Starting Out

Ok everyone, let me start off by saying yes…I know I’m a shrimp compared to most T Nationers, however I respect the community and was looking for some advice/direction so here we go.

First some things that I’m aware of:

  1. Yes, my calves are THAT small (not an excuse but chicken legs run in the family hah)
  2. Yes, there is favorable lighting
  3. Yes, I expect a shitty score… I got a long way to go and a lot of muscle to gain…humor me
  4. No, this isn’t my room lol

Extremely brief history: Extremely skinny fat track athlete in high school (160lbs). Went to college. Realized “damn I need muscles”. Found T Nation and began a extremely healthy bulk(seriously no junk, I’m too paranoid) but with no real idea how to adjust diet and calories combined with the fact that I only weighed myself when I came home from school(every 3months) and I ended up at 204lbs. Realized I need to cut fat so went down to 182ish lbs. Got stuck in the dreaded “should I cut or should I bulk?” limbo for about 6months. Had bad case of a ruptured appendix (Lets just say I went to the hospital at 8pm and the doctors said that if I had gone to sleep I would have died). Started back lifting as soon as I could. Currently trying to get lean as possible (yes I’m a little skinny but the bodyfat judging by the ab visibility is still pretty high) before I start a long healthy sustained bulk, which I am alot more equip to do now that I have more knowledge on the subject and a scale!

Current Stats: sorry Lift stats, I honestly don’t know due to the off time from surgery
HT 6’ 0’’
Wt. 170lbs (all weights were in the morning before food)

What I’m looking for:
-Strengths( if any)
-Advice on where I should go from here.
-Preferably base your advice on the basis that I am a John Romaniello believer, meaning that I’m just an average guy who wants to look aesthetically pleasing with good size/strength

I really appreciate it T Nation!
Sorry if I forgot anything



Random Front

Front relaxed

side relaxed

Hmmm, well there doesn’t seem to be much advice being handed out…lol. Can someone at least give me a guesstimate on where my bodyfat levels seem to be? I would like to begin a slow bulk but I am worried about excess fat gain due to the fact that I’m a former fat boy who gains fat pretty easily in relation to muscle mass.

Well I really don’t think I’m the best to give advice (see avi) BUT I think most would say you just need to get bigger all over. Its too early to start worrying about weaknesses, strengths, and bodyfat. Idk what your bodyfat is…But its low enough. In fact, 6’0" and 170 is really really skinny. Id start bulking asap. You need to put on some muscles. If you are worried about fat gain, add in some cardio and re-evaluate your diet if you are putting on too much fat in the process. But honestly, at your level, you need to put on a lot of weight to fill out your frame.

As far as being stuck in the “should I bulk or cut?” type thinking… I have the same problem. Every time I have cut, I have regretted it. You need muscles before you can cut to show them off!

Again, Im around the same size as you, so I’m not an expert. But I think you and me both need to start bulking.

I too was a FFB and went through a phase of weight and, sadly, muscle loss. However, now that I look back at what I’ve done, I really regret cutting because I now realize my cut was perhaps unnecessary, and would have been a lot stronger and bigger today if I had just increased my workout intensity and commitment.

Therefore I think the first thing you NEED to decide is whether you want to get leaner or ‘bulk’ first because, from previous experience, it was hard/not efficient to focus on both aspects at once. IMO however, a bulk should be started if you train with 1)intensity and 2) are committed to a workout routine/schedule. I say that because if you start a bulk and do not have either one or both of those prerequisites, your bulk will only add extra fat with minimal to no strength gains which is what I don’t think you want.

But then again, that’s just my opinion and perhaps you do want to get shredded first. In that case, focus on that first.

I’m surprised more people didn’t chime in. I don’t know that I’m qualified enough to advise you, but since you didn’t get much replies, I’ll say what I can. I agree you need to “frame up” and add mass everywhere. Best way for that is with compound exercises and plenty of protein/calories. Squats and deadlift are good for this. Hitting back and legs hard is a good way to add mass since they are the bigger muscle groups. But of course don’t neglect arms(like I did in beginning), traps, rear delts and calfs. Bench, OHP, BB rows, pull ups,Dips, Stiffleg deads are all good exercise if you’re able to do them. I pretty much started where you are now 170 lbs @6’1"(with skinnier arms btw) and with the help from TNation got up to 212 lbs. I recently recomped to 200 lb because I got a little to soft for my liking. I’m back on track now and hoping to 215 lbs with minimal fat gain.

BTW Congrats on losing fat. I don’t know much about skinny/fat dieting, so someone else will have to help you with that. I don’t feel comfortable advising you diet wise. Because if you weren’t skinny-fat I’d say eat like a horse(very often), train with intensity(often) and rest/recover.

As far as weaknesses …You really need size all over. If chicken legs run in your family, then I would make sure to train lower body harder then upper. Especially if your upper body response well to training, it could lead to a worse imbalance. Hit the hammies equally as hard as quads. As far as strengths goes, you have better arms then when I started. At least you have a little delt and tri separation. I had skinny pipes straight up and down! lol


Sux ur health held u back but now that u can ditch being lean and use your height to help you. Get in 230-240 then cut til your haooy.
Have you have your hormone levels checked? Maybe you can get on test and increase your health times 100x