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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:24 pm 
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Ok, I just deleted a half page story about me and my goals but decided it was a little pointless - I'll just fire some stats and tell you what Ive been doing.

26 - 6'4" 224-228lbs (16 stone / 101.5kgs) - Generally unfit.
6 months in the gym now, M/W/F 3 way split.
Good gains in last 3 months - nothing shocking but definately accelerated vs my first 3 months (bit suprised how slow it was initially)

three weeks ago I started to consider my diet as a way to maintain these gains - I'm feeling addicted to the gym now which spurs me on to gain and improve.

I've read some stickies - I like the "7 rules" one which highlights how confusing the competing theories can be to a newbie (they write 10 pages on a minor detail, assuming you have the rest covered already) but will acknowledge my question has probably already been answered...

Anyway...

My question is - As a person whos only ever really done these 6 months properly - do I keep a sizable calorie surplus and just go for gains until I plateu, or is now a good a time as ever to go for definition too?

My main goal is improvement - the look can come later when it is due (no point loosing all my fat/weight to reveal *taddaa* a definition free skeleton :) ) but I also worry that I am too concerned with managing my improvement - will both come by just being sensible? should I cut carbs now to keep up a good habbit? should everyone drop the simple carbs anyway?

I guess put in the shortest format possible my question is:
A: Do I go big/put weight on until I stop getting strength gains THEN cut for definition, get the whey protein down me 3 times a day, keep or put on weight while I do
B: Drop fat now, drop 6-7lbs, as a small drop wont affect my strength as a newbie
C: Relax newbie!, cut out the junk and keep going :)

Thanks - hope not overcomplicated a simple question :)

(P.s. I still live at home! My mom is insanely helpful and has been cooking protein based meals for me (as well as the family, she is dieting too) so it is quite easy for me to adjust my diet as needed - also have a big sack of whey protein should I need to throw on easy calories - I add this incase you worry I wont stick to a protein heavy diet, I can, because it basically gets done for me...)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:53 pm 
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I'd go with C.

At 6'4" you're a little overweight but that's hard to tell. It depends on how you're built, especially bone structure. It's harder to build muscle than it is to lose fat. I would suggest just trying to maintain your weight or letting it drop slightly while getting stronger. 6-7 lbs might not make a difference to your strength but 10-15 might. On the other hand, 6-7 lbs might not be noticeable either. Give it another 6 months or so and reassess. By then you should have a good foundation of muscle built. Depending on where you live, and what you think about the way you look, you might want to drop a few pounds for beach season.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:50 pm 
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Definately go with C. Follow Berardi's rules (just guidelines anyway, nothing major). Try a surplus for a while, like your doing, then maybe cut back for a couple of weeks, and zig zag around. They won't really be drastic changes anyway. Once you're past the begginer, early intermediate stage, THEN you can stand back and see if you need to tweak things or make training/diet changes.
Tim


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:26 pm 
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Run a deficit until you are where you want to be in body fat percentage and "mirror" test. Keep lifting and if your gains level off a little while dieting just deal with it. but ditch the fat. It is the easiest, simplest thing to do to improve appearance and fitness.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:27 am 
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Thanks for your help guys

I think I will drop a few lbs just to see how I feel doing it and how much I notice a difference.

If it doesn't feel right or my gains slow for a bit too long I'll go back to a few shakes and "normal" portions.

For now, as you say Tim, I'll just see how well I can stick to those 7 rules - my worse issue isn't junk food or even simple/refined carbs like a pasta dish - its 6-7 coffees with 1.5 teaspoons of sugar a day!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:25 am 
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Use artificial sweetners. It sucks the first two weeks, but you will soon get over it.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:23 pm 
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Or buy good coffee and drink it black or with a splash of cream.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:24 am 
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I don't think I should make a new post just to ask this so...

With a defecit with the intention of dropping 6-7lbs - will I need to add cardio to focus fat burning or will the defecit and my usual m/w/f lifting sessions shed/target mostly fat? Im going to shift my diet towards protein/fat and if I have carbs only complex and also basically drop my portions (still eating 6 times a day - but only small(er) amounts)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:43 pm 
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Your diet and weights will probably take care of it, with your projected deficit, but a couple of HIIT sessions on days off or as a finisher to weights might help speed things up. Couldn't hurt, but you won't need to go crazy on it.
Tim


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:34 am 
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Cheers Tim - I'll throw in 30 mins cardio with a poor attempt at HIIT on Thursdays to add to my *cough* "cutting" *cough* phase :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:49 am 
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Holy hell - you have no idea how similar my situation is to yours. You put everything *exactly* like I would have put it, and all of my questions were basically answered.

I'm even pretty much the same weight you are!

Thanks for asking my questions, and good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:13 am 
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Ok - to keep it in one thread ...

i'm just 5 sessions away (so just over one week) away from starting my defecit - I'm gunna aim for a low carb method (nothing crazy - not gunna do an idiots version of atkins...) basically replacing my morning porridge with scrambled eggs or omellete - my evening meal will be meat/veg (aiming for 2 fish a week)

my lunch however?

see; I currently do either chicken or ham sandwiches on reasonable bread (never white but its not like I'm on dense german dark bread either) - i want to drop these 4 pieces of bread per day from my diet.

So ? - my question is, since I cant be arsed making 5 salads a week - can I use a whey protein shake for 2/3 lunches a week while on this defecit? or do you guys side with the "just eat food, only shakes for supplements" side of things? I will just try it and see how I feel but if it rings alarm bells with people I'd like to know.

(and the usual disclaimer :) ) thanks for your patience - I'm sure you have a little *sigh* in your head when you see the same level of experience asking the same questions when there's stuff available to read - thankfully I'm sure you have seen the same conflicting info. I am reading and I am working at it, but sometimes I just need a vote/guide from a source I pretty much trust.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:50 am 
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I was facing the same problem as you. I went with this idea, and still quite like it. (Although for me, this is breakfast and i eat eggs for lunch usually)

~50 grams of mixed nuts. (I buy several varietys in large quantitys at local markets... Mainly almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, brazil nuts, etc.) You can mix in some seeds aswell if you like, just experiment!
200 ml yoghurt/greek yoghurt/quark (which wikipedia tells me is also called curd cheese? Sorry, translating from dutch so some names may be mixed up)

Chop up the nuts in a blender/mixer and mix em with the dairy. Its basically cereal now, except... its actually alot healthier.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:58 am 
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Good tips Marnix.

Making lunch shouldn't be harder than making a sandwich. Take the same stugg you would put in the sandwich and put it in a sandwich bag or tupperware container. You don't have to make a whole salad. You need a protein, some green leafy stuff and some fat. Hard boiled eggs work as both a protein and fat source. Protein powder in a cup is OK once in a while. Don't forget leftovers from last night's supper.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:38 am 
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Stu is right on with the tupperware container thing. The sky's the limit as far as choices go. My favorite is to cook up some veg, make another pot of some type of meat sauce from whatever is available-on hand, and make a mixture of the two, add a bit of shredded or chopped up cheese for flavor, portion it out into meal size containers, and take it with me using plastic spoons/forks. I also keep a bag of nuts with me, and when I feel like it, some fruit makes the trip with me. An occasional wrap isn't going to hurt either, there are some pretty good ones showing up in the markets these days, and you can always use the larger, tougher romaine lettuce leaves to wrap up things. Don't forget the sushi (seaweed) sheets. As this world is getting more global, these are actually pretty easy to find.
Tim


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