T Nation

PX: About Leaning Out?


strenght adaptments: same or less?
did you feel full of energy or crap?
still on complexes or stright sets?
loading weights?
machines or frees?

make us known.



Is PX me?

Just asking.


^ Why do you think EVERYTHING is about you? lol kidding.



I'll assume it's me...and then if it isn't, I'll just bow out.

My strength hasn't dropped much at all aside from some exercises where I think being heavier helped out...like dips on the hs machine. Other than minor changes like that, no, my strength is only slightly affected by the less calories and carbs lately. Before I dropped carbs more though a couple of weeks back, I was actually seeing an increase.

As far as energy levels, once again, I am feeling it today because I have been in meetings all day and I haven't eaten. If I don't get the food in, this may affect whether I train this afternoon or not. Before maybe this week (due to added stress) I wasn't seeing a decrease in energy.

I am not sure what you mean specifically by complexes, but I move to about 2-3 different movements at a time in between sets. I have found it aids in fat loss especially since I am really trying to keep real cardio to a minimum.

I am using more free weights lately (like dumbbell curls, kickbacks, deadlifts) but I still rely heavily on machines.

My energy levels are only affected when I drastically drop calories.

I have also found over and over again that if I notice a decrease in fat loss...a cheat day usually means I will see more of a drop in my waist by later in the week.

I am alternating the amounts of my food intake over the week trying to go more by feel.


how many lbs are averaging losing per week?


My hope? none.

Much of this has been bodyrecomp. As of this morning, the total loss in inches on the waist was about 5" (really 4.5 solid) but only a total loss of about 30lbs so far which is variable due to the lack of carbs.


The big 3 right there hahaha

Good to hear that you aren't losing strength (or at least not much).

How far off your old working weights are you on DB curls and other movements you've re-introduced? Did the old strength come back quickly?

Are your elbows feeling better?


I haven't tried to go as heavy as I used to yet. When I last did alternate dumbbells on a regular basis, I was doing about 30lbs more than I am right now as a max weight on the last set....but I am also working on doing the reps a little faster with them lately so it likely balances out. I am working back up to my previous weights to see if I can get more growth there.

that injury no doubt set me back years in arm development.

My elbows feel better in spite of the new constant work.

Again though, some of the weights I am using are lighter so I can fit all of these movements into a constant rotation with little rest.

My problem as usual is mostly mental. Having clothes fit loose on you isn't fun when you spent a decade making sure they got tighter only.

I will say I've never been this lean at this size before. the last time I had a waist this size, I was probably about 190lbs.


Yeah I hear ya on the clothes not fitting, ive made mini cuts frequently and that is the absolute worst feeling lol but man the leaner you get the bigger youl look without the shirt, man when your done your going to blow people away


Nice, if I lose at about a 5-6lb:1in ratio it generally means almost all fat loss

For those cheat days you have, how high would you estimate calories are on those days and is it a weekly thing or only when you notice you're stalling for awhile?

That does suck. I dropped 15lb with no size loss but 2-3 people said I got smaller because in a shirt that's how it looks :\


For the past few weeks, my carbs were a little higher so I didn't throw in many cheat days...but the lower I go on carbs, the worse I feel as the week goes on. CT had originally talked to me about having cheat meals on Thursdays and sundays in the past...and that is what I did the first two months when I lost most of that. I am just going back to that.

I had a cheat day yesterday (didn't plan to at first) because I went the whole day without being able to get a meal in and felt like shit.

I couldn't give you an estimate on calories. I can eat a decent amount of food though and generally don't avoid fast food on a day like that. I am more than sure that one meal was over 3,000cals.

Well, I get some people saying I look smaller in the sense that I am taking up less space, but from what I hear from others it doesn't look like I've lost any muscle.

I can fit into an XL shirt now though even if it is tight on me. I guess it is cool though wearing shit off the rack. My overall look has improved so there is motivation there. I am just missing working on size right now especially in light of using a supplement supposed to make those results a little better.


So I think I read that you've been substituting chicken in for some steak. Is that simply to cut back on calories and keeping the protein up?

I'm a food guy. This is an important conversation!

I'll be patiently eating my steak and spinach in the meantime....

You're doin great, btw.


I appreciate that. I am working hard at this seeing as I probably have less actual time during the day than when I was even in school.

I dropped the steaks simply because I was just holding my same body weight and the loss in body fat had slowed (hadn't stopped...but it would have taken several months to reach my goal that way and that's too long to be on a drastic caloric deficit).

I think the protein issues is handled with the MAG-10. My goal with meals is just to add to that and give me fuel for the day and my workouts.

I just ate chicken and rice now. I can cook pretty good now so I can handle it...I just feel like I'm missing out on some gains here because of how my body has responded.

I do know that I don't want my waist to ever get that big again and should have been taking pictures of progress years back.


Just checking in to say your new profile picture is awesome X and it is equally awesome to see your progress towards ripedness. It has probably been mentioned in previous threads (which I have probably read and forgotten) but what do you attribute the majority of your trap growth to? A hammer strength shrug machine or? Have you ever used holds or just shifting big weight?


Thanks man. Yeah, initially we did used to do static holds at the end of a workout. We would do a normal "3 set" trap routine using the barbell and then add on as much weight as we could hold for about 30 seconds and challenge each other for how long we would last. That eventually led to me being able to move that weight for reps over time.

For at least the last 8 years or so, all I have done is the HS shrug machine or some variation of it. trust me, by the time you get to doing 5 or more plates on each side with no straps doing SLOW reps with good form, if your traps aren't huge something is wrong.

My form is pretty good on these now....but that took many years of building up to that by first using straps, then just being able to do relatively fast reps...to now being able to really handle that much weight in a way that shows you control it all of the way through.

They don't look like that by accident.


PX you are making me a HS whore. your back is shaping nicely.


^ Thanks. About to go hit the gym now.


Thanks for the reply X, I don't have access to a HS shrug machine at any of my gyms I currently use (though my uni gym does have "most" plate loaded hammersmith-style" machines, for chest/back especially) but I'm currently combining barbell deadstop shrugs w/ a quick squeeze and DB shrugs w/3 second hold and I will work on increasing the hold time on the second as dumbells are often limited in weight. I can't imagine doing the shrugs without straps but I will try and go as heavy as I can without them and gradually work that up.


Nah, I use straps for years, man. That is how you get that strong to start with. I just don't now because as my strength progressed (even though I wasn't adding more actual weight to the machine), my strength increased to where first going without straps was a hassle...but then became more natural.

Keep doing the barbell shrugs because they do work...I just think the HS is better.

Just got done cooking enough chicken breasts for 3 days and realized I didn't buy enough. It looks like I'll be cooking all day for the rest of the week.


Thanks X, I will keep at it. Heavy strapless is a long term goal- for now, just getting them shrugs nice and heavy