T Nation

The Staying Lean Factor

This is not a continuation of “The Body Weight Factor”

Rather this thread should be about those who notice benefits from staying leaner, etc…

My fiancee will sleep with me more.

Aside from the lower blood pressure and cholesterol, my self esteem is much higher when I am leaner. This is a nasty backlash from growing up a fat kid. It fucks with your head quite a bit.

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:
Aside from the lower blood pressure and cholesterol, my self esteem is much higher when I am leaner. This is a nasty backlash from growing up a fat kid. It fucks with your head quite a bit.[/quote]

People underestimate the benefit of just feeling good. Not just to life, but also to training.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:
Aside from the lower blood pressure and cholesterol, my self esteem is much higher when I am leaner. This is a nasty backlash from growing up a fat kid. It fucks with your head quite a bit.[/quote]

People underestimate the benefit of just feeling good. Not just to life, but also to training.[/quote]

Feeling good/happy promotes healthy hormone levels and can physically change the way you look, making you even happier. Vicious circle :slight_smile:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:
Aside from the lower blood pressure and cholesterol, my self esteem is much higher when I am leaner. This is a nasty backlash from growing up a fat kid. It fucks with your head quite a bit.[/quote]

People underestimate the benefit of just feeling good. Not just to life, but also to training.[/quote]

I have actually started to feel stronger with the ability to push harder during a workout after losing even a modest amount of extra weight. Halfway through I feel like I get an energy surge. Never felt that when I was heavier.

not feeling like crap every day from force feeding…

for someone who wants to compete- the benefit of staying leaner is having an easier, less hellish prep

Since lowering my body fat I’ve noticed better performance. Inside the gym my movement patterns have improved, like by not having to compensate for the extra weight during pull-ups, and also balance during bent-over rows and front squats. Outside the gym when playing it is simply being able to move my own body weight more efficiently.

Extra weight from fat just slows me down. (I sometimes question whether my previous squat numbers were due to ‘padding’ assisting to get me out of the hole.) Fluctuations in total weight and body fat readings (I use bio-electrical impedance; shut up, don’t laugh) were more severe when I was at a higher bf%.

Having a truer sense of my muscularity is nice as it helps with motivation and goal-setting, but I really like having a truer sense of how I move and perform. With that I can fine-tune supplementary mobility work and better incorporate corrective measures into programs to deal with imbalances.

So since this is my first time trying to lean out and then make gains while staying that way, is there a general concensus from those who have been doing this as to the sweet spot?

Should someone drop below that sweet spot for any reason and then move back up?

[quote]cueball wrote:
So since this is my first time trying to lean out and then make gains while staying that way, is there a general concensus from those who have been doing this as to the sweet spot?

Should someone drop below that sweet spot for any reason and then move back up?[/quote]

Get lean enough so you can have a little cushion to gain some size and not get sloppy

for your gaining period try sticking to gaining around 2lbs a month—this is kind of hard to controll perfectly–but hopefully if you were to say look over your progress in the last three months you could account for about 6 lbs gained or somewhere around there.

once you feel like you’ve gained enough, you can diet down slowly, rinse and repeat.

[quote]GrindOverMatter wrote:

[quote]cueball wrote:
So since this is my first time trying to lean out and then make gains while staying that way, is there a general concensus from those who have been doing this as to the sweet spot?

Should someone drop below that sweet spot for any reason and then move back up?[/quote]

Get lean enough so you can have a little cushion to gain some size and not get sloppy

for your gaining period try sticking to gaining around 2lbs a month—this is kind of hard to controll perfectly–but hopefully if you were to say look over your progress in the last three months you could account for about 6 lbs gained or somewhere around there.

once you feel like you’ve gained enough, you can diet down slowly, rinse and repeat.

[/quote]
nice question
I’m looking to get down from 210 to ~195 and then slowly move back up. This is the approach I’m going to take

[quote]GrindOverMatter wrote:

[quote]cueball wrote:
So since this is my first time trying to lean out and then make gains while staying that way, is there a general concensus from those who have been doing this as to the sweet spot?

Should someone drop below that sweet spot for any reason and then move back up?[/quote]

Get lean enough so you can have a little cushion to gain some size and not get sloppy

for your gaining period try sticking to gaining around 2lbs a month—this is kind of hard to controll perfectly–but hopefully if you were to say look over your progress in the last three months you could account for about 6 lbs gained or somewhere around there.

once you feel like you’ve gained enough, you can diet down slowly, rinse and repeat.

[/quote]

Thanks. Since I’m upper 30’s, is there anything that may be different or to expect?

[quote]browndisaster wrote:

[quote]GrindOverMatter wrote:

[quote]cueball wrote:
So since this is my first time trying to lean out and then make gains while staying that way, is there a general concensus from those who have been doing this as to the sweet spot?

Should someone drop below that sweet spot for any reason and then move back up?[/quote]

Get lean enough so you can have a little cushion to gain some size and not get sloppy

for your gaining period try sticking to gaining around 2lbs a month—this is kind of hard to controll perfectly–but hopefully if you were to say look over your progress in the last three months you could account for about 6 lbs gained or somewhere around there.

once you feel like you’ve gained enough, you can diet down slowly, rinse and repeat.

[/quote]
nice question
I’m looking to get down from 210 to ~195 and then slowly move back up. This is the approach I’m going to take

Do you track your macros that closely? Like within 5g of carbs?

I do see some merit to this if someone is very lean/contest prep, but otherwise it almost seems a bit excessive to get that nit picky. For example, sweet potatoes I eat every day vary in size, so some days I will be getting 5-10g more carbs than others.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:
Aside from the lower blood pressure and cholesterol, my self esteem is much higher when I am leaner. This is a nasty backlash from growing up a fat kid. It fucks with your head quite a bit.[/quote]

People underestimate the benefit of just feeling good. Not just to life, but also to training.[/quote]

I agree. I’m much more motivated to go to the gym when I am leaner and know that i’m looking better from day to day. It sucks going to the gym 5+ days per week and looking fatter.

^And to clarify, i’m not saying no one should ever gain any fat ever. There is a time and place for that obviously. It’s just a general point.

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]GrindOverMatter wrote:

[quote]cueball wrote:
So since this is my first time trying to lean out and then make gains while staying that way, is there a general concensus from those who have been doing this as to the sweet spot?

Should someone drop below that sweet spot for any reason and then move back up?[/quote]

Get lean enough so you can have a little cushion to gain some size and not get sloppy

for your gaining period try sticking to gaining around 2lbs a month—this is kind of hard to controll perfectly–but hopefully if you were to say look over your progress in the last three months you could account for about 6 lbs gained or somewhere around there.

once you feel like you’ve gained enough, you can diet down slowly, rinse and repeat.

[/quote]

Thanks. Since I’m upper 30’s, is there anything that may be different or to expect?[/quote]

hard to say, how is your metabolism right now? either way this approach should maximize it

im at work so i cant watch that video but im asssuming its explaining how to eat more carbs over time and stay leaner

thats exactly what ive been doing.

i weigh 192 in the morning and im eating close to 300 grams of carbs if you count carbs from green veggies ( i actually take in 270 grams from stuff like oats, rice, peri workout sups, ezekiel bread etc)

when i was dieting, to get down to 192 i was only eating 50 grams of carbs every other day and doing 45 mins cardio (coming down from 215 mind you)

so im starting to feel good about my next contest prep being less than 20 lbs away from condition and eating 300 grams of carbs and only doing 25 mins of walking outside of my off days for cardio.

after my show i slowly ramped up from about 150 grams a day to what im at now

feels good man.

I feel stronger, my muscle contractions feel way more intense, I look better, I feel better and psychologically I just feel better overall. I could never understand why people think they can just put on tons of excess BF under the false pretense its “better” for gaining muscle and strength. Your body runs more efficiently when it has a lower BF %, its indisputable. I find it an excuse most people use because they can’t stick to a healthy diet.

But ya, under MOST circumstances, staying on the lean side is better in almost every single way you look at it.

another thing i like about staying lean–

when i was fat kid bulking i tended to get sick A LOT, since leaning down i havent gotten sick once.

I like the idea for this thread, a lot.

There have been some good suggestions for monitoring the amount of “fluff” you have. By far, the one I like the most is the difference between the measurement of my upper body (around my shoulders with arms at my sides) and my waist. I think if you’re going to stay lean and want to look like you lift, you need to maximize this measurement with broad shoulders and a trim waist. Currently, the difference is at 19" for me (53" v 34"). If it drops, it’s because I’m getting fluffy or missing workouts. Ideally, I try and keep it above 20".

FWIW, I think this sums everything up the best.