T Nation

The Abs, oh yes, The Abs

Alright guys, I need advice. I’ve been at the weight training game for about a year now. 20 y/o, 132lbs (max bench press is 205), 5’7". I worship at the altar of Berardi and Lowery, lift heavy (compound lifts) three times a week… but before my question, a little history:

I dropped a lot of weight about 2 years ago when I started running everyday. I went from around 190lbs to 124lbs in a period of 2 or 3 months, maintaining a serious hypocaloric diet (1200-1500 calories a day, mostly bad refined carbohydrates). This was not HIIT. No, not by a long shot. Mostly 6 + mile jaunts 7 days a week. I lost a lot of fat, reaching around 7-8% BF according to my Tabita scale. Then I found T-Mag, and was saved.

Since then, starting about 1 year ago, I’ve gained 8 real pounds of mostly muscle. I’m around 10-11% body fat these days. I do limited cardio as I’ve come to realize that muscle mass is necessary to achieve what I’m looking for. Just once, I’d like to see my abdomen. I’m worried that I may have so much excess skin, this might be impossible without a surgical procedure, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try.

I’ve kept a detailed food log for the past six months, and it would appear my maintenance caloric intake is around 3500 calories a day. My compound lifts have been steadily increasing in weight throughout my year in training. I understand that if I simply try to cut, I’ll be losing the precious muscle I’ve gained. However, I’m afraid of seriously bulking. Whenever I do increase my caloric intake, my muscles do indeed grow, but so does my waist line. I seem to be very carbohydrate sensitive, and thus try to keep my carbs low - that whole “former fat kid” syndrome. I need help. It’s vanity, I know, but I’d like to take advantage of my youth while I have it. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I hit squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench press, shoulder press, pull ups, and dips on every visit to the gym, in addition to doing tricep pushdowns, calf raises, bicep curls, and shoulder raises.

Here’s my diet as it stands.

Workout Day:
1 whole egg, 6 egg whites, 1 6 oz steak
1 apple.
coffee w/ skim milk.

2-3oz of almonds

4 lean italian chicken sausages
heaping mounds of broccoli and mixed veggies


Shake of starberries, non fat yogurt, and 60 grams of whey protein

2 6oz steaks
Mixed greens

2 eggs, 2 egg whites
3oz mixed nuts

package of Oberto beef jerky

On average I consume 250+ grams of protein a day. On weekends, I do carb up days whereupon I increase my carbohydrate intake significantly, eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I don’t do cheat meals. I rarely drink - maybe once every 2 months or so, and maximum 3 or 4 drinks.

Let me know what you guys think. Thanks!

I was staring the same wall in the face and had no idea what was wrong. Truth was I was neglecting ab training because I was so skinny. I did have a layer of fat on top but that’s almost impossible to get totally rid of. Train your abs hard twice a week and you may see a difference. Maybe they’re just too small like mine were? Check out Ian King’s ab workouts, they’re quite nice.

Make sure you are consuming JB’s nutrient timing principles. Since you say you follow JB and LL’s stuff so closely, I assume you know what I am talkin’ about. If not, look up “nutrient timing” on the search engine. Follow this plan whether you bulking or cutting and adjust the total cals. accordingly.



Sounds like you’re in the EXACT same predicament as I am in concerning body type, carb resistance, etc. (except I am 4 years older), myself having lost nearly 100 lb about 3-4 years ago. I’ve been working on that vanity area of the midsection ever since, and it still is a problem.

I think it truly depends on each individual body type as to whether or not the mid-section loose skin/fat role will actually melt away without surgery. One thing is for certain, it is going to take time! You can’t expect to tone that spot overnight, hell I’ve been working at it for nearly three years. Just continue to eat clean, lift, etc. and the rest will take care of itself. If you really bust your ass and work as hard as possible at getting rid of that “bad” spot in your abdomen, and you still don’t like the results after 1-3 years, then I would consider the possibility of surgery. This might not be what you wanted to hear, but don’t give up just yet.

Good luck and let me know if I can be of any more detailed assitance. I can tell you what my program consists of, but what worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Just get plenty of healthy fats and watch those damn carbs. The other posters are on target - research and apply JB’s nutrient timing princples too!

Congrtas on the weight loss and everything. I noticed two area in your diet that you could improve. First, for your PWO shake IMO replace the yogurt and berries with either oats, dextrose, maltodextrin, or a combo of them.

Also, before bed I think you could have a more quality protein source than beef jereky. A casein protein is ideal before bed cus it digests the slowest…milk, cottage cheese, or a casein protein powder would all be a good choice. You could also have chicken breasts or tuna but they don’t digest as slow as a casien source. You should also have an EFA with this meal to slow down the absorbtion a lil more…fish oil, natty pb, almonds, etc. The whole point is to prevent catobolim during the 8 or so hours you are sleeping and not getting any food.

Hope this helps and keep up the great work.