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Thread: Advice, Where to go from here. A struggle.

  1. #1

    Advice, Where to go from here. A struggle.

    Started 2012: Age: 28

    Weight:225lbs
    Training: 3-5 days back then
    Starting lifts-Deadlift 1RM(115) , Squat 1 RM (55lbs), BENCH(75lbs)
    Labs Back then: Testosterone Total- 923 NG/DL--LAB RANGE--(250-1100)
    Testosterone Free- 153 pg/ml---LAB RANGE...(35.5-155.0)



    CURRENT NOW (12/27/2016)Age: 32

    Current weight: 175lbs 17%-20% BF
    Current Training- 5 days a week(90 mins min) 3 HIIT, 1 LIIS(1 hour)
    Current Lifts- Deadlift 1RM(365lbs) , Squat 1 RM (285lbs), BENCH( 185lbs)


    Testosterone Total- 620 NG/DL--LAB RANGE--(250-1100)
    Testosterone Free- 101 pg/ml---LAB RANGE...(35.5-155.0)


    Not going to sugarcoat or make this a long story but more of a short version

    My picture below speaks for itself. Basically I can't figure out why I can't drop the lower part of my abdominal area. I've tried everything from clean eating to half and half, and even hiring coach sadik hadzovic.

    I've had my fair share of health issues ranging from severe Vitamin D deficiency, but I've always stayed true and consistent threw my 4-5 years of training natty. At this point I feel like I am spinning wheels indefinitely and making no noticeable changes

    I would start a cut and feel great but at some point of my cut usually week 15ish I start to dramatically lose size and strength for some reason. I am a true skinny fat, and while I still remain fairly strong, I can't help but wanting to turn to test as my last ditch effort to try and add more quality lean muscle and rid lower belly fat for good.

    I tried dieting to extreme weights, and that got me a sick skinny look while as you can see in the pic below I got nowhere. I can't really begin to state that I've literally tried everything 4-5+ years of experimenting and I still end up with the same result... It is starting to affect my workouts, my motivation and my sense of why I do this to begin with. I know patience is key , but I'm convinced something isn't adding up.

    I am now looking towards test, as a last ditch effort to fix my physique and be happy with my progress and hard work, I still want to compete in a show at some point, but this has been so difficult for me. Watching these 18, 19, 20-24s year old kids get jacked without any effort and training natty first, is sure frustrating. I am not doing this to just look good I am doing this so I can compete and achieve something I wanted to do for over 8 years now.

    Any advice would be great, ANYTHING. Maybe just maybe I can get somewhere or be pointed in the right direction. Dylan has always been a great advocate for keeping people healthy and making right choices, so I definitely value his opinion a lot.

    I did a 22 week cut that consisted of 6 meals, all plain and clean meals , it was basically was a 5 low carb days and 2 high carb days, and My starting calories started from 2424 and at the end of 22 weeks ended at 2196, total weight loss was from 185lbs to 164lb, at my lowest. Did cardio x3 a week for 20 mins each session, added hit towards the end of the diet x2 a week.

    My meals looked something like this.

    Diet:


    Weeks 1 and 3
    LC

    Meal 1 - 10.5 oz - Egg whites, 2 tbsps - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Broccoli

    Meal 2 - 4.5 oz - Chicken, 3/8 cup - Pistachios, 3/4 cup - Broccoli

    Meal 3 - 4 oz - Tuna, 1.5 oz - Brown Rice, 3/4 cup - Spinach

    Workout

    Meal 4 - 1 1/2 scoops - Whey protein, 2 oz - Jasmine Rice, 3/4 cup - Asparagus

    Meal 5 - 4.5 oz - Chicken, 1.5 oz - Brown Rice, 2 tbsps - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Broccoli

    Meal 6 - 4 oz - Tuna, 2 tbsps - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Broccoli


    HC

    Meal 1 - 11 oz - Egg whites, 7 oz - Sweet Potato, 1 tbsp - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Mushrooms

    Meal 2 - 4 oz - Lean Beef, 1.5 oz - Brown Rice, 1 tbsp - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Spinach

    Meal 3 - 4 oz - Tuna, 1.5 oz - Brown Rice, 3/4 cup - Spinach

    Workout

    Meal 4 - 1 1/2 scoops - Whey protein, 3 oz - Wheat Pasta

    Meal 5 - 4.5 oz - Chicken, 1.5 oz - Wheat Pasta, 1 tbsp - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Asparagus

    Meal 6 - 4 oz - Lean Beef, 1.5 oz - Brown Rice, 1 tbsp - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Green Beans

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Weeks 2 and 4
    LC

    Meal 1 - 1 1/2 scoops - Whey protein

    Meal 2 - 10.5 oz - Egg whites, 2 tbsps - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Spinach

    Meal 3 - 4.5 oz - Chicken, 1.5 oz - Brown Rice, 2 tbsps - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Spinach

    Workout

    Meal 4 - 1 1/2 scoops - Whey protein, 7.5 oz - Sweet Potato

    Meal 5 - 4.5 oz - Chicken, 5.5 oz - Sweet Potato, 2 tbsps - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Mushrooms

    Meal 6 - 4 oz - Lean Beef, 2 tbsps - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Spinach


    HC

    Meal 1 - 11 oz - Egg whites, 1.5 oz - Cream of Wheat, 1/2 tbsp - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Broccoli

    Meal 2 - 1 1/2 scoops - Whey protein, 1.5 oz - Wheat Pasta, 1/2 tbsp - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Broccoli

    Meal 3 - 4.5 oz - Chicken, 1.5 oz - Wheat Pasta, 1/2 tbsp - Olive Oil, 3/4 cup - Spinach

    Workout

    Meal 4 - 1 1/2 scoops - Whey protein, 2.5 oz - Cream of Wheat

    Meal 5 - 4.5 oz - Chicken, 1.5 oz - Wheat Pasta, 13 nuts - Pistachios, 3/4 cup - Asparagus

    Meal 6 - 4 oz - Tuna, 1.5 oz - Brown Rice, 1/2 tbsp - Sesame Oil, 3/4 cup - Broccoli
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member AsapSlim's Avatar
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    At such high body fat you would not be an ideal candidate for steroids, you would probably spend more time battling side effects than you would working out in the gym.

  3. #3
    Senior Member 44YOGearHead's Avatar
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    Feb 2016
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    At present you do seem to have too much bf. I just looked at the pics versus reading all of the post (short attention span).

  4. #4
    Hey Bro, I know you must be frustrated, but don't give up. It took me many, many years before I figured out how to drop my body fat down to single digits. You seem to have a basic understanding of nutrition. What did your total protein, carbs and fat look like during the cut? Your Test levels look normal, do you know what your estrogen levels are? Perhaps you have adequate testosterone, but it is binding?? 22 weeks is a long cut. I was only able to get down to single digit body fat by doing a slow step down...meaning 4-6 week cuts max. I would cut for 4-6 weeks, then reverse diet over 2 weeks back to maintenance calories, eat at maintenance for 2 weeks then repeat. It took me about a year to go from 25% down to 8-9% BF.

    You say you started at 185 and ended at 164. What was your starting body fat % and ending body fat %? Based on this we can determine your starting LBM and ending LBM to see how much of that 21 pounds you lost was fat. The longer you are in a calorie deficit (cut), the greater the chance of muscle loss due to changes in hormones in my experience. Not to mention loss of strength. This is where I found shorter cuts to be beneficial.

    Also, while you have made strength improvements over the last 4 years, they don't quite seem on par with where you could be. What does your training look like? Please post up. 5 days a week of lifting for 90 min plus HIIT/LIIS is a lot. You can work out for 3 hours a day and 7 days a week, but if your still lifting the same amount this year as you did last year then there will be no change.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ironlifter36 View Post
    Hey Bro, I know you must be frustrated, but don't give up. It took me many, many years before I figured out how to drop my body fat down to single digits. You seem to have a basic understanding of nutrition. What did your total protein, carbs and fat look like during the cut? Your Test levels look normal, do you know what your estrogen levels are? Perhaps you have adequate testosterone, but it is binding?? 22 weeks is a long cut. I was only able to get down to single digit body fat by doing a slow step down...meaning 4-6 week cuts max. I would cut for 4-6 weeks, then reverse diet over 2 weeks back to maintenance calories, eat at maintenance for 2 weeks then repeat. It took me about a year to go from 25% down to 8-9% BF.

    You say you started at 185 and ended at 164. What was your starting body fat % and ending body fat %? Based on this we can determine your starting LBM and ending LBM to see how much of that 21 pounds you lost was fat. The longer you are in a calorie deficit (cut), the greater the chance of muscle loss due to changes in hormones in my experience. Not to mention loss of strength. This is where I found shorter cuts to be beneficial.

    Also, while you have made strength improvements over the last 4 years, they don't quite seem on par with where you could be. What does your training look like? Please post up. 5 days a week of lifting for 90 min plus HIIT/LIIS is a lot. You can work out for 3 hours a day and 7 days a week, but if your still lifting the same amount this year as you did last year then there will be no change.
    First I wanna thank you for replying and I appreciate the advice . I did sadiks program for 22 weeks total and he basically had me doing 5 days a week 3 days LISS and 2 HIITS as well.

    Day 2
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Shoulder Press 4 sets of 16 0 seconds
    Front Squat 4 sets of 16 60 seconds
    Chest Press 4 sets of 16 0 seconds
    Deadlift 4 sets of 16 60 seconds
    Shrugs 4 sets of 16 0 seconds
    Hip Bridges 4 sets of 16 60 seconds
    Calf Raises 4 sets of 16 0 seconds
    Forearm Curls 4 sets of 16 60 seconds

    Day 3
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Bench Press 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    SA Bent Over DB Row 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Leg Extensions 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Leg Curls 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Upright Row 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Lat Pull Downs 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Leg Press 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Hack Squat 4 sets to failure 60 seconds

    Day 4
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Mountain Climbers 4 Sets of 20 seconds 10 seconds
    Push ups 4 Sets of 20 seconds 10 seconds
    Burpees 4 Sets of 10 Seconds 20 seconds
    Overhead Reverse Lunges 4 Sets of 10 Seconds 20 seconds
    Box Jumps 4 Sets of 20 seconds 10 seconds
    Tire Flips 4 Sets of 20 seconds 10 seconds
    High Knees 4 Sets of 10 Seconds 20 seconds
    Wide Grip Push ups 4 Sets of 10 Seconds 20 seconds

    Day 6
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Lat Pull Downs 2 sets of 10 30 seconds
    Shurgs 2 sets of 12 30 seconds
    Cross Cable Reverse Flies (low) 3 sets of 20 30 seconds
    Cross Cable Reverse Flies (high) 4 sets of 13 30 seconds
    Straight Arm Cable Pull Downs 4 sets of 8 30 seconds
    Standing Cable Row (rope) 6 sets of 10 No 0 seconds
    Incline Cable Row (rope) rest between each 0 seconds
    Decline Cable Row (rope) until all 3 done 45 seconds

    Day 7
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Skull Crushers 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    BB Curls 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Lateral Raises 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Wide Grip Pull Ups 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Close Grip Bench Press 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Inverted Rows 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Hamstring Curls 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Leg Extensions 4 sets to failure 60 seconds



    CORE ADDED WITH THE WORKOUTS BELOW:


    Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Plank 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds
    Mountian climbers 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds
    Yoga ball Vacuum crunch 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds



    Day 2
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Kneeling cable crunches 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds
    Toes to bar 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds
    Hanging leg lifts 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds
    Plank 3 sets 60 seconds 60 seconds



    Day 3
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Russian Twists 3 sets 60 seconds 60 seconds
    Leg lifts on dip bar 3 sets 60 seconds 60 seconds
    Hanging bicycle kicks 3 sets 60 seconds 60 seconds
    Yoga ball crunch with vacuum 3 sets 60 seconds 60 seconds


    CARDIO:

    x3 LISS WEEK 20 mins , Last 5 week were x3 HIIT instead of LISS


    This was SADIKS program for 20 weeks i did, he did change a few things over the course but not much.


    Macros on cut: THIS IS WHERE I ENDED at week 22 at 2,196 calories, I started at 2450 over a 22-24 week period. and managed to go from 185 to 164.

    Macros

    LC 2196

    p-228g

    c-102g

    f-97g



    HC 2217

    p-239g

    c-241g

    f-33g
    Last edited by toogoods; 12-27-2016 at 08:22 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by toogoods View Post
    First I wanna thank you for replying and I appreciate the advice . I did sadiks program for 22 weeks total and he basically had me doing 5 days a week 3 days LISS and 2 HIITS as well.

    Day 2
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Shoulder Press 4 sets of 16 0 seconds
    Front Squat 4 sets of 16 60 seconds
    Chest Press 4 sets of 16 0 seconds
    Deadlift 4 sets of 16 60 seconds
    Shrugs 4 sets of 16 0 seconds
    Hip Bridges 4 sets of 16 60 seconds
    Calf Raises 4 sets of 16 0 seconds
    Forearm Curls 4 sets of 16 60 seconds

    Day 3
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Bench Press 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    SA Bent Over DB Row 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Leg Extensions 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Leg Curls 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Upright Row 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Lat Pull Downs 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Leg Press 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Hack Squat 4 sets to failure 60 seconds

    Day 4
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Mountain Climbers 4 Sets of 20 seconds 10 seconds
    Push ups 4 Sets of 20 seconds 10 seconds
    Burpees 4 Sets of 10 Seconds 20 seconds
    Overhead Reverse Lunges 4 Sets of 10 Seconds 20 seconds
    Box Jumps 4 Sets of 20 seconds 10 seconds
    Tire Flips 4 Sets of 20 seconds 10 seconds
    High Knees 4 Sets of 10 Seconds 20 seconds
    Wide Grip Push ups 4 Sets of 10 Seconds 20 seconds

    Day 6
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Lat Pull Downs 2 sets of 10 30 seconds
    Shurgs 2 sets of 12 30 seconds
    Cross Cable Reverse Flies (low) 3 sets of 20 30 seconds
    Cross Cable Reverse Flies (high) 4 sets of 13 30 seconds
    Straight Arm Cable Pull Downs 4 sets of 8 30 seconds
    Standing Cable Row (rope) 6 sets of 10 No 0 seconds
    Incline Cable Row (rope) rest between each 0 seconds
    Decline Cable Row (rope) until all 3 done 45 seconds

    Day 7
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Skull Crushers 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    BB Curls 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Lateral Raises 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Wide Grip Pull Ups 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Close Grip Bench Press 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Inverted Rows 4 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Hamstring Curls 4 sets to failure 0 seconds
    Leg Extensions 4 sets to failure 60 seconds



    CORE ADDED WITH THE WORKOUTS BELOW:


    Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets to failure 60 seconds
    Plank 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds
    Mountian climbers 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds
    Yoga ball Vacuum crunch 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds



    Day 2
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Kneeling cable crunches 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds
    Toes to bar 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds
    Hanging leg lifts 3 sets 60 seconds 0 seconds
    Plank 3 sets 60 seconds 60 seconds



    Day 3
    Movements Sets/Reps Tempo
    Russian Twists 3 sets 60 seconds 60 seconds
    Leg lifts on dip bar 3 sets 60 seconds 60 seconds
    Hanging bicycle kicks 3 sets 60 seconds 60 seconds
    Yoga ball crunch with vacuum 3 sets 60 seconds 60 seconds


    CARDIO:

    x3 LISS WEEK 20 mins , Last 5 week were x3 HIIT instead of LISS


    This was SADIKS program for 20 weeks i did, he did change a few things over the course but not much.


    Macros on cut: THIS IS WHERE I ENDED at week 22 at 2,196 calories, I started at 2450 over a 22-24 week period. and managed to go from 185 to 164.

    Macros

    LC 2196

    p-228g

    c-102g

    f-97g



    HC 2217

    p-239g

    c-241g

    f-33g
    Sadik Hadzovic? I googled Sadik and this is what I came up with. Alright, I am not trying to be a dick, I am trying to help you. I will tell you right now, Sadik does not look like that from working this crappy routine. I have fallen for this in the past myself. Since this isn't your workout routine then what I am about to say shouldn't matter. IMO this workout routine is not optimal. While there are some compound lifts, they are not strength oriented. Bench Press to failure? As in 95LBS to failure? Reps of 16 on compound lifts? These are not endurance movements. Compound lifts should be done heavy-relatively speaking in the 6-10 rep range. While we will all argue over the "best" rep range, we will all agree squatting or deadlifting 135 for as many reps as possible won't do shit. Now, if you can only squat 135 for 6-10 reps that's different, but when you can do 11, add another 5lbs ect. Same for your deadlift, OHP, BB Row and bench. Get your squat up to 350 for 5 reps, then you can go back and do 250 for sets of 10. Pushups? This routine looks more like a circuit routine, which is ok except as a natural, your primary goal while cutting is to maintain strength with resistance training. A proper calorie deficit plus cardio will drive the weight loss.

    This routine is no good, it has you hitting the same body part day after day. One day is chest press, then the following day is bench press, then the next day is pushups only to be followed the day after with what...yep chest flies. I think the only days that look good are days 1 and 5 and that's because they are rest days. It's no wonder your ending up back at the same place you started.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ironlifter36 View Post
    Sadik Hadzovic? I googled Sadik and this is what I came up with. Alright, I am not trying to be a dick, I am trying to help you. I will tell you right now, Sadik does not look like that from working this crappy routine. I have fallen for this in the past myself. Since this isn't your workout routine then what I am about to say shouldn't matter. IMO this workout routine is not optimal. While there are some compound lifts, they are not strength oriented. Bench Press to failure? As in 95LBS to failure? Reps of 16 on compound lifts? These are not endurance movements. Compound lifts should be done heavy-relatively speaking in the 6-10 rep range. While we will all argue over the "best" rep range, we will all agree squatting or deadlifting 135 for as many reps as possible won't do shit. Now, if you can only squat 135 for 6-10 reps that's different, but when you can do 11, add another 5lbs ect. Same for your deadlift, OHP, BB Row and bench. Get your squat up to 350 for 5 reps, then you can go back and do 250 for sets of 10. Pushups? This routine looks more like a circuit routine, which is ok except as a natural, your primary goal while cutting is to maintain strength with resistance training. A proper calorie deficit plus cardio will drive the weight loss.

    This routine is no good, it has you hitting the same body part day after day. One day is chest press, then the following day is bench press, then the next day is pushups only to be followed the day after with what...yep chest flies. I think the only days that look good are days 1 and 5 and that's because they are rest days. It's no wonder your ending up back at the same place you started.
    You're getting some very good advice here. LISS cardio for 20 minutes isn't going to do anything.....45-60 minutes for LISS is pretty standard. 20 minutes HIT intervals...now that's different, that's good. 30 min steady state cardio...now you're heading in the right direction.

    My advice is to just do an old school routine. back/bi, chest/tri, shoulders, legs/calves...very simple. Focus on compound movements for back, chest, shoulders, legs and then fill in rest of routine with iso movements with a higher rep scheme. I feel like you did some good work but you never built muscle and that hurt you as you tried to reduce body fat to where you were happy with what you saw in the mirror. Cardio was ok...I'd alternate HIT and longer LISS or steady state as I noted above. You seem to know nutrition well enough...go with what you know and adjust when necessary. It isn't rocket science but unfortunately, you've been lead down the wrong path in some ways.

  8. #8
    Medeiros is absolutely right. You need a solid routine built around heavy compound lifts filled in with higher rep (8-12) isolation movements. Your routine won't change just because your on a cut.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ironlifter36 View Post
    Sadik Hadzovic? I googled Sadik and this is what I came up with. Alright, I am not trying to be a dick, I am trying to help you. I will tell you right now, Sadik does not look like that from working this crappy routine. I have fallen for this in the past myself. Since this isn't your workout routine then what I am about to say shouldn't matter. IMO this workout routine is not optimal. While there are some compound lifts, they are not strength oriented. Bench Press to failure? As in 95LBS to failure? Reps of 16 on compound lifts? These are not endurance movements. Compound lifts should be done heavy-relatively speaking in the 6-10 rep range. While we will all argue over the "best" rep range, we will all agree squatting or deadlifting 135 for as many reps as possible won't do shit. Now, if you can only squat 135 for 6-10 reps that's different, but when you can do 11, add another 5lbs ect. Same for your deadlift, OHP, BB Row and bench. Get your squat up to 350 for 5 reps, then you can go back and do 250 for sets of 10. Pushups? This routine looks more like a circuit routine, which is ok except as a natural, your primary goal while cutting is to maintain strength with resistance training. A proper calorie deficit plus cardio will drive the weight loss.

    This routine is no good, it has you hitting the same body part day after day. One day is chest press, then the following day is bench press, then the next day is pushups only to be followed the day after with what...yep chest flies. I think the only days that look good are days 1 and 5 and that's because they are rest days. It's no wonder your ending up back at the same place you started.
    I didn't understand why I only lost that much weight in 22 weeks almost 6 months, I would of figured I could if been in the 150s at least.

    I've learned to trust any process that i take on, so of course I put my trust and heart into this.

    Honestly I have a hard time understanding volume and frequency the most I feel like in 5 years I've been lifting I can't quite get the hang of this and your right I feel like I should be alot stronger but im.not sure what's going on honestly.

    Diet is not a problem for me as I can do anything thrown at me, this last diet was easy peezy.

  10. #10
    No worries bro, we will be glad to help you. I sent you a PM.

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