T Nation

'Pre-Contest' Input

Hi all.

I’m in the middle of a Max Muscle body transformation. The total time period is 12 weeks, and I’ve got about 5 weeks to go. I’m looking for input on nutrition and/or cardio type work.

I started the contest at 195 lbs at about 17% bodyfat, and now I’m sitting at about 188 at around 12% bodyfat. I’m seeing my serratus starting to show through, and I can see my top two abs (I can see my abs in the right lighting if I flex, haha :wink: ). It would definitely be impressive if I could finish this at under 10%.

My progress is halting a bit, likely my metabolism is slowing a little. I’ve been doing low-carb (essentially < 65g/day including Surge) Sunday through Friday, and cheating on Saturday. My daily calories are in the 1600 to 1700 range S-F (about 25% f, 65% p, 10% c) and about 4500 to 5000 of whatever I feel like on Saturday.

I was considering changing things up slightly: Basically, Sunday through Tuesday, low-carb, Wednesday adding some low-glycemic carbs and a bit more calories (maybe 2500), Thursday and Friday low-carb, and Saturday go a little lighter, maybe around 3000 to 3500 calories. Any opinions on that?

I’m lifting upper/lower split, M/TH legs, T/F upper body.

My cardio is basically riding my bike to school about 25 minutes each way 6 days per week. I don’t ride super hard. I sweat and breathe hard, but I definitely would classify it as steady-state cardio. This is cardio I can’t really avoid (I have to get to school), so unfortunately, it’s not up for debate.

I also recently added in 10 minutes of jump rope once per week, either Sunday or Wednesday. Would you guys recommend adding more high intensity cardio like this? When would you fit it in??

Thanks for any comments.

The problem is not with your cardio. You can lose weight without it. I think the problem is your diet. You may want input from one of the vets on this site, but I’m thinking maybe a 50 - 55% fat, 35 - 40% protein, 10% carb diet would suit you well. But at that low of calories, it would mean you would only consume 140 grams of protein. If you make fat your main source of calories, your body will use that fat as its prime source of energy.

There’s no way your body can be cutting safely with that low of calories. I suggest maybe bumping your calories up by 500 or so.

That’s my 2 cents.

I’m in a similar situation to you. Been following a 55 % fat, 40 % protein, 5 % carb diet, but fat loss has recently stalled. Went from 230 to 207 (currently about 12% BF). I’m going to try out the diet Coach Thibs put Bartl on in the Physique Clinic.

M-W-F are protein and fat days with some veggies
T-TR-Sat-Sun are just Protein and veggies almost no fat
check out Bartl Physique Clinic thread for more info.

Thanks for the input so far. I will see about factoring a bit more fat, probably from nuts, coconut oil, some whole eggs, and a bit of cheese. If I leave the carbs and protein as they were, I would aim for maybe 2000 calories with the additional fat? I don’t want to go full-on Anabolic Diet, as I’ve tried it in the past, and it didn’t work all that well for me.

For instance, when gaining, I do better with some low GI carbs with maybe a 30f/35c/35p distribution, and when cutting, it seems that going lower fat and carbs has worked for me. However, usually I’ve limited my cutting to 4 weeks at a time, and this time I’m trying to extend it 12 weeks, which is why I’m playing around now.

I’ll take the advice about adding a bit of fat. I’m also seriously thinking about the twice-a-week carb up (but being judicious with calories). Any particular reason this would be bad?

Also, any advice on cardio? I know it’s not as bread-and-butter as diet, but do you guys think it would be overkill to add a second higher intensity cardio day? Especially with the extra carb up and slightly more calories each day?