T Nation

The Most Interesting Man in the World


#1


My asspiration - (really has nothing to do with the thread)


His reputation is expanding faster than the universe.
He once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels.
He lives vicariously through himself.
He is... the most interesting man in the world.

A brief background on myself: I've been fat since 1st grade. I lost some weight in 10th grade when I ran cross country and was in decent shape throughout the rest of high school. However, things went down the shitter when I entered college and became best friends with booze, hookers, and drugs (okay, not the last two). I consumed vast quantities of alcohol, ate like shit, and hardly exercised. I was too busy studying and having fun. I couldn't afford to waste my time doing unproductive things like working out.

Fast forward 3.5 years, and I had ballooned from 160lbs to 195lbs (I'm 5'7"). Sure, I gained strength throughout the years from my sporadic workouts, but the majority of that was fat. It wasn't until I danced close to the 200lb mark that I realized I needed to do something about myself.

Last month I decided to go on the V-Diet to put my ass back into gear and break some bad eating habits. Today is day 25, and I'm about 10lbs lighter and considerably stronger. In 3 days, I'll be done with the diet, but I'll still have 2 weeks of transitioning to get my body used to eating whole foods again.

Once I'm completely done with the V-Diet (incl. the transition phase), I will plan my nutrition around John Berardi's Precision Nutrition principles while following Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength program (8-12 weeks). When I first read about the program, I thought it wasn't for me since I considered myself an intermediate lifter -- I had lifted on and off since 2004. However, I soon realized that my strength really wasn't up to par, and a program like Starting Strength could help me get on my way. Once I have a solid foundation, I'll then start laying down the bricks to build a house. Over time, I'll renovate it until it turns into the Playboy Mansion.

Here are my strength goals (1RM numbers, in lbs):

Beginner goals:
Standing Press - 135 (bar + 2x 45)
Bench Press - 205 (bar + 2x 45/35)
Back Squat - 275 (bar + 2x 45/45/25)
Deadlift - 315 (bar + 2x 45/45/45)
Power Clean- 195 (bar + 2x 45/25/5)

Intermediate goals:
Standing Press - 165 (bar + 2x 35/25)
Bench Press - 275 (bar + 2x 45/45/25)
Back Squat - 365 (bar + 2x 45/45/45/25)
Deadlift - 435 (bar + 2x 45/45/45/35/25)
Power Clean- 265 (bar + 2x 45/45/10/10)

I know y'all can do math. The weight distributions above are just for my own reference.

I am slightly below my beginner numbers, but I'm not too sure as I haven't done 1RM's in a long time. Ideally, I'd like to hit my intermediate numbers by year end. Hopefully I can make some significant progress following the Starting Strength program.

Comments are more than welcome. I will post my starting stats and pictures as soon as I'm done with the V-Diet.


#2

YA joe!!! get em boyeeee!


#3

Go for it Joe!

LR


#4

Thanks a lot, guys.

During my past internships, being too tired from working has always been an excuse for me skipping out on the work outs.

Mark Rippetoe’s take on this:

“If you can’t train and work in a warehouse at the same time, you probably have ovarian cancer. Consult your gynecologist.”

More Rippetoe quotes can be found here:


#5

May 3rd is when I finish the V-Diet. I plan on spending one week deloading (in a sense). My goals for that week are to test out my 1RMs and to get my form perfect.

Here’s an example of what that week might look like (all weights in lbs):

Tuesday - work on form
Low bar back squat:
2x5 - 45
1x5 - 95
1x3 - 115
1x2 - 155
3x5 - 185

Bench press:
2x5 - 45
1x5 - 95
1x3 - 115
1x2 - 135
3x5 - 155

Deadlift:
2x5 - 135
1x5 - 155
1x3 - 185
1x2 - 205
1x5 - 225

Wednesday - work on form
Press:
2x5 - 45
1x5 - 65
1x3 - 85
1x2 - 105
3x5 - 115

Power clean:
2x5 - 45
1x5 - 75
1x3 - 95
1x2 - 115
5x3 - 135

Dips:
3x8 - bodyweight

Friday - test 1RM
Same exercises as Tuesday’s workout, but instead of doing 3x5 work sets, I’ll be testing out my 1RMs

Saturday - test 1RM
Same exercises as Wednesday’s workout, but instead of doing 3x5 work sets, I’ll be testing out my 1RMs. I’ll also substitute the dips for chin-ups (no 1RM test here; using only body weight).

My diet will be nothing special. I just plan on following PN. Seeing that I’m pretty carb intolerant, the only times I’ll allow myself to eat starchy carbs are on workout days, specifically:
-during breakfast (oatmeal),
-immediately following my workout (Surge), and
-during the meal after my workout (low GI carbs like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or sweet potatoes).


#6

Just a quick update. I’m less than a week away from being completely done with the V-Diet and moving on to bigger and better things. While I have my training set in stone (Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe), I’m still clueless in the nutrition department.

I’m thinking about doing a hybrid of CT’s Regressive Keto Cycle + Precision Nutrition. Basically, keep it P+F most of the time, with a few moderate carb days and one balls to the wall carb day.

My proposed diet is below. I’d like to get some feedback on it, particularly:

-Is it viable?
-Am I having too many carbs (ie. will fat gain be inevitable)? If yes, am I overemphasizing the importance of morning carbs on workout days? (Since the goal of my workouts is to gain as much strength as possible, I figured that I’d need as much energy as possible.)

Diet breakdown

Day A - high P/F, trace C, low kcal (1800-2000 kcal)
-kcal split evenly between P/F
-trace C from veggies (no carby veggies like carrots, no fruit)

Day B - high P/F, med C, med kcal (2500-3000 kcal)
-C only for breakfast, post-workout (Surge), and meal after workout
-remaining kcal split evenly between P/F

Day C - high P/C, low F, high kcal (no kcal restriction)
-P+C all day
-P+F right before bed

Weekly schedule

Mon: - Day A
Tues: - Day B; Workout #1
Wed: - Day A
Thurs: - Day B; Workout #2
Fri: - Day A
Sat: - Day C; Workout #3
Sun: - Day B; Energy systems work (HIIT, metabolic pairings) + training on anything I feel is lagging

I’d perform some sort of low-intensity cardio on all days except for Sunday.

Goals: (in order of importance)

  1. Build as much strength/muscle as possible, then
  2. Lose as much fat as possible.

Initially, I wanted to lose as much fast as possible for the summer, but I’ve decided to lengthen my timeline to the fall (late August/early September) for several reasons:

  1. I still have too much fat on me to be ripped by summer time,
  2. I don’t have enough muscle to eat away at all the fat I have, and
  3. I’ll either be interning or doing volunteer work during the summer. If I want to look good for someone other than myself, it’s my friends, many of whom I won’t see again until the next school year (late August), or for recruiters when I start full-time recruiting.

The fact that I have strength/muscle gains as a priority may mean I’ll have to up my total kcal intake. However, I plan on keeping calories lower in the beginning to readjust from the V-Diet.

Pics + measurements/weight next Monday. I also plan on getting a DEXA scan on Monday, so I’ll post those results as well so we have a baseline BF%.


#7

[quote]jo3 wrote:
Goals: (in order of importance)

  1. Build as much strength/muscle as possible, then
  2. Lose as much fat as possible.

[/quote]

Hey Joe,

Because of your goal order, I’d say there’s no point in doing the RKD cycle, because it’s strictly for fat loss.

It’s not worth creating a hybrid of both the RKD and PN because you’ll be in and out of Ketosis so much that you’ll end up giving yourself constant headaches and being in a shitty mood 3-4 days a week.

Trust me on this one, going into Ketosis for the first time is hard enough, but doing it twice a week will just be a mind fuck.

Instead, if you feel you want to loose some more fat before starting SS, then take a 2 week break of normal clean maintenance calorie eating after the V-diet, and then do the RKD cycle for 1 month before moving on to PN and SS.

I’ve decided to go for more fat loss after the V-diet, so I’m gonna be doing the RKD cycle and giving SS a miss till a later date.

LR


#8

LR, do you think it’s better to lose more fat before starting Starting Strength? I was thinking about jumping right into it.


#9

I don’t know what your BF% is, it probably depends a lot on that. My one is still at 18% which I think is pretty high.

I’d say wait until you get your DEXA done, if it’s @ 15% or below, get onto Starting Strength.

But at the end of it all, it should be a personal judgement call.

For my own goals, it’s more of a personal psychological thing. I need to know that I’m capable of having a low BF%, because I never have in my whole life.

So even a year later, if I’ve put on some fat due to bulking, I’ll always have a picture in my mind of what I can achieve.

LR


#10

LR has a valid point, my personal opinion is get strong and the fat will take care of its self the more muscle you have the quicker it plows thru fat (theory of mine im bankin on)


#11

[quote]London Runner wrote:
For my own goals, it’s more of a personal psychological thing. I need to know that I’m capable of having a low BF%, because I never have in my whole life.

So even a year later, if I’ve put on some fat due to bulking, I’ll always have a picture in my mind of what I can achieve.[/quote]

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I’ve been overweight since 1st grade, so that psychological aspect is definitely on my mind. No matter how much I try to convince myself that building muscle is more important since my hormones are in my favor, I always think about not having my fat suit on anymore.

I’ll wait to see what the DEXA tells me.


#12

That’s exactly what it is for me. It’s different for people that have been slim or athletic all their lives, because it’s like a “been there, done that” attitude. So they know they can get back to lean easily.

For me, I know I can build muscle, not easily, but easier then some people can.

Whatever you decide to do, there’s a lot of us working toward the same goal together (lean with big muscle), no matter which road we take first.

Is your DEXA this Monday? Let us know how it goes.

LR


#13

[quote]London Runner wrote:
That’s exactly what it is for me. It’s different for people that have been slim or athletic all their lives, because it’s like a “been there, done that” attitude. So they know they can get back to lean easily.

For me, I know I can build muscle, not easily, but easier then some people can.

Whatever you decide to do, there’s a lot of us working toward the same goal together (lean with big muscle), no matter which road we take first.

Is your DEXA this Monday? Let us know how it goes.

LR[/quote]

Next week was completely booked, so I’m getting scanned tomorrow afternoon. We’ll see how it goes.


#14

Body Composition Results:

Weight (lbs): 182.0
DEXA Wgt (lbs): 183.2
Height (in): 67.3

% Fat (lbs)*
Arms: 14.1
Legs: 18.4
Trunk: 25.8

BF % (DEXA): 21.1**
Fat mass (lbs): 38.4
Fat free mass (lbs) 143.6

BF % (skinfold): 18.7***
Fat mass (lbs): 34.0
Fat free mass (lbs): 148.0

Notes:
*May have some user error. The lines drawn on the scan groups in the trunk section parts of my legs that are the fattest.

**DEXA scan is full body, meaning it includes the brain (fatty tissue) and visceral fat (surrounds internal organs), which is one reason why the DEXA computes a higher BF %.

***Skinfold test was 3-part: pec, abdomen, and middle thigh.

My thoughts:

I feel like I was given the option to find out whether my wife was pregnant with a boy or a girl, took it, and found out it was a girl (I want a boy). Initially, I thought to myself, “Well crap, I thought I made more progress than this,” but then I remembered the Mirror BF% test I read about on T-Nation a while ago.

[quote]Mirror BF% test

  1. Full House = No visible muscle definition. Bodyfat level = over 20%.

  2. Hard = Some muscle separation appears between delts and upper arm. Abs are still not visible. Approx. bodyfat level = 15-19%

  3. Cut = More muscle separation appears particularly in the chest and back, outline of the abs begins to appear slightly. Approx. bodyfat level = 12-14%

  4. Defined = Muscle separations get deeper in the arms, chest, legs and back, and abs appear when flexed. Approx. bodyfat level = 10-12%

  5. Ripped = Abs are clearly visible all the time, vascularity in arms is prominent, chest and back separation is obvious, and face is starting to appear more angular. Condition can be held indefinitely. Approximate bodyfat level = 7-9%

  6. Shredded = Striations appear in large muscle groups when they are flexed. Vascularity appears in lower abdomen and in the legs. Condition can be held for several days with careful dieting. Approximate bodyfat level = 5-7%

  7. Sliced = Muscles and tendons begin to appear in the face when chewing, striations appear everywhere and vascularity appears everywhere. Bodyfat levels are close to 3% and subcutaneous water levels are near 0. Condition can only be held for a few hours at a time. Not a healthy condition to stay in due to lower water level.[/quote]

Using this test alone, I knew I was on the fence between Level 1 & 2, so I really should not have been surprised by the results.

As much of a downer as this might be, in truth, it really isn’t. I’ve dropped 3% BF from two years ago when I thought I was in the best shape I had been in since entering college. Also, when I came back from my internship this past March, I peaked at 199 lbs (I may have even surpassed the 200 mark), so going from there to where I am now (179-183 lbs on a given day) is nothing to be ashamed of.

I do realize, however, that I still have a long road ahead of me, which brings me to my next topic titled What the hell do I do now? Stay tuned.


#15

What the hell do I do now?

Before getting the scan, I told myself that if I at 15% or higher BF, I would continue on a fat-loss cycle, but if I was below, I’d go for strength/muscle gains. Immediately after getting my DEXA results, I was pretty set on going on a fat-loss cycle, but now I’m having second thoughts.

Why? My results show that I have approximately 145 lbs of fat free mass (FFM). FFM is everything besides fat, meaning muscles, bones, and water (given that this is T-Nation, everyone should know that). Take the water and bone mass out, and I’m left with not much muscle. The results show that if FFM stays the same, I would have to drop 15 lbs of pure fat to get below 15% BF. With the limited amount of muscle I have, how long is that going to take?

My lack of muscle (aka fat burning engines) makes me hesitant to continue with my fat-loss endeavors. It’s like trying to burn as much gas as possible with a Toyota Prius – it’ll take a damn long time. Would it be better to focus on putting on muscle (ie. upgrade my engine) before going back to fat-loss? (Remember I am coming off of the V-Diet.)

Here are the pros and cons of going on a strength/mass building phase:

Pros:
-More muscle = more engines = faster fat burning
-If you look at (or talk to) all the bigger/advanced lifters on this site, they got to where they are now by focusing first on gaining muscle, then cutting (if they wanted to).
-I’m only 22 years old, so my hormones are in my favor. Fat loss can happen whenever; muscle gain needs a little hormonal assistance.

Cons:
-Having been fat/overweight since 1st grade, my body is used to the fat. Chances are I’ll put on much more fat than muscle if I start bulking.
-Since I’ve been fat throughout most of my life, the psychological aspect is huge. Unlike many skinny-turned-huge guys, I don’t know what it’s like to have little fat on my body. If I focused on cutting first, I’d know that I had the ability to cut when I wanted.

In the end, it comes down to this: From a hormonal/physical standpoint, I think I should focus on muscle and strength gains. However, from a psychological/emotional standpoint, I think I should focus on further fat loss.

What do y’all think? Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


#16

Wow Joe, you’ve made this into a bit of a conundrum! It seems like such a hard choice.

You know what my views are from what I posted above, but you also know, that at the end of the day, I think the ultimate decision lies with you.

Good luck with the decision making process, I wish I could be of more help.

LR


#17

Hey Jo3,

How long have you been dieting? It must be >6 weeks at this point in time. Because of this fact, I would give yourself a week to 2 weeks of ‘normal calories’ (~3000) and then get back to the diet. Shugs always suggests only doing the V-Diet+transition, then taking several weeks off of dieting. It will repair your hormonal/metabolic profile for sure, and probably result in greater overall fat loss!

Just my .02


#18

Thanks a lot, guys. It’s funny how writing things out helps you make sense of it.

Cutting or not, I need to reset my metabolic clock by eating normally for a few weeks. With that in mind, I’ll probably eat maintenance calories with a bit of mindless carb cycling:
-morning carbs on days I do workout A (1-2x a week)
-post-workout drink like Surge (3x a week)
-evening carbs after every workout (3x a week)

From a workout standpoint, as I hinted at above, I’ll stick with Starting Strength and throw in a GPP session once a week. If I don’t feel like my lifts are compromised from the GPP, I’ll add in another GPP day. I’ll still try to stick in as much NEPA as possible.

Do the above for two weeks, then I’ll see where I stand.


#19

I should also mention that I’m 21 years old, and last year I went on a 12 week fat loss phase, going from 200 to 175 (Im 6’2’’). My hormonal profile was screwed up for about 6 months post-diet, but it eventually came back to normal. I believe if I had cut my diet off sooner my hormones would have remained relatively normal.

In summary, your hormones will come back to normal if you resume a diet at or above your BMR; however, the longer you diet, the longer it will take for your hormones to normalize, from my experience.


#20

Good decision.