust your ass and eat I managed to make gains as a rank beginner.

Well, you also need to add that most of these bastards spend all of their time planning and making sure they are on this week’s latest training program…yet they completely leave out that whole “bust your ass” and “eat a lot” issue.

It is like they believe they can THINK their way to muscles.[/quote]

LOL, yes that was the gist. Here’s another thing that I hesitate to mention for fear of causing a tangent. I used about 90% machines those first few months only because I was by myself and didn’t know any better (or worse). It makes me laugh at myself when I think back at how many things I did to break todays rules , but I really did bust my ass and eat and it worked.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
The human body does not spend it’s time waiting in anticipation of the day when it can grow you some new muscle. It’s perfectly happy keeping you safe and level. It will need to be “persuaded”, aggressively and in no uncertain terms that you are not taking no for an answer.

EDIT: I’ll probably be sorry if I don’t also mention that I’m not recommending that people have no plan or goals and eat shitty food. The point I’m making is that with no other information than bust your ass and eat I managed to make gains as a rank beginner.

Well, you also need to add that most of these bastards spend all of their time planning and making sure they are on this week’s latest training program…yet they completely leave out that whole “bust your ass” and “eat a lot” issue.

It is like they believe they can THINK their way to muscles.

LOL, yes that was the gist. Here’s another thing that I hesitate to mention for fear of causing a tangent. I used about 90% machines those first few months only because I was by myself and didn’t know any better (or worse). It makes me laugh at myself when I think back at how many things I did to break todays rules , but I really did bust my ass and eat and it worked.[/quote]

Yeah, but I would like to use free weights, if only for the challenge.

I would just like to say that I am really glad I made this thread. It has been a wake up call and I see now that I have been living in a cookoo land in terms of what I perceived as hard effort. I have been recently watching some vids of Branch Warren training (he is fucking intense by the way) and I am beginning to realize wxactly how I should be approaching the weight room.

[quote]gobbledigook wrote:
<<< Yeah, but I would like to use free weights, if only for the challenge.

I would just like to say that I am really glad I made this thread. It has been a wake up call and I see now that I have been living in a cookoo land in terms of what I perceived as hard effort. I have been recently watching some vids of Branch Warren training (he is fucking intense by the way) and I am beginning to realize wxactly how I should be approaching the weight room.[/quote]

If I were training somebody I would have them learn the major exercises with free weights before using machines. My only point in any of this was that the only thing I really did right was work hard and eat and I grew. In the beginning especially, how you work is much more important than what you work as far as programs are concerned. Even for experienced guys, the wrong program worked with balls and sweat will work better than the perfect one half assed.