Jump to content

Chubby with some muscle, needs to lose fat while gaining muscle.

Recommended Posts

So I'm new here, hello! Love the site!

I'm 5'6", about 185, body fat percentage of about 23-25%, so definitely overweight but not visibly obese. My weight distribution on my body is just weird. Had a personal trainer for a year, but realized after going through these articles that most of his guidance and advice were just plain wrong (we would do strength training, and then he'd tell me to go burn 500 calories in cardio, and apparently that was all wrong). I have slight muscle definition in my arms, and I've been told by numerous trainers and fitness specialists that I have great leg muscle definition (played hockey for a few years so my calves are massive). I also have an obnoxious "muffin top" but not a beer gut. I think my body is weird and i want to change it for every reason - strength, health, being able to find better fitting clothes for my height, raising my confidence level, all sorts of reasons. I hope this is all sufficient information.

So my question. I want to lose body fat and get more bulk and muscle definition, but I can't find anything on the site that takes both into account considering what I consider to be an unusual body structure. What's my best route here? I've been on paleo for two weeks and I feel great with it, but then I read that unless I'm packing on the calories and eating all the time (including foods NOT on the paleo diet) I won't gain muscle from the strength training I do. But if I eat all this food to gain muscle mass while working out, I'm bound to put on extra fat, and I don't have the clothes for that supposedly temporary fat gain, and I don't want to buy new clothes that will soon be too big for me. Am I over thinking this? Steve went to the gym for 6 years with no real results, and I'm afraid that may be the same boat I'm in. Seems I need to she'd excess weight and THEN begin to build mass, but I don't want to lose the muscle I already have.

I you read all that, then thank you. Sorry for my wordiness, I'm trying to be thorough.

My current inventory:

-Iron gym, with assisted strap because I can't do a single pull-up on my own, and only a couple of chin ups.

-2x10lb dumb bells, 2x20 lb dumb bells

-ab roller

-Plenty of time

So, NF community, what's a guy to do? Thank you sincerely for any help you can offer.


Link to post

Welcome, JohnDT!


It is difficult, but not impossible to achieve what you want to do. You won't be able to gain as much muscle as someone eating BIG, but you should be able to see some positive results.  We are in the fitness section, I know, but I'll offer some diet advice that you can consider. You might think about starting here: http://thefitcoach.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/584/


Check out his recommendations for Male Recomposition. I'd start somewhere in those ranges and from there it's all about monitoring and adjusting. I'd also incorporate carb cycling, like he talks about. On your two heaviest days, up your carbs, but do so in the peri-workout window (meaning, put about 60% of your total carbs for the day before and after your workout). This powers your workout, helps with recovery after, and it's the best time to eat carbs if you want to avoid them turning into fat.


So, my advice is to figure out a starting point using those guidelines that includes carb cycling. Then, see what hapens week by week. If you are getting stronger and your measurements go up or stay stagnant, then consider dropping 5-10g daily from both carbs and fat. If you aren't getting stronger, but your measurements are going down, then trying adding some back in. Or, if you are getting stronger and your measurements are going down (ideal situation), then try and stretch that out for as long as you can before moving down. You can do all that within Paleo guidelines. Use sweet potatoes and some fruit to help you on carb up days.

For a workout recommendation, given what you have available, it seems like some kind bodyweight routine is your best bet unless you want to make the investment in more weights or a gym. For me, I love barbell training and have never enjoyed myself as much with other routines, but I know not everyone has the same experience.

The iron never lies.


Link to post

Oh, I almost forgot! And start to work in some high intensity interval training to help keep the body fat down. If you've never done them before, then start 1x a week and eventually add in a second per week. Just look into Tabata routines and you should find tons of home options, like burpees, sprinting, hill sprints, etc. The one note I'll make is the standard Tabata protocol of 20 seconds work and only 10 seconds rest isn't necessary for most of us that aren't going for peak performance in sports. You could get away with 20 seconds of work and 1:30 or 1:40 of rest. Just make sure the 20 seconds are all out.

The iron never lies.


Link to post

No problem. I can say when I was mainly just trying to lose fat (40 pounds worth) I was on a low carb paleo approach. But when you start thinking about things like performance and muscle building, it really helped me to up them. A lot of others have found similar things.

The iron never lies.


Link to post

Lose fat and gain muscle one at a time.

Unless you are a virtual pro at dieting/cal counting, skip trying to do both at the same time, as chances are you'll end up doing neither and just end up wasting your time.

Losing fat requires a calorie defict, gaining muscle requires a calorie surplus.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines