No announcement yet.

Looking for Input on Direction for My Training

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Looking for Input on Direction for My Training

    I originally posted this as a response to Jordan on one of my old posts under a different name, of which I’ve since lost the login, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to get approved so I’ll try my luck here.

    My overall goal is physique. I want to be as strong as possible, but mainly focusing on aesthetics. Jordan recommend running PB1 at a caloric deficit to achieve a sub 34” waist circumference measurement, and then begin bulking while keeping an eye on my waistline. Basically ran Powerbuilding 1 through and completed on 4.18.2020, and have since restarted and began Week 4 of PB1 today. My E1RMs per the completed PB1 are below.

    - Bench (1ct): 235 lb
    - Squat w/ Belt: 313 lb
    - DL: 366 lb
    - Ohp w/ Belt: 141 lb

    At the time of completing PB1, (4.18.2020) I weighed in at about 162 lb, with a waist circumference of about 34 1/8". As of this morning (05.13.2020), I weighed in at 158.0 lb, and a waist circumference of about 33 1/2", giving me a BF estimate of 18-19% on the US Navy Calculator. Great feeling achieving a sub 34" waist and also seeing my strength improve!

    Jordan’s recommendation upon completing PB1 and the weight/waist goal was to transition from a cut/recomp to a bulk. I see the reasoning behind this, but admittedly I am hesitant. Long story short, I have a family history of obesity and struggled with my weight when I was younger, hitting a whopping 236 lb at 5'9" at the age of 17! Here I am a decade later, in what may be the best shape of my life, but I have difficulty with the mental challenge of bulking.

    As I've seen the lbs drop and the definition show up, I am really looking to continue focusing on my aesthetics and general health, without compromising lifts. Best of all worlds am I right?

    I’m not really sure how to approach the next step in training. I’m admittedly getting a bit burned out on PB1. It’s a great template, but I’d like something new to give a shot.

    I’m really hesitant to bulk, because I feel like I have a lot more fat to lose in my abdomen. However, I can feel the effects of an extended cut taking their toll, and I feel I need to shake things up a bit.

    So I guess my question is: how can I best approach my next step in training to get closer to my goal?

    The pics below are as of this morning. I do have a bit of loose skin due to my weight fluctuations over the years, but I’ve come to accept that to some extent, it is what it is. Hopefully these give you all an idea of where I am and can help give a reference for where I need to go.

  • #2
    Just keep cutting if you want to, perhaps with a different template.

    Conventional bro wisdom seems to be to bulk from 15 or lower to 20%.

    I really don't see any downside to your long term goals to dieting to 15% (or whatever) now.

    Not An Expert In Anything


    • #3
      I share your apprehension of bulking and cutting fatigue. I think a lot of this is personal preference and what is sustainable for an individual.

      What I would do in your situation is, after completing your cut, maintain for a program cycle (8-12 weeks). First time I cut (from 195 to 159 at 6' 1") I finally couldn't take it anymore and flipped back to bulking, but I felt too much of the weight I added back was in fat instead of LBM. At least for me, it seems to go better if I let my body "adjust" to the new cut weight for awhile before bulking again.

      Then when I do bulk, I stay in the smallest of calorie surpluses, 100-200.

      Gains are slow, but I'm committed to the long term so if it takes 50% longer, no big deal.

      Again, I do think a lot of this is personal preference that align both with your goals and psychological state.


      • #4
        Off the top of my head, I would guess your body fat is lower than 18 or 19% if you are 5'9 158 pounds and have some muscle as evidenced by your 1 rep maxes. That said, you'd have to get measured to know for sure. You may even have a pound or two of extra skin meaning you'd be 5'9 156 with out it.

        There is the long and short term. In terms of short term I would think if you want to look good the best thing you can do is to bulk up the 165 over 5 or 6 months so you put on no more than a 1/2 pound per week and usually less. Because you have loose skin you won't get the shredded look from losing more weight until it tightens up, so in the short term a very slow bulk where over 50% of the weight gain is muscle will probably get you the best results.


        • #5
          Nice job on your weight loss and your lifts. I'm certain both took a lot of hard work and determination, so be proud of yourself!

          I completely understand if you're apprehensive about bulking given your background and family history. However, if your personal goals are primarily aesthetics driven, then I think you would really benefit from gaining some more size based on your photos and height (not calling you small, just that you have room to grow!). I agree with Smokes that spending some time at maintenance calories after a cut is very beneficial if not necessary, especially considering how long your have presumably been in a deficit. I too once jumped right back into bulking immediately after finishing a cut with no maintenance transition, thus increasing my daily caloric intake by nearly 1,000 cals overnight, and experienced more fat gain than I would've liked. When you're ready to bulk, I think the blanket recommendation is a 250-500 cal surplus, so aim to be in that range, lift hard, and keep an eye on your waistline.

          As for your training, don't overthink it. Programming shouldn't have to change all that much during bulking or cutting cycles unless you're doing something crazy. Since your main goal is aesthetics, a little more volume wouldn't hurt and would be good for gainz. Whether that's PB1 with some minor adjustments, another PB iteration, hypertrophy, whatever - just do an intelligently designed program that has some good volume and seems like something you'd adhere to.

          Also, as a bit of an aside, I think it's possible that your perception of how much fat you have around your midsection might be slightly warped by the excess skin that's also in that area (like you said, try to accept that and embrace it as a testament to your hard work and how much you've transformed your body). Yes, you don't have shredded abs, but you look good. I don't think that getting shredded at your current muscular development would be very beneficial from an aesthetics standpoint anyway.


          • Tigif158
            Tigif158 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for the well thought out, and insightful response, Nate! I have been toying around with this idea for awhile, and have finally decided to give a new look at my nutrition. This Saturday I was working through Day 2 of Week 4 on PB1, and couldn't manage to hit my sets as prescribed due to exhaustion that I know is from extended cutting. I decided that night, I would enter into a maitenance/recomp phase.

            I pulled up the TBAB article and got my calories/macro spread under the recomp direction. Compared to a few BMR calculators, Jordan's TBAB recomp macros/overall caloric intakes matches most closely with what my TDEE is from a variety of calculators. So I'm hopeful that by eating this close to maintenance, I'll be able to slowly asses any changes in size and can adjust as needed.

            My body's ability to have such weight fluctuations really boggles my mind. I've had times when I stepped on the scale 4-5 pounds heavier than the night before, then by the end of the day I've lost it all and some. This is a difficult mental hurdle to overcome, for me. Being that for so long I have been beholden to the scale. I guess this is just another part of training I have to learn, now!

            I do enjoy the PB template, but I am learning toward starting Hypertrophy I as I'm now wanting to switch my focus to muscle growth. Eating at maintenance may not be the best way to promote size gains, but I know it's much better than a cut. And from what I've read, Hyptertrophy is designed to promote size gains more than other templates. The differences may be minute between Hypertrophy gainz vs PB 1 gainz, but wondering if you have any experience running Hypertrophy, or even both templates? Any general feedback?

            Again, thanks for your reply! I find it very encouraging to hear this good feedback, especially while it's so difficult to get out into the world right now and see people notice the fruits of your labor, haha. I am, and have been, in this for the long game. So I'm eager to see where I can take myself and my physique, because I know I have many years and roads to discover ahead.

          • Nate B
            Nate B commented
            Editing a comment
            Sounds like you're on the right track and that you're approaching this intelligently. Since you've shown your discipline and commitment with your weight loss, I'm sure you'll have no problem with this next step.

            A lot of factors go into your weight on a given day. I don't know what you currently do, but weighing yourself every day at a consistent time, then taking an average at the end of the week, can really help with scale anxiety. It basically smooths out any day to day fluctuations and gives you a better idea of where you're at in a bigger picture than the number you see on the scale on a given day. Keeping track of your waist measurement would help, too, especially when you do decide to slowly bulk, in reassuring yourself that the weight you're putting on isn't all going to your waist, but rather to your muscles as well.

            I've done 1:1 coaching for several months now, so I haven't run a lot of the newer templates like PB. The only hypertrophy template I've done is the OG 3 Day version, which I did back in like September or October of 2018 I think (when I was a lot less experienced and a lot weaker haha). The training log in my profile that I currently use is the same one I used when I did that template (all the way back on page 1 I'm pretty sure), so you can see my experience with it there if you want. I wouldn't recommend that particular template, tbh, but I'd be willing to bet that the latest hypertrophy template is a big improvement. BBM makes solid, intelligently designed templates, so whatever you decide to do will probably work well.

          • Tigif158
            Tigif158 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks again, Nate B! Really means a lot for us that don't have the accessibility or means to get personal coaching, when someone such as yourself is willing to hand out advice/experience.

            I do log my weight daily and try to take my waist measurement daily as well, although I'm admittedly bad about measuring my waist consistently. I do need to make a better habit of that. I actually have a little notebook in my bathroom where I write my weight down, dating all the way back to 2015. Crazy to see when I got in a workout kick then lost it, only to come back and watch the roller coaster of up and down weight cycles, haha. I need to make a better habit of plugging that into the PB1 spreadsheet to get my weekly rolling average.... But I guess I need a lot of things when I really think about it!

            I've pretty much decided to complete my second run through of PB1 at maintenance calories, then assess my next training template and dietary moves from there. Started week 5 Tuesday, so I've got a few more weeks to give me my next baseline idea. Hopefully, I come out weighing roughly the same as when I ended my cut, albeit with high E1RMs. I am leaning towards something hypertrophy focused, thinking towards the next template, and will peruse the various forums to find some more detailed feedback.

            edit: Need to mention that so far, Week 4 on a cut vs Week 5 at maintenance I can feel such a difference in my energy levels. No real desire to quit a set early because I hit RPE 9 on set 2 or 3. Generally not just feeling like I've been hit by a freight train after completing a lifting session. I'll tell you, though, I am feeling super bloated eating at maintenance! I know it's due to cutting for so long, and even though I've only increased my calories by roughly 150 kcal from where it was, I feel like I need to eat so much more. In reality, it's a little more chicken, or another scoop of protein. But WOW! The first couple of days I felt like I could just lay down and roll myself down the hallway, lol.
            Last edited by Tigif158; 05-21-2020, 07:51 PM.

        • #6
          For those of you who have been through cutting cycles before, did you make any strength gains? If so how much and what do you think was happening exactly? Is that you have existing muscle mass that you are conditioning yourself to better exploit?

          My experience is limited but I feel like I've never been remotely close to making gains during a diet, and it doesn't exactly come easy during a surplus for me either. To be fair my diets have tended to be pretty extreme.


          • Nate B
            Nate B commented
            Editing a comment
            Many people have made strength gains while cutting. I'm currently cutting and still gaining strength, or at the very least maintaining it, as a decently advanced trainee. Tigif158 has clearly made some solid strength gains while in a much more prolonged caloric deficit than me. Adding more muscle mass during a surplus is just one way to adapt your body in order to get stronger. There is also the neurological component of strength that can be improved regardless of surplus or deficit - essentially training your body to be more efficient/productive with its existing muscle mass. The idea that cutting will kill your gains is largely a mental block. Yes, it's more difficult to gain strength while in a deficit, but as long as you aren't doing anything extreme you should be able to.