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  1. #1
    Registered User chubbrock's Avatar
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    Confused by conflicting advice!

    Hi guys,

    I’m confused! I am 38 years old, been training about 6 months and loving it....

    But... really confused about how to reach my goals. Not through a lack of research, I’ve done plenty, but a lot of websites give conflicting advice and it’s hard to k ow what’s real when they all seem to want to sell you something. So I thought I would turn to a community of people that aren’t trying to sell me something but do know what they are talking about and hope for some kind hearted responses.

    I’m 6ft 3 (190cm) abd 106kg. I have way too much fat around my middle and chest and have done since teenage years. Having trained for 6 months and eating around 200g protein per day and few carbs (outside of vegetables, fruit and brown rice) I am 4kg lighter but have noticed a big improvement in muscle mass and body shape, which feels awesome.

    However, before lockdown I was doing 45 mins moderately intense cardio per day and lifting every day on a legs, shoulders, back, chest cycle. With a rest day maybe once a week. I do t like rest days because I also rely on the gym to improve my mental health, which it has done massively (if only everyone knew how good it is for depression/anxiety!)

    Since lockdown I have only been lifting because cardio was basically impossible where I live (Thailand - 38 degrees outside and gyms closed) and have noticed bigger improvements in my muscle mass, strength and 1 rep max stats but not sure if I’m losing any fat.

    So my question is, now that lockdown has been relaxed a bit where I live and I can do cardio in the gym again - do I pick up the cardio or just stick to the lifting only?

    I feel like cardio every day restricts my ability to put on muscle at the same rate. I want to lose the fat as well though.

    So should I bulk up for a period of time without cardio then hit the cardio to try and cut the fat while still lifting and eating right to try and prevent muscle loss? Or just crack on with lifting and hope the calories burned by lifting and at rest with increased muscle mass get rid of the excess fat? Or something else I haven’t considered?

    Thank you for reading this and any input I’d truly appreciated.

    Chubb Rock
    Last edited by chubbrock; 05-29-2020 at 07:00 AM.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat - and this will restrict your ability to put on muscle (cardio or no). That's just a tradeoff you have to accept. At your current weight I don't think you should be bulking. If you wanted to gain muscle, you could probably stay around the same weight. To lose lose fat, you obviously have to lose weight. Adjust your calorie intake as desiired.

    There is good information in the "basics" sticky thread at the top of the page.

    What was the conflicting information? Perhaps we can clear up some confusion.
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  3. #3
    Registered User chubbrock's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    You need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat - and this will restrict your ability to put on muscle (cardio or no). That's just a tradeoff you have to accept. At your current weight I don't think you should be bulking. If you wanted to gain muscle, you could probably stay around the same weight. To lose lose fat, you obviously have to lose weight. Adjust your calorie intake as desiired.

    There is good information in the "basics" sticky thread at the top of the page.

    What was the conflicting information? Perhaps we can clear up some confusion.
    Thanks for the reply - much appreciated.

    The conflicting advice I got was basically that you have to restrict calories and do plenty of cardio to lose fat and must accept that muscle loss will occur... basically that you can’t lose fat without losing muscle mass.

    But on the other hand I was led to believe that you can lose fat and increase muscle mass if you eat enough calories to bulk up muscle mass and train hard enough the body composition will gradually change and increased muscle mass will effectively burn up the fat... but that doing cardio would eat up the muscle mass so best to just stick to resistance training...
    Last edited by chubbrock; 05-29-2020 at 10:27 PM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Luclin999's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chubbrock View Post

    The conflicting advice I got was basically that you have to restrict calories and do plenty of cardio to lose fat and must accept that muscle loss will occur... basically that you can’t lose fat without losing muscle mass.
    Yes, you will lose some lean mass while in a deficit, however you can minimize those losses by eating enough protein and working out with resistance training 3-4 times per week.

    But on the other hand I was led to believe that you can lose fat and increase muscle mass if you eat enough calories to bulk up muscle mass and train hard enough the body composition will gradually change and increased muscle mass will effectively burn up the fat... but that doing cardio would eat up the muscle mass so best to just stick to resistance training...
    That is one big mess of "bro-science" you are quoting.

    If you are already fat and bulk up you may build up more muscle and your body composition will change but you will also get fatter.

    The closest thing to what you are describing is a re-composition where you stay at maintenance calories and attempt to build muscle while losing fat but this is extremely difficult for a natural lifter and any progress that you make would likely be glacially slow.
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  5. #5
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chubbrock View Post
    Thanks for the reply - much appreciated.

    The conflicting advice I got was basically that you have to restrict calories and do plenty of cardio to lose fat and must accept that muscle loss will occur... basically that you can’t lose fat without losing muscle mass.

    But on the other hand I was led to believe that you can lose fat and increase muscle mass if you eat enough calories to bulk up muscle mass and train hard enough the body composition will gradually change and increased muscle mass will effectively burn up the fat... but that doing cardio would eat up the muscle mass so best to just stick to resistance training...
    It's not inevitable that you will lose muscle in a defict. If you do effective resistance training and get enough protein - and keep your deficit sensible. And also, if you are a novice with a good chunk of fat to lose, chances are you will not lose any muscle and may even gain some.

    Cardio is actually pretty neutral in sensible doses. On the one hand it acts like a natural appetite suppressant. On the other hand, too much can detract from your ability to train with weights. Just think of moderate cardio as slightly altering your net calorie balance by burning a few extra calories (although don't believe the large numbers some machines and fitness monitors say you are burning, those are usually gross over estimates)

    Good read: (note that this author refers to controlled trials through his articles - which is the most solid form of evidence available)
    https://mennohenselmans.com/gain-mus...the-same-time/
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 05-29-2020 at 11:46 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Weight loss mostly depends on being in a caloric deficit. First thing would be for you to calculate your tdee, find your maintenance calories, then start tracking your calories and be in a deficit of a couple hundred calories each day. Weigh yourself each day and write the numbers down. It's important to keep track of progress.
    https://tdeecalculator.net/

    Here's a weight loss planner. If you want to set a goal for a specific time, you can adjust daily calories according to that target. I got it from one of Jordan Feigenbaum's vids:
    https://www.niddk.nih.gov/bwp

    You can retain muscle by (1) not dieting drastically, and (2) continuing to lift. Take each day as it is, some days you'll feel strong, some days you won't, but just stay consistent. Any muscle that you lose will come back once you increase calories.

    Whereabouts are you in Thailand? I'm up north.
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