T Nation

Want to Become and Look Like an Athlete


Dear Alpha Males,

I am a 18 year old kid, from a very small country. Few years ago, I was fat, I lifted a bit and did tons of cardio, followed strict diet and lost it all. Since then, I lifted a few times for a month or two and then paused for 5-6 months, mostly do to finances.

Now I finally decided to be my best in the sport I love,Mixed Martial Arts. I bought myself a bag and gloves few days ago,got my gym membership and some whey protein. But now, I am in a dillema and have few questions.

There is an Amateur MMA Championship in June next year.
Currently, I am sitting at 90kg, guessing around 20% BF,194-195cm I'm providing the picture so you can estimate (not sure if I'm right).
I'd like to get around 85kg of LBM,9% BF until New Year's Eve(IF POSSIBLE, giant pool party and want to surprise everyone) and develop speed,strength and power for June.

1.) Should I cut if I want to get lean for New Year Party and bulk after until march/april?

2.) Is Westside For Skinny Bastards a good program to gain mass and "noob gains", or what program should I use while cutting (because I am in a deficit,could I build mass?)

3.) Is this program useful, or any good? (Friend made it for me)


5x3-5 Bench Press
3x8-12 Overhead Press
3X8-12 Dips
3x8-12 T-Raise

Push-ups FAILURE

5x3-5 Squat
3X15 Calfe Raise
5x2 Ball Jumps
3x20 Incline crunches
3x20 Ab Twisters


3x8-12 Seated Rows
3x8-12 Lat-Pulldowns
3x8-12 Curls
3x8-12 Tricep Pulldowns
3xFAILURE Chin-Up/Pull-Up

Also,another picture:


At your stage, just lift weights and eat real food and you'll gain muscle and lose fat. I'd put off cutting til you've built some muscle, otherwise you'll just look like a skeleton.

Do you train MMA? If so, Westside for skinny bastards is a good choice. If not, you could lift more often.


Instead of following a program your friend made, you would probably be better off following a premade program like the ones found in Starting Strength/Practical Programming, 5/3/1, or some sort of Pavel 3-5, etc.. I cannot comment on Westside. If your goal is to train for MMA, then lifting would be supplemental training, not your main focus, so don't burn yourself out in the weight room.

And I am curious, are you training MMA on your own, or with a coach?


I train MMA under two trainers, one is a professional fighter in a 3rd largest MMA organization, and one is a bouncer in local clubs and was a kickboxing/ITF tae-kwon-do champion in his younger days.
So should I just do WS4SB?


^Your best bet is to probably get a training program from one of them.


Yeah,I thought so and asked them if they can make one for me and they directed me to the gym's PT and he gave me some TRX and PowerPlate program that I should do,so I decided to ask here.


Well, you certainly can't go wrong reading any and all of CT's stuff on this site. He takes a very performance-based approach to bodybuilding and really seems to draw alot of cues from the world of athletic training.

What is your goal? From your OP it seems as though you don't really know...or perhaps part of the advice your seeking is a good goal for your circumstances?

In any case, you will need to build a solid foundation...all other variables equal, the strongest fighter will win. Period.

Other authors worth reading would be Nick Tumminello and Martin Rooney.


Thanks, will start reading their articles :slightly_smiling:

I wrote down goals,they are:

9% Bodyfat,90kgs
Bench 85kg x5
OHP 65kg x5
DL 125 kgx5
Squat 100 kg x5
10 Chin-ups
Until 31.12.2011


at 90kg 9%, those lifts should be A LOT higher!


x2, just to give you an idea, here are my stats:
188 cm, 93 kg, about 12-15% fat
Bench 90kg x10
OHP 65kg x9
DL 185 kgx5
Squat 180 kg x3
10 Chin-ups with 30 kg hanging from my waist


One thing I learned from MMA training: a good fighter is not always a good teacher. Not trying to make any assumptions about the guys training you, just something to keep in the back of your mind. I took classes run by a guy who was the top in his school, and in hindsight it was a huge waste of my time because he was not a very good teacher.


There's no bodyfat percentage championship in MMA, so, forget you ever heard about bodyfat percentages. Base your physique progress on photos, how clothes are fitting, and how you're performing in the gym and on the mats.

This info really puts your photos into perspective. You're 6'4" and 200 pounds. That's skinny and cutting/losing bodyweight should be the last thing on your mind. You need to add lean muscle, which will improve your physique and your fighting.

Again, dropping weight is not what you need.


WS4SB would be a fine choice. It's been used by other athletes to add size and strength.

Not really, no. Although, since you're underweight and undermuscled to begin with, you may actually see some muscle built if you combine consistent hard lifting with abundant protein.

That program is crap.

Here's the deal: Your competition is in June. That's the primary goal. Looking hot by New Year's is the secondary goal. You'll get closer to both of those goals if you spend the next 12 or 16 weeks going balls out training hard and eating well. Adding, say, 15 pounds of muscle on your frame will have a bigger impact (pun intended) than cutting down and looking like The Machinist.

Use this to improve your nutrition:
It's nothing fancy, 3-4 meals a day and a workout shake, but it's effective.

Take a look at the dude pictured above. Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald is 6'3" (190cm) and a lean 185 pounds (84kg) there. That means he was a muscular 200 or so before cutting a lot of water weight. Right now, you're a not-yet-muscular 200 pounds, so why would it make sense to try cutting now. You need to put muscle onto your frame. That'll improve your strength, performance, appearance, and metabolism.


My only contribution is that I think it's funny that you took the time to block out your face with 3 different colors.


Don't try to do too many things at the same time. If you want to fight because you love it--then focus on it!!

Westside for skinny bastards is designed specifically for athletic performance, strength, and adding lean size. Do it. That is all. It is a fantastic program and fits your goals. big fan here.


Oh, yes, and if you train hard for your sport, the changes in physique will come. slower without a good athletic performance weight program, faster with one. Just remember you need to eat to recover--eat good, healthy foods, but eat to recover from your workouts.


What kind of MMA are you doing and how do you train for it?

Like others have said diet should be your priority. Then if I were training for martial arts I'd probably get on 5x5 but instead of doing regular squats I would probably do split squats more as I feel they have more carry over. You have no reason at all to do calf raises, you're not trying to be a bodybuilder so the size of your calves really won't help you at all and the growth from the rest of your training is more than enough. You should also be doing a lot more ab work and heavy ab work. Make sure to get some rotational work in as well since that's where your power is going to come from and where you're going to be taking the most hits.

I've never done TRX but it combined with some weighted split squats, bench, curls, weighted dips, weighted wide grip pullups, and glute ham raises would probably be a damn good start judging by your pictures. But seriously none of this will help if you don't eat healthier and more.


Thanks Chris for the advice, Jason looks small in that picture, so I can just imagine what would I look like when I cut down. I read the article, and I'm gonna train hard and eat well, so I'm guessing that's around 250g protein and 3000 kcal per day?

I'm going to go with WS4SB, as I keep hearing loads of great stuff about it from you guys and everyone.

@EndersDrift2 - Well, we usually start training by running around the gym with some bodyweight exercises, then go with some stretching, we do boxing techniques, kickboxing techniques, some light sparring, then grappling, and then go on to harder sparring or grappling sparring, depends on the day. In class we don't usually lift weights, except sometimes KBs are used.


I don't think Jason looks small in that picture. He's listed at 6'3 185, and if you think cutting weight with your current body structure (muscle/fat) is a good idea, think again.

Like Chris said, if you're 6'0 200, and very minimal muscle mass. For the life of me, I still can't figure out how you're 200 lbs, but I guess bone structure has to do with that also.

You don't necessarily have to be super muscular to be a good MMA fighter, but you did say you want to look like one. It's gonna be hard to fill out your frame, but if you wanna look like an athlete, there's no way you can do that with 3000kcals WHILE training as one.

If you do succeed to get your bf % down, I doubt you would be impressed with what you'll see in the mirror. Ask your coaches first, as they're probably the ones you want to look like and get some input from them.


Isn't this kinda like asking "What kind of baseball are you playing?"

At over 6' tall, most guys aren't going to look "big" at anything under 210-220ish. The taller you get, the more muscle it takes to look filled out and jacked.

Shoot for that much protein throughout the day, sure.

As for total calories, that depends on your weekly activity, how much you're currently eating, and how that current calorie total is currently affecting you. To get a general idea, jot down everything you eat for a few days, do the math to tally that up, see how/if your bodyweight changed, and go from there.

Also, like BLU Ninja said, while we are looking to increase muscle and strength right now, don't forget that the overwhelming goal is to be a better fighter, not to be a better bodybuilder. There are talented MMA fighters that could be seen at the beach and nobody would think they're pro athletes. But I still err on the side of believing that "A skilled, strong, muscular athlete is a better athlete."


As an example of a bigger guy at your height, and for whatever else it's worth, JDS above is 6'4" and a lean 239 above. You know the chick in red approves. :wink: