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About JPrev

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  • Birthday 05/07/1990

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  1. Good to see you back, Waldo. Great looking gym. Has injury prevention/management factored into how you plan your training? Interested in what people who have been lifting for a significant period of time do to stay healthy. Feels like I've had to make a bunch of changes to workouts that had been fine for years 0-3, but seem to have taken their toll now. Maybe I should start doing some yoga, too....
  2. I would cut before bulking, for several reasons. For one, if you're still a beginner (have not been consistently training for 4+ months), muscle mass will not be the primary way of gaining strength. You have a host of neural adaptations (speed of signals being sent, coordination both conscious and subconscious) that have yet to be maxed out, and until they are, you won't be sending a particularly strong message to your existing musculature to get bigger. Secondly, as a beginner, you're one of the special few who can actually increase in strength while cutting. If there's ever a time for you to pursue both goals at once, this is it. Once you become more advanced, it'll become more difficult - if not practically impossible - to do. So long as you're training consistently and are getting your protein (call it roughly 1g per lb of total body weight, no worries if you get more or less day by day), you don't need to be worry about your muscles backtracking. If you feel like they're getting smaller/weaker, it's only the glycogen in them becoming depleted as part of the cut. That'll come back within days of eating more calories. If, however, you stop training well and stop getting protein, then your muscles very well could be broken down to some degree. Even so, it's easier to gain back muscle than it is to build it in the first place. Thirdly, if you don't get rid of the gut now and start trying to bulk, you're just gonna keep the gut. Maybe it visually gets spread out a bit, but it's still gonna be there. Even if you try to bulk slowly, you'll inevitably add to the gut a bit as well. In my opinion, a lean body with less muscle tends to look more athletic than a puffy body with more muscle. So, if it were me, I'd enjoy my miracle stage of cutting and increasing strength at the same time, get to a good body fat %, then slowly switch to bulking at just the right time when my body can make use of the extra calories. Then I'd switch to a traditional bulk/cut cycle to progressively get bigger and leaner over time, until I reached the desired size. At that point, I'd just go about my business, cutting as necessary to stay within my ideal range (what I do now).
  3. Weclome! Keep in mind, everyone goes about this stuff differently. Plenty of approaches work, which is why you can find such contrasting, impassioned perspectives on the internet. Probably the biggest thing to focus on is consistency in whatever you choose to do. The specifics of that can and will change over time - we're all tinkering with our game plans. Ultimately, losing fat and keeping it off is about will power. It took me a couple years to find the right combination of food and exercise that make it bearable enough to stay fit while living life.
  4. And everyone goes about their bulking and cutting differently. If you look up posts on this forum by a guy named Waldo, you'll see the calculated approach of someone who's as far from winging it as you can be. Honestly though, a lot of stuff works in fitness. That's why you'll find so many impassioned, contradictory perspectives on the Internet. In order to avoid "too many chefs in the kitchen," I'd start by asking your trainer what his approach would be, then do research on what he said to see if you'd agree with it. Really, there are only a handful of principles that need to be honored, and they're mostly common sense. The specifics are pretty much personal preference.
  5. Oh ho! Then you can expect some very tailor-made advice. Typically, they have a kind of interview they do at the beginning that helps them understand your background. Anything he wanted you to prepare ahead of time would've been included in that email. Other than that, don't be off put if he asks about medical history (appropriate because of those letters after his name). Your trainer doesn't need to be in the room for that part.
  6. Nutritionists can vary vastly in quality. The title isn't protected by law, so nearly anyone can claim they're a nutritionist. Compare that to registered dietitians, who need to meet a variety of requirements before they're allowed to strut their stuff. So, it's hard to know what to expect out of your nutritionist until you meet them. You're probably looking for the nutritionist to tell you to eat fewer calories, while maintaining a good amount of protein. Your trainer should chime in that it'll be important to keep up your exercise as well. Whether you achieve fewer calories by eating fewer carbs or fats or some combination of both is largely up to you - different people seem to respond differently to those approaches. It'll be important to keep up the protein and training while in your calorie deficit so that your muscles stick around, instead of being eaten up. The combination of these approaches will mean less fat will be over your maintained muscles (perhaps slowly, SLOWLY growing), giving you that nice toned look. The nutritionist will give you some good ideas of foods and quantities that you'll like, while also allowing you to lose fat. For your longer term goal, you might switch to eating slightly more calories than necessary to build up some more muscle. Inevitably, this will mean you'll put on a little fat as well. Most people tend to alternate bulking and cutting - call it 6-8 weeks bulking, 2-4 weeks cutting or something like that - such that over time, they have both more muscle and a leaner body. You could try to do both goals together - adding muscle so slowly that you don't add tag along fat - but when you're no longer a beginner, that approach tends to be too slow to be worth it. Really, the only thing you don't want your nutritionist to do is advise you on how to eat for any medical conditions you might have. Unless they're also a registered dietitian.
  7. Good luck! Definitely focus on the marathon, not the sprint. Too many people burn out because their ambition wrecks them over imperfections. Takes time for the body to change, as you're well aware. So long as you're on target 80% of the time, you'll get the fitness you want. Besides, gotta let loose sometimes!
  8. Macros will work. It's less about the percentages and more about the grams and total calories. Getting around 100g of protein per day is great. Good goal to shoot for, but not the end of the world if you aren't able to make it all the time. How you divvy up the remaining calories between carbs and fat is up to you. If you're truly able to stick to roughly 1700 calories per day, you should be able to lose some fat over time. Use tape measurements plotted over weeks (don't worry about fluctuations over days, which can be sizeable) to see if you're on the right track. If you're not, it means extra calories are sneaking in somewhere. Easier to happen than you might think, even if you're being careful. If you're new to strength training, you'll enjoy the ability of becoming leaner and stronger at the same time. It'll be harder to get away with that after a few months of disciplined training, when in order to continue meaningful progress you'll want to focus more on one goal or the other. At that point, most people choose to alternate between cutting calories for a couple weeks and slowly bulking for a few weeks. That way you continue to grow over time without getting all pudgy again. As for the exercises, you will definitely see results doing what you've listed as-is. However, it'd be nice to see more leg-specific strength work, like squats or lunges. I would also personally add more back exercises to balance all the chest work you're doing; some rows would be great, for instance. In my own workouts I prefer to do fewer reps of higher weights, and although the "8-12 reps for mass" dogma is prevalent, you'll still see results by doing lots of reps with lower weights. Don't feel the need to hit so many exercises if you don't want to. These days I only manage 3-4 per workout or so. If you're ever pressed for time in a session, I'd focus on the compound movements before the small ones (as in, I'd prioritize things like pull ups over curls). Compound movements just hit more stuff, and it's easy to accidentally do too much little stuff over time and wind up with some kind of imbalance.
  9. Well, what's the main reason you'd want to stay more on the paleo side of the spectrum?
  10. Calorie tracking is a !&*#. When I first started, I thought I was doing it well enough by weighing most things and eyeballing everything else. It wasn't until I weighed literally everything entering my mouth that wasn't water that I finally got good data, and man, was it eye opening. Anyway, the scale can shoot up, down, and remain the same for any odd reason. I once moved over 6 pounds during a weekend! A week isn't enough time to see a meaningful trend. It's often said that tape measurement is better for tracking progress than the scale, and while that's true, if you have 100lbs to lose then at some point the scale will have to show that you're getting lighter over time. I'd plot some points and add a trend line (the points themselves will create peaks more jagged than any mountain range you've ever seen; the trend line will help you see the overall change). You'll need at least 2 weeks to get meaningful data. If after 2 weeks you haven't budged, it's still possible you're losing fat in exchange for gaining something else. However, practically speaking, the fat loss is too slow to be meaningful. If that's the case, you may have to look at your calorie counting. You cannot trust your gut on calories; you gotta weigh everything. That, or use the Weight Watchers point system, which is a very solid method. Your husband wouldn't be wrong to say that your body may have adapted to "like" a certain amount of body fat. It does seem that our bodies have a kind of "body fat thermostat." However, it's not so powerful that dieting doesn't work!
  11. Ah man, sorry to hear about the injuries. Mine were a real hassle to go through as well. On the bright side though, they eventually pushed me towards new activities that I really enjoy. As you know, take it one step at a time and don't be too hard on yourself. If you apply full throttle through a corner you just go off track.
  12. First off, congratulations on the fat loss! 40lbs doesn't come off without some clear discipline and focus. The person who has the ultimate word for you, above your nutritionist and above forum members who don't know you, would be a dietitian. Seek one out if you want the best source of personal recommendations. That said, at the risk of more information overload, here are two articles on metabolism and "metabolic damage." They're by a guy named Lyle McDonald, who, along with Alan Aragon, has a reputation for taking in loads of information and placing it in context of what's generally known. Everyone has their opinion, but these two have earned my respect. Metabolic Rate Overview Another Look at Metabolic Damage In summary though, no, I personally would not be worried. Most calculators are based off of formulas that do not do well at the extremes. Additionally, as fat comes off, you weigh less, have less to move, and burn fewer calories. Although there does seem to be a kind of metabolic slowdown tied to long-term fat loss, its effect is usually small, varies between individuals, and tends to only be a factor when someone's already very lean. Fat loss is a long journey, and you've been winning so far. Personally, I don't see a need to change anything right now. It's possible that eventually you'll come to a point when you'll need to change your diet/activity to continue to reap the rewards, but if that point isn't now, then no need to alter what's working just fine.
  13. https://www.eatthismuch.com/
  14. I've recently gone mostly vegetarian. I thought it'd suck at first, but it's actually led to meals that are both more delicious and more diversified than when I was a voracious carnivore. I've always liked veggies, but if you're struggling, don't be afraid to add a little bit of oil, seasoning, and try creating different textures through cooking. Take potatoes, for instance. You could mash them up and make 'em all nice and creamy with some milk/almond milk. Or cut them into cubes and bake in the oven for a bit, tossed with some oil, salt, pepper, and thyme, to create little packets of goodness. Or slice them thin, dress them the same way, and throw 'em on a baking sheet to create crispy chips. Suddenly one sack of potatoes has given you three distinct flavors and textures, and that's not even a quarter of what you can do with potatoes. If you don't like a veggie, cook it a different way. Boil it, bake it, sear it; make it thicker or thinner; give it a different seasoning. Pair it with a different veggie. Internet recipes are your friend! Soon enough, you'll be able to open your fridge/cabinet and put together a yummy meal with whatever's in there.
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