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My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
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My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
A few days ago, I had a DEXA scan and got 11.87% BF (yeah abs are visible) which was my original goal from way back when I first planned for this. To celebrate, I am going to share my plan and experiences along the way. It's a different take to what you normally see around the Web, but for those who have similar temperament as mine, you might find it useful.

This is only for people who are patient, and not a get lean / strong fast solution. However, knowing what I know now, I could've achieved this much faster. Most of the time were spent experimenting and learning. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Some hard numbers:

Where I started in 2012
==========


5'7"
200lb at my worst, and about 186lb when I started planning
waist ~34.5"
BF% was 19.99% on the DEXA scan at 186lb, LBM was ~148lb
Strength (1RM): squat 355lb, bench 220lb (paused), deadlift 405lb

Where I am now
==========


5'7" - unfortunately my method doesn't make you taller!
158lb
waist 29.5"
BF% 11.87% (DEXA), LBM ~140lb
Strength (1RM): squat 422lb, bench 242lb (note: had a shoulder injury for the last couple of years), deadlift 550lb

In powerlifting, I went down 2 weight classes (93kg to 74kg) and got a lot stronger, not to mention that my Wilks score went through the roof.

And here was what I planned - goals and challenges:

Goals
====


Get leaner and stay lean:
----------------------------

I don't do this to post results on the Internet for likes, only to rebound to previous fatness. I want to get lean and stay lean.

Get leaner while getting stronger
-------------------------------------

I don't want to compromise my strength training even for a little bit, while cutting.

Stay lean while enjoying foods and life
--------------------------------------------

I don't want to be those miserable people who can't eat this or that, just so they can have abs. I want to strike the balance between healthy eating and enjoying treats regularly, especially when I'm out socialising. I want to drink, eat ice cream, get a few slices of pizza etc. without freaking out about my abs like many lean guys do.

I want to eat a lot while still staying lean, like those genetically blessed people with super fast metabolism.

Challenges
=======


- My goals are super ambitious!
- I'm a natural drug-free lifter in the IPF, even in my youth I never touched any recreational drug.
- 95% of dieters rebound to previous fatness if not higher. Personal experience tells me this includes many people in strength & fitness, not just regular joes and janes.
- Conventional strength training wisdom - including those of my coaches with multiple decades of experience - tells us we have cut and bulk, and while you cut, you lose strength, guaranteed.
- Conventional dieting wisdom tells us we have to sacrifice a lot to get lean and stay lean. Can't drink, can't eat pizza, carbs are the enemy, ice cream... forget it, go home fatty.
- Nobody writes training plans or nutrition plans for people with these sorts of goals
- I was already 29 years old, my metabolism should be slowing down, and worse of all, I had been some form of fat all my life: chubby, skinny fat, really fucking fat and built-fat.
- I was also fighting two weird and rather serious injuries in my hips and shoulder all this time

Note: I have nothing personal against drugs, but I don't use them and I know practically nothing about them, not even the names beyond the popularly known ones.

Inspirations
=======


Although my goals sounded impossible at the time, I always thought that it simply meant I didn't know how to do it, and that I could learn, somehow.

I also know a few guys who have managed to achieve one of those goals at certain times. While they didn't articulate exactly how they did it, knowing that it can be possible is good enough.

Planning
=====


Even before I knew what to do exactly, I had created the overall plan which still serves me well. After the first trip to the DEXA scan clinic and seeing how huge a blob of 5lb of fat is, I realised that slow fat loss is key, and it is very similar to strength training in reverse. Here's the plan:

Every 4 months, I'd do a powerlifting competition and a DEXA scan to track progress. If I get leaner and stronger, it also means that I haven't lost any muscle even if the LBM might be down a bit (water loss, usually).

During a 4 months cycle, I want to get a little bit stronger and a little bit leaner, and keep it that way, so I can continuously build upon the results. What's a little bit (keeping in mind my relative size, and that I was already an intermediate lifter to start with):

- 10lb on squat, 5lb on bench, 15lb on deadlift
- minus 2.5lb fat (actual fat, not weight which could include water)

Sounds very modest, right? But it translates to, after 1 year:

- +30lb squat, +15lb bench, +45lb deadlift
- -7.5lb fat

and after 3 years:

- +90lb squat, +45lb bench, +135lb deadlift
- -22.5lb fat

I did mention this to some of my training partners back then, and they thought the increments / decrements were too small to bother with, and the whole process would take way too long. But here I am now, repping their deadlift 1RM while being a lot lighter. Tongue Had I not had to overcome the injuries, I would've progressed even further in strength. It doesn't seem to be such a slow process anymore.

As it turned out, some cycles I'd do much better, other cycles a little worse than this, but overall it was rather spot on.

Next I will go into Strength Training, Conditioning and Dieting and all experiences I've gathered so far.

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07-19-2015 12:32 AM
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Post: #2
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Strength Training
===========


Programming
---------------

When you want to get leaner while stronger, at some point in the cycle, you will be training hard on a caloric deficit. This is very tough to do, not actually because being on a caloric deficit means you can't train hard, but because nobody really writes a training program for someone in that situation. Most strength programs assume that you are eating normally (caloric maintenance) or in a caloric surplus.

This is where you simply have to learn how your body works and how to write your own program. Which is why it took me so long to get results, because I had to learn a lot.

You have to think beyond training routines. Forget downloading a spreadsheet and plugging your numbers in to get a workout. You can use those programs for references then modify it to suit your own needs.

But you need a system to start with, and I strongly recommend learning Reactive Training System. Think of RTS as a scope that can be used on multiple rifles (training programs). You can use RTS with 5/3/1 (my current program), Sheiko, or whatever routines you choose, and you can customise them using RTS principles and concepts to suit your exact needs.

http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com

RTS can get complicated and nerdy fast, but the gist of it is rather simple. For example, in a program, I might have squat 150kg x5 tonight. However, if I feel not so good from my cutting, I will instead do 145kg x5, which gives me a result just as good for my strength progress, vs struggling and failing with 150kg x5. If I happen to have a good night, I will not waste it on 150kg x5 but will choose to hit 155kg x5. This will give me more confidence in my progress.

Don't get married to the numbers on a spreadsheet, but think of it as skill practice. Training for strength is not the same as demonstrating strength.

Go to RTS website and learn concepts like RPE, fatigue drop, load drop etc. They are in free articles. You don't need more beyond that, but of course I recommend learning more and buying their stuff. Those guys are legit.

Reps and Sets
----------------

While on a caloric deficit, I highly recommend doing lots of sets at 2 or 3 reps for a total volume of X, equivalent to how you would normally train for 5 reps, if you're used to 5 reps programs i.e 8x3 instead of 5x5. Use similar weights. Rest less between sets if you're short on time.

Hard sets of 5s take ages to recover from, but you can do sets of 2 and 3 at the same weight almost forever. More practice with setup and heavy weights equal better strength progress and confidence in techniques.

Bodybuilding exercises
--------------------------

The above mostly apply to big compound movements like the 3 powerlifts, but with the smaller movements like isolation exercises, upper back, bodyweight etc. you can actually go almost just as hard as usual on a caloric deficit, provided that you have good work capacity....

Work Capacity
----------------

This just means how much volume of work (set x rep x weight per exercise) you can do in a session and in a training week. Or how fit you are, basically.

Why is this important? Strength training doesn't actually burn many calories at all (this is why powerlifters can be so fat!) so you can indeed train well under a caloric deficit, provided that you are fit enough. If you're well conditioned, you can blast through a strength session and still have enough in the tank to take on a caloric deficit.

This can be built in two ways:

- Slowly adding more sets to the same exercises you're doing
- Doing more conditioning sessions aka GPP (general physical preparation)

Conditioning
========


There are many protocols and variations I've tried for conditioning, and you can google them to your heart content. Some of my training partners are doing their Strength & Conditioning certs and can pull about a dozen from their arses at any given moment.

None of those means a damn thing if you do not enjoy them enough to do them regularly.

Tabata sprints work, says my training partner, and he can quote research studies supporting it. Sure, but he only managed to stick with that for 4 weeks before boredom killed those sessions.

Same with KB or BB circuits, bodyweight complexes etc. If you don't really like them but want the results, you will never stick with them long enough to actually see results. Your Tabata circuits may in theory (and in a X weeks long research) may be better than some dude's low intensity cardio, but if you only manage 6 weeks of it and he does it as part of his lifestyle, he will get better results than you.

What I found that worked for me:

- a real sport: for me it's soccer, and now boxing
- training with like-minded friends: I'd go for runs with them while talking smack to each other, and throwing in bodyweight exercise challenges
- dancing

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(This post was last modified: 07-19-2015 01:25 AM by StrikeBack.)
07-19-2015 12:33 AM
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Post: #3
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Reserved for other experiences: Fat Loss, Social, Gaming

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07-19-2015 12:33 AM
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Post: #4
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Dieting
=====


There are many diet strategies, some of them are proven and work very well. Some are posted and discussed here already. If you are getting solid results with them, you can skip this section. But if you're wondering why you're not getting results like others, this might help. Here are my experiences with various things:

Intermittent Fasting
-----------------------

First thing I tried, and still do (skipping breakfast). It gave me limited success at first, but not below 20% BF. I had to take into account other things.

Calorie Counting
-------------------

Above 20% mark, you can get quite lean, even down to about 15% or so without any calorie counting. As long as you eat good quality food, you will get leaner.

Below that though, you will need to count calories, at least at first (after a while you can estimate). You need to know your macros: Protein / Carbs / Fats or P/C/F.

I use MyFitnessPal to record mine. I also have a small kitchen scale at home, and I do a best estimate while I'm eating out. You develop a skill for eyeballing propotion sizes and guessing their macros eventually.

I refused to do this for the longest time thinking of it as a massive inconvenience, but eventually caved in and found that it only took me less than 2 weeks to make it an easy habit like brushing my teeth.

Fats vs Carbs
---------------

We learned a few years ago that Fat is not the enemy, but Carb is. Now you start to hear respectable fitness gurus speaking up for Carb, saying that it is NOT the enemy.

So why do people succeed on either method? Both work, actually, just not together. Your average person gets really fat because they eat a high carbs AND high fats diet. To get lean, choose either a high fat, low carbs diet, or a high carbs low fat diet (protein is always reasonably high in both).

I started with the former, but now I do the latter. I find it easier to maintain, because I like fruits, bread and ice cream more than fatty cuts of meat. My current P/C/F (at 157lb) is 200g/330g/77g and increasing weekly. Some days if I'm more active than usual, I'd get into the 400+ g of carbs range. More on this later.

Caloric Deficit
----------------


As my DEXA scan doctor pointed out from day one, a 500 calories deficit per day is half a kg or roughly 1lb of fat loss per week, which is plenty and maintainable. He also gave me some numbers on my BMR and how much less I should be eating.

He's right, but it misses a few things, as I later found out.

Firstly, my best fat loss cycle happened when I had a very small daily caloric deficit, <150 calories, but sustained that mode for a long period.

Secondly, my second best fat loss cycle happened when I ate way more than my estimated BMR, and while the DEXA chart guessed that I ate 150 calories less per day. In reality, my BMR got higher, and I had no intention of having a caloric deficit.

Never stay in a caloric deficit more than 8 weeks (usually 6 weeks is ideal if you cut slowly, 3-4 weeks if you cut more aggressively), your BMR will tank.

While under a caloric deficit, you must increase food quality, to get the most bang for bucks. Choose foods rich in micro-nutrients. That way you won't feel the effect as much.

BMR - Base Metabolic Rate
------------------------------

500 calories deficit per day has many variations, depending on your BMR.

If your BMR is 2000 calories, -500 puts you in 1500 and that's poverty macro range for a man. If it's 2500 calories, you get 2000 on a deficit, and that's more maintainable. If it's 3000 calories and you're my size, 2500 calories on a deficit is not even noticeable. If it's 3500 calories like one of my friends (also my size)...

The idea is to constantly raise your BMR to ridiculously high numbers so that when you cut, it has no effect on your training and lifestyle. And this is exactly how you get lean, stay lean while cutting and enjoying healthy normal meals socially i.e nearly all of my ambitious goals stated in the first post.

Which means I don't like solutions like the following:

Rapid Fat Loss
----------------

I tried it for a bit, bought the book and everything. Didn't like it because I got really weak during those weeks. It makes sense as Lyle McDonald doesn't really understand strength training nor cares about it (see his discussion vs Rippetoe).

I regained most of the fats I lost afterwards during maintenance, as my body was probably anxious to get back to the previous BMR!

Anything with a Refeed / Cheat Meals
------------------------------------------

Much the same, I found myself regaining fats easily during a refeed / cheat meals, probably due to depriving myself of those foods for so long. When asked, people told me it's because my metabolism has slowed down in my late 20s, early 30s... Hah, couldn't be more wrong!

I used to do this strict dieting a lot before powerlifting comps to fit in the weight class (most powerlifters do this) and after looking really lean on comp day, I'd go cheat-eat for a day or two to celebrate, and ended up in a worse position than previously. It may sound impossible to gain so much fat in a short period, but apparently it's possible even among bodybuilders, if you listen to Layne Norton's youtube channel.

I much prefer and have adapted these methods instead:

IIFYM - If It Fits Your Macros
--------------------------------

Macros here = Protein / Carbs / Fats in grams, e.g mine is currently 200 / 330 / 77.

The idea is that you eat whatever you like, as long as the total fits in that daily macro. Nothing is technically off-limits.

The skill is in choosing the ratios. If you choose the right one, they have certain implications. If you look at mine for example, it implies:

- High protein and low fat mean I need to eat leaner cuts of meat, which means healthier foods (preferably homecooked) in general because takeaway foods are very fatty
- Requirement for lean proteins means sometimes I eat chicken organ meats because they have high proteins, low fats and are very cheap. When I cook meat, I also rinse and cut the fats out.
- Certain food groups like nuts are restricted, because of high fat content
- High carbs mean lots of fruits, and sometimes I "have to" eat ice cream to make up for my daily carbs intake. Tongue
- High carbs require me to be very physically active, which I am.

How to choose: one good method is to start with your bodyweight in lb for grams of protein, half of your bodyweight in lb for grams of fats, and say 1.2x your bodyweight in lb for grams of carbs. Then slowly increase them all (see next section).

Reverse Dieting
------------------

This is by far the best thing I've ever done for my dieting. This essentially combines everything above and then some. It's helped me achieve all of my goals and I wish I knew this from the beginning. I bought the book through Layne Norton's recommendation on his Youtube channel. It's written by one of his students, with his contributions. The book is targeted towards females and specifically female figure athletes but it works wonder for us too.

First you need to know your macros and have been calorie counting. Then you start with a cut. It should be moderate, like a 500 calories daily deficit, for X weeks (I did a less aggressive one which lasted about 7 weeks). Your macros during this period should be high on protein, low on fats, and moderate on carbs.

As soon as it ends, keep your protein the same, or even reduce it a little bit (I took 10% off mine) and add 10% to both carbs and fats. Go for 1-2 weeks, weighing yourself each week to see if anything changes.

After this, every week or 2, add a couple of % (or just 10g of carbs in my case) to your carbs and maybe a tiny bit of fats macros. e.g I just went like this (ratios are all P/C/F)

End of cut: 220/170/70
Post-cut: 200/187/77
Week 1: 200/200/77
Week 2: 200/210/77
.....

If your weight remains roughly the same (I kept losing) keep going.

What does this do? After a cut, you still have this momentum of losing fat, but you're slowly increasing calories to reset your BMR to a higher rate. You're boosting your metabolism while potentially losing some extra fats at the same time (the body is slow to change), and setting yourself up for a much easier cut later. But you have to go really slowly, or this won't work.

With the additional carbs, you can take on more physical activities too. If you're doing something aggressive like boxing, and have been feeling like you're passing out on low carbs diets, this is the solution.

I now have the metabolism of a teenager (which I never actually had as a teenager) thanks to Reverse Dieting.

What my meals look like
---------------------------

Breakfast: skip, just coffee

Lunch: burgers and chips, good sandwiches from cafes, subways, rice + vegs + chicken / beef (homecooked), bread + eggs + deli meat

Dinner: similar to lunch, plus other dishes like steak, stir frys, pizzas, pastas i.e general foods you get socially at restaurants. If it fits my macros...

Snacks: fruits (a lot), ice cream (lots of good gelato places here), chocolate, caramel slices, tarts

Note: I have excellent portion controls with the "bad" foods because I can eat them regularly without fear. Having said that, I do not have them stocked at home, as a rule.

Drinks: I regularly drink red wine (2 glasses at home, more if I'm out) and whisky. Not much of a beer drinker.

Supplements
---------------

I found BCAA and Creatine useful when I was on low carbs, but now I don't need them.

I have WPC somewhat regularly to hit my protein macro, but not relying on it so much. Usually taken post-WO.

I take Vit D, Zinc and Fish Oil. Occasionally Magnesium.

My Pre-WO and during-WO are fruits.

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07-19-2015 02:24 AM
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Post: #5
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Peculiarities of the fat loss and strength gain process
===================================


While I planned my fat loss and strength gain in a linear fashion (every 4 months, + or - X units) in reality that's not how they happen. I notice that they are also similar to mobility improvement and sport skill improvement, and while I don't have any theory or understanding of this yet, I'll share them anyway as you probably want to be aware of it. I believe Lyle McDonald had some posts that shed light on the fat loss one.

All of those things tend to improve like this:

You work hard for weeks and nothing happens. You don't get stronger, in fact you may feel rather fatigued, and weights don't feel as easy as they should.

You are on a caloric deficit and/or doing lots of conditioning, but the scale doesn't really move. You feel you're not getting leaner either, looking at the mirror.

You work hard on mobility but you're still stiff and sore.

You work on some sport skills and feel like you still suck...

And then suddenly 2-3 weeks later, you hit a small strength PB while not feeling fantastic. The scale moves down after a weekend when you poop a lot (could just be me, but my bodybuilder mate swears the same thing!) and you suddenly look leaner. It's like that pound of fat just dropped off overnight. You gain that extra inch or two in your mobility drill positions, and your sport techniques start to feel good.

I've read some stuff about habits, the brain, nervous system adaptation, and bio rhythm, but my understanding is very limited. I share this so you know that when you feel like you're not making any progress, how you feel could be a lie, and a couple of weeks later it could be very different.

All of this may seem really slow at first, and you'll get told by certain people that it is slow. However, a year later, you will have made a significant progress while those same people stay exactly where they were.

Social and Gaming - Random observations
============================


One reason I worked on my flexible dieting strategy is because I could see how much of a downer the guys who have super strict diets are like. They could look fantastic, but at social occasions, they always go on and on about not drinking, or not eating normal stuff because it isn't in their diets, or it's not cheat meal day. It's a turn-off for women, not good for Gaming.

People will notice changes in your looks and fitness, and will compliment your good genetics (the same genetics that made you a fat bastard earlier). Just say 'thanks', and laugh about it later. Same thing happened to my dad, who only started training and dieting like me in the same time frame, after retirement. Before that, he was a regular fat and weak old man in his early 60s. Besides, girls like guys with good genetics who are just effortlessly in good shape, not guys who have to work hard and smart for it.

Unless you're a big tall guy, getting ripped will not make you impressive in clothes, even custom made ones. You will look like an in-shape guy or even skinny, but won't look imposing. That is until they see you in gym clothes working out, or it's summer and you're wearing less, or on the beach, etc. Then women be like "daymmmnnn"

However, your face will change a lot. I look so different to a few years ago that many people I met then, including even my exes, had to do a double-take when they see me again lately. Hell even I'm not used to my own new face yet.

If you're wondering when your gym results will start to matter in gaming, I believe it is this mark: <12% BF with good muscle mass (my bodybuilder friend used to tell me this, but . I have a decent looking face, but because I've never been in particularly good shape nor think of myself as handsome, I always rely on other charms like my verbal, social circle and dance games. However since I hit the sub 12% BF (and it's winter down here so they can only see my face) I've been opened by women more and more often, some quite attractive, and the rest make it easy for me to talk to them. At dancing, when we're in close, they check out my shoulders, chest and abs a lot through my shirt. At the gym, the same chicks (including gym staff) whom I used to be invisible to are suddenly getting very pleasant and chatty. I've been going on dates with a few of them, who are a level above what I used to get. I pulled a Swedish cutie the other night without much effort, and had a repeat last night as well. I don't think my game has improved much, and I'm still adjusting to this new boost in value to be honest. The other nice side effect is that kaijus get a little intimidated and don't bother me so much at socials any more.

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07-19-2015 03:08 AM
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Post: #6
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Glad to see layne nortons name in here with reverse dieting. He can be extreme but guy knows his stuff.

Absolutely terrific post. I hope some people here listen to this style of cuttin than the quick and dirty way.

I have a friend that is out height 5 7, and he's losing 1lb a week. He was 300lbs+ at his worst. One of the best accomplishments of my recent life was convincing him to start working out and lose weight.

He's been losing 1lb a week doing the same kinda of things as you and is without loose skin and flab. He's down to 225 lbs after a year, started out slow. He quit smoking too. He literally saved his own life.
07-19-2015 04:52 AM
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Post: #7
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Awesome post mate. I am considering giving this a go, as I'm at a point in my training where I've matured enough to give something more long term and sustainable a go.

Do you feel you've built any muscle whilst doing this, or have you simply not lost any? If you haven't lost any, would you consider this an intermediate style of programming, and encourage people to build muscle (and inevitably put on some (perhaps limited) fat) before beginning this style of lifestyle programming.

I'd also be interested to see what your total volume for a given session looks like.

I do 5/3/1 for my main work, then do 4 compound exercises as a giant set adding weight each set (eg, bench, rows, dips/press, chins) for 5 sets of 3-8 reps depending on what my 6 week goal is. I'm interested to know what sort of volume you do, and whether you tend to do isolation stuff after your main work rather than compound stuff.

Great post, if I could rep you again, I would. Thanks for taking the time to share this.
07-19-2015 07:40 AM
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Post: #8
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Would this work if you did this opposite at low carb? The only thing I hate about low carb, besides it harder to find fatty cuts, and extra oil, is that it tends to constipate.
(This post was last modified: 07-19-2015 10:21 AM by kbell.)
07-19-2015 10:20 AM
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Post: #9
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Great post. The slow and steady method is pretty much what I've done to recover from the mistake of my "dreamer bulk". I lose 1 lb per week, and take maintenance weeks every few months. I've dropped 30 lbs since last fall. I feel fitter, but I haven't gotten stronger in absolute terms, except with chin-ups.
07-19-2015 11:58 AM
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Post: #10
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Excellent post. Thanks for sharing. +1
07-19-2015 12:12 PM
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RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Thanks all Smile

I think there's a place for the quick method, and other people with different temperaments may respond better to aggressive cuts then maintain. However, that's the popular choice these days, as everyone wants to lose fats and gain muscles fast. Personally I prefer slow, steady and sustainable, and I believe there are many with similar temperaments to mine whom this method could work far better.

kbell Wrote:Would this work if you did this opposite at low carb? The only thing I hate about low carb, besides it harder to find fatty cuts, and extra oil, is that it tends to constipate.

Yes. My bodybuilder friend does high fat low carbs diet in a very similar way. He's same build as me, a bit older and used to be even fatter (100kg smoker).

You probably have too little fibre in your diet. Most people do on low carbs.

H1N1 Wrote:Do you feel you've built any muscle whilst doing this, or have you simply not lost any? If you haven't lost any, would you consider this an intermediate style of programming, and encourage people to build muscle (and inevitably put on some (perhaps limited) fat) before beginning this style of lifestyle programming.

For sure I have built muscles. When you lose weight, you lose a lot of water, so the fact that I lost so little LBM (which includes water) suggests I did in fact gain muscle mass. The most obvious indicator, according to my doctor, is that I have steadily gained strength at the same time.

Before the last cycle, I used to have a half kg imbalance (and significant strength imbalance) between my left and right arms. Now that has dropped to 200g, due to lots of arm and chest work.

I'm not a big guy so the muscle gain on me probably isn't huge, but if you ever look at how big 1kg of muscles is at the butcher and imagine that gain on a 5'7" frame, then you'll get the idea.

Since in this method, you spend a lot of time in caloric surplus, you will gain muscles if that's what your training is programmed for.

Quote:I'd also be interested to see what your total volume for a given session looks like.

I do 5/3/1 for my main work, then do 4 compound exercises as a giant set adding weight each set (eg, bench, rows, dips/press, chins) for 5 sets of 3-8 reps depending on what my 6 week goal is. I'm interested to know what sort of volume you do, and whether you tend to do isolation stuff after your main work rather than compound stuff.

My training is best viewed in blocks to get the idea of volume, because I wave it throughout the block. But I'll pick out 2 different weeks for you from my training log, one in the volume phase (early June), and one in the comp phase which I just entered. Note: weights are in kg, and my training week starts on a Thursday.

I don't do a huge amount of isolation mainly because on my boxing nights there are a lot of bodyweight exercises and I get enough work there already.

Volume (this was half way through a 10 weeks cycle, last week being a deload-ish):

Quote:Thursday:

Squat:

1x5x60
1x3x80
1x3x100
1x2x120
1x2x140
1x1x150
1x1x157.5
1x5x157.5
3x6x145

Bench:

1x10xbar
1x5x40
1x5x50
1x5x60
1x3x70
1x3x80
1x1x90
6x3x95
10x10x70

Friday:

Sumo deadlift:

1x5x100
1x3x140
1x2x160
1x2x180
1x2x200
2x3x217.5

Need to concentrate more while deadlifting, been a little slack and distracted.

Front Squat:

1x6xbar
1x5x60
1x3x80
1x2x100
1x2x115
2x5x125

Lat Pulldown:

3x10x67.5

DB Curls:

3x12x17.5

Dancing

Saturday:

AM: Boxing - private class + sparring + bag work + drills

PM: swimming + sauna + spa + steam

Dancing

Sunday:

AM:

Pause Squats:

1x5x60
1x3x80
1x3x100
1x3x120
1x2x140
5x2x152.5

Pause Bench:

1x5x50
1x5x60
1x3x70
1x2x80
1x2x90
2x2x95
3x2x90

PM:

Boxing - conditioning

Dancing

Monday:

Conv Deadlift:

1x5x75
1x3x100
1x3x120
1x2x140
1x2x160
2x5x180

SLDL:

3x6x117.5

BB Incline Press:

1x10xbar
1x6x40
1x6x50
1x3x60
1x6x70
1x5x70
1x4x70

DB Incline Press:

5x8x27.5

Tuesday:

Boxing - advanced class

Wednesday:

Boxing - conditioning / general class

Yeah, I don't have off days during volume phase Wink

Comp phase (just started, will last 5 weeks) - day 1 is now Monday

Reduced general volume, focus more on the competition lifts, drop most of the other lifts.

Quote:Monday:

Squat:

1x10xbar
1x5x60
1x3x100
1x3x120
1x2x140
1x1x150
1x5x155
5x3x150

Bench:

2x5x60
1x3x70
1x3x80
1x2x90
1x1x95
1x1x100
1x3x100
6x3x95
4x3x90
1x10x70

Tuesday:

Boxing - advanced class

Dancing

Wednesday:

Boxing - general class

Thursday:

Sumo deadlift:

1x5x60
1x5x100
1x3x140
1x2x180
2x5x200

Paused Bench:

2x5x60
1x3x70
1x3x80
1x2x90
1x1x95
1x1x100 - felt weird
*x2x95
*x2x90
2x5x80

* because I forgot how many sets, This happens quite often when I'm practicing techniques.

Friday:

Squat:

2x5x60
1x3x100
1x3x120
1x2x140
1x2x150
5x2x155
1x2x140

Bench:

2x5x60
1x5x70
3x5x80

Saturday:

Boxing - private class

Lots of bodyweight exercises, so very sore! Felt dizzy at the end, could barely hit the bags.

Sunday:

Off day

Dancing

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07-19-2015 07:52 PM
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Post: #12
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Thanks for such a detailed response. When you say abs are visible, do you mean in all types of lighting? In unfavourable, front-on lighting I can look much smoother with no visible definition, even if in most lighting conditions I'd say my abs were visible unflexed. I know this is one of those things that can really depend on the individual, but I'd be curious to hear your experience.
07-20-2015 08:09 AM
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RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
In unfavourable lighting, nobody really has visible abs. I've seen pre-contest (natty) bodybuilders before they get spray-tanned and oiled up, and in poor lighting they look kinda smooth.

Mine would be similar to yours from the description, I'd say. To be honest, I don't care too much about that right now as it's winter here and I'm also very pale. DEXA doctor said I need another 1.5~2kg of fat off (i.e sub 10% BF) for defined abs i.e male underwear model / elite athlete territory, but that's for end of the year goal when summer comes down under.

You are right, as everyone's fat distribution is different. Some lucky bastards get defined abs at even higher BF% (knew a Jamaican guy like this). Some have ripped arms despite being 19% BF.

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07-20-2015 09:35 AM
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RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
(07-20-2015 09:35 AM)StrikeBack Wrote:  In unfavourable lighting, nobody really has visible abs. I've seen pre-contest (natty) bodybuilders before they get spray-tanned and oiled up, and in poor lighting they look kinda smooth.

Mine would be similar to yours from the description, I'd say. To be honest, I don't care too much about that right now as it's winter here and I'm also very pale. DEXA doctor said I need another 1.5~2kg of fat off (i.e sub 10% BF) for defined abs i.e male underwear model / elite athlete territory, but that's for end of the year goal when summer comes down under.

You are right, as everyone's fat distribution is different. Some lucky bastards get defined abs at even higher BF% (knew a Jamaican guy like this). Some have ripped arms despite being 19% BF.

That's reassuring to hear! I think it is the nature of the beast, and although I was dismissive of them in another thread, I understand more why people might want to get one of these scans. Most of the time, in most lighting, I look lean and defined. But still if I sit down after a few days of high carbs, with a tight belt on, I can get a decent roll going. Of course logic tells you that everyone can make themselves appear unfavourably by pushing all their fat up, but that little nagging voice in the back of your head still says 'maybe you aren't as lean as you think you are'. I think it is inevitable when you work hard towards your goals that you question whether you are being smart enough, or whether you're kidding yourself about your progress.

Thanks for humouring the questions mate!
07-20-2015 09:58 AM
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RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
No worries.

For me it costs $33 every 4 months, to get a definite, no BS number that tells me exactly whether my diet strategy has worked or not. That's a no brainer.

Can't always trust the eyes and the mirror, as you see what you want to see.

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07-21-2015 07:16 AM
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RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
"My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously"

You forgot to menton the 2g of deca, 1g eq, no test, 10iu saizen, and 10iu humalog with every meal. All kidding aside Im happy for you that you took your life in control and getting your health in check while aquiring aesthics and strength. Kudos to you sir.
07-28-2015 12:53 AM
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Post: #17
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
You linked this in another thread and after I noticed I had already liked the first post I couldn't help but continue reading. This one link stuck out to me.

Quote:All of this may seem really slow at first, and you'll get told by certain people that it is slow. However, a year later, you will have made a significant progress while those same people stay exactly where they were.


http://navyseals.com/3877/sealfit-slow-s...ooth-fast/

Which also fits into a saying my father would give me any time I would get injured and wanted to jump back into training way before I should.

Quote:Come back slow ... come back strong.

Which is something that I have found to be an undeniable truth. Sure people can drop weight in a second, just like you could fracture a stone with a hammer in a second. But when you eat away at it day by day changing your lifestyle so that it is a true change, it's similar to how water eats away at a stone. Rather than some disgusting fracture that won't remain, you'd have a smooth transition into something that is visibly appealing and looks natural.

This was great to read through again man, I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I appreciate this information.
01-14-2016 09:40 PM
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Post: #18
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Cheers mate, glad you find it useful. I love that Navy SEAL's saying as well, it's often quoted by Mike Tuscherer which is one of my favourite powerlifting coaches. My current boxing coach also says something similar for our boxing drills.

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01-19-2016 07:05 PM
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Post: #19
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Thanks for this! I've been trying to lose body fat %'age recently and went about it similarly to the Rapid Fat Loss method, but while it's let me drop a few kg, it's not very sustainable for the amount I have to lose.

I just calculated my P/C/F ratio using the 1.0/1.2/0.5 method you described and calculated through what I've eaten today. I came to a deficit of 75g in protein (101g/176g), 77g in fats (11g/88g), and 34g in carbs (177g/211g). That is until I thought about what I drank...

I looked at the bottle of CocaCola Life standing next to me and realised I've been adding 200g of carbs through the drink alone! I've used it as a crutch with the rapid fat loss tactic since I'm constantly craving for something and I figured it has no effect because it's "diet" soda. Big Mistake! It just leaves me with a feeling that I've been losing more lean body mass than body fat for the past few weeks.

Gonna make big changes in the next few days. Thank you very much for these posts, it's the most scientific method I've seen that aims to accomplish exactly what we want.

Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.
02-11-2016 02:16 PM
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Post: #20
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Drinks are very high in carbs, exceptions being water, tea and coffee.

Otherwise sodas, juices, even some form of milks are all quite caloric and I think you should avoid them while doing any kind of diet because they add to your calorie total without contributing to you feeling full.
02-11-2016 06:30 PM
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Post: #21
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Great work. (+1) I am always interested learning about what works for different people. There is always something I can learn or be reinforced.
(This post was last modified: 02-11-2016 08:54 PM by Swell.)
02-11-2016 08:51 PM
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Post: #22
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Strikeback, great post!

Two questions:
1. Where is your body at today?

2. How does your body respond to fatty meals when you are on a high carb diet?
06-19-2018 04:07 PM
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Post: #23
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Hey, glad you found it useful. Smile

1. I'm currently at ~80ish kg, 15~17% BF. I'm not as lean as back then, but I've packed some decent muscles. This is mostly due to a lifestyle change since I got married and primarily because I've got a lot more work, so my training is not as intense and frequent. I've been trying to adapt my training and diet to this lifestyle change, and as I get more successful with it, I will post something up. I like the fuck-off shoulder size I have now (and so does my wife) but I do like the better strength-to-bodyweight ratio and speed I had in the lower 70ish kg.

2. If I've been on a high carb diet for a while, and start to eat fatty meals which go over my macros, I gain fat.

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06-25-2018 02:36 AM
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Post: #24
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Thanks Strike! 2 Is very interesting. It would mean you should favor one macro over the other while cutting. That makes sense to me.
06-25-2018 03:10 AM
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Post: #25
RE: My take on getting leaner, stronger and fitter simultaneously
Yeah it's about what your body is used to burning: carbs or fats.

If you eat high carbs low(ish) fat during cutting, you need to make every gram of fat count. By that I mean go high quality like coconut oil, omega-3 fish etc. If you go too low fat and/or eat bad quality, your T-level will suffer, and your sex drive will go through the floor.

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06-25-2018 06:02 AM
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