Where is your balance? How much leeway do you give yourself?
Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:01 PM
I try asking for opinions and everyone tells me I look good, but I can't help but think they're just being nice. My body dis-morphia and insecurities make me feel both, small *and* fat. Folks at the gym will call me huge and jacked, but I just don't see it.
As I said, gorilla strength and imposing mass (but with BF, ideally, in the mid-teens) is my ultimate goal. I'll never be elite (I just got started a couple years ago and I'm already coming up on 40, so I'm a late starter) but I would like to compete locally once I think I'm capable (considering where I live, competitions are surprisingly few and far between).
Since that's y'all's forte, I thought I would come to you for sage wisdom rather than asking a fat loss forum, or something. How do you balance body fat (for those of you concerned with it) and strength? How do you keep to a desired level without sacrificing reps? Do you cycle cutting and bulking like bodybuilders? If so, how fat do you allow yourself to get in-between?
And, with my objective clearly stated, what is the more logical path to getting there? Sucking it up for now, cutting down to my desired body fat level, and then "slow" bulking from there (which is hard, as I'm a farm boy and a food lover so "control" and "moderation" are cuss words)? Or using existing strength and mass to get bigger and stronger, putting on more lean mass and increasing metabolism, and then cutting later on.
I sincerely appreciate any insight, wisdom and/or advice y'all might be able to offer.
Posted 23 April 2014 - 05:56 PM
Posted 02 May 2014 - 09:00 PM
You now know that the fastest way to build strength is to all out bulk. Of course, cutting (meaning drastic reduction in calories in hopes of fat loss) will cause you to lose some strength. Here is my experience with some serious lifters I looked up to at my last gym:
I worked out once a week or so with a couple of guys who were seriously strong. 3 of them had elite totals and were my weight and build (230 - 250). all 3 of them had great physiques, much better than mine. I suppose with our shirts on, we all looked similar. however, they had significantly less bf% and could out lift me by nearly double when speaking in 1rm terms. Two things I know they were doing that I was not: 1. They were on Test (maybe more) 2. They were ON TOP of their diets
I talked to them occasionally about dieting, mostly what I got was they consumed around the same amount of protein and calories than I, but far cleaner overall. I guess the moral of the story is, drop the bulk / cut idea and steer towards a weekly/monthly/yearly goal set, along with serious overhaul of your diet. Start small, change out something like a cup of yogurt for an avocado. As far as your lifting, keep going for 1rm's on the big 3, follow a schedule and track all of your progress. Your body will show the results over time. It will not be as quick as bulking but you will make gains and you will see a change in physique, if that's what you want and you go for it.
I am in this very process right now, it is not as easy as some make it look
Posted 02 May 2014 - 10:53 PM
In the end I'm up 12 lbs from last year at same BF %. So not bad. But I wanted more.
I set a limit when bulking, if BF% gets above a predetermined limit (10 for me) I stop the bulk, recomp, drop water weight to see where I am really at. Then re-assess.
I can handle water weight and it drops fast. Fat is a tougher opponent. Especially because I hate cardio.
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