T Nation

Questions on Road to Transformation

Iv been working out for about a year and have started a new program 2 weeks ago from haveing learned a lot of valuable information form this website. However, I have a few other questions that I can’t find the answers to. Before I start, let me list a few things about me and my program.

I am 24 years old, 6 feet tall, and 195lbs. My body fat % is approximately 17%.
My goals are to look tight and compact like an MMA fighter.

Mon - legs
Teus - chest/forearms
Wed - back and traps
Thurs- shoulders and triceps
Fri - biceps and abs
sat/sun - rest

Through the little experiance that I have with working out, I have learned:
When trying to lose fat:

1)Lift heavy to preserve muscle and change up my program every few months.

2)Eat a lot of protien throughout the day, carbs+protien meals pre and post workouts and carbs+fat meals the rest of the day.

3)creatine and glutamine will help keep or gain muscle mass and help with recovery from heavy lifting and reduced caloric intake.

  1. fat loss only occurs when you reach a caloric deficit.

I work out hard, keeping my reps low and weight high enough to barely do 4-6 reps per set per workout. My workouts last only about 35 minutes.

I make sure that I get my EFAs by taking flax oil, peanut butter, fish and olive oil. Carbs are always whole wheat/grains before and after my workouts.
I ensure that everymeal has a good amount of protien, such as fish, chicken breasts, eggs and whey protien. I consume 4-5 small meals a day. With the largest meal in the morning and smallest in the evening. I dont count calories but I only eat until i feel full.

Also, the only liquid I consume is water and I drink a lot of it throughout the day.

Questions:

  1. Can I incorporate cardio to aid in fat loss? When?/How? Or will the cardio not allow me to fully recover from the heavy lifting?

  2. I am very strict about my form for every exercise but I am still a beginner so I think I might be doing something wrong because I have been experiancing a lot of lower back pain. Is my lower back not recieving adequate recovery time based on my routine? Or is the problem most likely form related?

  3. After my morning workout, the shake I drink is the second meal of the day. I then eat a high carb and protien meal an hour or so later. To optimize fat loss, should I make this my last C+P meal and the rest P+F. Or should I add another C+P meal?

  4. I take a full teaspoon of glutamine before and after a workout and before I go to bed. Is this too much? Is glutamine harmful when consumed in large amounts?

  5. So I must eat cottage cheese before I go to bed or some other lean meat source. What if I go to bed hungry? What are the chances of going catabolic throughout the night? Am I not preventing a catabolic state with creatine, glutamine, heavy lifting and EFAs? What if I add ZMA?

Thanks in advance for all the responses :slight_smile:

Carbs + fat meals? Wth?

You mean protein + fat meals…

Also Flax oil is bad for men, don’t take it. Increases risk of certain cancer.

4-5 meals, make it 6.

Largest should be after your workout.

25% carbs in the morning, 50% after workout, 25% 1-2 hours after workout.

Cardio, depends are you going to gain weight or lose it?

Take glutamine in the morning and 20grams after your workout. 5 in the morning.

Before bed you can eat cottage cheese, or some casein protein shake.

On the other hand, if you are trying to lose fat and you are 17% right now you need to stop eating carbs. Calculate how much calories you need to maintain then go 500-700 lower per day. That way it will take you approximately 8-10 weeks to be lean.

[quote]sl4vik wrote:
Carbs + fat meals? Wth?

You mean protein + fat meals…

Also Flax oil is bad for men, don’t take it. Increases risk of certain cancer.

4-5 meals, make it 6.

Largest should be after your workout.

25% carbs in the morning, 50% after workout, 25% 1-2 hours after workout.

Cardio, depends are you going to gain weight or lose it?

Take glutamine in the morning and 20grams after your workout. 5 in the morning.

Before bed you can eat cottage cheese, or some casein protein shake.

On the other hand, if you are trying to lose fat and you are 17% right now you need to stop eating carbs. Calculate how much calories you need to maintain then go 500-700 lower per day. That way it will take you approximately 8-10 weeks to be lean.[/quote]

My mistake, I did mean protien + fat.

In terms of carbs, I will try for a while to further reduce my carb intake based on your suggestion above. However, my workouts are fairly intense. If I feel that I am not recovering well from my workouts, or feeling drained for the rest of the day, I will report back to this thread.
Thank you very much for your response.

Well, if you are trying to lose fat you need to tone down your workout and cut out the carbs.

Today is Sunday and my day off. I figured id try to decrease my carb intake starting today. Since today is rest day, I decided to take in no carbs and around 2pm I started feeling really tired and my head started pounding. Is this normal or will I eventually get used to low carb.

I didn’t say you can’t take in any carbs, you should be fine taking in 50/g a day. Just make sure you follow a strict caloric limit.

Go to Nutritiondata.com and use the pantry option. That way it calculates how much you eat per day. Take your maintenance calories and -500. That should be your goal.

As for carbs, with 195lbs you should be getting 50 a day. On off days take 50grams of carbs with your first 3 meals.

Be careful though. 1 CUP of brown rice is already 50 grams.

Split the rest of your calories between fat and protein. Make sure you get 1.5grams of protein for your bodyweight; so 295 for you per day.

As for fat you should be getting around 1200 calories of fat a day. So you have a 5%/45%/50% ratio.

For feeling tired that is normal for the first week up to 2 weeks. Your body has to recalibrate and use fat for energy because right now you are using carbs. Once those carbs are gone, it will start to utilize fat and therefore your body fat will melt away.

You should notice results within a month, but keep at it until you feel you are low enough in bodyfat, probably around 10%.

Also one more thing. I suggest you switch up your 4-6 reps to 9-12 reps using lighter weights. As you will NOT be gaining strength during your fat loss, you just hope to maintain it.

You can’t build muscle and loss fat at the same time. Well you can, but it’s really hard to do so, just focus on the fat loss.

Your right, keep the reps relativley low, you could probably do one high rep day a week or maybe go up to 8-9 reps, but try to keep it heavy when cutting.

When I cut, the only carbs I have are post-workout in the form of a shake, those and “hidden” carbs in my protien shakes and cottage cheese, but really try to take in carbs from leafy green vegetables (brocoli, green onion, green beans, lettuce, etc).

Hey guys, thanks once again for the help.
Ok so I read t-dawg’s diet version 2.0 and have been following it for 2 days. I havent been very active lately due to exams, but since they are over now, I went to work today. I was driving a straight truck making deliveries around downtown for about 10 hours straight. How do I figure out how many calories i consumed?

At times I felt drained because I was adhering to my previous day eating schedule which a day of rest. So what I did was I added 2 fruit and grain bars from starbucks twice during the day with a handful of nuts each time. With these two meals, I consumed a total of 8 small meals today.

My logic was that the bars are probably around 300-400 calories each and thats probably how many extra calories I burned today compared to the day before and they had some carbs to keep me going. Does this sound right? Or is more information required? By the way, I wasn’t lifting heavy boxes either. I woke up at 545 and will be going to bed soon, around 1230.

Once a week abs won’t cut it. Every other day or third day is better. If you don’t have an actual physical (read: structural) problem with our back, the back pain probably means you’re not getting enough ab work to balance things out and/or that your hip flexors need stretching.

Ok so its been 5 days so far following t-dawg’s low-carb diet. Besides the reduced energy levels, I have no complaints. I know its only been 5 days but I feel that I must mention that my lifts are increasing from last week. I doubt the strength increase will continue but I hope it does. Also, later on in the day, my stomach starts to hurt and I feel like barfing. Constipation is starting to kick in and I have to start taking in more fiber.
I was reading this article the other day and read something very interesting on ‘low-carb diets’.

"Another big plus [of low carb diets] is that you’re more likely to add muscle while maintaining a state of fat loss. In other words, calories can be higher while still losing fat. Of course this doesn’t compare to actual bulking and cutting cycles, but for those who feel the need to do both at once, low-carb is the best option.

Does this say that you don’t have to reduce calories to lose fat? Does that not contradict what most scholars believe, that in order to lose fat the bottom line is to create a caloric deficit?

The article that I am refering to is called “The Low-Carb Roundtable, Part I”, if you are interested in reading it.

This has probally been pointed out already. But you have 3 days to arms and 1 to legs. The only. You have forearms the day before back, which is gonna involve a lot of pulling. Don’t do that.

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