T Nation

To Lose Weight or Not (After My Comp)


#1

Hey all,

I know this is a very personal decision that I have to make alone after all but I would still like to get some input on this since I am very unsure. In a week I am going to compete in strongman and after that I originally planned on losing some body weight.

However I am not sure whether I really want to lose weight or not and how to go about it if I decide to “cut”.
To give you an idea I am 1,87m/ 6’2", I weigh 115 kg/ 253lbs. I have wide shoulders so I think my frame allows me to carry a bit more weight without looking too fat. My bf percentage was measured at 23-25% ( I can get a new and pretty reliable test any time if that matters at all). I am not comfortable with loading up photos.

Now to why I am on the fence with this. I noticed with my weight gain I not only got fatter but also more muscular ( I went from about 100kg to 115kg/ 220lbs to 253 lbs). I certainly do look kind of fat. It’s not like my belly sticks out but I look really big rather than athletic and muscular. Also I am currently dating a girl who is really into fitness herself and she has a great body. She doesn’t think that I am fat or unattractive but she certainly is in better shape than me (even her bf percentage is lower than mine). This makes me a little bit anxious.

However other than that I feel pretty good at the moment. I don’t have any injuries despite really pushing my training. Plus I am of course stronger than ever and hit a few PRs that mean a lot to me (that said I am not strong in relation to my body weight!) and I feel like my strength is going to continue to go up.
I fear to lose strength and risk lack of progress if I am going to diet down.

So the question is to lose weight or not? Thanks in advance for your opinions.


#2

I was in the exact same position a year ago, although, I was 6’5" and 275. Also, my wife asked me when I would finally cut down and have abs. I’m now 225, have pretty clear abs, though I’m going to go down to probably 220. Obviously, as you said, the decision is yours, but here are my thoughts.

The pros have been:

  • I feel better

  • Clothes fit great

  • I’m quicker, I play baseball in the summer and normally DH, play first and pitch. This year I’ll play SS and pitch.

  • I have abs

Cons:

  • My wife says my arms look small. Lost about an inch on them.

  • Strength has decreased by ~10-20%, depending on the lift.

I may of taken a year off from my ultimate goal, but I would do it again. I think I may always try and stay between 12-15% bf depending on time of year. Seems to be a happy compromise between having an OCD diet and a healthy one with a few donuts on the way.


#3

You can absolutely trim some fat without losing strength and progress. In point of fact, some of my best progress has occurred while losing fat, mainly because it requires my diet to be more dialed in than when I am running a surplus. Every calorie matters, so suddenly I am eating very high quality and with focus.

The trick for me has always been to approach weight loss gradually. So many people fixate on wanting to watch numbers fly on the scale, going for 2+lbs a week, and in doing so they lose too quickly and hinder their recovery. I shoot for .5lbs a week at a max. It’s a slow process, but it means that my recovery is holding up and that I can sustain the weight I get down to once there, versus having some sort of rebound.

Strongman is rapidly becoming a sport wherein extra fat is just slowing you down. Even the big guys in WSM tend to be coming in leaner these days (minus of course Big Z, but he DOES get lean in the off season). The HW Arnold amateur just got won by a 230 guy.

I think you’ll get nothing but benefits from shedding some fluff.


#4

Oh I am sorry, I forgot to reply to this thread again. Thanks for your input guys. The diet is in progress right now. So far everything is going well. For me it is a little complicated to lose weight slowly. My weight jumps are extremely rapid in both directions. Maybe I am just still settling in with my diet. My training will focus a little more on weight loss and athleticism as well in the near future. Which shouldn’t hinder my strongman progress but speed it up.