A couple of newbie questions, diet and cardio

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by Chris D, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. Chris D

    Chris D New Member


    I'm 38 years old, ~167-170 lbs, 5'9", ~17% body fat. I've been lifting weights using an old pyramid method (3x/week, cycling 2 bodyparts per workout, each body part once per week), along with some light jogging (5 mph, 30 minutes, 2-3x/week). Eating 125-150g protein per day, low fat, 1800-2000 calories per day. All this for the past 2 months. Right away I got some ealy gains, I lost 10 lbs, grew some muscle, lost about 4% bodyfat. I started out at 180lbs and 21% bodyfat. I made all that progress in the first month, in the second month I've been stuck at the same bodyfat and weight, but I have gotten stronger.

    Anyway, I've been reading a lot of articles and started an HST cycle a week ago. I picked out 8 exercises, found most of my 5/10/15 maxes, estimated some, and made a chart. I'm going for the 15x1, 10x2, 5x3 volume. I'm not going to stress to much about my lifting plan right now. I feel comfortable with it.

    What I'm concerned about is cardio and diet. What I want to do is cut my bodyfat down to some low level (maybe 6-8% (I could be dreaming here)), then bulk up by increasing caloric intake and protein.

    My 2 questions are am I doing anything wrong with my diet? I'm a vegetarian, I eat egg whites, dairy, and 100% whey protein drink, brown rice, whole wheat bread, beans, vegetables, fruit, occasionally pasta and nuts. I try for 30-50% protein, 10-15% fat (supplementing flax seed oil), and remainder carbs totalling 1800 to 2000 calories per day, eating 6 times per day spreading it evenly throughout. What am I doing wrong?

    Should I be doing more or less cardio currently light jogging 5 mph, 30 minutes, 2-3x/week?

    I have not lost any weight or bodyfat in a month.

  2. 6% BF is VERY, VERY low. 8% is attainable but if I were you I'd stick with a more feasible target like 12%. When you get there you make new goals, be it bulk a little or cut further. You'll probably end up frustrated if you aim at a BF that is way too low.
    Try aiming for approx. 1g protein for each pound of weight, and avoid over 30g of sucrose/fructose in one sitting. Keep your cardio and start your HST cycle, monitor your weight. If you lose weight too fast try increasing cals a bit (you don't want to lose too much muscle in the process, right) if you are not losing weight try either increasing cardio or lowering cals. I'd personally lower cals (dropping some carbs).
    I am not sure how you are calculating your calories, but try to be more precise, weighing food if possible. Sometimes people underestimate how many cals they are having.
  3. ZKD

    ZKD New Member

    A lot of people here are fans of HIIT (high intensity interval training) and more specifically tabata. I would look into these if you're unfamiliar with them. They should allow you to burn some fat in a short amount of time. Otherwise, it's less food or more cardio - pick your poison.
  4. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    (electric @ Oct. 27 2008,10:54)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Try aiming for approx. 1g protein for each pound of weight</div>
    Yup, at least...
  5. If you do not know about zig-zag dieting read this http://www.geocities.com/~slopitch/drsquat/fredzig.htm.

    It's not a diet but a way to manipulate your calories to keep your body dropping fat over a long period of time.

    We seem to be driving down a good portion of the same road! I also lost a bunch of weight recently as well as BF%. I went from 204-160 and 25%-12%. The first 30 pounds were without lifting or cardio, only diet. When I started lifting and doing cardio my weight loss slowed but the results in the mirror were crazy good. Through good lifting and cardio work your weight loss may slow down or even stop for a while but your body fat % will continue to go lower as long as you have your calories calculated correct for the amount of work you do each day.

    When i was on a full out cut I would eat 300 cal below my needs for 6 days then 300 above for 1, then 300 below for 5 then 300 above for 2 and then back to the top.

    So if i figured I was burning 2000 calories through just living and lifting a day (I have different calories need numbers for lifting days as opposed to cardio days and off days) I would eat 1700 and then on the plus days eat 2300. There are endless ways to zig-zag but thats how I do it.

    Good luck.
  6. Chris D

    Chris D New Member

    Alright, I get the picture. More protein, fewer calories. Continue lifting and cardio.

    What's really crazy is I went out last Friday and split a cheese enchilada plate with my wife, had some chips and salsa, and a couple of margaritas. To make up for it, I cut back my diet to 1600 calories (same amount of protein, I cut the carbs) for the next 3 days and last night I weighed in at a record low of 165. Sounds like the zigzag concept at work. After a month of no progress 2 pounds suddenly dropped off.

    Thanks for the advice everyone!

  7. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    The amount of fat you take in, 10-15% @ 1800-2000 calories, is way too low to support optimal hormone production. I would remove carbs and add fat (up to 25-30%), but maintain the 1800-2000 calories. If that doesnt work then you may need to drop calories again.

    Have you been refeeding or anything like that? At your body fat you should be doing a refeed every week or two. Its basically a diet break for one meal. You cant get crazy with it though. Its not an excuse to splurge. Just eat a normal meal that you would enjoy when you are not cutting.

    If none of that works, take a diet break. Eat at your new maintenance level for two weeks, then jump back into your diet.

    If you really want to learn a lot about dieting, go to www.bodyrecomposition.com. Lyle McDonald is a wealth of information that is both based in science and proven in the &quot;real world&quot;.

    Edit: Oh yeah the cheese enchilada, salsa/chips, margaritas would be a bit over board for a refeed, but sometimes you just have to enjoy yourself. In effect you did a refeed and cut calories after. Thats a surefire way to kickstart fatloss.
  8. Chris D

    Chris D New Member

    That's a good website bgates.  I read several of his articles and even ordered of his books.  I'm reading the Rapid Weight Loss first since he recommends the UD 2.0 for people with lower % body fat.   Once I get down to 12% I'll start on the UD 2.0.

    I haven't been doing refeeds. They are talked about in the RFL diet book. I'm going to start refeeds once I learn more about them from the RFL book.

    Thanks for all the advice every one.


Share This Page