T Nation

Progress Stalled, Need Advice


Hello people,
I have been dieting and lifting hard consistently for over an year now. I made some progress, ( http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/shed_40_lb_continue_fat_loss_or_start_bulking )but I have more or less stalled since then. I stayed roughly at the same weight, and can't seem to gain any more strength. In fact, I see myself getting slightly weaker with time now.

I was thinking that I should keep eating clean, but take a break from fat loss and try to gain some weight for a few months, and come back to fat loss after gaining some muscle. Should I do that, or change my program and continue with fat loss for a little longer?


Thank you.

P.S - I'm about 4 pounds lighter and slightly leaner than the photo in that thread. Obviously, that's not very lean.


After reading your original post, I believe you were given solid advice when someone told you to temporarily forget terms like bulking ans cutting, stick to a solid diet, and boost calories as needed based on your workout intensity / volume. If you're losing strength..more than one component of your program is out of whack.

Also, a general understanding of body composition would be useful. Scale weight is just a general indicator. Track your food intake, obviously keep a workout log, and take measurements so you have a baseline of how your body is responding to your program.


I don't disagree with anything you said, but my question is - Do I still eat to get leaner and try to push through, or scale that back, increase calories with more clean foods and see how I respond?


I would try throwing a few high calorie days in on your training days. I'm not sure what your current calorie level looks like, but assuming you were eating 2000 calories a day (500 below maintenance), try eating 3000 on workout days, and keep the 2000 for rest or cardio days. You may be able to improve your metabolism and continue losing bodyfat (albeit, much slower) while gaining some muscle.


I sort of do that with calorie cycling, I eat less on off days, but not 1,000 calories. Also, do you suggest that doing so is a better approach than focusing solely on gaining muscle at this point? Honestly, I can keep losing fat, but it has gotten very boring in the sense that I look skinny (with a little fat) and am not really getting stronger.

Thanks for the tip.


IMO follow a dedicated strength program like 5/3/1, westside for skinny bastards, etc. for a good 4-5 months and eat yourself into a coma pre- and post-workout. then you may want to incorporate more volume and start a mass phase for a similar period of time before you start dieting down again.