T Nation

Whittling Down BF%?

Alright guys, I need advice in the way of diet and training. I don’t know if what I’m doing is quite right, your help will be much appreciated. I’ll leave my stats and current training program for you to evaluate and critique. Progress seems to be slow to non existent for the past two months.

Stats- 6’1", 165lb, 14-16% bf, 17 years old.

Diet- 160g protein, 50g fat, 160g carbs.
I mainly eat beef, chicken, fish, jasmin rice, sweet potatoes, olive oil, almonds, and fish oil is taken with every meal.

Training- each day is done 2x a week

Chest and back: 20 min HIIT

Bench press 5x 10, 8, 6, 6, 4

Incline bench press 5x 10, 8, 6, 6, 4

Flyes 5x 12, 10, 10, 8, 6 SUPERSET DB pullover 5x 12, 10, 10, 8, 6

Chin up- 4 sets to failure

BB Row 5x 10, 8, 6, 6, 4 SUPERSET DB Reverse Grip Row 10, 8, 6, 6, 4

BB Behind back shrug 4x 10, 8, 6, 6, 4

Hanging leg raise 5x 25

Shoulders and Arms:

Standing OH Press 5x 12, 10, 10, 8, 6

Arnold Press 4x 12, 10, 10, 8 SUERSET Front Raise 4x 12, 10, 10, 8

Upright BB Row 5x 12, 10, 10, 8, 6 SUPERSET Lateral raise 5x 12, 10, 10, 8, 6

BB curl 5x 10, 8, 8, 6, 4

Incline DB hammer curl 4x 12, 10, 8, 6 SUPERSET One arm concentration curl 4x 12, 10, 8, 6

Close Grip Bench Press 4x 12, 10, 8, 6

Decline Skull Crusher 12, 10, 8, 6 SUPERSET OH Extension 4x 12, 10, 8, 6

Wrist Curl 4x 12, 10, 8, 6 SUPERSET Reverse Wrist Curl 4x 12, 10, 8, 6

Legs: 30 min LISS

Squat 4x 10, 8, 8, 6

Deadlift- 5x 2-5

Walking Lunges 4x 10, 8, 8, 6

Stiff Leg Deadlift 4x 12, 10, 10, 8

Leg Extensions 5x 15, 12, 12, 10, 8

Calf Raise 5x 15, 12, 12, 10, 8 SUPERSET Single leg Calf raise 5x 15, 12, 12, 10, 8

I have been on this cut since the first of this year. I am down 20lb since then. When progress slowed in april I kept up with my current diet until the end of may. I then tried a keto diet for three weeks, up until last week. Now I’m not sure what to do.

Do you really want to be 6’1" and 155lbs? I’d look at adding muscle. 10lbs of lean mass will bring your bodyfat percentage down (even if you add some fat) and make it easier dor you to drop further weight.

Edit - also this:


I’ve always had some love handles and a bit of a belly that I’d like to get rid of before I start to add weight, it seems like they just blow up whenever I take in enough calories to add mass. Is it possible I could still gain muscle on a slight deficit?

Well yes but a surplus is your absolute best tool to gain muscle by a huge margin(assuming no drugs). Like, I can get to the US without a plane or boat but it’s gonna be a bitch.

Just go slow and be sensible - you mau be surprised with how your body responds.

I used to be 6’1", buy my Doctor says I am only 5’11" now - I’m shrinking with age. Anyway, I way 186 pounds at just under 14% body fat on my way to 10% after a few weeks of bulking (never again). You really should look at adding LBM now, while you have a ton of natural testosterone - keep cutting and you could fuck up your HPTA and end up skinny fat for the rest of your life.

Find a good beginner program, Greyskull, SS, 5/3/1 beginner template. Eat 200 calories a day over your maintenance. Weigh and measure to track, adjust as needed. I’d rather see you get a ton of exercise, gym and otherwise, and eat 4000 calories a day, than get skinny fat on a cut.

1 Like

Thank you for the input guys. I watched the video, and I actually am encountering some of the problems he named. I’ve been lifting for a couple years, but only eating right for about one year. Is a beginner template optimal for me? I’d say I’m moderately strong (can post maxes if needed). How much over maintenance should i eat to add some muscle? And should I probably add cals slowly; 200 a week or so?

Add at least 20. Start with 5.
Lift, be consistent and eat.

I don’t wish to be rude but I feel you may be overthinking this.

If progress has slowed, simplify, simplify, simplify. You are not at the stage where you should need complicated or advanced methods.

Ive decided im going to slowly increase calories and focus on gaining muscle for a few months, then switch back to fat loss


Cutting is easier the more LBM you have. Good plan, go slow, track progress, adjust as needed.

1 Like

Not a few months. A few years.

And allow my body fat % to get progressively worse as time goes on? Seems legit

Up your calories to a small surplus/eat to fuel your workouts and do this…

-At 17 the volume will lean you out damn fast as well as put on muscle


Adding muscle for a few years doesn’t mean adding excess fat.

Your snidy response lends me to believe that you are not serious about your diet or you are looking for a miracle.

Either way, good luck.

I think my “snidy” response meant I don’t want to undermine everything I’ve worked for already by going on a permabulk like you recommended.

Please do.

[quote]I don’t want to undermine everything I’ve worked for already
“Progress seems to be slow to non existent for the past two months.”[/quote]
Whatever you’ve worked for stopped working a while ago.

And nobody said permabulk. JFG said you should focus on gaining muscle for a few years instead of a few months. That’s solid advice. If you interpreted that as “eat a ton, get a gut, but it’s cool ‘cuz you’re gettin’ gainz”, that’s not his fault.

But okay, let’s look at what you’re thinking about doing. “Focus on gaining muscle for a few months, then switch back to fat loss”. So, you’d gain 10, maybe 15 pounds in a few months, being very generous. I get the impression you’d still be conservative with the calories, so you won’t be gaining as much as you could.

Then you flip to a fat loss plan for however long and you lose 15 or more pounds (because, as was mentioned, fat loss is simple). So, when all’s said and done, you’re, at best, right back to where you started possibly minus a little bodyfat.

Instead of continuing to stifle progress by eating with fad diets (intermittent fasting, avoiding carbs, etc.), it would be smarter to capitalize on the one time in your life that pretty much every lifter would go back to if they had the chance to do over.

A tall, underweight, teenager is absolutely in the perfect position to gain a metric crapton of lean muscle if he trains hard and is well-fed, but your focus on fat loss is hamstringing your overall progress.


My 1RM maxes are:
Bench- 160
Squat- 275
Deadlift- 345
Haven’t attempted a 1RM for OHP.

What exactly would your recommendations be then? I am going to be conservative with calories, for now. I’m going to add 150 cals each week until I’m seeing the muscle gain desired. I started blending size and strength 2.0 on Monday. Unless you believe there is a better training program that would be optimal for me?

What would you do if you were in my position?

If you want optimal for you - find a good coach. That’s not something we can determine in a few forum posts.

Beyond that you need to take your personality into account. If you have patience:
Slight surplus 3 months
maintenance 2 months
Repeat 4 times with a leaning out sprint in there.

If not, most guys your age can pack on a pound per week for 9 months and drop it all in the last 3.

If you dont want an approach where weight gain is involved then good luck with that - I’ll wait for your book if you are successful.

I’m not afraid of weight gain, I just don’t really care to gain back all the fat I lost in the process of gaining muscle. Fat gain while gaining muscle is inevitable, I understand this.

Blending Size and Strength is good. If I were you I’d go on a program like it and make sure it is different from what I’ve been doing so far. The change usually helps progress a lot. Diet-wise, adding a surplus is a good idea but I’d do it different. I’d start with a 200cal surplus for three weeks and then re-evaluate if needed. Considering your age, you may have to up it to 300 or more, but stick to your initial surplus first to measure progress. Also, I’d take the majority of carbs before and after a workout and not in the evening. Hope this helps. Let us know how you’re getting on.