T Nation

Sudden Increase in Bodyfat


#1

Hi guys, I was so close to the body I’ve always wanted I was getting stronger every time I went to the gym and sitting under 10% Bodyfat. I was eating 3 scoops of protein some peanut butter and an apple then a finibar then plazma and then a big meal of about 1lb of meat a big salad and 1 cup of rice. Then I started playing around and started having just 2 apples before plazma and a HUGE dinner. Mind you I only went from 3200 calories on 2700 calories off to 2700 everyday. I swear I have gained 2% Bodyfat and gotten significantly weaker in EVERYTHING.

Has anybody else had something like this occur so rapidly??? I never trained fully fasted and was having plazma for Christs sake. Only thing I can figure is that maybe I’m not absorbing all the nutrients from the massive meal? I went back to the protein and nuts lunch of 800 calories to try and change back but I’m so confused how I could lose it so fast. Any thoughts? Training didn’t change its heavy weights 3 days a week and complexes + walking 2 days a week.


#2

Unclear about your training or stress levels. What do you do for recovery?


#3

Training is 50 pull ups mixed with 5x5 of dead squat bench shoulder press of heavy dips. Then 4 exercises of isolation moves arms chest shoulders and abs. Complex days are 45lb bar 6x6 cosgrove circuit with 30 seconds between then 1 hour fasted cardio. Off two days a week. I sleep in typically a s I work from home. Suddenly got much weaker. Also I increased my carbs to over 200 so potentially that is why I look so much fatter? It’s really confusing.


#4

Could you write out your training template like this

Monday:
5x5 Bench/Squat/Dead/Press whatever you are doing that day (% of Max)
Dips (setsxreps)
Isolation (setsxreps)
Cardio

From what I have read so far it seems like you have gone far past the over-reaching phase and trying to fit in a lot of work into one workout, but I can’t say for sure until your response.


#5

No Problem. Here is Monday.

BW MAX Pull Ups / Heavy Dips 5X5 Super Set
Do Max body weight pull ups rest for 10 breaths, then max, rest for 10 breaths then max. 1:30 rest Then Proceed to 1st set of dips. Continue to super set until 50 reps of pull ups achieved, then finish out dips with 2-3 min rest between sets.

Incline Bench
10-12 reps, rest 10 breaths, MAX reps, rest 10 breaths then MAX reps.

DB Shrugs
10-12 reps, rest 10 breaths, MAX reps, rest 10 breaths then MAX reps.

Preacher Curls
10-12 reps, rest 10 breaths, MAX reps, rest 10 breaths then MAX reps.

Incline Crunches
12-15 reps, rest 10 breaths, MAX reps, rest 10 breaths then MAX reps.

Thats how all heavy training days are performed but switching out dips for bench or squat. One big compound movement a day.

Then my other two “cardio days” are 6 sets of 6 reps with 30 seconds rest between the following style of complex
BB Row
Hang Clean
Front Squat to Push Press Hybrid
Jump Squat
Good Mornings

60 minutes incline walking
Stretching.


#6

Over what time period did this happen?


#7

It was over two weeks. I was leaner and more muscular than I’d ever been and then suddenly I looked like I had MONTHS prior. I did increase carbs during this time, but the muscle loss and strength loss occurred as well which is troubling. Great progress for months and then just a sudden reverse.


#8

You probably haven’t lost muscle.

You were likely fatgued and you may have had some stress which softened your look or maybe it was lighting or water retention or a hundred other factors.

Stay the course, lower your workload for a week and then get back to it. I wouldn’t even change food, a two week plateau followed my a big change in body shape isn’t uncommon.


#9

I just wanna say I experienced the same thing. Month ago i started with Greyskull program, ate health and work out 5x a week (3x weightlifting 2x crossfit). Out of the blue, last saturday i couldnt close my pants and i seem bloated and i gained about 2 kilos. Cant explain it, but i was not eating enough to gain that…


#10

Before I discuss potential causes, I would like to first say that the fat gain/muscle loss could very well just be in your head. When we are moving big weights, we tend to see ourselves as very muscular, and of course, the opposite is true as well. I can see from your post that you introduced a large meal pre workout and added a good amount of carbs. This could easily account for water weight. Most of the weight we lose first and gain back is simply water weight. I would caution you to quickly diagnose yourself with gaining fat.

Performance issues may be mental but in a different way. CNS burnout is a myth, but mental burnout is very real. We can go for a very long time with great improvements and then suddenly hit a wall. Instead of continuing on a smart path, we simply bash our heads against the wall thinking our skulls are tougher than the bricks. That is simply not the way to go about this. If this is the case, it would be best to take a week off. Do some yoga, maybe some like cardio, come in just one or two days and move an extremely light barbell around to stay with it, but go find a hobby for seven days to mentally reset.

Bringing us to your workout.

You are doing six movements a day, not a whole lot and not concerning, but I would caution you to change your approach with them. The dip/pullup superset is very metabolically taxing the way you perform them; again, not too concerning, but the rest of your workout builds around this. The other five movements are taken to failure twice in a very short amount of time. Training to failure is NOT the best way to stimulate strength and growth. It has it’s place, but you should almost always leave some left in the tank. When you do use failure, you could keep them for arms and abs as they are smaller muscles and less stimulating to the CNS.

Training with this approach in a deficit, no matter how large or small, is going to be very challenging and can lead you past overreaching. In order to remedy this, I would recommend you take a week off as described above, reset your training- possibly picking up a Thibaudeau template as it seems that is more your style - and let the results come to you.

Remember, as we get further into lifting, the more important it become to train smarter not harder.