T Nation

What Should I Do Now?


I started at....
5'6", 139 lbs, 8.6% BF

I bulked for roughly 2 months and then stop being able to put on much more weight and had a hard time keeping my appetite to levels that it was initially. I felt like I was putting on excessive fat so I figured it would be a good time to cut back anyway and more or less unintentionally started a maintenance period.

I got myself measured again and it was a newer girl that measured me but I don't think that it would make that much difference from girl to girl.. anyway new results: 163lbs, 12.4% BF. I feel like some of that might have been water weight from consuming creatine, which I think would error on the side of lean mass.

I did that for almost a month and then I decided that it would be a good time to go on a cutting cycle. I searched around and came across the velocity diet. I've done that for a few days now and last night was my first time to lift with this and I felt way weaker and could barely do my normal workout (see below). I was wiped part way through my 5th exercise. I haven't taken creatine while on this and honestly now I look pretty close to when I started my bulking but with more fat, which is definitely disappointing.

My normal workout is usually 6/7 exercises with 3 sets of 7 reps, 3 days a week. I usually warm up with an 8min ab workout (go ahead and laugh) and then I try to do mainly compound exercises.

Before you guys say what I know you probably will, my fat really was excessive especially for someone who does not have a lot of lean mass to really support it. I'd post pics but most of you would scoff anyway. I was told to stay away from cardio if I was trying to bulk, but I would notice an accelerated heart rate and slight chest pain during more intense situations and sometimes even just getting up from my desk to go to the bathroom half a flight of stairs up.

It seemed like pretty much all my fat was gained in my abdominal area (which I know is normal). I thought the rest of my body comp looked pretty good and I was really shocked with the size I was able to put on in only a couple months.. 16 lbs of lean mass in 2 months per my measurements give or take per inaccuracy of pinching I suppose.

I don't mind not being able to see my abs but when it looks like I have a gut (and yes many commented on it) that's another story. I've always been really little and so until I have more lean mass, a small amount of fat really shows bad on me.

I guess what I am trying to get at is should I bulk some more now but do it slower (I was consuming 4-5kcalories/day during the first couple months)? Should I try to maintain this weight and keep lifting and my fat will melt away and then start bulking after that? Should I continue to cut but try a different program?

I should probably go get measured again to maybe give you guys a better idea and maybe I haven't lost as much as I thought. I just know that a couple weeks ago I felt pretty good about how I looked and how tightly my shirts fit (excluding the belly area) and now I feel like I reverted back to how I was months ago. I think the whole creatine and holding water effect made me look a lot bigger and now that I'm doing the velocity diet and it's low carb and therefore diuretic was pretty impacting.

Maybe I should get back on creatine to offset the velocity diet? I know if the Velocity Diet is done right I shouldn't lose any lean mass, but for someone like me who has a really hard time gaining lean mass to begin with it's a pretty big concern. I do now however feel like I have more energy (might be party in due to the HOT-ROX) and also I don't experience the accelerated heart rate.

Any comments are welcome but please keep the flaming to a minimum.
Thanks in advance to any contributing posts!


what kind of supps do you use? how much calories were you consuming, and at what ratio? how was your routine as in


Bear in mind that Shugart cut back on the volume of his workouts during the diet. I would go back and read the entire Velocity Diet series and see how well you followed it wrt training.

I lost 18lbs during the V-diet and had a good experience with it, but I know that I couldn't have pounded out the weights that I normally did before the diet while ON the diet. Chris addressed that (I believe in part 2). Check his blogs.
Good luck! Hope this was at least SOME help.


I thought I already stated this, but to reiterate:

Supplements, I was using creatine but stopped for the Velocity Diet.

I lift 3 days a week (total body) and that's it.


oh. the Velocity Diet sounds great for you. you are definitely on the right track.
at first your post sounded like as if you were lost.


First off this probably isn't what you wanna hear but before you do anything else please read Vrooms beginnners thread. If you did read the thread then please go ahead and read it again.

You worked out and bulked for 2 months and I assume that considering you were 140lbs that it was the first time that you ever ate specifically to gain weight. Did you keep track of how many calories a day you were getting taking?What type of foods were you eating? What exactly are your goals?All of these questions need to be addressed before we can really answer your questions or help you.Also 2 months really isn't that long of a time. Building a great physique isn't a 2 month sprint to the finishline but a lifelong marathon that takes alot of time and dedication.

With that being said at 140 pounds you have no muscle to show so dieting,especially a diet as extreme as the V-Diet is crazy. You need to not only gain LBM but at your size,gaining a little bit of fat isn't the end of the world. As a beginner you can gain a little size actually eating below maintenance but if you really wanna get the most out of being a newbie and put on some real size ya gotta eat.I'm not saying ya gotta eat 6000cals a day but if ya wanna get HYOOGE ya have to understand that some fat gain is normal.

Finally..if your experiencing chest pains or a major jump in heart rate walking up a flight of stairs please seek the advice of a professional physician,not people on a bodybuilding website.


Nice post

I see people always wanting to jump on the V-diet and wonder why. Why spend 2 mos(?) bulking then diet down so drastically?
Great call K
And yes-those medical issues-
if they are as stated get some qualified advice.


I appreciate the willingness to help, but a lot of the things you said I explicitly addressed. Maybe I should have kept my focus more narrow and perhaps I jumped around a bit with my post.

My goal is that I want to continue to gain size but I don't want to look the way I did with a huge gut. I don't mind not being able to see my abs but my belly was protruding really far. I wanted to cut back most of the fat that I gained before the holidays so that when people see me they can tell that I am putting on muscle and not just getting fat.. I plan on starting another bulking cycle at christmas time.

I realize 2 months isn't that long to bulk but I did gain a bit of weight and roughly 16 pounds of lean mass. I realize that it takes longer than 2 months to reach a great physique especially for skinny guys like myself. I don't want to keep getting a bigger and bigger gut. I only plan on doing the velocity diet for 2 weeks max and then slowly increase my calorie intake again. When I started the v-diet i was around 170 if that makes any difference. I gained 16lbs of LBM and about the same BF in roughly 2 months.
With gaining that much weight (an added 20% or so) that quickly my body was having difficulty with it. So, I decided I should cut some of the fat off. Would you have suggested I kept on eating and kept gaining more and more BF? Don't you think a 20% increase in mass is significant for a bulking cycle? I don't think you can really just say bulk until you reach X number of pounds since for some people that will be more drastic than others.

I've searched for other cutting diets but the v-diet seemed very simple and easy to follow.

As far as the chest pains go I went to my doctor and i got an EKG and also had my cholesterol checked.. both had good results. I'm pretty sure it's because my body wasn't used to hauling all this weight around.

Again your comments are appreciated but I'm still not getting any specific feedback. OK if I'm not going to eat 6kcals/day how much would you suggest?
I said I was eating between 4-5k calories/day, but if you want a breakdown here is a sample of what I did while bulking:

Wake up and have a protein shake (with skim milk and about 50 grams of protein)
After I get to work I have 1.5 cups of oatmeal with raisins and a banana.
Then a few hours later I have a mixture of 2 cans of tuna with 2 hard boiled eggs, cheese, mayo and mustard.
Then another few hours I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich and some soup (usually progresso clam chowder because I'm addicted to it). I get home and eat a couple chicken breasts and a half a huge sweet potatoe and then later I will have a thin crust pizza which is actually a healthier style of pizza.. not that really greasy crap or a cheeseburger in order to get some more fat intake. Some days I am able to sneak in some mixed nuts and beef jerky and some days also an apple. Then I will have another protein shake before bed.

The thing I have the most trouble with when I post in these forums is that no one believes that someone as skinny as I was can eat too much and gain too much fat too quickly. Trust me several people commented on my gut I'm not overly sensitive about gaining fat or anything but I honestly looked like I had a beer belly.

Again.. I really appreciate everyone's input.


Chill dawg...and don't be so darn touchy. If people are commenting on your gut, then maybe you are not 12.5%BF...more like 15-16%. I wouldnt' sweat what other say unless you are looking to bodybuild and be shredded.

As far as the V-Diet, no need for it with you. You are too much of a novice to put yourself through that. You can not have your cake and eat too if you want to be shredded. And if you want to bulk, then you need to feed and stick with your plan. Bulking and then strict dieting down (pendulum) is just too drastic. Decide what you really want and stick withit for awhile.

I couldn't deal with reading your whole posts, so here are some questions:

Did you get stronger?
Can the original BF tester do it again?
What was typical caloric intake?
What were typical workouts while bulking?
Food allergies?
Food sensitivities?
Goal? bf? b-weight? strength?

Answer some of these and don't go on long tangents.

Don't confuse yourself,


Exactly,no one with any sense whatsoever is going to tell you that its a good idea to go on the V Diet right after bulking especially if you been working out for 2 months.

As far as the body fat readings go..did you have a six pack?I'm having a hard time believing that in 2 months you could go from six pack to fat belly unless your bed ridden or something and have no physical activity whatsoever!


Well I answered all of your questions in my prior post but you want me to answer them again because you couldn't read my original post?

I'm sorry if I seem a bit tense but it's only because every time I post all I get is people that don't believe me or negatively criticize me and honestly no one has offered me any suggestions of what to do. OK.. so the V-diet is a bad idea.. what is a good idea?

I'm pretty open to suggestions but I don't really appreciate criticism and disbelief. Why on earth would I lie to the people that I'm looking for guidance from? It's like lying to your doctor.. anyway.. please make suggestions. I understand that some of you would find it hard for me to gain a gut but if you do the math you will find that it's not that difficult. I mean I was consuming 5kcal/day so that's almost a pound a day that I'd be gaining. Put that much on someone who doesn't have much mass to begin with and you get the results I talk about. I think maybe I should just try and consume something more like 3kcal/day and see how my body catches up. What do you guys think?



Thank you for not going on a full page rant.

1.Drop caloric intake to about 2700-3000 (45%P, 25%C, 30%F...keeping carbs around where your workouts are)
2.Strength Train 4x's wk, 2xupper, 1xlower, 1xcore
3.Add finishers (gpp) to x2 wrkts, ie, sled drags, sledge hits, tire flips, walk variations
4.Add x1 interval sprint day (48hours different from leg day)
5.Add one 30minute low impact day (walk or bike)


Another thing to consider wrt your "gut". Is it possible that this is a postural problem? (I'm not throwing darts. This is a legit question). Excessive lordosis of the lower spine will cause a gut-like look. I would also consider reading Eric Cressey's "Neanderthal No More" series to see if there are issues that you may want to address to combat this. You may just have tight hip flexors causing an anterior pelvic tilt.
Don't stop your focus on diet for this, but also consider if postural issues may be holding you back from getting your desired result.
Again, I hope this helps.


strongFB: I don't have access to that sort of equipment like a gigantic tire or a sled or even a place to do said exercies. Also, if I wouldn't have went on a "full page rant" then everyone would have harassed me saying we can't help you because you didn't provide us with any information.

mica617: That is very interesting and thank you very much for pointing that out. I skimmed over it and will read all of them in more depth later when I'm off of work. That might not be the sole cause but it's definitely a possibility of one of the contributing factors. Thanks again.

I'll keep this short..
So, I guess my question still remains of what to do now. I want to cut up and I don't think that 3k calories/day will get me there. Regardless of opinions, I want to lose the fat from my bulking (15lbs) and keep on my muscle. I don't mean to sound rude or demanding but I don't really care if someone thinks I should keep gaining more weight. Why can't I just get a simple, 'you want to cut fat, do this'?
If it's not possible for me to cut fat without losing muscle (which I doubt) then that's another story. If it takes me longer to get to the size I am happy with then so be it. If the V-Diet is wrong for me what is right?



Hoe many meals in a day do you eat? Hve you tried adding some extra calories?


Okay here's my advice on what to do next..cutting at 150 pounds no matter what the situation is retarded.I'm not trying to be mean but there it is, your essentially cutting to show muscle you don't have. I swear to god we go through this with a different 150 pound newbie everyday.You asked for advice on a body building message board,people are giving you their opinions on what to do next..whether or like it or not thats their opinion. If your going to cut anyways no matter what anyone says then why look for validation?

Your a newbie,you don't have to bulk or cut or do much else than work out hard and make good food choices to make great progress in both strength as well as LBM.Do yourself a favor,just try eating 3000 calories day for around a month,bust ass in the gym,maybe even throw in a lil cardio 1-2 times a week for overall health and then go from there.Don't do anything drastic.

Read Vrooms beginners thread find a program on there that tickles your fancy.Then read the nutritional articles in the thread.Then search for the article "foods that make ya look good nekkid".Keep and food log and a work out log and get to it.

Like I said I'm not "trying" to be an asshole but you'll never get me to say that cutting after lifting for 2-3 months,at 160lbs is a good idea.


Konstantine: you must not have read my posts. I'm on the v-diet and I don't want to add calories if I'm cutting.

K-narf: I'm not cutting at 150lbs, I'm cutting at 170lbs. When I get down to 160 or so I will stop. What I am wanting to do is to cut to show the 15lbs of muscle I just gained. I'm not looking for validation to cut but an alternative cutting diet to the v-diet. So far no one has even suggested an alternative cutting diet, and I'm having difficulties finding one besides the v-diet.

I realize everyone has different goals in bodybuilding and in life. Well, mine right now is to be cut at ~160lbs and I know that seems pretty weak to most of you but I was cut (if you can still call it that) at 138 pounds not that long ago. Once I'm cut at ~160lbs I want to start putting on more mass. I don't think that that is such a small step (~20lbs LBM) to take either which is what you guys seem to be implying. How big of a jump are you guys really recommending that I take at once? I could have been up to 180+lbs by now if I wanted to continue bulking which is what everyone seems to be suggesting and I really doubt that is healthy to go from 140 to 180+ in 3 months.


Check some of John Berardi's programs. Perhaps Lean Eatin' (just another suggestion).


I was 131 and went to 166 in no time. I added on excess belly and facial fat. I had to buy new clothes. I was eating EVERYTHING ahalf assed clean.

Aftyer much denial and mostly nagging from my wife, I chose to cut down. I'm not sure you need a specific diet, but to eat a little more smarter.

Here is what I did.

  1. HOT-ROX
  2. Lowered my portions.(Cals)
  3. I gave myself an extra hour between meals to cut them down to 4-5 a day instad of 7-8.
  4. Lowered my evening carbs.
  5. Increased my water intake.

This has worked and in 3 weeks I no longer have a belly!


How long do you rest between sets? I've found that my body responds very well to cutting my rest periods down to 60 secs between sets. Just this little change can make my abs re-appear within a short time period. I only do compound movements, so my workouts are short, but pretty strenuous. Also, drink plenty of water and get plenty of sleep.

One thing that struck me from you original post was that you felt like you plateaued after 2 months (i.e. your body stopped responding). This is normal for a newbie, hell, for anyone that doesn't vary their training up after 6-8 weeks. You could also have overtrained.

I agree with everyone else with regards to the V-diet. My understanding of the V-diet is that it is for extreme weight loss in a short period of time. That is not right for any newbie. You should just focus on eating cleanly. You can vary your caloric intake to achieve the results you want.

Good luck,