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Stubborn Belly Fat


Bit of background- I'm 26, 5 foot 10, 180 lbs. I train 4-5 x times a week, incorporating mainly sprinting and compound lifts.

Had a recent body stat analysis tell me I'm 10.5% at my 180 lbs, but it all seems to cling to my belly and it's really bothering me aesthetically. My chest, shoulders, back, legs all look tight and muscular and I can feel some hard abs underneath the belly, but it just seems to stick out and from the side on just ruins the efforts of everything I'm training for.

Does anyone have any general tips for the belly fat? I'm expecting to hear "lose weight" but I'm not sure that I should be having these issues at 11%. Could it be something hormonal? An intolerance to something causing bloating? FWIW I'm not having any gas/diorhhea, although I'm definitely lactose intolerant. I stear clear of dairy produce and my whey is always isolate. Could it be a milk protein allergy?


Although I think proper caliper reading can be a great tool when used with the mirror and scale; I do not believe the calculated BF% is acurate. The calculation really means very little and frequently causes more issues than it resolves. It is possible, but unlikely that you have a hormonal or intolerance problem. Odds are you haven't lost enough bodyfat to display your abdominals. Perhaps you are really at about 14% and need to loose another 10 lbs to get closer to the 8-10% BF you have been told you're at now.




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Thanks guys- I'll try and put up a pic sometime today (at work at the moment). What do you mean by 'PS and bacopa'?


i have the same problem. stomach is the last place i hold water/fat with the exception of my ass. i have to be sub 8 for visible abs, specifically the lower 2, close to 6 actually. be careful how much/hard you diet, you can actually hinder fat loss and increase catabolism if your not careful. unless your stepping on stage your best to take it slow especially if you are not using pharmaceutical assistance; that is if your body is anything like mine.


Don't be too harsh!

I feel that at 13 stone (180 lbs) I'm certainly not light. But looking at me I'm certainly not fat, but neither do I look particularly developed.


You don't really look like you have much muscle, and I don't think you are 10% bf.

What are the actual specifics of your training?


OK, we're all aware this isn't a RMP thread. I'm under no illusions about my muscular development or lack of- I'm trying. My question related to the storage of 'belly fat' as I think you'll agree from that photo that the majority of it is found in the abdominal region.

My training is a mixture of sprint sessions (6 x 100m + 8 x 50 or 10 x 75 m + 5 x 50m etc) and compound weights sessions, usually run on a cycle like the following:

Day 1 - Sprint session
Day 2 - Weight session
Day 3 - OFF

At the moment I'm trying to eat above maintenance with plenty of protein, good Pre and PWO nutrition and regular feedings. I guess from this, the recommendations of 100% of people will be to just bulk the hell up and that small issues of belly fat will be dwarfed when I have some proper mass?


My statement was neutral and not meant as a criticism. But you did say that you were 10% bf and that your shoulders were 'tight and muscular'.
They are not really, judging from that photo, and thats relevant because if you are not seeing an accurate picture of your body when you look in the mirror then that is going to affect how you see your body fat.

Most likely, adjusting the intensity of your training, and altering your macro nutrients, and amount of calories would have the desired effect, just like it does for the majority of people.


Well what are you doing in your weight sessions? Be more specific.
If you are trying to get rid of excess body fat, why are you eating above maintenance?

Theres nothing wrong with trying to get rid of that extra fat and then bulking, but you seem to want to move in two different directions at the moment which is probably the basis of your problem, and not hormones or anything like that.


Sorry if I seemed defensive, was just worried everyone would jump on the picture.

I can only go on body stat results for the BF%, if they're not accurate in your eyes then I can't control that. Without wanting to go into too much detail, I've been a bit all over the place in the past with my weight, being as high as 120kg (~19.5 stone) in the past (before uni) then going the opposite direction and overshooting down to 10 stone (140 lbs) at around 7% BF. I find it hard knowing my true body fat levels as there will always be some degree of loose skin left, and I fear the BF changes have resulted in some metabolic issues.

The reason for my 'moving in two different directions' is probably as I'm not happy with either my body composition or my strength. Whilst I'd like my stomach to be tighter and I'd love to be <10%, my strength is hardly anything to write home about. For example I bench 2 x 28kg dumbbells for 10/10/10, row 30kg DBs for 12s and overhead press 2 x 20kg dumbbells for 12s. So I'm in a kind of limbo, wanting to 'cut' for the sake of body composition but know that doing so will take me further from my strength goals.


Yeah but right now it does not see from the information you provided, that you are achieving either of your goals. If you worry about the excess fat, you will never fully achieve your strength potential and vice versa. Just pick one thing and stick to it.
If I was you I would focus on getting stronger and try and keep my bf levels where they are now. You definitely are not fat. However, you know yourself best so you need to choose whats best for you.


Agreed I need to focus on one goal. If I was 11 stone or something it'd be easy to say to myself that I needed to pack on some mass as I'm underweight, but 13 stone is the heaviest I've been since the 'bad days' and according to the BMI scale I'm actually overweight! How far would you push it?


The bmi scale has little use. surely you can see from looking at that picture that you are not fat?
Why are you worried about your scale weight going up, if your goal is to pack on mass?


I think it's because, like I mentioned, part of me sees that as a step back in the direction of my former obese self, even though I know it's not the same. I think putting a target number on the table will help me no end, for example overhead pressing x dumbbells, benching x kg etc or reaching 14 stone. Then I'll know it's time to cut back a bit.


You are never going to get big or strong with the mindset you currently have. You need to change it, or forever reside in mediocrity.


Have you tried any carb manipulation diets? Just a suggestion, that worked for me, seems I am carb sensitive and actually I lost the weight where I needed to, which is in my belly/handles area. Not completely gone but the overall pic is better. I agree you need to move in one direction or the other, not both.... good luck!


Flame me all you will, but I've just thought the idea of a carb-manipulation/cycling diet would be too hard to implement in a normal working day- I see clients all day and need to be on emergency response so my 'free time' at work is limited.

As an aside, cardio has always 'felt' important to me for staying lean, but I've refined it to sprinting due to it's anabolic/anti-catabolic properties. Would you still think it's feasible to make gains whilst sprinting, provided nutrition was right?


^^That is a horrible excuse. How would cycling your carbs interfere with a normal working day? You just eat more carbs on your high days than you do on your low/med days.

You need to start building muscle. As long as you're carrying the amount of muscle you have now, you're never going to be happy with the way you look. You could drop down to 10% bf but without having a decent amount of muscle you're going to look scrawny/sickly/weak/like a kid.

you know what I'm saying?

You're BF is already low enough (IMO) to start packing on some muscle.

Hit the weights hard, eat 1.25-2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, get 25% of your daily calories from fat and then fill in the rest with carbs.