T Nation

What the Hell Should I Do?

When I was a kid I was extremely inactive and very fat. As I got older I leaned out a bit though. Then when I was 16 I starting hitting some machines and ellipticals and felt good. When I was 18 I got into a car wreck, was depressed and then got sick. After all that I ended up at 6 foot 1 inch, 145 pounds and probably about 15% body fat. So, roughly a year ago I started actually lifting. A few months later I gained ten pounds of muscle and felt good again, but I was still skinny (still roughly 15% bf). So from then I bulked for about 6-7 months and ended up at 190 pounds, but most of what I had gained was love handles and a gut. So for the past 2 months I’ve been cutting and I haven’t lost any measurable muscle and I’m at 170 pounds and about 15-18% body fat.

I’ve come to love fitness and have spent the past year learning everything I can about it and I’m also about half way done with my personal trainer certification through the ISSA, but I’m very displeased with my physique and need some guidance. What I was going to do is cut to 10-12% and then just lean bulk (using 531 as my training template). I ordered the v diet package, but am very scared to be probably down to 155-160 pounds again.

My question is at 6 foot 1, 170 pounds and somewhere between 15-18% body fat. What the hell should I do?

Well, if you are 170# and 18%bf +/- and you want to drop to 10% +/-, mathematically you will weigh about 155-160# if your muscle mass stays constant. I don’t see how a cut will show any impressive muscularity if it leaves you at 6’1" 160#+/-. Waste of all those V diet supps IMO.

What is your goal physique? What activities do you enjoy? If you don’t know where your going people can’t tell you how best to get there.

I expect you’d be further ahead to just clean up your diet and keep lifting until you have some appreciable amount of muscle to show after a cut.

Give this a read. It’s not rocket surgery really, but it may help.

My ultimate goal is to be over 200 pounds, lean and very strong. As far as short term(within the next year) I want to be fairly lean and not look like a skeleton when I get a job as a personal trainer. The only activities I really enjoy are lifting and and riding bikes(but that’s only doable like 4 months out I the year in New York)… All my friends just smoke weed and that’s all good fun I suppose, but they don’t do anything else and it’s hard to find any new hobbies.

You’re right, but I’ve never been lean in my life and would like to be rid of this “slight gut” I’ve been dealing with forever. Being lean would also put me in prime condition to bulk and stay lean.

I agree with batman730 here; just keep on training and get some beef first. The more muscles the higher amount of calories will burn. Trying to lean out too fast and you’ll only end up losing muscle mass.

I also think that many people make too much fuss about when to eat, what to eat and so on. If you’re not competing I think the main thing is to get to a level where you feel good about yourself, and use your time getting there.

To grow muscles you must eat and you must eat enough. Force feeding or starving is not good one way or another.

Eat when you feel for it, stop when you’re full, repeat forever.

You could also try and add some kettlebell swings, step-ups, plyo push-ups etc at the end of your workouts to get the heart rate up a notch. This will add to your calorie burning and maybe get you there a bit faster…It also produces a helluva pump when done for higher reps and will get the nutrients flowing where they are needed :slight_smile:

Good luck, you will get there for sure!

-What does your daily lifting/exercise plan look like?
-What are your current lifting numbers?
-How much are you eating everyday?

You’re too tall and too skinny to cut. Don’t cut. Just find a consistent plan and eat at a moderate surplus. Hit a target weight while you keep an eye on your body via the awesome mirror and adjust diet as necessary.

My lifting plan is 531 with a lot of assistance work. Maxes are 100 OHP, 135 Bench, 240 deadlift and 190 squat. My eating for the past two months has been about 200 cals below maintenance and I’ve lost the majority of fat from my dirty bulk. I’ve lost little to no muscle and still been able to tap into somewhat heavy weight.

I picked up a gut after having a knee jerk reaction and pushing my cal intake to 4000-4500 a day. Not a fan of it, but I learned my lesson. Ill cut it one day, but for the mean time I’m focused on packin some meat on. I agree with magick on the point that you’re tall, you can hide it well.

Ive been using that 5 day template for the last couple of months and have seen great results from it. 20 lbs of mass and marginal increase of percentage strength, AND it can be done solo.

Do you drink? Alcohol is a direct cause of that gut, especially in excess, cut that out and see how it goes. Look into boosting testosterone through diet. Green veggies, bananas, keeping zinc levels up will help. Alcohol and other drugs can have an awful effect on hormone levels

Literally never drink alcohol. No drugs. Diet is solid. Test is good.

your numbers seem pretty low for 531. get on on a linear program… starting strength or stronglifts.

I agree that being slim will help w/ selling what your say as a trainer, but if you have the confidence from decent lifts, that’ll be even better on and off the job.

I agree with 1 Man Island. You could gain a lot more off, say Stronglifts 5x5. 5/3/1 will just take a long time to get you places where you can probably get to with Stronglifts in a couple of months.

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Well, if you are 170# and 18%bf +/- and you want to drop to 10% +/-, mathematically you will weigh about 155-160# if your muscle mass stays constant.
[/quote]

It’s actually lower than 155-160 because you haven’t taken into account loss of water in your calculation, which is part of lean mass and inevitably lost while cutting.

[quote]jskrabac wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Well, if you are 170# and 18%bf +/- and you want to drop to 10% +/-, mathematically you will weigh about 155-160# if your muscle mass stays constant.
[/quote]

It’s actually lower than 155-160 because you haven’t taken into account loss of water in your calculation, which is part of lean mass and inevitably lost while cutting. [/quote]

Fair enough. I was just running fast numbers, but you’re right. You lose a shitload of water before you even really dent the fat.

[quote]batman730 wrote:

[quote]jskrabac wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
Well, if you are 170# and 18%bf +/- and you want to drop to 10% +/-, mathematically you will weigh about 155-160# if your muscle mass stays constant.
[/quote]

It’s actually lower than 155-160 because you haven’t taken into account loss of water in your calculation, which is part of lean mass and inevitably lost while cutting. [/quote]

Fair enough. I was just running fast numbers, but you’re right. You lose a shitload of water before you even really dent the fat.[/quote]

You made a good point. I wasn’t trying to contradict it, just reinforce it!