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Thread: Cutting fat and building muscle.

  1. #1
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    Cutting fat and building muscle.

    I've been on SS for over 2 months, but i think it's possibly run it's course already. I haven't been able to get past 50kg bench press for ages. I've made some ok gains over the 2 months, but i want to cut the fat i have but still build a bit of muscle. Shall i continue with SS, eating clean and adding a bit of cardio in or change my routine? I go on holiday in 6 weeks and i don't want to have this body because theres a little bit of fat here and my belly sticks out quite a bit. People have noticed it through my top and i don't really like it. They have noticed my shoulders, arms and pecs getting bigger aswell though, so it's not all bad. I just wanna look completely lean while still adding some muscle over the next 2 months. I also want to do some ab exercises aswell.

    I'm 5 f 7 and i weigh about 150 pounds. What should i do, and what shall i eat?

  2. #2
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    It's not run it's course after only 2 months. No chance. If you've stalled on your lifts, it's simply a case that you're not eating enough.

    As for losing fat, I'll say exactly what everyone else on here will say to you shortly; you need to choose whether you want to lose fat or gain muscle.

    If you try to do both, you will spin your wheels and get nowhere.

    If you want to lose fat, just continue to train as you are, but make sure, using a food diary, that you're eating LESS calories each day than you need. There are calculators online to help you work out the amount of calories you should be eating.
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  3. #3
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    If i eat even more, my stomachs going to get bigger.

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    Is is worth it to lose all my fat, and then resume weight training after? Will i lose all the muscle i've gained if i stop lifting weights?

  5. #5
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    Yes, yes it will. So you need to make a choice. If you want to progress on weights as you are now, then you'll get a bit fatter.

    But if you want to drop a bit of fat now, you'll have to accept that you might not get stronger while you're doing it.

    However - once you've dropped the fat and gotten nice and lean, you'll be able to eat more, get stronger and stay leaner while doing it.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaine Masters View Post
    Is is worth it to lose all my fat, and then resume weight training after? Will i lose all the muscle i've gained if i stop lifting weights?
    If you stop lifting weights, then yes, you'll lose muscle.

    But if you don't stop lifting weights, then chances are you won't lose muscle. As long as you diet slowly and keep eating lots of protein.
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  7. #7
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    But this is my point. I want to keep my muscle but lose my fat. I'm not overly fussed about getting stronger now, i've already accomplished that goal. I want to lose all this fat while keeping the muscle i've gained, so obviously i would need to add some weights to my routine while focusing mostly on cardio.

  8. #8
    Senior Member colinS3's Avatar
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    Hey Blaine, it's possible to keep your muscle (or at least most of it) while at the same time burning fat. To do that though you need to eat a few hundred calories below your maintenance level while at the same time lift weights to maintain your strength. You may lose a little from the weight loss, but just because you go back down to a leaner physique doesn't mean you'll lose all of your strength. Most of what you'll be burning off is fat, which is not and does not function like muscle.

    It's a tough process that a lot of people don't succeed in too well, but here's a video of a guy talking about it. He's kinda goofy but he gets the information across pretty well.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/scooby19.../1/oi-jnsG0Z7Y

    Edit: You may have an easier time with this and not have to be as strict because your only goal is to maintain your current amount of muscle, not gain muscle while losing fat. What you have to do should still be very similar to what he explains in this video though.
    Last edited by colinS3; 04-09-2011 at 05:55 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaine Masters View Post
    so obviously i would need to add some weights to my routine while focusing mostly on cardio.
    You're already doing Starting Strength, yes? So why do you need to add weights? You already are doing weights.

    And as for cardio - no. Start off by altering your diet first, then add cardio in later if and only if your weightloss plateaus. Too much cardio too soon can cause you to lose muscle.

    If you simply carry on with Starting Strength whilst eating slightly less than you need, you will lose fat and keep whatever muscle you have.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    ^^ As Cman says.
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  11. #11
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    But will it get me a flat stomach? Thats what i mostly want. People are noticing i'm getting a belly and i don't want a belly for when i go on holiday because it's well....unattractive lol.

  12. #12
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    If you lose fat, you will get a flat stomach, yep.
    Add me on Facebook: Gaz Pengelly

    Best Lifts: | Goals:
    SQ167.5(368.5) | 180(396)
    BE112.5(247.5) | 120(265)
    DL205(451) | 220(484)

    www.garethkpengelly.co.uk

  13. #13
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    How many realistic pounds of fat can even a fairly skinny guy lose in say 6 weeks?

  14. #14
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    I doubt you've used up Starting Strength in two months, but that's not the issue. It seems your top priority is losing the belly fat before people see you with your shirt off. I'd just take Gazzy's advice and go with it. You want to maintain as much of your strength as you can as the fat comes off, that will help keep your muscles that you've worked hard for. So stick with your routine and keep trying to use your current maxes the whole time.

    I would probably reduce the training frequency slightly and incorperate some walking. That way if you stall and want to increase your cardio work to burn more calories, it won't be such a shock and you'll be more ready for it. I'd drop the Starting Strength routine to twice a week, that will help you maintain your strength better on a cut. Then I would add a couple of days of 20 minutes of walking, but nothing too fast paced. Use cardio as a last resort. So here's what I'd do for a routine:

    Monday - Starting Strength Routine A
    Tuesday - 20 minutes walking
    Thursday - Starting Strength Routine B
    Friday - 20 minutes walking.

    That should help you maintain your strength while you cut the calories.
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    It's not really that big of a belly tbh, it's when i eat food when it expands and looks bigger. It's basically a layer of fat over my abs. Will walking get rid of it in 2 months?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaine Masters View Post
    It's not really that big of a belly tbh, it's when i eat food when it expands and looks bigger. It's basically a layer of fat over my abs. Will walking get rid of it in 2 months?
    You are not listening...
    It's not the walking that gets rid of the fat, IT'S THE REDUCTION OF CALORIES that gets rid of the fat.
    The walking is just there to keep you active. Since you were doing Starting Strength, I assume you haven't been doing cardio. So adding in some light walking won't kill your strength maintenance, it's just good for you to move around.
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    Ok mate. How many pounds of fat can you realistically lose in 7 weeks with that routine, bearing in mind i eat the right food?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaine Masters View Post
    Ok mate. How many pounds of fat can you realistically lose in 7 weeks with that routine, bearing in mind i eat the right food?
    Impossible to say because there are so many factors that influence it; like diet, metabolism and discipline. But I would say you'd want to lose about 10 lbs in those 7 weeks. How much of that will be fat will depend on many other factors.
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    I don't need to lose no where near that much. As i said, theres a small layer of fat that covers my abs, and theres a tiny bit of fat over my pecs aswell. I just want my abs to be visable because i can feel the muscle there, it's just the fat covers it.

  20. #20
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    Like i said, it's hard to say. But usually the first week or two you lose a couple of pounds each week. But most of that is water weight. After that you will want to keep it to about a pound a week. Much faster than that and you risk losing muscle mass at a faster rate. Adjust your calories according to how fast/slow you want/are losing weight and keep an eye on the mirror as well as the scale.
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    Ok. It's hard for me to track calories though because i don't always prepare my own meals. Should i add any ab workouts to the routine?

  22. #22
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    Ab work never hurts if you are going after the six pack look. It won't make you lose weight in your mid-section, but it will get the muscles to "pop" as you get leaner.
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    Bowl of coco pops with whole milk - 400 calories
    Two tuna sandwiches - 600 calories
    3 Oranges - 105 calories
    1 apple - 95 calories
    2 plums - 50 calories
    Roast dinner - 600/800 calories
    1 pint of milk - 370 calories
    Bowl of pasta - 350 calories

    Is that, scattered throughout the day, a good diet for losing fat? Just made it up on the spot.

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