T Nation

Worked Out for 4 Years, Still Skinny Fat

Angus has written gold for you, every word is advice I took in the past long ago and it worked for me. Seriously, EVERYTHING he wrote I have done before and it was VERY helpful.

Gil, u gotta shock ur system once in a while by doing weights that are completely out of ur zone.

I had a plateau at 100lb dumbbell chest presses for 6 months, I used to work out my muscle groups every 7-8 days.

One day I said screw it, and did presses with 120s… sure u will suffer in terms of reps because it is a lot heavier, but all that matters is that u keep good form and do as many reps as u cab… even if u can only get 2 reps per set. U make up for that by doing extra sets. I also rested only 4 days instead of over a week, and still worked out if my muscle was a lil sore.

Sure enough, body adapts quickly and I was recovering much faster, and in 2 months I went to 125s for 4 sets without issues and packed mass on. U’d be amazed what doing stuff outta ur comfort zone does.

Remember, if ur actually enjoying it… ur not working out lol. U enjoy after its over when u see the progress.

I can’t stress enough that diet is really important. If all u do is burn more than u take in, ur NOT gonna build muscles. At the same time, u only need a few hundred extra cals… not 1000s. U need to keep track of everything u eat.

What were you like at the end of each of these 4 years? Your weights have improved and you have already said that you are ‘more toned and less fat’.
On this basis, you are getting results! Just not as fast as you would like them…welcome to an extremely large club that includes just about everybody on this forum.

If you want to see results faster, pick your objective. There has to be a reason why most people bulk 'OR cut.
Seem’s a cut is they way to go for you right now. So cut those stupid mass shakes out and ask questions related to cutting.

You also said ‘The really frustrating thing is that I can see a lot of guys at my gym who, although not huge, are in pretty decent shape, but they seem to lift lighter weights than I do!’
Research the mind-muscle connection. Contracting targeted muscles is your objective in the gym and moving heavy weights is part of this, not the other way around. I think the following Kai Greene video might help you

I’ll second what giograves wrote. His story is very similar to mine (and sounds like yours, Gil) I am a huge believer in the Loseit app. There is no substitute for objective data on your diet.

You won’t gain much muscle unless you are in a calorie surplus. You will always gain some fat when you are adding lean muscle. The ratio of muscle-to-fat gained is dependent on:

  1. How lean you are - if you are over 15% BF, its likely to be 50/50 at best
  2. How you time your carbs - peri-workout good, other times bad
  3. Whether you are training to stimulate the right hormonal response. Limit lifting raises test. HIIT raises HGH.
  4. How well you manage stress in the rest of your life. Stress raises all the wrong hormones. You need to sleep, stay organized, and try not to make a bunch of life changes in the same months you are trying to change your body.
  5. How much volume you can handle - GVT may be just the ticket, but since you are already in your mid thirties, a high-frequency program like Waterbury’s stuff or HP Mass, may serve you better. You hit the muscle less harshly, with less tear down, in any given workout, but make up for it with multiple sessions in a week. Don’t be afraid to try extra workouts, especially submaximal work, to push the body to adapt.

SQUATS AND MILK!

and pullovers…

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:

[quote]zenontheterrible wrote:
lots of good solid posts in here. I was gunna say what guy above me said, mass gainers are usually mostly sugar.

If you wanna lose fat, cut sugar and most simple carbs. once you start to plateau slowly add carbs back in post workout. eat more protien, specifically high quality protien, from animals, make sure there is no soy or whey concentrate in your shakes (isolate, hydrolysate, and casein are all good but serve different purposes)

You’re split looks decent but if its not working for you, then do something else.

there are only 3 variations of routines that work, high intensity (lift some heavy ass weight), high volume (lift alot of weights alot of times), and high frequency (lift everyday). Choose something new and give’r shit.

here are some examples:

high intensity - 5/3/1 or something similar
high volume - german volume training, serge nubret, others
high frequency - olympic style programs, sheiko, and this is my fav short term program http://danjohn.net/2011/06/even-easier-strength-perform-better-notes/ [/quote]
I like this rotation of the three you said.
I prefer for high intensity using DC or Myoreps
high volume, advanced GVT instead of GVT or dave tate’s routine here http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/my_greatest_gains_ever_dave_tate

for high frequency Dan John’s 40 days program.
I only did 20 days of the 40 day program and then did only 3.5 weeks of the Dave Tate routine (modified for my tastes) and I was really please with the results. [/quote]

Good programs, i’m going to check out myoreps.

Lol are you just showing up physically or are you showing up both physically and mentally?

Cut your food budget by 30% you will loose some fat than maybe the lazy bug will go away. Seriously 4 years of going around, you should have throw-up enough to at least cut some fat. Stop kidding, after 4 years not being stronger is an accomplishment. No program will work as long as you do not do your part.

[quote]giograves wrote:
I’m chiming in because your profile is exactly the same as mine. 180lbs, 5"8 was up over 18%bf. You can check my pic from back in April. My April pic is scary because like you was a dedicated gym rat with NO results. Yo-Yo’ed for years. Embarrassing. I will list what I did to get where I am now which is a decent first step. I think I COULD look better, but I am trying to bulk so I’m puffy from water and carbs. I saw my top abs in the early fall before I started to “bulk”. Basically, you need to cut before you build.

This is ordered as I was mentally able to dial in further and further as I went along.

  1. Implement food diary (Used LoseIt app) with anal like precision every bite!
  2. Reach caloric deficit. consumed 2500 kcals, “exercised” SIXXXXXX times per week
  3. Purchase heart rate monitor
  4. Implement barbell based circuit training 3x week, 4 mile runs 2x week, incline walking 2x week
  5. Implement “2 a days” twice per week

Plateau
In retrospect to preserve more muscle I would have eaten more protein and made those 4 mile runs 2 mile sprints instead

  1. Dial in macros more
  2. Begin eating clean
  3. Begin making my own food and toting it everywhere and looking like a total tool

Bulk

  1. Begin “T-Nation” style routines based on bang for buck compound moves
  2. Begin creatine supplementation and utilizing sleep aids once in a while for recovery
  3. Implement carb-cycling to control fat gain based on coach Thibs articles

EDIT:
Last implement
12. Remove wheat from diet (bread, flour, cereal, etc)
[/quote]
Second part of #10, IMO, is very underrated even though I take full advantage of it. What does 12 do?

[quote]sesumatse wrote:
Ryan, after having used gear myself as the professional bodybuilders do, I can tell you that u can get away with eating anything u want and it all turns to muscle while ur on to a point.

The rest of your claims fail the test of science, such as eating every 2.5 hours doesnt stimulate the metabolism. Digestion is an energy intensive process,and your body must produce energy to digest your food and that means metabolic stimulation, especially when eating fiber rich foods like vegetables.Some vegetables are actually calorie negative, meaning they make your body burn more calories to digest them than they give your body.

LLLOL about the pizza vs chicken and rice. Macronutrient profiles are painstakingly manipulated and recorded by professional bodybuilders in diet preparation. Hmm pizza has maybe 15 grams of low quality protein per 400 calories, chicken breast has much ,much more protein per 400 calories and much higher quality.

Ever looked at the nutrient profiles of proccessed vs natural foods, ya they are the same. Just ask a nutritionist and look at their face. Also the glycemic index of pizza, and processed food is high, again resulting in a chronically elevated insulin levels.

[/quote]

please post studies on how you must eat every 2.5 hours. also do some reading on IIFYM, my example was bad. say you eat 4000 calores a day one person eats three meals that day but all meals contain sme sort of processed food, then the other person eats 6 meals a day consisting of nothing but meat, rice and vegetables. if these two people consume the exact same macros and micros there will be no difference in there physique.

[quote]ryan.b_96 wrote:

[quote]sesumatse wrote:
Ryan, after having used gear myself as the professional bodybuilders do, I can tell you that u can get away with eating anything u want and it all turns to muscle while ur on to a point.

The rest of your claims fail the test of science, such as eating every 2.5 hours doesnt stimulate the metabolism. Digestion is an energy intensive process,and your body must produce energy to digest your food and that means metabolic stimulation, especially when eating fiber rich foods like vegetables.Some vegetables are actually calorie negative, meaning they make your body burn more calories to digest them than they give your body.

LLLOL about the pizza vs chicken and rice. Macronutrient profiles are painstakingly manipulated and recorded by professional bodybuilders in diet preparation. Hmm pizza has maybe 15 grams of low quality protein per 400 calories, chicken breast has much ,much more protein per 400 calories and much higher quality.

Ever looked at the nutrient profiles of proccessed vs natural foods, ya they are the same. Just ask a nutritionist and look at their face. Also the glycemic index of pizza, and processed food is high, again resulting in a chronically elevated insulin levels.

[/quote]

please post studies on how you must eat every 2.5 hours. also do some reading on IIFYM, my example was bad. say you eat 4000 calores a day one person eats three meals that day but all meals contain sme sort of processed food, then the other person eats 6 meals a day consisting of nothing but meat, rice and vegetables. if these two people consume the exact same macros and micros there will be no difference in there physique.[/quote]

That just isn’t true and too many variables to take into account. Your body will handle processing natural foods much better than processed foods, meaning more nutrient absorption and less fat gain.

Also, eating every 3 hours is a much easier way to get down 4000 calories vs. trying to eat them all in 3 or 4 meals.

[quote]chobbs wrote:

[quote]giograves wrote:
I’m chiming in because your profile is exactly the same as mine. 180lbs, 5"8 was up over 18%bf. You can check my pic from back in April. My April pic is scary because like you was a dedicated gym rat with NO results. Yo-Yo’ed for years. Embarrassing. I will list what I did to get where I am now which is a decent first step. I think I COULD look better, but I am trying to bulk so I’m puffy from water and carbs. I saw my top abs in the early fall before I started to “bulk”. Basically, you need to cut before you build.

This is ordered as I was mentally able to dial in further and further as I went along.

  1. Implement food diary (Used LoseIt app) with anal like precision every bite!
  2. Reach caloric deficit. consumed 2500 kcals, “exercised” SIXXXXXX times per week
  3. Purchase heart rate monitor
  4. Implement barbell based circuit training 3x week, 4 mile runs 2x week, incline walking 2x week
  5. Implement “2 a days” twice per week

Plateau
In retrospect to preserve more muscle I would have eaten more protein and made those 4 mile runs 2 mile sprints instead

  1. Dial in macros more
  2. Begin eating clean
  3. Begin making my own food and toting it everywhere and looking like a total tool

Bulk

  1. Begin “T-Nation” style routines based on bang for buck compound moves
  2. Begin creatine supplementation and utilizing sleep aids once in a while for recovery
  3. Implement carb-cycling to control fat gain based on coach Thibs articles

EDIT:
Last implement
12. Remove wheat from diet (bread, flour, cereal, etc)
[/quote]
Second part of #10, IMO, is very underrated even though I take full advantage of it. What does 12 do? [/quote]

#12 for me is mainly dogma based.

I REALLY believe processed carbs are the devil (especially for Endo’s) and should all be treated as junk food or cheats…thus its a once in a while treat, not a daily staple. My “devil” food that had me Yo-Yo’ing for years was Frosted Shredded Wheat. I actually thought that crap was healthy for me despite packing the pounds on over time.

Its a step OP may or may not need but cutting processed carbs, Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods hippie or not, should always be a go to move for someone cutting. Cue the CICO army

[quote]giograves wrote:

[quote]chobbs wrote:

[quote]giograves wrote:
I’m chiming in because your profile is exactly the same as mine. 180lbs, 5"8 was up over 18%bf. You can check my pic from back in April. My April pic is scary because like you was a dedicated gym rat with NO results. Yo-Yo’ed for years. Embarrassing. I will list what I did to get where I am now which is a decent first step. I think I COULD look better, but I am trying to bulk so I’m puffy from water and carbs. I saw my top abs in the early fall before I started to “bulk”. Basically, you need to cut before you build.

This is ordered as I was mentally able to dial in further and further as I went along.

  1. Implement food diary (Used LoseIt app) with anal like precision every bite!
  2. Reach caloric deficit. consumed 2500 kcals, “exercised” SIXXXXXX times per week
  3. Purchase heart rate monitor
  4. Implement barbell based circuit training 3x week, 4 mile runs 2x week, incline walking 2x week
  5. Implement “2 a days” twice per week

Plateau
In retrospect to preserve more muscle I would have eaten more protein and made those 4 mile runs 2 mile sprints instead

  1. Dial in macros more
  2. Begin eating clean
  3. Begin making my own food and toting it everywhere and looking like a total tool

Bulk

  1. Begin “T-Nation” style routines based on bang for buck compound moves
  2. Begin creatine supplementation and utilizing sleep aids once in a while for recovery
  3. Implement carb-cycling to control fat gain based on coach Thibs articles

EDIT:
Last implement
12. Remove wheat from diet (bread, flour, cereal, etc)
[/quote]
Second part of #10, IMO, is very underrated even though I take full advantage of it. What does 12 do? [/quote]

#12 for me is mainly dogma based.

I REALLY believe processed carbs are the devil (especially for Endo’s) and should all be treated as junk food or cheats…thus its a once in a while treat, not a daily staple. My “devil” food that had me Yo-Yo’ing for years was Frosted Shredded Wheat. I actually thought that crap was healthy for me despite packing the pounds on over time.

Its a step OP may or may not need but cutting processed carbs, Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods hippie or not, should always be a go to move for someone cutting. Cue the CICO army
[/quote]
Damn…I love frosted mini wheats lol

Me too… hahaha

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:

[quote]ryan.b_96 wrote:

[quote]sesumatse wrote:
Ryan, after having used gear myself as the professional bodybuilders do, I can tell you that u can get away with eating anything u want and it all turns to muscle while ur on to a point.

The rest of your claims fail the test of science, such as eating every 2.5 hours doesnt stimulate the metabolism. Digestion is an energy intensive process,and your body must produce energy to digest your food and that means metabolic stimulation, especially when eating fiber rich foods like vegetables.Some vegetables are actually calorie negative, meaning they make your body burn more calories to digest them than they give your body.

LLLOL about the pizza vs chicken and rice. Macronutrient profiles are painstakingly manipulated and recorded by professional bodybuilders in diet preparation. Hmm pizza has maybe 15 grams of low quality protein per 400 calories, chicken breast has much ,much more protein per 400 calories and much higher quality.

Ever looked at the nutrient profiles of proccessed vs natural foods, ya they are the same. Just ask a nutritionist and look at their face. Also the glycemic index of pizza, and processed food is high, again resulting in a chronically elevated insulin levels.

[/quote]

please post studies on how you must eat every 2.5 hours. also do some reading on IIFYM, my example was bad. say you eat 4000 calores a day one person eats three meals that day but all meals contain sme sort of processed food, then the other person eats 6 meals a day consisting of nothing but meat, rice and vegetables. if these two people consume the exact same macros and micros there will be no difference in there physique.[/quote]

That just isn’t true and too many variables to take into account. Your body will handle processing natural foods much better than processed foods, meaning more nutrient absorption and less fat gain.

Also, eating every 3 hours is a much easier way to get down 4000 calories vs. trying to eat them all in 3 or 4 meals.
[/quote]

the difference is very is small in digesting “natural food” vs say “dirt food”. i hate using these terms because techniacaly what defines a clean and dirt food, the difference inst even wort worring about.
also yes it may be easier for some people to get there calories through 6 meals a day, but saying that more meals a day is a must and will have an impact on body composition isnt true.

Go on run off with the im right ball for the imaginary touchdown Ryan, dont have time to do your research for you, gotta rest up for training tomorrow. Go on switch out the rice, veggies, eggs and lean meats and nuts for poptarts and pizza and dont worry about protein quality and see where it gets u, be my guest.

When ur old like me(37)or 34 like op, u gotta nail the diet part RELIGIOUSLY or ur ruind with a quickness.

Anybody else ever got any good results from nailing their diet down to perfection here?

Again the absorbtion rate of processed foods are very high GI values and have been stripped of vitamins and minerals that benefit the body greatly and are thus insulin stimulating,empty calories. Leave less caloric room for quality foods that feed the muscles and promote proper glycogen

LOL wow oops bout that, apologies wasnt tryn to hog the board here, musta hit wrong button or sumthn. Well last word was supposed to be synthesis anyway.

The military has long used fibrous calorie negative vegetables to lean out their fat recruits/ fatbody gets to eat triple the fresh veggies than the other recruits. It literally lowers the calorie count of the meal because it demands so many calories of energy to digest the fibrous material. Also the cruciferous veggies they use have very powerful anti estrogenic properties in the body that result in less active estrogens in the body and creates a more favorable testosterone to estrogen ratio resulting in better body composition.
Processed foods do not stimulate the metabolism nearly as much because the are broken down into sugar in minutes in the body, and instead of reducing estrogen they greatly increase insulin over time.

The natural forms of minerals, especially zinc, found in eggs and meats has been proven to increase testosterone levels. U know that supplement ZMA? Same mechanism of action and it works.
Insulin,testosterone, and estrogen have no effect on body composition? I disagree

[quote]sesumatse wrote:
Go on run off with the im right ball for the imaginary touchdown Ryan, dont have time to do your research for you, gotta rest up for training tomorrow. Go on switch out the rice, veggies, eggs and lean meats and nuts for poptarts and pizza and dont worry about protein quality and see where it gets u, be my guest.

When ur old like me(37)or 34 like op, u gotta nail the diet part RELIGIOUSLY or ur ruind with a quickness.

Anybody else ever got any good results from nailing their diet down to perfection here?

Again the absorbtion rate of processed foods are very high GI values and have been stripped of vitamins and minerals that benefit the body greatly and are thus insulin stimulating,empty calories. Leave less caloric room for quality foods that feed the muscles and promote proper glycogen[/quote]

The GI is useless. lol you have no substantial arguement. for the record i have my diet down to perfection i hit my total calorie requirements, aswell as coutning macro and micro nutrients, this allows me to fit things like icre-cream or pizza in my diet. again what im saying is backed up by science.

You need to start adding some pounds to those lifts.

First of all dont give up! Re evaluate the situation, make a plan and move forward!

A possitive thing you have learnt is how many calories it took for you to increase bodyweight, this gives you an idea what number to start from when trying to cut down abit.

You do train with someone? If not that might be something worth thinking about. A training parter is good because you have someone there to push you, encourage you to do those extra reps. Also if you want to try and increase ur lifts, having someone to spot you gives you that extra confidence.

In 4 years i would of expected you to be quite abit stronger than you are. Any of the previous programs are good to follow, track ur progress and constantly strive to improve! Make a note to urself to always think about mind muscle connection when training.

Ive currently started a barbell complex post workout and on my non trainging days to try and cut bodyfat.

Jefit and MyfitnessPal are to apps i use.

Where in England are ya?