Recommendations for Continued Progress?

This is not another how do I get started thread or critique my custom made routine. I am here to ask for recommendations for how to move forward with my training. My first goal for this year was to establish a consistent exercise routine, which I have achieved. Since February, I have strength trained three times per week and completed 1-3 cardio sessions per week. I’m trying to make a decision now as to whether I should continue slow muscle gain, or whether I would be better off getting down to a lower body fat percentage, then add quality weight from there.

A summary of my improvements is below
Height 5’10"
Bodyweight 192.7 to 192.8 lbs

Approx. bodyfat 24.5% (37.8" waist) to 23.4% (37.5" waist)

Approx. Lean body mass 145.5 lbs to 147.7 lbs

Push-ups bodyweight x 6 reps to bw x 15

DB flat bench press (added in March) 35 lbs x 12 reps to 60 x 8

Back squat 85 x 5 to 115 x 5 (recently added beginning of May)

Lat pulldown 130 x 9 to pull-ups bodyweight x 6

Average of 48 minutes of cardio per week

It seems that I’ve only lost around 2 lbs of fat in three months, which is low and why I’m considering a more focused effort. Because of some pain in my right shoulder, I don’t do barbell overhead presses or dips, but dumbbell bench presses and push-us feel fine.

Well done for achieving this. What is your new goal ?


Congratulations on your results so far

If I were you, my focus would be on further reducing my body fat. I can see very little benefit to maintaining a ~38" waist

I would do a decent resistance training program to maintain (and if the God’s look favourably on me, increase) muscle mass in the process.

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What are your eating & drinking habits like?

Breakfast is coffee and a peanut butter sandwich, sometimes with whole eggs
Lunch is dinner leftovers from the previous night or canned salmon with white rice
Dinner is some type of meat (ground beef, chicken tenderloin, chicken thighs, steak) with rice, and some type of vegetable, or pasta
I also have a protein shake with creatine, usually mid-day.
I don’t drink alcohol, except for special occasions. I rarely drink sugary drinks (may once per week on average).

Increase my lean body mass and decrease body fat (<34" waist, no love handles). Increase my strength and endurance.

Ok so now we have a goal. Strength, endurance, increase muscle and lose some fat. Phew thats a lot. You are going to get lots of opinions on this as there are many different ways to get the results you want.
If it was me I would not work specifically on fat loss first. I would pick a program that I liked the look of from a reputable coach and just work hard. There are heaps of good programs on this site but without knowing what equipment you have access to, what type of training you like or what physical constraints you have it is pointless me suggesting one.
The key thing is that at your level and current body composition it is possible to add some muscle, lose some fat, get stronger and more conditioned. All it really take sis hard work and consistency. Its not a 6 week program though it is a lifestyle choice. Just find the program that suits you and get after it. When you have picked one start a training log on here and hold yourself accountable to it.

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Realistically, those are not all primary goals at the same time. Based on my research and the responses in this thread, I’m going to focus on decreasing body fat until the point where I have no love handles and can see some ab definition (~<33" waist). Endurance should improve naturally as a result of the training (but not as much as a focused running program). And since I am not going to have such a drastic calorie deficit, strength should increase and 2-3 lbs of lean body mass improvement is realistic through the end of 2021.

I found the below template, which is similar to what I was already doing (3 full body workouts and running 2-3x/week)

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Just out of curiosity, what measurements are you using to guage you calorie deficit? Do you just mean you are eating way less than you used to or you are roughly guessing what you used to intake calorie wise versuses what you are taking in now?

I haven’t used any measurements, which is probably why I’ve only lost roughly 0.5 lbs of fat per month. At that pace, I’ll lose about 5.7 lbs for the year. I have a Garmin vivosmart, which syncs with myfitnesspal. Conveniently, today is the 1st, so I’ll track calories for June to get a better idea of how much I should be eating.

Look forward to seeing the details. Just from one beginner to another, its a journey not a race. Yes you can pick up the pace, but make sure it is sustainable. And what I mean is find a slightly comfortable deficit and adjust over time. Speaking from experience, a very high calorie deficit can be unsustainable due to how much of a mental and physical shock it is. Especially mixing it in with a new workout routine.