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Tips to Lower Bodyfat, Then Lean Bulk?


hey, new to this site but i am currently sitting at around 11.5-12% bodyfat, 16 y/0 nearly 17 and weighing in at 155lbs (70kg approx), been wokring out 3 months i need help to lower my body fat % to around 8-9% and then ‘lean bulk’ to gain some muscle mass (if this is the most effective method to gain muscle and stay lean), any tips for diet on how to do this and what kind of training and foods and supplements (would you recomend a weight gainer like cytogainer?)? any help is appareciated in advance

You don’t need to lower bodyfat at all. You need to lift heavy, eat more, and make sure you get enough sleep.

Don’t worry about supplements at this point. Right now you just need more food and more lifting.

I will let others on here advise you on specifics; in the meanwhile, take a look at this thread:

You don’t need to lower your body fat to anything. Eat tons and keep lifting. My own son has a similar build to you except he has freak shoulders and lats but everything else is pretty close. He says the same things that you do and I just want to shake him and ask him if he is visually impaired. I will add an lol there just so you know that I’m being tongue and cheek. You’re young and growing still - you will make the best gains by eating a lot, lifting and getting enough sleep at night.

I’ll let the guys give you advice on lean bulking since I think that men and women respond differently. You’re off to a good start though!

You have no chest size, and your lats can’t even be seen when flared… You are relatively lean, and are by no means fat. Deadlift, row, squat (below parallel), press of some kind starting at the shoulders each rep, and bench add 100-300 to all of them then lean out.

If you still choose to lean out look at your video at the very start when you are leaning towards the camera after looking at the pictures in this link. http://dailynightly.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/02/22/10477185-boys-dying-to-be-thin-the-new-face-of-anorexia If you do choose to bulk then about a pound a week is a pretty good number to go at.

Kid, you are 16 years old. Right now your testosterone should be the highest it ever will and this is your best opportunity to put on a CONSIDERABLE amount of muscle. Don’t make the mistake of obsessing over abs. Eat lots of clean food, lift 4-6 times a week, sleep 8 hours a day, and do mobility and tissue work. Also do some conditioning. Doing sprints twice a week will add muscle to your glutes and hamstrings like you wouldnt beleive.

There should be a rule that guys shouldn’t worry about having abs until they have at least 16 inch arms. No one gives a shit about your abs if you have 12 inch arms. I wish I had followed such a rule, i would have much better development.

You should be eating and sleeping enough so that every time you do a lift, you can either increase the weight on the bar or the reps with the same weight. If you have trouble gaining weight, read the sticky at the top of the beginners forum on bulking tips.

But note you should not be getting fat. If you are gaining more than 4 lbs a month, I would decrease your intake a bit and/or add in some cardio. As Stu and others love to say: you dont have to get fat to get big.

[quote]Akesy wrote:
been wokring out 3 months i need help to lower my body fat % to around 8-9% and then ‘lean bulk’ to gain some muscle mass (if this is the most effective method to gain muscle and stay lean)[/quote]
The most effective method to gain muscle and stay lean would be to use the next 24-36 months to build a foundation of strength and muscle that will set you up for ridiculous progress in the future. Taking the time and energy to drop even more bodyfat right now isn’t only unnecessary, it’s a flat-out bad decision.

Best diet tips I can think of: learn how to cook eggs hard-boiled, scrambled, and over easy (for when you feel like being fancy). Learn how to cook a chicken breast, a steak, and a hamburger. Learn how to bake a potato, cook rice, and saute vegetables (saute is just fancy cooking word for “move it around in a hot pan with some oil”).

Those skills will improve your nutrition more than reading a dozen articles.

Take a look at the bodyweight program I listed in this thread:


I know you said you’ve been training for a few months already, but I still suggest giving that plan a run-through until it seems easy and then get into a well-designed, free weight-based program and follow it to the letter for several months straight.

All of the foods in this article give a great idea of where to start and what to focus on:


You’re not a competitive bodybuilder, so try not to fall into the trap a lot of young guys so, eating only egg whites, water, and oatmeal. Eat “good food” more often than you eat crap, but don’t stress out over having some Twizzlers and a Coke at the movies once in a while.

For now, anything more than a few scoops of whey protein isn’t really necessary. It’s not that things like fish oil or creatine are a bad idea, but it’s more important to get your training and nutrition in line before throwing another variable into the situation. A weight gainer shake might not even be necessary if you’re eating 3 or 4 good meals everyday and gaining weight each week.

Join a sport team at your school… that should take care of any “lean” issues and make it a lot more interesting for 2-3 months of the year… particularly if it’s something like wrestling where it helps to be lean.

Also, cut your hair.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Best diet tips I can think of: learn how to cook eggs hard-boiled, scrambled, and over easy (for when you feel like being fancy).[/quote]

I guess I never thought of eggs over easy as being “fancy”. I don’t generally think anything a cook at Waffle House does is particularly fancy. Maybe I’m just a snob.

But yes, lots of whole eggs (not just the whites) + lots of meat, and plenty of dairy – preferably in more concentrated forms like half&half, cream, cottage cheese (if you can handle it). Make sure you’re getting some carbs and/or fats with your meals too. If you eat a meal of just lean chicken breast and nothing else, your body is going to burn the protein for energy instead of using it to repair muscle. Hamburger meat + full-fat cottage cheese is a good meal though.

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Best diet tips I can think of: learn how to cook eggs hard-boiled, scrambled, and over easy (for when you feel like being fancy).[/quote]
I guess I never thought of eggs over easy as being “fancy”. I don’t generally think anything a cook at Waffle House does is particularly fancy. Maybe I’m just a snob.[/quote]
Ha, you egg snob, you. Just “fancy” in the sense that, if I’m making them, it’s almost like an extra step that I have to slow down and pay attention to what I’m doing to avoid breaking the yolky goodness.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Best diet tips I can think of: learn how to cook eggs hard-boiled, scrambled, and over easy (for when you feel like being fancy).[/quote]
I guess I never thought of eggs over easy as being “fancy”. I don’t generally think anything a cook at Waffle House does is particularly fancy. Maybe I’m just a snob.[/quote]
Ha, you egg snob, you. Just “fancy” in the sense that, if I’m making them, it’s almost like an extra step that I have to slow down and pay attention to what I’m doing to avoid breaking the yolky goodness.[/quote]

If you want “fancy” eggs, try this. I really like making these “country omelettes”. Simple, and yet the way you cook it gives you a lot of different flavors and textures.

OP, you should be able to make the first omelettes in this video.

Don’t cut your hair. That’s the way all the teen boys have their hair now, in the US too.

definitely will get a hair cut! i do notice my strength increasing but not necissarily size as such, would you recomend less workouts per week? or something along the lines of mainly compound movements?

thanks for the constructive criticism also guys, appreciated.

Squat; deadlift; bench; standing overhead press; chin-up/pull ups; barbell/dumbell rows. These are the most important lifts, everything else is secondary or assistance, IMO.

I’d re-read Chris C’s posts above on bodyweight training, however, he’s one guy you should listen to. If you are going to move to barbell and dumbbell weights anyway, pick up Starting Strength.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Squat; deadlift; bench; standing overhead press; chin-up/pull ups; barbell/dumbell rows. These are the most important lifts, everything else is secondary or assistance, IMO.

I’d re-read Chris C’s posts above on bodyweight training, however, he’s one guy you should listen to. If you are going to move to barbell and dumbbell weights anyway, pick up Starting Strength. [/quote]

I can lift a fair amount of weight for my size imo, pull ups are easy enough up to 10-15 reps, bench 110lbs, deadlift 175lbs, squat 175lbs, bent over row 130lbs, dips at bodyweight are easy up to 15 reps, upright row 65lbs, any advice as to go for hypertrophy range 9-12 reps? or stregth training at max reps 8 if im not mistaken?

At your age and probable T-levels, if you eat enough good food and get some sleep, pretty much any consistent and sensible weight training will make you grow. You could start with something like 5-3-1 full body and get the basics down, and, after you get some time under your belt, and get the basics down solid, decide where you want to go from there.

http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1316

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
At your age and probable T-levels, if you eat enough good food and get some sleep, pretty much any consistent and sensible weight training will make you grow. You could start with something like 5-3-1 full body and get the basics down, and, after you get some time under your belt, and get the basics down solid, decide where you want to go from there.

http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1316[/quote]
correct me if im wrong but its 5 reps, 3 reps, 1 rep? i dont understand the deload percentage? does this mean to start at your heaviest weight you can lift then decrease it each set? cold you substitue db row for barbell or better to do single handed db row? and what is ‘press’?

[quote]Akesy wrote:

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
At your age and probable T-levels, if you eat enough good food and get some sleep, pretty much any consistent and sensible weight training will make you grow. You could start with something like 5-3-1 full body and get the basics down, and, after you get some time under your belt, and get the basics down solid, decide where you want to go from there.

http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1316[/quote]
correct me if im wrong but its 5 reps, 3 reps, 1 rep? i dont understand the deload percentage? does this mean to start at your heaviest weight you can lift then decrease it each set? cold you substitue db row for barbell or better to do single handed db row? and what is ‘press’? [/quote]

Buy the book, it’s 20 bucks. Don’t be cheap, because you will not understand this program at all until you buy the books and read it cover to cover at least 3-4 times.

Get the second edition, jim sells it on his website.

Chris87 is correct. However, If you truly can’t afford the book here is the basic run down and the minimum you need to know.

“5-3-1” is a wave-loading-periodization scheme that runs in “cycles” and “waves.” But it is periodized off of performance, not time, and “5-3-1” are performance based “reset triggers,” not target reps, although Jim calls them “target reps.”

Step 1: establish a “Training Max” for each lift. This is simply 90% of your 1RM. In your case, your training max for deadlift would be 160 lbs., or 90% of 175.

Step 2: Run a “cycle.” A cycle is 4 weeks.

Week 1: Work up to 1 set of 85% of your Training Max in 5% increments, hitting 5 reps on each set, until your last set. On your last set, do as many reps as you can but don’t fail (usually 10+ reps).

Week 2: Work up to 1 set of 90% of your Training Max in 5% increments, hitting 3 reps each set, until your last set. On your last set, do as many reps as you can but don’t fail (usually 8+ reps).

Week 3: Work up to 1 set of 95% of your Training Max in 5% increments, hitting 5 reps until your second to last set, 3 reps on your second to last set, and as many reps as you can do on your last set, but don’t fail (usually 6+ reps).

Week 4: Deload. Work up to 50% of your training max and stop at 5 reps. This is basically a recovery week.

Step 3: Add 10 pounds to your lower-body Training Max(s) and 5 pounds to your upper-body Training Max(s) and repeat the cycle.

The “wave” ends when you can’t hit 5, 3, or 1 rep on your week 1, 2, or 3, final set (money set). When you can’t hit the minimum amount, retest your 1RM, take 90% of it, and that’s your new Training Max. Then you start a new “wave.”

“Press” is a standing overhead press with a barbell.

If you have questions, either buy the book or ask them in the 5-3-1 forum in the PL section.

Lots of good posts in here, guys. Kudos.

[quote]Akesy wrote:
I can lift a fair amount of weight for my size imo, pull ups are easy enough up to 10-15 reps, bench 110lbs, deadlift 175lbs, squat 175lbs, bent over row 130lbs, dips at bodyweight are easy up to 15 reps, upright row 65lbs[/quote]
That’s a nice start, sure, but there are other benefits to knowing your body can handle full range bodyweight exercises (like deep push-ups, lunges, good deep squats, etc.) that I talked a little about in that thread.

In any case, just be smart about whatever program you decide to follow. There’s no rush to building strength or size now or trying to squat 300 in a few months. Take the time to develop a solid, well-rounded base that you can build on for years to come.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
If you have questions, either buy the book or ask them in the 5-3-1 forum in the PL section. [/quote]
Or read the several articles where the author discussed the program. :wink: