Seeking your professional opinions please - AnabolicMinds.com

Seeking your professional opinions please

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    fedwards3's Avatar
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    Seeking your professional opinions please


    I have a lot of questions, and would really appreciate any and all info you guys can give me. I'm getting back into lifting after being off for about a year. I'm currently 6'3" and about 190lbs. 12 months ago I was over 225 and looking pretty good. I've since lost 35 lbs of muscle, and although I'm a thin guy, 80% of my bodyfat is concentrated around my waist. Hips, stomach, gut basically, and it's driving me nuts.

    Ultimately, I would like to bulk back up to 235/245lbs, and lose the fat around my waist at the same time. Preferrably 6 or 8 pack, if possible, but there are a lot of things I know I'm not doing right or unknowledgable about, and this is where I need the most help.

    I'm just going to write a little about what my intake is everyday. I know my habits are not good and this is why I'm looking for your advice, and to be steered in the right direction.

    I read online strength training is better for losing calories than cardio, due to increased muscle mass which ends up burning more calories. This is good because I believe strength training is the best way to get back to 235/245, correct? At the same time, I'd be losing fat calories?

    I don't think I have an issue with my workouts, aside from the fact that I don't do a lot of abs/core. Is that bad, and if so, how bad?

    Also, I'm not on any diet of any sort. I have done my best to cut out certain foods like anything fried, and I try to stay away from sugar completely. No soda, candy, etc. This may sound lazy and I know it's probably not good, but often I only eat 2 meals a day, but don't do a lot of snacking either. Sometimes, I don't eat until 3 or 4 or even more hours after I've woken up either, which ultimately means i'm skipping breakfast, and I've heard that's bad as well.

    When I do eat, it's pretty much anything not friend or fast food. A lot of red meat, pasta microwavable dinners with vegetables, and 2% milk.

    I don't drink beer, but when I do go out with friends I drink Southern Comfort and Redbulls. Usually between 1 and 5 of them. How detrimental to my goals are those drinks?

    Also, I'm constantly craving a pepsi or coke or even sugar, and can usually keep myself from finding some. I've yet to get addicted to drinking water, but I'm trying. In the mean time, I've replaced it with a lot of iced tea with 3 or 4 sweet n lows, or crystal light packets in water, or 2% milk. Are any of these bad?

    In summary, here are a few of my most important questions.

    1. Should I be devoting a day to abs/core, even if I'm strength training?

    2. I'm 100% sure everyone will tell me I need to get on a strict diet. If so, which would you recommend? It's the foods and diet I'm mostly confused about, I never know what I can/cannot, should or should not eat, and/or when either.

    3. In relation to the diet. What substances/foods/drinks should I NEVER consider consuming? I'm assuming sugar and fried foods are on the top of this list?

    4. Is Iced tea bad? Is sweet n low? Or artificial sweeteners? 2% milk? Crystal Light packets? What would be the best things to drink? And not to drink?

    5. Do you recommend cardio? I was doing 30 minutes of low heartrate on the stairmaster starting at a lvl 1 and over the course of 4 weeks increased that 30 mins up to a level 6 speed setting. (I sweat buckets, which I believe is good) But since I read that strength training burns fat better than cardio, I havn't been on the stairs much. Should I continue to do both?

    6. Any other info or advice you care to share is greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read my plea for help.

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    I'll throw in my two sentence quickly, because I'm going to assume that the advice you'll get from everybody else will be better than what I have to offer.

    Here are my answers:

    1) You don't need to devote a day to abs/core. I typically do my ab work after I lift. I assume you're asking this question because you're trying to clean up your midsection, but core work is only going to improve the muscle tone underneath your fat. If you want to clean up your midsection, clean up your diet and get some effective cardio in. You're correct in saying that strength training will help you cut fat as well. Strength training improves your metabolism, which means you're burning fat after your workout, whereas cardio workouts primarily burn calories during the workout.

    2) To give you a short answer, if you want to get back up to 245 and look good doing it, you need to be on a bodybuilders diet. Sounds simple, but that's about the most complete answer I can give you for that. There are hundreds of sample diets out there. I'd actually recommend picking up a muscle magazine or looking online for a clean, anabolic diet. You should be getting in about 5-6 well proportioned meals a day with about 245 grams of protein. Of course, you can slowly work your way into that diet so that you don't burn yourself out. Bodybuilders tend to assume that people can just jump onto an insanely strict regimine, but we don't want you to burn yourself out on the new lifestyle you're trying to achieve.

    Also: get protein within an hour of waking up. Just do it. Every day.

    3) There's almost nothing you can "NEVER" consume, but there are certain things you should almost totally remove from your diet. You can cheat once in awhile. Fried foods should be eaten as a cheat food (meaning a meal where you break from your clean diet to enjoy something tasty and keep your motivation alive); sugars are best during the first meal of your day and immediately after your workouts to replenish your glycogen stores. I actually drink an organic soda with cane sugar immediately after heavy workouts.

    4) Artificial sweeteners aren't bad, but they're not ideal. Some of them do contain some problematic calories and ingredients. I can't tell you what the best things to drink would be, but I can tell you generally what I have: a diet soda once in awhile (2 in a day if I'm really just ****ing around that day) and a bottle of water with Propel in it when I go running.

    5) Yes. Some people prefer long bouts of low-intensity cardio, but many people prefer shorter (about 20 minutes) of intense cardio. Look into High Intensity Interval Training if you want a highly recommended way of burning fat and keeping muscle.

    6) PM me if you ever have a question.
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    To clarify number 4: I do drink water frequently. Always hydrate. I'd say you're safe to drink Iced Tea as well, but keep them daytime.
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    In summary, here are a few of my most important questions.

    1. Should I be devoting a day to abs/core, even if I'm strength training?
    No.

    2. I'm 100% sure everyone will tell me I need to get on a strict diet. If so, which would you recommend? It's the foods and diet I'm mostly confused about, I never know what I can/cannot, should or should not eat, and/or when either.
    Eat clean whole foods. Try to stay away from shakes as much as you can. Stay away from processed foods. Otherwise don't worry too much about it right now.


    3. In relation to the diet. What substances/foods/drinks should I NEVER consider consuming? I'm assuming sugar and fried foods are on the top of this list?
    Never is a little too extreme. A cheat meal/day every week or two is good. I still won't eat a pack of doughnuts but its not going to kill you. If 95% of your food choices for a week are good then you will be good.

    4. Is Iced tea bad? Is sweet n low? Or artificial sweeteners? 2% milk? Crystal Light packets? What would be the best things to drink? And not to drink?
    Drink water. Strive for one ounce per lb of body weight. THEN have other stuff. Clean cals are good. Its better to stay away from sweeteners. Milk is my friend but it might not help you. Everyone is different.

    5. Do you recommend cardio? I was doing 30 minutes of low heartrate on the stairmaster starting at a lvl 1 and over the course of 4 weeks increased that 30 mins up to a level 6 speed setting. (I sweat buckets, which I believe is good) But since I read that strength training burns fat better than cardio, I havn't been on the stairs much. Should I continue to do both?
    Do cardio AFTER your weight training. 15-30 min of moderate intensity. The weight training will liberate the fat (it takes it from the fat cells and put it in the blood stream to be used for energy) so cardio after will burn that off before it can be redeposited as fat.

    6. Any other info or advice you care to share is greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read my plea for help.
    You will have a bitch of a time trying to cut and bulk (a recomp) at the same time. Unless you really know what you are doing its a bad idea.

    If you are fairly lean (and you sound like you are) then focus on adding quality muscle. But, more importantly, focus on learning HOW to diet. Learn how your body responds to various foods. Learn how many calories you need per day. Try high protein for a month. Try keto for a month. Whatever. But study a plan and see what works for you.

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