T Nation

Stalled and Unmotivated

Current stats:

6’ 190-195 12% (visual estimate)
(all raw, only belt, or athletic tape on wrists)
335 TNG Bench
385 HBBS
405 LBBS
205 OHP
505 Deadlift
110x3 weighted chin ups
135x12 weighted dips

I want to get leaner and I want to get stronger, but I’m going nowhere. I did 5/3/1 over the last 4 months with high volume assistance and I managed to avoid losing strength while increasing my work capacity, but aside from my deadlift and OHP none of my maxes have really gone up. I want to get to sub 10% bodyfat, but at the same time I want to get stronger. Is this really even possible to do? Nutrition is killing me right now. I have no idea what to do.

I’ve been looking into doing a run of the Cube Method and was considering carb cycling while doing it with my high carbs on the heavy day, moderate on the other three days, and no carb, low fat on the three off days. I’ve tried to do a cyclic ketogenic diet, but it completely wipes out my strength. It is a good 10-15% strength loss and is extremely demoralizing.

Or is it better to just focus on maintaining strength levels for the next 4-8 weeks while I work towards leaning out?

How’s everything else in life? That’s a pretty encompassing component.

It is somewhat stressful at the moment, but not particularly bad. I just need to make sure I can get sufficient sleep.

Getting really lean and stronger at the same time is just one of those things. You just have to decide which one you care more about for the interim. Completely disregard the long term in this respect. Once you actually hit your leanness goal, strength shouldn’t be that hard to build. I honestly don’t feel that training programs are designed for strength maintenance as you’d simply plateau sooner than you should.

first post oh yes. i generally try to remember in my head that if im in a caloric deficit, my strength will jump up 10-20 more pounds almost instantly when i add in calories again. doesnt stop me getting hideously miserable when it does drop though ha.8 weeks seems like forever but its actually nothing in the long term as well

What’s the problem?
You can’t mentally deal with the fact that your strength will temporarily be down while you lose some fat?
Either lose the fat quickly and take the strength hit during that time period (strength will come back quickly enough after the cut) or play the long-term strategy and hope for some body recomposition effects.
My advice is do the cut and “deal with it”.

I like how people come in these forums for a little boost and they get shut down.

I think you just need to re-evaluate your priorities, put things into perspective, and maybe take a de-load if you haven’t for a while. If you keep a good detailed log, go back through and look at what’s worked in the past, and then re-program your workouts to play off of what worked. Everyone has really shitty stretches in lifting - can’t get in the gym enough, can’t get enough food in, can’t get our conditioning where we want it to be, can’t reconcile gym time with work/family time, can’t get enough rest, etc. Most of the time, these problems come from impatience and lack of perspective.

The guys who commented on losing/maintaining the same bf% and gaining strength at the same time are right, too. Unless you’re on gear, it’s almost impossible. Figure out which is more important for now.