T Nation

Wanna Look Great Nekkid in June


I?ve been a reader of this site for well over a year and have learned a lot and had a lot of success with lifting and dieting based on the articles and the forums. An incredible site with some incredible people contributing. Sometimes, it seems like there is way too much information to process.

Anyway, here?s the deal: Having been unemployed for a year, I finally found a job in mid-October. In the adjustment of getting back to work and feeling like a productive member of society again, I haven?t been to the gym and haven?t been eating properly. Add to that the shorter days, cold of winter, etc, holidays, and basically no discipline what so ever, too much comfort food and comfort wine, I have gained a LOT of fat. Too much fat.

I?m tired of carrying this weight around and feeling like a fat slob, not too mention how shitty I feel looking like a fat bastard nor how unhealthy it is, especially at my age. I?ve got a couple of events in June that I want to look great for (an expensive all most no-holds barred vacation to celebrate my partner?s 30th birthday and two weddings of very close friends) and in October I?m turning 40?I don?t want to be fat the rest of my life and wanna look great nekkid, not just good nekkid ;-).

Below are my current stats and plan. I would be very appreciative of any hints, tips, advice, etc. For example, I?ve read Joel?s Cheater?s Diet, but I think I?m too overweight at the moment for this. Still, if Joel, Timbo, or Tampa-Terry, Vain or anyone else, can provide some help and support?I?m all ears.

Here are my stats:

Weight: 225 pounds
Bodyfat: estimated at 30%, thus LBM is about 165 lbs and FM is about 60 lbs.

My goal weight is 180 lbs which should put my just under 10% body fat and assumes that my LBM will stay steady. Should my LBM go up a bit, I?ll take it as an extra added bonus?Main goal is to melt off 45 lbs of nasty flab.

Height: 6?1
Chest: 42
Waist: 44
Arms: 15
Forearms: 11.5
Thighs: 25.5
Calves: 16.5

Cardio will be 30 minutes every morning at least 5 days a week on an empty stomach, which includes 5 mins warm-up and 5 mins cool-down. I am planning to do the same after workouts.

Workouts: 4 days a week (Home gym and limited equipment)
Day I (2x week)
Squats 3 x 10
Deadlifts 3 x 10
Barbell Rows 3 x 10
Push-ups 3 x 10
Crunches 3 x 10

Day II (2x week)
Military or Shoulder presses 3 x 10
Bicep curls 3 x 10
Tricep extensions 3 x 10
Reverse (forearem) curls 3 x 10

I?ve had quite a layoff from the gym, and will start with this routine to help me get back into the swing of things. The slow, but steady approach.

Diet will be Fat Fast for at least four weeks at about 1300 cals per day, 50/50 split between protein (egg whites, chicken, tuna) and fat (flax seed oil). Supplements are 4AD-EC as I can stay on for longer without cycling on and off and T2-Pro (may switch to Hot Rox when it comes out) as well as two tablespoons of ground psyllium husks per day to keep me regular. I?ll also do my best to drink 8, 16 oz glasses of water a day.

Depending upon how much fat I?ve lost in four weeks, I will switch to T-Dawg or stay on Fat Fast until I?m closer to my goal. Any comments, questions, advice, tips, etc?

IMO you are going to burn yourself out and lose muscle by performing that much cardio.

and i’m assuming youre 3’5"?

Okay, my suggestion: forget about the Fat Fast, whether you’re using 4-AD or not. Why start off with a program that will rapidly kill the metabolism?

If you are just getting started, here’s what I propose:

Start with a two-week break in phase. A program I think would be ideal if you’ve been out of the gym for a spell would be the first two-week phase of the Growth Surge project. It’s 3x/week, and nothing but basic compound exercises with a little cardio on the side to get your foundation going. If you’ve never done a low-carb diet before, start w. John Berardi’s Don’t Diet first. Get a little base built first to prepare for the upcoming “hell weeks.”

Then, you have some options, but what I think would be ideal especially based on your listed exercises would be Don Alessi’s Meltdown Training. It incorporates many of your chosen exercises in a very intense circuit designed specifically for fat loss. If you’re coupling this with a prohormone, you may get some lean gain in the process if you follow it to the letter. Use the updated T-Dawg diet for this one, and be sure to use his calorie-bouncing protocol.

If you REALLY want to get fancy, check out Don’s “Ripped in 8 Weeks” program in a previous Iron Dog column. It alternates the two-week phases of Meltdown I and II; however don’t even think about doing it without the recommended supplements or you will overtrain VERY quickly.

For the final stretch, this would be an ideal time for Joel Marion’s Cheater’s Diet/EDT program.

Best of luck to you…just remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and don’t try to make up for years/months of abuse in a short amount of time. Slow and steady wins the race, my friend. Keep us updated on your chosen route and your progress!

If you’ve reading this site for 1 year you already know what to do. Forget everything everyone is telling you for now and just get your fat-ass to the gym. If you try to plan it out too much from the get-go you may not start at all. Just show up and do whatever, even if just for 10 minutes. Sorry for the tough love.

I agree with the “just get in there”. Analysis paralysis kills all progress. Don’t overplan. Good luck with your endeavor. Why are you splitting the routine? With a year layoff, you could spot someone and get muscle gains. I wish I could remember where it was that I saw the breakdown of what lean contractile protein weight is in an average man, for an FYI. I will keep looking. I am happy about your return to the workforce. I understand the feeling well. Of course, where I work may be laying off 25-40% in the next month.

You are 225lbs and 30%BF? Just get back into it and I bet you lose 15lbs right off the bat. Try a diet that uses refeeding techniques. I can eat 250 cal over with such a diet and still lose around 2 lbs per week if I do enough cardio along with it.

  1. Don’t do steady state cardio, do HIIT.

  2. Ditch the 3x10 garbage. Why don’t you look at the loading parameters in Phases II-IV of Ian King’s ‘Limping’ series for superior schemes.

FGG, I second teddykgb’s recommendation. Save FF for down the road. You need to learn how to eat right and make smart choices. Fat Fast is a Fast Fix.

If you run the numbers correctly, you should lose 10 pounds your first two weeks on T-Dawg and 1.5 to 2 pounds steadily per week after that.

From there, FGG, you need to look at a good strength protocol versus a hypertrophy program. There’s no reason to be breaking down your muscles like that if you’re hypocaloric and not taking in enough nutrients and calories to make the repairs.

I know you want to make a lot of progress fast, but you can’t punish yourself for past sins without sacrificing LBM.

  1. As has been discussed many times on the forum, limit your cardio to no more than four 30 minute sessions per week.

  2. Limit your workouts to 3 or 4 days in the gym. A favorite of mine is Joel Marion’s Ripped, Rugged & Dense.

Put the majority of your energy and your drive and your motivation into your diet, making good food choices and keeping a food log. Keeping a food log is your vehicle to body composition success.

Okay, there. My “quick” thoughts. Any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Agree that TeddyKGB gave you some good advice. Agree that HIIT will do better for you than regular cardio. Also agree that you seem to be wanting to jump in with both feet rather than starting a little bit at a time and ramping up.

Do NOT try to do too much at once. Have you ever tried a ketogenic diet? Something like Fat Fast is hell, pure and simple. Also, Meltdown is not something that you want to try with an extra 50 pounds of flab hanging over your belt buckle. Do the GSP Phase I workout for two weeks, get back into the swing of things, then give RR&D or 5x5 a shot for a month or so. Once your fat loss is going well AND you’ve gotten some strength and conditioning back, THEN you should think about Meltdown. Not before.

Good luck, and let us know how things go.

Wow. You have gotten a lot of good advice man and I hope you’ve been paying attention. I posted a similar plan a few weeks back (the post is titled “Please critique my cutting” and I posted as JK) and I got a lot of the same advice … and I listened. Let me tell you, I’m just finishing the first phase of this cutting cycle and the results have been great. After six weeks of the Beginner’s Blastoff Program amd T-Dawg 2.0, I’m down 15 lbs., 1.5 inches off my waist, 1.5 inches off my chest, and more losses from my hips and all over. More importantly, I’ve learned to love working out again. Right now, I will not go on FF as originally planned (I will at some point, but not yet). I’m going to post my future plans really soon for another critique (I’m gonna give the Poliquin diet a shot and try some strength programs before moving on to Meltdown I). I highly recommend you check out the new thread that I’m gonna start with my revised plan - we’re almost exactly in the same boat. Good luck.

Incredible T-folk:

Firstly, thanks for the advice, help, support, and the tough love. You folks are incredible?but you probably knew that already. I had started a low carb type diet and have started lifting again, but wanted to post my plan (so, I’m not totally guilty of analysis paralysis ;-)). I definitely appreciate the slap of sanity. On my plan, I most likely would have burnt out, then quit, then been totally depressed. I agree that too much, too fast is not going to do it. Also, based on the post from Iron Mike, I found the thread and read through those suggestions too. We?re both pretty much in the same boat, but he?s got a nice lead on me. So, here are the revisions and many thanks to your very sound advice and your sanity:

Cardio - 4 times a week, max 30 minutes. I?ll read up on HITT and apply that ASAP.

Diet - T-Dawg is a great idea. Have read through version 2.0 and looks very sane. Just have to figure out the numbers and keep a food log (am used to doing that so no problems there).

Workouts - I’m keen on the meltdown plan, but rather than just jump right in and shock myself, what I plan to do is do the exercises, but no super setting and will be using light weights. Once I feel adjusted to lifting agin, I’ll turn up the dial and incorporate the super setting with heavier weights Gives me a chance to be sure of my form, too.

I’ll be pleased to keep you updated on my progress, like every two weeks or so, if that isn’t too much. Let’s see what I can do in the first six weeks.

To Iron Mike?yep we’re pretty much in the same boat, so it would be great to keep in touch and keep the motivation to burning the flab off sensibly, but ever so surely and successfully (even forever!).

Peace! Greg

You should ditch the traditional cardio in favor of HIIT. That may not have come through on some of the previous posts, but that was the intent. Trust me.

Also, if you’re going to “warm up” for a while before Meltdown (a very good idea), you should pick different exercises to begin with, or at the very least different a different set/rep scheme. The reason being that the program will not be as effective for you if you’re already “sort of” doing it beforehand. Pick the beginner’s blast off program or something, not a half-assed version of Meltdown. Then when you’re ready, you can give Meltdown the real shot it deserves and reap the full range of benefits.