Advice for a skinnyfat weakling
Hi guys, I've been lurking and researching for a while but can't really find anything with someone in the same situation as me so I've come to ask for some help.
Stats atm are
5'7, 168lbs, 23y/o - around 21% bodyfat (35inch waist)
squat - 220lb 3x5
Deadlift - 314lb 3x5
bench - 150lb 3x5
OH press - 111lb 3x5
Power clean - 165lb 5x3
(I'm an aussie but i converted everything into pounds for your ease :P)
So clearly my problem is I'm weak and I'm fat, I've read posts with people debating cutting but man I'm lighter than them and I have a higher bodyfat than them..
Thing is I started doing the program at around 154lb and 19% bodyfat already and excessively weak (started squatting 110lb and deadlifting at 220lb)..
I'm asian so naturally when i first started lifting 2 years ago I was skinny and felt like I could eat whatever I wanted, long story short I ate dirty as hell and didn't squat or deadlift so I got fat without making significant strength gains. I actually started SS in december after my first gridiron season (just a bunch of weekend warriors down here) but unfortunately due to issues with mobility, technique and half-hearted dieting because I knew i was high bf%, I was banging my head against a wall.
I know people say around 12% is optimal body weight to start bulking but instead of cutting I decided to get what strength gains I could before the season starts again, made sure i hit 3500+ calories a day and my linear progression became consistent.
So i guess my question is whether there will be a point where I should be concerned about my bodyfat% and what should I do about it? I'm loving my strength gains and whilst my body is shaping up nicely, my gut still continues to grow.. when my gf says i'm fat I remain adamant it's just because my abs are growing underneath the fat I already had lol. Furthermore the gridiron season is 2 months away, so i'm thinking I need to start getting some conditioning in and I doubt increasing my fat will improve my ability to play cornerback..but alas then this would be NDTP.
I know Rip has suggested to eat 3500 calories of paleo and my bf should end up around 17%.. is that my only option? as a full time uni student working a nightfill job casually and paleo seems like a difficult and expensive endeavour.
I was thinking that maybe switching to something such as crossfitfootball (i know.. cf..) might be appropriate, I'd still be doing linear progression whilst getting some conditioning work done and maybe just maybe this would shed some of my bf??
Sorry for writing so much, just a little lost and confused on what I should do next and hoping that someone with more experience could point me in the right direction.
Thanks for your time!
Just my opinion, but you are doing great. Your decent squat and good deadlift show you have potential. If you are concenred about getting too fat, I would address that condition by fixing my diet NOT my strength training. To condition yourself for cornerback I would add sprints two days per week and nothing else. Whether those sprints hould be done on your training day or not, I cannot say. Google Jim Wendler for decent advice on how to blend conditioning for footbal with serious strength training. The articles on this site about American Footbal player Mike Webster also contain some good tips on sprints, football and training.
Follow Rip's advice and eat a paleo centric diet with no sugars/grains and you should drop fat while not interfering too much with your muscle gains. I say not too much, because not eating at a massive caloric surplus will slow down your gains, and not eating a lot of carbohydrates/sugars will make your workouts a little harder. Whether 3500 calories per day is right for you or not, we have no idea; the online calculators have no idea - there are just too many variables to simply say "3,500 is correct". You will have to experiement with the scale, the tape measure and the barbell to learn how many paleo calories per day allow you to lose fat while gainign strength. Fuck it, start at 3,500 do that for a week and then evaluate.
Keep your red meat and animal fat intake as high as possible during this process.
Unless you are single mindedly devoted to becoming as big and strong as possible (and your mention of a gf and desire to partake in athletic events requiring foot speed suggests you are not) it is smart to be concenred about becoming a fat fuck. There is a way to balance providing your body with adequate nutrition to support consistent strngth increases without OVER providing calories that turn you into a landwhale. Only trial and error can inform you where that sweet spot is.
I really wouldn't continue to gain weight if your over 20% bf. Once you get around that range it becomes so much easier to put on fat and much harder to gain lean mass, and it's just not fun to have to diet for months and months. I would start cutting now, just a simple 500 calorie deficit, while increasing conditioning. If you do lose strength, know that it's just a temporary loss and the reduction in bodyfat will do way more for your gridiron stuff than continuing to gain weight and squat strength. Honestly though with your training experience, I wouldn't be surprised if you saw gains on a moderate deficit, high protein diet.
I swear to fucking god, if you start cutting at 168 lbs, I will hunt you down and kill you.
Your lifts do not suck, so you should keep doing whatever you are doing until you stall. You cannot be eating an ungodly amount of food BECAUSE YOU ONLY WEIGH 168 LBS.
If you fuck this all up because you are worried about being fat, I will find you. Promise.
Thanks for the replies guys
I'll definitely look into some of the football conditioning articles you mention fatandweak, might have to try doing sprints on my off days and see how that affects my recovery I suppose.. tbh the last thing I want to do after a SS workout is run as fast as possible lol.
I pretty much share the same sentiment as you TBone, it pisses me off that I'm so light and I carry so much bodyfat which is why I really don't want to have to do a cut while I'm still progressing... but for the reason Regin brings up, because I've also read about the tendency for those with higher bf to put on more fat than lean muscle than those who have a lower bf so i wonder if i'm doing myself a disservice by starting too fat.. why can't i just directly turn my bf into muscles
Would it be realistic to think that I could run a 500 calorie deficit for 8 weeks and perhaps get to around 15% bf while i maintain/possibly improve my lifts due to my relatively noob training experience?
I also started lifting at 168 and skinny fat. I'm 220 now and didn't have any difficulty putting on a lot of muscle. My tolerance for getting fat may be different from yours though.
These two videos show the "before and after" of what I did. I would recommend eating lots of protein and trying not to eat too many carbs. Don't stuff your face, but eat enough to keep gaining strength, which may mean gaining weight. I'm not you though, so I can't know for sure what's best for you. Hope this helped anyway.
Last edited by hamburgerfan; 05-26-2012 at 10:38 PM.
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