T Nation

Some Guidance Please?


All right, lets start off with a little bit of background knowledge. In early January 06?, I weighed 225lbs. It was mainly fat from eating poorly and being a desk jockey with no ambition to exercise. A few years ago, I had boxed, but stopped due to lack of time. Anyone who has ever boxed before knows it takes up a ton of time.

Ok, so I started back up in the End of January 06?. I trained nearly anywhere from 5-7 days a week with intense cardio and little weight training. As of August 1st, I lost a total of 55lbs (of FAT!).

I weigh in at 170/169lbs right now. I did this not by starving myself, but by eating quality foods and training very hard (or so I think).

I run anywhere from 3-4 miles per day at a medium pace, hour of boxing training usually consisting of rope work, shadow boxing, heavy bag and speed bag and half hour of weight lifting.

I'm 6'0" Tall
14.5" bicep
43.5" chest
32" waist

What I?d like to do now is put on more LEAN muscle, while retaining my physique. While some of you might just want be huge, I prefer to be leaner. I busted my ass to actually have abdominal muscles showing, so I would like to keep them.

I?ve played around with my diet to finally learn what works for me, or at least I think I do.

The protein shakes I take are as follows:
Champion Nutrition Ultramet mixed with ice and 1 cup fat free milk.
190 calories (with milk add 90g)
1g fat
17g carbohydrates (4g sugar) (with milk add 13g)
29g protein (with milk add 9g)

I will give you a sample of a day?s meal.

7am Protein shake

10am Yogurt and Banana, water

12noon Protein Shake or sandwich consisting of Turkey on whole wheat with fat free cheese, tons of spinach and mustard

2pm Type of fruit (strawberries, banana, apple), water

6pm usually a chicken or fish dish with vegetable, water or diet soda

9pm Yogurt, peanuts, fruit or Peanut Butter/Banana/Wheat English Muffin.

12midnight (right before sleep) protein shake

All this usually adds up to about 2000 calories, 10-20grams of fat and 140grams of protein.

Can someone point me in the right direction of weather or not I?m eating too little or too much. How much more I need to eat in order to build muscle (say 10lbs of it).

Thanks in advance.


I'm not sure you will like this answer, but it's like this...

If you want to put on mass, keep adjusting your intake until you get to a point that you are gaining weight.

If you start to put on too much fat, as you will most likely put on both fat and muscle, then either adjust your intake, eating strategies, or exercise.

If you have put on way too much fat, then it may be time to work it back off. You may be forced to do the traditional bulk and cut cycles... or simply end up spinning your wheels going nowhere.

You'll have to give it a try and find out. Just realize that you know how to get lean, so don't be hesitant about smoothing out while gaining mass.

The worst is being so afraid of fat that you can't gain and being so afraid of muscle loss that you can't lean out. What a life!



First off, you arent going to gain weight doing as much work as you do and eating 2000Kcals.

Beyond that, why such little fat in your diet? You need to take in protein with every meal. So, everytime you eat, have some kind of protein source.

Most think a clean bulk is this elusive beast. Keep your diet how it is, add in more protein to the meals where you arent having any. Then follow this plan:

1) Asses Body Comp

Are your results desirable?

If yes, stick to what you are doing.

If no, add in some more food.

2) Recheck Body Comp after a couple weeks. Then go through the same process..

When I say add more food, dont do it randomly. Add in ONE variable so you can control it. Add an extra protein shake somewhere, or add some healthy fat to ONE meal. The biggest thing is making sure you KNOW what variables you are controlling for. Just "eat a shitload" leaves you not knowing what the hell you are putting in your body.


First of all, congrats on what you've achieved so far. That's a lot of good progress.

Now, you might not like to hear this at first, but putting on any real muscle is hard to do. I like that you're taking your fruits and vegetables so seriously, but I'd add at least another meat meal (like another tuna or turkey sandwich) to that diet every day. Maybe in the early afternoon or instead of yogurt.

Also, if you want to put on noticeable muscle (and I don't mean the kind that will make you look like a bodybuilder) you might have to cut back on those miles, I'd think. I'm no expert on this part of it, but I'd wager that 4 miles every day will make it extremely tough for you to put on any muscle at all. Off the top of my head, I'd guess that cutting your mileage in half would do a lot to let your body recover faster and put on some muscle. And in a few months, you can obviously work off any extra fat you've put on by going back to 3-4 mile days.

Good luck.


I guess just being so overweight before, makes me a little afraid of gaining weight all over again. So i know I can cut weight, but I wanna be careful in putting muscle on.

Thanks for some of the tips guys, I appreciate it.


Your trepidation is understandable in light of your past body comp. As the others have stated however in order to gain muscle you must up your nutrient intake. Just do it carefully and slowly and keep it high in lean protein, healthy fats, and good carbs. You can monitor this so that fat gain isn't allowed to spin out of control.

Also, you are doing a huge amount of cardio. Cut back anywhere you can on this and check out Chad Waterbury's articles. His style of training gives a good cardio and metabolism raising boost in addition to hitting your muscles for strength and size gains. So, by following that you could cut back on the cardio somewhat. Check out Alpha Male and the BCAA's as well.

Take care,



I'm in a similar boat, except I only went from 215 to 190 over the course of a year before I couldn't take the dieting anymore and decided to bulk (this week, in fact).

For people in our shoes who have been trying desperately to shed the fat we've packed on by being sedentary desk jockeys, it is a royal bitch to bulk. Your mind is constantly telling you that fat is bad and you must keep it off at all costs.

I bought 9 pounds of chicken breasts when they were on sale last week and fired up the grill Sunday night. I've got a ready supply that I bring to work and munch about every three hours. Plus I've got a container of old-fashioned oats in my desk, and I eat about a cup of those at a time. I'm also eating cottage cheese for protein as well.

It's just a lot of food! I don't want to eat fast food. I like the good habits I've picked up, like eating fresh veggies. I don't want to go back to the diet I used to have. I'm targeting about 300-350 g protein and 300-400 g carbs with about 75 g fat. On training days I tend toward the upper ranges and on non-training days I tend toward the lower ranges.

But make no mistake, if you do a clean bulk you will feel like you never stop eating! I won't speak for the more experienced lifters who've been doing this, but as a FFB who's now much skinnier, eating this much food feels unnatural.

I'm still a little hesitant because I'm eating a LOT more than I usually do, and until I see some results I'm going to have that little voice in the back of my mind telling me to stop eating so damn much. But I'm really hitting the weights harder than ever so that all this extra eating is worth it.

I figure in a couple weeks I'll have a better idea of how much I really should be eating. After dieting for so long, I'm anxious to watch my poundages go up. That will be a good feeling.

Plus, since you've already lost the fat once, you know you can do it. That's a good feeling for me. It makes the cutting seem less daunting (whenever I decide to do that). One demon at a time.


Look at it this way, and I say this as a FFB myself:

If you gain a noticeable amount of fat eating mounds of chicken and tuna, I'll eat my shoe. Keep the diet clean and just increase the doseages of food, and you'll be fine.


Good stories in here. I always come to this website for excellent information. Thanks to all for the info.

Can someone give me a quality 5day workout routine? Mon-Fri lifting with cardio and sat/sun just cardio? I'm unsure which muscle groups to work together to promote maximum growth. There's alot of here-say when it comes to this.


I'm following the basic Westside philosophy with max effort days on Monday and Wednesday, and dynamic effort days on Friday and Saturday. I'm still fumbling my way through it, but there are a lot of sources out there that I'm still reading.

The reason I'm using a powerlifting routine is because I'm not very strong right now. I've spent the past year losing the fat, which means I haven't built much muscle. I figure that I need to focus on gaining a fair bit of strength before I worry about trying to grow big muscles. Besides, being able to lift progressively heavier weights will give me some hypertrophy along with the strength, sort of killing two birds with one stone. But I'm still making my main goal right now to get strong rather than get big.

I'm really not sure how cardio is going to fit in with what I'm doing, so I've shelved it for the time being.


You CAN gain lean mass without much,if any,fat gain,but it WILL be slow.
Try adding in about 2-300 calories above your maintanence level.
With this many added calories,I highly doubt you'll gain fat.
It'll probably go to muscle gain,especially since you're somewhat new to the whole fitness life style.

Or,if you prefer,you can eat 400 calories five days a week and eat 300-500 below maintanence level two days a week,on the weekends.
This will take off any fat you're putting on during the week.

Keep lifting hard and heavy too!

Good luck,cthulhu.


You still need a five day lifting routine,or did someone give you one?
I can give you a newbie version of mine,if you'd like(mine is a ltitle more advanced since I'm training to become a pro' body builder).


Please, that would be great. Thanks.


wow are we the same person cause everything you said matches my life.

honestly to the op jsut bulk you see your self getting fat cut down the food a little bit. on a bulk i have to jam food down my throat the entire time to reach my goals. all the people at work think im nuts because i eat so much. jsut follow beradis stuff and youll keep fat gain to a minimum. i finally got a sick pack after 20 years and you know what its going to go away till next summer. but by then youll have muscle and cut in the spring and do it right keep your muscle and youll be happy with the results. keep a food log. keep a training log and check every few weeks on progress and listen to your body. take pictures of yourself.


anyone with that workout schedule?