T Nation

Went from 255 to 187lbs

Hello everyone So I’ve been dieting since September (meaning I’ve been on a caloric restriction) I started on the back on the gym with a full body and then progressed to upper/lower and now on phat (which I don’t know how, since I’m on a cut) I’m really liking. Now I don’t know what to do because although I’ve gained some muscle I feel like I’m lacking. I’m 20 years old and dropped from 116 kg (255lbs) to 85 (187 lbs), 6’1 (186 cm). Right now doing strength, as I’ve mentioned, and cardio+caloric deficit (cut). Should I keep on doing this? Or maybe clean bulk. My strength gains haven’t been enormous but I’m more for aesthetics than pure strength

Right now

Thank you all

1 Like

Good work on the fat loss. What you would do best with now is to let your body adjust to not being fat. Give it six months or so. Then slowly increase your calories. You need to add muscle, but because you’ve been fat your body will just add more fat if you immediately up your calories. You need to give it time to establish a new set point so that it adds muscle when you add calories instead of fat.

You’d probably do well to train four days a week, with a fifth day for conditioning. Upper/lower or push/pull/legs would probably be best. A good format for a training day is:

Main lift
Work up to a top set and hit a rep PR
Drop the weight to about 70% of your rep PR and hit backoff sets: three to five sets of five to 10 reps

Two assistance lifts
25 to 100 reps each

Ancillary work like arms, shoulders, abs
Two lifts supersetted or giant set, 50 to 100 reps each

Here are some lifts I’ve found useful

Main lift
Front squat
Military press - barbell, dumbbell, log
Incline press - barbell, dumbbell
Bench press - barbell, dumbbell
Deadlift - including off racks, blocks, Romanian, trap bar

Assistance lifts
Barbell row
Dumbbell row
Split squat
Back raise
Pull aparts
Face pulls
Kettlebell swing
Front squat
Incline press
Military press
Chest supported row
Lat pulldown

Triceps pushdowns
JM press
Ab wheel
GHR situp
Decline situp
Hanging leg raise/shins to bar
Calf raises
Lateral raises
Kettlebell upright rows with rope


which is fine…But your going to need to improve your actual strength level regardless.

1 Like

thank you, but should I start on a caloric surplus?

Re read markKO’s post, some great info there.
you’re better off eating at maintenance and working hard in the gym, you don’t need to think about bulking just yet.


I would go with what @MarkKO suggested in his earlier post. Just eat enough that your not hungry and have enough calories to fuel your gym time and recovery needs.


Excellent job on the transformation!!!

And everything Markko said but I have a slightly different opinion on Exercise selection.

Squat, Deadlift, Bench, Barbell Row and Pullups are the “Big 5”. An extra pull is by design.

T-Bar Rows, Overhead Press, Dips, Lunges and direct arm or calf work as assistance work.

That’s it. Truthfully though after the “Big 5” you can do what ever you like.

Only use the Lower Push Pull split if you will be training 5+ times a week. Mainly you want to hit the “Big 5” 2-3 times a week.

Focus on strength, muscle gains are slow and subjective. Strength gains are the truth.

As for you diet I wouldn’t increase calories until your strength is suffering AND you are leaner. You should get hella noob gainz plus you are with young hormone levels.

1 Like

Can up your calories to maintenance and get on a high volume template off this site like below, at your age will you should then add muscle and strength while leaning out slightly…

After a few weeks can then start adding in one calorie surplus day every 5-7 days and then increase/decrease the frequency on how the body responds