T Nation

Skinnyfat ... What To Do?


I've read this site for a while now - in fact, I've done way too much reading and not enough doing. Well that's about to change.


35 years old
210 lbs
waist 41"

I'm not just oldskinnyfat but weak too!

Bench 3rm 180
Dead 3rm 300
Box Squat 3rm 220

I've been lifting "on & off" for a while which explains my "progress"

First mistake I made about 4-5 years ago was to become a right cardio bunny.

Got my waist down to about 32" but sadly was built like a school girl.

Tried heaps of programs here - OVT - EDT - heaps of CWs stuff and WS4SB

I've simply never been consistent. Reasons/excuses aren't really important right now - I've got to fix my lack of consistency, not justify it.

Ok so here's the crux of my problem - I obviously don't want to go cardio crazy, but with my bf% I can't realistically bulk either.

So I figure my best option is to clean up my diet & eat around maintenance.

I figure T-dawg 2 would be the way to go here.

Liftingwise I'm going to start with the Waterbury Method. Based on the equipment I have available I've come up with this: (10x3 on the first lift, then 4x6 on the pairings)

Bent Over Barbell Rows
A1 Incline Bench
A2 Hammer Curls
B1 DB Shrugs
B2 Step Ups

Close Grip Bench
A2 Db Push Press
B1 Db Pullovers
B2 Side Bends

A1 Decline Bench
A2 Db Rows
B1 BB Curls
B2 Skull Crushers

How's this look so far?

Cardio - I'm really not sure where (or if) I should include this. My gut feeling says I need some - but not too much.

I'm thinking something like the circuit in Cressy's Cardio Confusion:


Or maybe some HIIT or rope jumping or something.

Thanks for reading this beast of a post - any suggestions?


I think you are on the right track. Just don't do what you are doing now "on and off" and you should have some very noticeable improvements pretty soon. While you are weak for your size, you at least appear to have some lean body mass under there.

Just watch your diet and training and you should be good.

Just my two cents.



Thanks for the reply.

Any suggestions on how much cardio and how often?


Where's the legs? I think I saw maybe 2 exercises? Maybe thats the program but I would wonder. Just a thought. If you're looking to lose the chub, I would think including more overall body workouts would help (more leg training)

Second, if you're working out hard and often enough, you may not have to implement too much cardio in the first place. My favorite program for fat loss is ABBH for fat loss. It cuts down the rest from lets say 2 minutes between sets to 45 seconds. 70% 1RM used. It does include sprints and jumprope, but really, its pretty minimal. Surprisingly, I've gained a fair amount of mass with a decent amount of fat loss. Given it was both, I'm pretty happy with that.


Thanks Tank53 - I've added more leg work on Monday & Wednesday, kept Friday the same.

Bent Over Barbell Rows
A1 Incline Bench
A2 Step Ups
B1 DB Shrugs
B2 Zercher GM

Close Grip Bench
A2 Db Push Press
B1 BB Hack Squat
B2 Side Bends

How's it looking now?

I was stunned this week on step ups to find how much weaker my left leg was to my right. Using the same weight for both, I'd rate the level of difficulty for my right 5/10, left 8/10 (left first too)

So I'm thinking of trying to fit some more single leg work in there. I'll do a search for detailed lifts when I get more time - perhaps single leg RDLs instead of the GMs & split squats instead of the bb hack squats.


I think you are on the right track with the cardio confusion article.

Persoanlly, I think weight loss comes with diet more than it does with cardio. Stick with your weight routine, do some cardio, and stay away from ranch dressing and I think you will have some pretty good gains. I am very ecomorphic though, so I am not the best one to talk to on this subject.


Based on your waist measurement, height, and weight, I would definitely recommend dieting while using full body workouts. My best weight loss came from the velocity diet and 3 times a week full body workouts.

I'm guessing that since you are only lifting on and off, your diet needs improvement. Make sure your protein intake is set at 1.5-2 g of protein per day. This may seem like a lot at first but just get 30g from real sources every meal and then supplement the rest with whey. This alone with give your metabolism a huge boost.

After that, limit yourself to .5g of carbs per day taken only within two hours of training, or on off days in the morning. As for fat, the more the better, but only if its unsaturated (poly&mono). This should help keep you full longer and make you not want to eat in general (oils are gross). If you don't like oils, try nuts and sunflower seeds. Try to limit your saturated fat to eggs and meat.

If you can implement these changes (and it usually takes me a week or two to get into the groove of a new diet), you will likely burn a ton of fat and get stronger, simply because so much has been lacking thus far. Good Luck!


plain joging is booring.

Take a soccer ball with you, I guese it shoud have some benfits, espesaily if you try some hard fints / driblings, Good luck with the "cutbulking" :slight_smile:


Thanks for the replies.

I'm rethinking my program again.

I recently read in Chad Waterbury's Locker that beginners need to lift "with reps greater than 10 per set" for their first 12-18 months.

This matches Cressey's tip that beginners can progress on as little as 40% of their 1 RM.

Any suggestions for a program which fits these criteria without just doing 3x10 on everything?


Hmm, maybe a bit simplistic, but it keeps things changing a bit... when you can do 2x12 or 3x10 or whatnot, then add a few pounds.

You may drop below the 10's for a few weeks, but keep busting your nuts for whatever number you set... using good form to get there... then do the next upping.

Should work for a beginner... and gives you something to strive for while changing things up just a little bit... dropping your rep ranges a little when you up the weights.

You could do the same thing with lower rep ranges as well.


Thanks vroom.

The main issue I have now is taking Chad's recommendation of doing 10+ reps for every set and incorporating it into a full body workout. By eliminating the lower rep ranges it limits the variety.

I could do 3x10 one day and 2x15 another and maybe add a third day of 1x30

Or I could have a major focus on each day (legs/back/chest) and do other body parts for the higher ranges.

Or maybe a full body program isn't optimal for a beginner anyway and I should just do a conventional split?


find Don Alessi's Meltdown Training Article ... or maybe it's called GH Lactic Acid Training for fat loss, but Alessi wrote it ... do that, for 3 months, and thank me later

at your stage, as a "beginner" (we are in the beginners forum), don't get fancy ... just pick a great program and get after it ... the one above will melt the fat and likely add a few solid pounds to you as well

vroom is a gay homosexual