Please Lend Your Knowledge

Hey everyone, I’m 20 years old and I’ve been in the weight room for a year and a half now and have taken myself from 320 lbs to 187 lbs (6’1") in that time frame. My form on the upper body lifts has been good throughout my time training but due to mobility issues and ignorance I’ve only been using good form on my lower body lifts for about four months, and to be honest I’ve only been training correctly, or what I believe to be correctly, for four months.

I followed Crossfit Football for about two months and I saw a forum on here that shit on CFFB pretty hard but it did do a lot for me, although it is definitely lacking in many ways so I stopped and tried to build a program specific to my needs. I’m gonna post some of my stats and then transition into what kind of help I’m looking for:

Squat: 275 lbs 1RM last time I tested, but currently doing 3x3 at 265 lbs
Deadlift: 365 lbs 1RM
Bench: 250# 1RM
Power Snatch: Currently doing 5x3 at 150 lbs
Press: 160 lbs 1RM
Bent Over Row: 185 lbs 1RM
Sumo DL: 345 lbs 1RM
Floor Press: 3x5 at 190 lbs
Max Pull-ups: 13
Max HSPU: 12
1 mile: 6:50

Now for my training split…

Squat 3x3 @ 265
Floor Press 3x5 @ 190
Weighted Pull-ups 3x5 @ 7.5
HSPU 3xMax
Farmer’s Walk 3x45sec @ 75 each hand

5x3 Power Snatch @ 150
Work up to 3RM Sumo DL @ 325
Bent Over Rows 3x5 @ 155
Max Chin-ups 3x5
Weighted Planks 3x30sec w/ 45 plate on back

Squat 3x3 @270
Plyo Push-ups 3x5
Press 3x5 @ 140
Weighted Pull-ups 3x5 @ 10
Low-Hi Cable Chop 3x6 @ 40
Paloff Press Iso Hold 3x30sec @ 40

Increase squat by 5 each time, sumo by 10, snatch by 2.5, and all upper body lifts by 2.5. Rest between sets is 3 minutes except for body weight and ab exercises which is 1 minute. Only cardio is pickup basketball with my friends a few times a week and a 4 hour fasted walk on Tuesdays because I trim the gravestones of a massive graveyard. The only supplement I take is creatine mono and the only medication I take is Adderall XR 30 mg every morning. I get about 2400 calories per day 35/30/35 C/P/F.

I weigh my meat and measure my milk and salad dressing. Don’t count calories from veggies or fruit but I only have a banana in the morning for fruit. Carb sources are milk, potatoes, and bread. Protein is chicken breasts, milk, eggs, and 93% lean hamburger. Fat is milk, burger, eggs, cheese, and a little bit of cesar dressing. On average two days a week I’ll relapse into my old fat self and eat a good amount of ice cream or pop tarts and shit like that.

Couple months ago I was 195 and eating about 1500 calories a day without losing any weight. Was about to drop to 1200 a day but I was like fuck that I’ll die so I slowly started raising them. Got down to 187 but I’ve been stalled for about four weeks and not seeing anymore fat loss. And that’s why I’m here. My goal weight is 180 and I’m gonna need some help to get there.

My goal as far as performance is to be strong and fast. Aesthetically I know I’m not gonna look like a freak beast at 180 but I’m confident I’ll look pretty good and the freak beastness will come once I pack some muscle on. I’m more concerned with performance but if I need to put strength on the back burner to get to 180 then so be it.

The only things I’m pretty dead set on not changing is squatting and snatching, wanna keep those in the program. Upper body strength isn’t much of a priority. I just don’t think my two pig out sessions a week are the only thing holding me back so I need the help of more experienced and knowledgable people.

Ask me any questions that will help you help me. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this post and ANY help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Now that I have a tiny bit of experience actually doing this, here’s my take on it.

I’d keep the focus on gaining strength. You may just only maintain, but try to keep yourself fed enough so you don’t start losing strength. If that means more carbs around workouts, so be it.

Diet: 2400 calories right now, for you, might still be a bit high to lose weight based on diet alone. Like I mentioned above, you may just want to shift the majority/all of your carbs around the workout. 1500 was definitely too low though.

Cardio: Incline treadmill walks helped me, and others (esp in the bodybuilding forum) have also had success with them. 20 minutes every day or two. A very simple progression is to start at a 6 degree incline and 3.0 mph. Do that until your heart rate stays in the 120-130 range. Then bump up the speed to 3.1. Work up to 3.5, then increase the incline to 7 and start back over at 3.0 mph. Use your heart rate as the guide.

Your other option is HIIT, something like 30 seconds very hard, 30 seconds light for 8-10 cycles. Warm up then do that. I’ve only done this on a Concept 2 rower since an elliptical and treadmill is more difficult. Stationary bikes, or a track are other decent options.

I’d just add one or the other in, and see how it affects things. I personally preferred to walk 20 minutes while watching video on my phone a couple times a week.

Supplementation: Consider some sort of amino acids supplementation around the cardio. Also consider adding in a thermogenic or just caffeine pills. If you’re involved with sports, check the ingredients to make sure nothing’s on any relevant banned substance list. There are products available on this site for both of those.

There are two things I’ve paid attention to. 1) morning bodyweight, 2) net calories… so total intake - exercise expenditure. I used some trendlines and averages to filter out the daily fluctuations, but that’s the basic idea. I’ve targeted 1-1.5lbs a week, and stayed in that range. I also continued to get stronger in my lifts.

I only have a short amount of experience, but there’s my insight.

Oh, also one thing that a lot of people mention, do as little as possible to get things moving again. That way, in the future, you have room to adjust. When you’re running 7 days a week, doing HIIT 3 days a week, lifting 6 days a week, on limited calories, and taking thermogenics… there’s not much else you can add before killing yourself.

[quote]LoRe wrote:
Oh, also one thing that a lot of people mention, do as little as possible to get things moving again[/quote]
Worth repeating. Drastically overhauling everything, like extreme training changes and major diet switches, not only confuses things since you won’t know what “needed” to be changed, but it also leaves you in a trickier spot to continue progressing in another 8 weeks.

[quote]Lion603 wrote:
I’ve been in the weight room for a year and a half now and have taken myself from 320 lbs to 187 lbs (6’1") in that time frame.[/quote]
Great work, man. That’s obviously an awesome start. Buckling down on the details will definitely dial things in.

Reading info is certainly good, but you do always need to weigh that against real world results you might be seeing with a certain method. If it was working and “doing a lot” for you, I’d say changing it just because you read some negative reviews, despite what you saw first-hand, may not have been necessary. But as long as your new adapted program is still moving you in the right direction, you should be fine in the long run.

Like Rez said, that was already a crazy-low calorie intake for someone who’s your size and active. As you saw when you added calories back, you had reached the point where your body was basically freaking out. “holy shit, this guy’s not feeding us anymore. Must. Store. All. Calories.”

This is a great article that discusses some possible solutions on how to tweak your eating and general training:

Some type of basic carb cycling (not necessarily calorie cycling) could also be a choice worth considering.

It might not be the only thing holding you back, but eating crap almost 30% of the time (2 out of 7 days) is absolutely a bad call. I’m a big fan of “earning” cheat meals (and/or cheat days when appropriate) under certain circumstances. But twice a week is pretty much unnecessary, especially when we’re “stumped” as to why progress has slowed down.

[quote]My goal weight is 180 and I’m gonna need some help to get there.

My goal as far as performance is to be strong and fast

I’m more concerned with performance but if I need to put strength on the back burner to get to 180 then so be it. [/quote]
If your goal is to be strong and fast, you can focus on that and let the bodyweight change as it comes. If your goal is to hit 180, then I’d suggest aligning your training 100% towards that end. It’s basically a matter of what your number one priority really is, and what ranks second, third, etc.

Also, “to be strong and fast” is pretty vague. Concrete, specific goals with timeframes can be accomplished. “Strong and fast” is just a concept.