T Nation

Taking Things to the Next Level

Hi,

Im writing from London, UK. I have been training in martial arts for many years, but just over the last 4 months started bodybuilding. My goal is simply to gain larger mass, and strength. My PT said, you cant gain bulk and stay cut, so Im just starting to learn about bulking during winter and cutting just before the summer months arrive. My PT writes me a training plan every 6-8 weeks, which I follow, Im currently doing a 4 day split, most of the exercises are paired supersets. I

Right now Im just trying to reduce my body fat %, which is currently at 10%. Aiming toi reduce it to 6-8%.

Im finding as Im eating less, I just dont feel as strong, so I have 3 questions, any help appreciated:

My weight last night was 76.5kgs

  1. Whats the best way to ensure Im cutting weight, but still retaining muscle mass.

  2. Is it possible to still attempt to lift heavier and heavier, so right now I can only BP 60kg(3 x 12 reps), but I still want to increase this weight, can I only do this when Im eating like a monster?

  3. Im finding it quite hard to increase my weight, Ive read alot of posts etc about gradually increasing weight, but I find when I do increase weight, my number of reps per set decrease, and I start to think Im failing because Im not lifting to my set rep limit? Whats the best way to increase weight?

Im tempted to mix in a couple of days of 5x5 heavy weight days, just so I keep the strength and progression factor up.

[quote]snomys wrote:
My weight last night was 76.5kgs

  1. Whats the best way to ensure Im cutting weight, but still retaining muscle mass.[/quote]
    If you weigh 170 pounds and your avatare is a picture of you then you don’t need to cut. Your trying to drop 4% body fat which will end up being approximately 7 pounds. Is 7 pounds of fat really worth pissing away noob gains?

[quote]
2. Is it possible to still attempt to lift heavier and heavier, so right now I can only BP 60kg(3 x 12 reps), but I still want to increase this weight, can I only do this when Im eating like a monster?[/quote]
Again, You are a noob so yes you will be able to gain a strength while dieting, as you progress up the experience ladder however this usually isn’t the case.

[quote]
3. Im finding it quite hard to increase my weight, Ive read alot of posts etc about gradually increasing weight, but I find when I do increase weight, my number of reps per set decrease, and I start to think Im failing because Im not lifting to my set rep limit? Whats the best way to increase weight?[/quote]
Maybe you have decreased your calories too dramatically. If your body thinks it is in starvation mode because you cut 1500 calories out of your diet and increased your exercise volume at the same time your body is worried about survival not strength.

[quote]
Im tempted to mix in a couple of days of 5x5 heavy weight days, just so I keep the strength and progression factor up.[/quote]
My recommendation would be to stop this foolish 7 pound weight loss goal and you will see dramatic noob gains in strength and size. Keep eating like a bird and except the slow to none existent progress. Your choice.

You’re at 10% bodyfat while I’m drinking my 1000+ calorie homemade gainer for a snack…
2 cups whole milk
2 scoops whey
2 tablespoons as much as you can possibley fit onto one full of PB(probably 5-7 tablespoons)
1 cup oats
1 bannana

[quote]snomys wrote:

  1. Whats the best way to ensure Im cutting weight, but still retaining muscle mass.[/quote]
    up your fat intake to at least 40% of your caloric intake. heck, if you can bump it up to over 50%. make sure you are getting about 1gr of protein per pound of lean mass. save carbs for after your workout only.

but seriously, if you are still so new to exercise it wont really matter if you dont stay consistent, lift hard and sleep hard. dont have those in place then it just wont matter that much.

[quote]snomys wrote:
2. Is it possible to still attempt to lift heavier and heavier, so right now I can only BP 60kg(3 x 12 reps), but I still want to increase this weight, can I only do this when Im eating like a monster?[/quote]
if you want to get stronger you can get stronger if you train to get stronger. you just need to sleep enough and eat to recover. you dont need to train like a bodybuilder to get huge then try and get strong. you can get strong without much appreciable mass.

[quote]snomys wrote:
3. Im finding it quite hard to increase my weight, Ive read alot of posts etc about gradually increasing weight, but I find when I do increase weight, my number of reps per set decrease, and I start to think Im failing because Im not lifting to my set rep limit? Whats the best way to increase weight?[/quote]
get on a proven strength program. there are several to chose from. decide on one, do not change it at all. give it at least 6 months, preferable a year. read up on 5/3/1, starting strength, madcow, texas method, westside for skinny bastards.