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Fitness Journey - Pop in to give a noob some advice if you got the time

ItCumsAtNight

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Hey guys, first post here. I've been in and out of the gym since was 15. Currently, I'm 30 years old. Something always happens in my day to day life the derails me. Anyhow, this is my 3rd month back in the gym after taking 2 years off. In the 1st photo, I was 180 pounds and skinny fat. In the 2nd photo, I'm 205 and skinny fat. These were taken about 12 weeks apart. With summer coming to an end I see no reason to cut. I also don't have enough muscle mass to justify a cut. That's what the fat bastard in my head tells me at least. Any advice on where to go from here? I feel like I'm over the threshold of body fat and should consider dropping down to 12-15% before continuing to bulk. But at the same time, it feels like I should just keep trying to put mass on and worry about my fat gut later. I would absolutely love a bit of guidance on this. I'd also like to mention that I don't pay attention to anything other than Protein and calories. Whether I'm losing weight or gaining weight I just focus on keeping protein high and track my surplus or deficit. I know it isn't exactly how most would do it, but it sort of works for me.

MAY 9 TO JULY 12.jpg
 
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ItCumsAtNight

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These are photos from 14 to 28 years old. I've never been in great shape but I've always been in some sort of shape, haha. Also my apologies for the faggy teen photos. I'm sure we've all been there.

3d37647b3e3d23f1bf0ec7f68ddbd98d.jpg
 

Lex

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welcome. if you think you dont have enough muscle mass at the moment to cut then simply bulk up as best as you can then worry about cutting later when you have the muscle mass you want.

are you planning on using any gear?
 

Cumminstech2

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Go on a cut so that your ready to bulk. You want to be lean as possible before you touch gear. There’s a couple reasons for this.

1- you mention you are in and out, if you can do a full cut then you show that you can keep yourself into it and won’t put a cycle to waste by taking another hiatus from the gym
2- you can actually see your gains and be proud of the mass you put on when you do bulk, you will be much happier with your results putting mass on at 12% as opposed to 20%
3- bodyfat causes higher aromatization. The leaner you are, the less you will aromatize testosterone into estrogen. This will make your on cycle side effects easier to handle.
4- you’ve only been back in the gym 3 months now, taking the time to cut will give you some time to develop that mind-muscle connection in your lifts and dial in your training and diet so you can optimize your cycle

there are more reasons but that really covers it. Would you rather be 210 pounds at 10% or 220 pounds at 25% ? Sounds like a no brainer to me.
 

ItCumsAtNight

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welcome. if you think you dont have enough muscle mass at the moment to cut then simply bulk up as best as you can then worry about cutting later when you have the muscle mass you want.

are you planning on using any gear?
That's kind of where my head was at. I figured it made more sense to focus on mass now and cutting later. At this moment in time I don't plan on running anything. Maybe in 6-8 months, I can consider a blast.

Go on a cut so that your ready to bulk. You want to be lean as possible before you touch gear. There’s a couple reasons for this.

1- you mention you are in and out, if you can do a full cut then you show that you can keep yourself into it and won’t put a cycle to waste by taking another hiatus from the gym
2- you can actually see your gains and be proud of the mass you put on when you do bulk, you will be much happier with your results putting mass on at 12% as opposed to 20%
3- bodyfat causes higher aromatization. The leaner you are, the less you will aromatize testosterone into estrogen. This will make your on cycle side effects easier to handle.
4- you’ve only been back in the gym 3 months now, taking the time to cut will give you some time to develop that mind-muscle connection in your lifts and dial in your training and diet so you can optimize your cycle

there are more reasons but that really covers it. Would you rather be 210 pounds at 10% or 220 pounds at 25% ? Sounds like a no brainer to me.
Those are some extremely good points. Some of which I have not thought of. I'm torn between this and what Lex said though. Based on my current physique do you think cutting now is my best option despite the lack of muscle mass? I know you said that putting mass on a 12% body would be much more rewarding than 20%. I just feel I like I lack the foundation to do that at the moment.
 

Cumminstech2

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Those are some extremely good points. Some of which I have not thought of. I'm torn between this and what Lex said though. Based on my current physique do you think cutting now is my best option despite the lack of muscle mass? I know you said that putting mass on a 12% body would be much more rewarding than 20%. I just feel I like I lack the foundation to do that at the moment.
Yes, go on a cut. It’s a no brainer. Give yourself a primed and ready platform to build off of. Your gonna look bigger when you cut than you think youR going too. The number on the scale might be considerably less, but you always look bigger when you can see the muscle and some separations and some veins. You say your considering blasting in 6-8 months anyways so what is your plan for that 6-8 month period.. bulk natty? Lol... go on a cut, dial in your diet and training and then jam the gear in you and put the real lean mass on. You will be way ahead this way.

like I said, would you rather be big and fat or big and lean
 

ItCumsAtNight

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Yes, go on a cut. It’s a no brainer. Give yourself a primed and ready platform to build off of. Your gonna look bigger when you cut than you think youR going too. The number on the scale might be considerably less, but you always look bigger when you can see the muscle and some separations and some veins. You say your considering blasting in 6-8 months anyways so what is your plan for that 6-8 month period.. bulk natty? Lol... go on a cut, dial in your diet and training and then jam the gear in you and put the real lean mass on. You will be way ahead this way.

like I said, would you rather be big and fat or big and lean
Haha, alright that's fair. You drive a hard bargain, my friend. Big and lean is always the way to go. I'll start cutting bright and early tomorrow. I'll keep progress photos going in here over the weeks. I've never had a log before. I appreciate you brother! 🤜 🤛
 

Goldenrod

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Everyone has their preferred way of doing it but I would do your cut before you bulk like @Cumminstech2 said. There really isn't much to add as Lex and Cumminstech2 covered it.
You may not see it but in the short time at the gym, there is a big difference in the pictures - congrats on the work your putting in.
 

ItCumsAtNight

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Everyone has their preferred way of doing it but I would do your cut before you bulk like @Cumminstech2 said. There really isn't much to add as Lex and Cumminstech2 covered it.
You may not see it but in the short time at the gym, there is a big difference in the pictures - congrats on the work your putting in.
Thank you Goldenrod! I really appreciate that man. Hoping I can be more consistent this time around. Maybe keeping a log will hold me more accountable, haha.
 

Jonesy83

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I agree with @Cumminstech2 and @Goldenrod. Put yourself in a small deficit cut slowly let your training and recovery dictate your calorie intake. If you get the diet right you should still be able to train hard and make strength gains.
If you are planning on running a cycle in six months cut slowly for 4 or 5 months than establish a maintenance diet as a starting point for your bulk.
 

NOVITEC

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Do not just pay attention to protein and calories. There's much more to it than that. You need to pay attention to all 3 macronutrients AND pay even more attention to your micronutrient intake so you can properly utilize your macros. Micronutrients are vital for every function in the body. Without them your performance on every level will suffer. And I do not mean just taking a multivitamin. You need micronutrient dense foods that fit your macronutrient needs. Get the diet right. This is VERY important.

Stop getting derailed. You only need an hour a few times a week in the gym to grow. So tell yourself what days your going and go without fail. The key to getting where you want to be is consistency over a long period of time. Theres no secret. Sleep, train and eat high quality foods to repair the damage done in the gym/lose the fat you want to if thats your goal.

Log your workouts. Don't just go into the gym haphazardly and workout. Its not about working out its about training the muscle to grow. The only way this happens is by progressivly overloading the muscle. You MUST do more than the time before whether its more weight or more reps. You will grow without doing this but, your growth will plateau quickly.

Do not use AAS yet. If the above things I mentioned aren't 100% in check they aren't going to do a thing.

Lastly, my opinion, definitely trim some fat before you bulk. Run a small caloric deficit. Start at 10% and adjust from there.

Remember, consistency over a long period of time!!!! Don't forget that.
 
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CurtisP

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Progress is progress
No matter which way you break it down

Before you dive into the world of AAS - get more disciplined with training and diet, you will reap the rewards afterwards
 

ItCumsAtNight

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Do not just pay attention to protein and calories. There's much more to it than that. You need to pay attention to all 3 macronutrients AND pay even more attention to your micronutrient intake so you can properly utilize your macros. Micronutrients are vital for every function in the body. Without them your performance on every level will suffer. And I do not mean just taking a multivitamin. You need micronutrient dense foods that fit your macronutrient needs. Get the diet right. This is VERY important.

Stop getting derailed. You only need an hour a few times a week in the gym to grow. So tell yourself what days your going and go without fail. The key to getting where you want to be is consistency over a long period of time. Theres no secret. Sleep, train and eat high quality foods to repair the damage done in the gym/lose the fat you want to if thats your goal.

Log your workouts. Don't just go into the gym haphazardly and workout. Its not about working out its about training the muscle to grow. The only way this happens is by progressivly overloading the muscle. You MUST do more than the time before whether its more weight or more reps. You will grow without doing this but, your growth will plateau quickly.

Do not use AAS yet. If the above things I mentioned aren't 100% in check they aren't going to do a thing.

Lastly, my opinion, definitely trim some fat before you bulk. Run a small caloric deficit. Start at 10% and adjust from there.

Remember, consistency over a long period of time!!!! Don't forget that.

Thanks, man, I appreciate the info! No worries though. I have an excel sheet I track all my lifts on. I'm constantly improving and making sure I train harder than last time. I've been doing this on and off for 15 years so I'm not entirely new, just inconsistent. I find i lose focus after 1 year and start to miss more gym days till I eventually stop going.

AAS aren't at the top of my list especially since iv yet to touch them. Also if I can't be consistent for more than 6-8 months I have no business touching them in the first place. The same goes for my diet. If I can't adhere to it then I haven't earned the right.

As for the macros, I completely agree. The only reason I don't count Carbs and Fats when I'm back in the gym is that I don't really eat too terribly poor. Eggs and oats most morning, protein wrap with chicken breast and veggies for lunch (simple to pack and easy to make). Dinner is usually Rice or Fish with chickens, rice, and veggies. In between, I have 2 shakes made with water. I alternate between quinoa and potatoes for my carb sources. I was raised in an Asian family so rice, chicken, and fish are staple meals. I don't count my leafy greens either. I just eat as much as I want with my meals. I feel like most Asian raised people learn to eat fairly clean at a young age. This is probably the fattest iv ever been tbh. I dropped from 220 13-15% to 180 25% after taking over a year off the gym. I didn't adjust my eating habits to my new bodyweight, so here I am looking pretty shit. That and I love creamer in my coffees. I drink 5-8 a day, it's pretty bad. I also didn't take the time to diet down when I got back into the gym. I was just going to diet down around December but you guys convinced me to take a different approach. That's why I'm here though. I'm hoping to improve my knowledge. Anyhow, thanks again for the words brother!
 
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ItCumsAtNight

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Everyone has their preferred way of doing it but I would do your cut before you bulk like @Cumminstech2 said. There really isn't much to add as Lex and Cumminstech2 covered it.
You may not see it but in the short time at the gym, there is a big difference in the pictures - congrats on the work your putting in.
Thanks, man! Mostly muscle memory kicking in. I started dieting down so ill report back here with a progress shot every 4 weeks just to keep the log going.
 

NOVITEC

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Thanks, man, I appreciate the info! No worries though. I have an excel sheet I track all my lifts on. I'm constantly improving and making sure I train harder than last time. I've been doing this on and off for 15 years so I'm not entirely new, just inconsistent. I find i lose focus after 1 year and start to miss more gym days till I eventually stop going.

AAS aren't at the top of my list especially since iv yet to touch them. Also if I can't be consistent for more than 6-8 months I have no business touching them in the first place. The same goes for my diet. If I can't adhere to it then I haven't earned the right.

As for the macros, I completely agree. The only reason I don't count Carbs and Fats when I'm back in the gym is that I don't really eat too terribly poor. Eggs and oats most morning, protein wrap with chicken breast and veggies for lunch (simple to pack and easy to make). Dinner is usually Rice or Fish with chickens, rice, and veggies. In between, I have 2 shakes made with water. I alternate between quinoa and potatoes for my carb sources. I was raised in an Asian family so rice, chicken, and fish are staple meals. I don't count my leafy greens either. I just eat as much as I want with my meals. I feel like most Asian raised people learn to eat fairly clean at a young age. This is probably the fattest iv ever been tbh. I dropped from 220 13-15% to 180 25% after taking over a year off the gym. I didn't adjust my eating habits to my new bodyweight, so here I am looking pretty shit. That and I love creamer in my coffees. I drink 5-8 a day, it's pretty bad. I also didn't take the time to diet down when I got back into the gym. I was just going to diet down around December but you guys convinced me to take a different approach. That's why I'm here though. I'm hoping to improve my knowledge. Anyhow, thanks again for the words brother!
Thanks, man, I appreciate the info! No worries though. I have an excel sheet I track all my lifts on. I'm constantly improving and making sure I train harder than last time. I've been doing this on and off for 15 years so I'm not entirely new, just inconsistent. I find i lose focus after 1 year and start to miss more gym days till I eventually stop going.

AAS aren't at the top of my list especially since iv yet to touch them. Also if I can't be consistent for more than 6-8 months I have no business touching them in the first place. The same goes for my diet. If I can't adhere to it then I haven't earned the right.

As for the macros, I completely agree. The only reason I don't count Carbs and Fats when I'm back in the gym is that I don't really eat too terribly poor. Eggs and oats most morning, protein wrap with chicken breast and veggies for lunch (simple to pack and easy to make). Dinner is usually Rice or Fish with chickens, rice, and veggies. In between, I have 2 shakes made with water. I alternate between quinoa and potatoes for my carb sources. I was raised in an Asian family so rice, chicken, and fish are staple meals. I don't count my leafy greens either. I just eat as much as I want with my meals. I feel like most Asian raised people learn to eat fairly clean at a young age. This is probably the fattest iv ever been tbh. I dropped from 220 13-15% to 180 25% after taking over a year off the gym. I didn't adjust my eating habits to my new bodyweight, so here I am looking pretty shit. That and I love creamer in my coffees. I drink 5-8 a day, it's pretty bad. I also didn't take the time to diet down when I got back into the gym. I was just going to diet down around December but you guys convinced me to take a different approach. That's why I'm here though. I'm hoping to improve my knowledge. Anyhow, thanks again for the words brother!
5-8 coffees a day?!?! Good grief lol. Stop that!

What causes you to get derailed?
 

Zuespas

Seasoned VET
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Montreal, Qc
You want real help list out your meals and you exact training in this way and then we can help. If you can’t do this then your first step should be to get on this level to start. At least know what your intake is.


Training Days-

M1-
12oz egg whites
2 whole eggs
1 pieces of toast
1 banana

M2-
12oz egg whites
2 whole eggs
3 pieces toast

M3-
8oz chicken
2 cup rice (9oz)
1 tbsp oil
Green beans

M4-
8oz lean ground beef
1.5 cups rice (7oz)

Train abut 4-5pm
Intra- 15g EAA, 50g HBCD

M5-
50g whey isolate
50g carbs from cereal (60g cereal)

M6-
9oz lean steak
8oz potato or rice
greens

Off Training Day-
M1-
12oz egg whites
2 whole eggs
1 piece toast
1 banana

M2-
12oz egg whites
2 whole eggs
3 pieces toast

M3-
8oz chicken
2 cups rice (9oz)
1 tblsp oil
Green

M4-
8oz lean ground beef
1.5 cup rice (7oz)

M5-
50g protein
1 tbsp PB

M6-
9oz flank
6oz potato or rice
greens
 
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ItCumsAtNight

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5-8 coffees a day?!?! Good grief lol. Stop that!

What causes you to get derailed?
I know, haha. I'm awful when it comes to coffee 😅
I've recently swapped to black coffee though since iv been cutting.

Life eventually just finds a way to throw a wrench into my workout plans. In the last 5 years its either work, a family member passing, a friend passing, a wedding in a different province, my mom traveling and needing me to take care of my schizophrenic brother and her pets. There have been times where I just cave under my depression and shut the world out, other than work of course. When shit goes wrong I usually swap my routine around from a 6 day PPL to a 4 day upper and lower if I'll be too busy the week coming up. If its really bad ill do a 2-3 day full-body workouts. But as soon as that happens it eventually leads to me not working out at all. Its been a vicious cycle since I was 15 years old. I just can't seem to break it. The shit with my mom seems silly, but with all my brothers living in a different province, I'm the only one who can help take care of her stuff when shes abroad. And since she raised 5 boys as a single mother I feel like the least I can do is watch our mentally ill brother and her pets. It just becomes too much of a balancing act for me. And 1 missed day in the gym eventually leads to another. Before I know it everything is out of wack and 6 months to a year has gone by.
 
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ItCumsAtNight

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You want real help list out your meals and you exact training in this way and then we can help. If you can’t do this then your first step should be to get on this level to start. At least know what your intake is.


Training Days-

M1-
12oz egg whites
2 whole eggs
1 pieces of toast
1 banana

M2-
12oz egg whites
2 whole eggs
3 pieces toast

M3-
8oz chicken
2 cup rice (9oz)
1 tbsp oil
Green beans

M4-
8oz lean ground beef
1.5 cups rice (7oz)

Train abut 4-5pm
Intra- 15g EAA, 50g HBCD

M5-
50g whey isolate
50g carbs from cereal (60g cereal)

M6-
9oz lean steak
8oz potato or rice
greens

Off Training Day-
M1-
12oz egg whites
2 whole eggs
1 piece toast
1 banana

M2-
12oz egg whites
2 whole eggs
3 pieces toast

M3-
8oz chicken
2 cups rice (9oz)
1 tblsp oil
Green

M4-
8oz lean ground beef
1.5 cup rice (7oz)

M5-
50g protein
1 tbsp PB

M6-
9oz flank
6oz potato or rice
greens
TDEE - 2700 calories. Been eating in a 500 deficit since I decided to drop some weight.

The only thing that changes in my diet is my lunch and dinner might be swapped around if I get bored. I also alternate between potatoes instead of rice if I need variety, but macros are always the same. I weigh myself every day and then add up my daily values on Sunday then divide the total by 7 to get my new weekly average. If my weight for some reason goes up one week ill reduce portions. If my weight drops the following week I ride it out till it the weight loss stops. Once I no longer lose weight with what I'm eating ill remove a meal or reduce portions of other meals. I rinse and repeat this till I like how I look in the mirror. No clue if that is right or wrong, it's just how I've been doing it. But again, that's why I'm here so I can expand my knowledge by getting advice from you wonderful folk.

M1 (breakfast)
4 large whole eggs
2 slices of bread
Cofee black

25g protein, 21g fat, 31g carbs, 446 calories
--------------------------------------------------------------------
M2 (lunch)
Talapia 200g
White rice 100g
Veggies (as much as I can stomach without bloating)

46g protein, 6g fat. 72g carbs, 512 calories
--------------------------------------------------------------------
M3 (snack)
Whey Protein 1 scoop
Greek Yogourt plain 175g
Blueberries 100g

42g protein, 5g fat, 25g carbs, 285 calories
--------------------------------------------------------------------
M4 (Dinner)
Chicken breast 113g
White rice 200g
Veggies (as much as I can stomach without bloating)

41g protein, 5g fat, 72g carbs, 501 calories
--------------------------------------------------------------------
M5 (shake 1-2 hours before bed)
Casein whey protein 1 scoop
Egg whites 100g
Almond milk 1 glass
Greek Yogourt plain 100g

53g protein, 4g fat, 11g carbs, 362 calories
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Protein 211g
Fat 61
Carbs 220
Calories 2104

(I usually aim 100 under my goal since I don't weigh my veg and don't account for anything extra that might be in my food. A piece of meat having more fat for example, or maybe an extra berry or if I decide to add a tablespoon of honey to a shake)
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Training is nothing special. Just a 6 day PPL. I'll still write it out if it's of any use.

Monday - Pull
Deadlift
Lat pulldown
Cable row
Face pull
DB supinated curls
BB curl
Hammer curl
BB shrugs

Tuesday - Push
Incline bench
Incline flys
Flat bench
BB Overhead press
Tricep pushdown
Skull crushers
Lateral raises
Reverse flys

Wednesday - Legs
Squat
Romanian deadlift
Leg extensions
Leg curls
Calf raise
Hip thrusts (gotta build dat arse)

Thursday rest and then Friday, Sat, Sunday I repeat the first 3 workouts. I alternate between BB and DB just to switch it up sometimes.
If you see anything that can be improved id love to hear your feedback. I plan to run this routine for another 12 weeks before running a 12-week strength building phase. From there ill swap back to hypertrophy for another 12 weeks.
 
Last edited:

Zuespas

Seasoned VET
Joined
Jun 30, 2013
Messages
6,416
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3,202
Location
Montreal, Qc
TDEE - 2700 calories. Been eating in a 500 deficit since I decided to drop some weight.

The only thing that changes in my diet is my lunch and dinner might be swapped around if I get bored. I also alternate between potatoes instead of rice if I need variety, but macros are always the same. I weigh myself every day and then add up my daily values on Sunday then divide the total by 7 to get my new weekly average. If my weight for some reason goes up one week ill reduce portions. If my weight drops the following week I ride it out till it the weight loss stops. Once I no longer lose weight with what I'm eating ill remove a meal or reduce portions of other meals. I rinse and repeat this till I like how I look in the mirror. No clue if that is right or wrong, it's just how I've been doing it. But again, that's why I'm here so I can expand my knowledge by getting advice from you wonderful folk.

M1 (breakfast)
4 large whole eggs
2 slices of bread
Cofee black

25g protein, 21g fat, 31g carbs, 446 calories
--------------------------------------------------------------------
M2 (lunch)
Talapia 200g
White rice 100g
Veggies (as much as I can stomach without bloating)

46g protein, 6g fat. 72g carbs, 512 calories
--------------------------------------------------------------------
M3 (snack)
Whey Protein 1 scoop
Greek Yogourt plain 175g
Blueberries 100g

42g protein, 5g fat, 25g carbs, 285 calories
--------------------------------------------------------------------
M4 (Dinner)
Chicken breast 113g
White rice 200g
Veggies (as much as I can stomach without bloating)

41g protein, 5g fat, 72g carbs, 501 calories
--------------------------------------------------------------------
M5 (shake 1-2 hours before bed)
Casein whey protein 1 scoop
Egg whites 100g
Almond milk 1 glass
Greek Yogourt plain 100g

53g protein, 4g fat, 11g carbs, 362 calories
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Protein 211g
Fat 61
Carbs 220
Calories 2104

(I usually aim 100 under my goal since I don't weigh my veg and don't account for anything extra that might be in my food. A piece of meat having more fat for example, or maybe an extra berry or if I decide to add a tablespoon of honey to a shake)
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Training is nothing special. Just a 6 day PPL. I'll still write it out if it's of any use.

Monday - Pull
Deadlift
Lat pulldown
Cable row
Face pull
DB supinated curls
BB curl
Hammer curl
BB shrugs

Tuesday - Push
Incline bench
Incline flys
Flat bench
BB Overhead press
Tricep pushdown
Skull crushers
Lateral raises
Reverse flys

Wednesday - Legs
Squat
Romanian deadlift
Leg extensions
Leg curls
Calf raise
Hip thrusts (gotta build dat arse)

Thursday rest and then Friday, Sat, Sunday I repeat the first 3 workouts. I alternate between BB and DB just to switch it up sometimes.
If you see anything that can be improved id love to hear your feedback. I plan to run this routine for another 12 weeks before running a 12-week strength building phase. From there ill swap back to hypertrophy for another 12 weeks.
You’re doing better than most. The things I notice here is that you seem to vary everything in your diet. I’d suggest you leave the protein and fats at a fixed number and adjust with carbs. I also find the protein really low. I’d suggest 250 to 300g there. Fats at 60 or so seem fine. The. Use the carbs to adjust.

On the Training are you using some sort of progressive overload system? Do you log your lifts and beat your log book? The amount of exercises I see on the list tells me you can’t possibly be hitting failure much. Your program would kill me with the intensity in which I train. Also I can at most get 4 days of training in per week. More than that starts to be really counter productive. Again though intensity and failure are the probably the biggest difference. If you can train 6 days per week and that many exercises, without disrespect, I don’t think you’re training hard enough. I’ve started a training log, have a look at my push day to get an idea of how I go about it. I’ll be posting pull day tonight and you’ll see it’s not a lot of volume.
 
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