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So you want a nice stomach

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  • usmcmpusmcmp Member, Premium Posts: 21,292 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,292 Member
    usmcmp wrote: »
    Bumping for the new year.

    *waves

    Hey, chica! Good to "see" you.

    Hi! Might be actually seeing you at a meet (or randomly at a fight) this year. 2019 was harsh.
  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Member Posts: 28,074 Member Member Posts: 28,074 Member
    usmcmp wrote: »
    usmcmp wrote: »
    Bumping for the new year.

    *waves

    Hey, chica! Good to "see" you.

    Hi! Might be actually seeing you at a meet (or randomly at a fight) this year. 2019 was harsh.

    Sweet! I'll be at all the Mecca meets, I'm sure. I'm not competing until June, though.
  • kimny72kimny72 Member Posts: 15,926 Member Member Posts: 15,926 Member
    Bumpity bump :flowerforyou:
  • angelexperimentangelexperiment Member Posts: 1,904 Member Member Posts: 1,904 Member
    I can’t believe this thread is stil active lmao it’s been since 2016 last I logged before this week lol
  • friedpetfriedpet Member Posts: 20 Member Member Posts: 20 Member
    I have a few questions for the OP (and anyone else), but first, some context:

    Stats:
    • Height: 183cm
    • Starting Weight: 80kg (April 2019)
    • Current Weight: 68kg
    • BMI: 20.3
    • BF: ~15%
    • BMR: ~1653
    • TDEE (sedentary): 1984
    • TDEE (lightly active): 2273
    Diet:
    • Daily Calories: 1600-1700
    • Macros: 30P/30F/40C
    • Protocol: 17:7 intermittent fasting
    • Self-assessed quality: B
    Upper Body Routine (twice per week):
    • Cable Row: 3x9
    • Arnold Press: 3x9
    • Lying Tricep Extension: 3x12
    • Barbell Curl: 3x12
    • Bench Press: 3x9
    • Lat Pulldown: 3x9
    Lower Body Routine (twice per week):
    • Barbell Squat: 3x9
    • Calf Raise: 3x12
    • Weighted Captain's Chair: 3x12
    • Seated Leg Curl: 3x12
    • Cable Woodchopper: 3x12

    Perhaps obviously, I'm posting in this thread because I haven't yet achieved my target appearance; I've lost a full ring size and have visible ribs, but my belly still flops over my jeans in a maddening fashion. Not looking for bodybuilding adonis, just a nice stomach. Now, my questions:
    • Basing my intake on the sedentary TDEE - 20%, not eating back exercise calories (at ~400/week, not much point), and allowing myself one untracked day per week has resulted in a reliable weekly loss rate of 0.5-1.0 pounds. However, now that I've lost weight, this puts me below my BMR. In your experiences, will this lower my BMR and/or increase LBM loss?
    • My basic training approach has been to add weight when I can hit my rep and set targets relatively easily. Recently, I've noticed a severe plateau in my ability to do this. In some cases, I've started to regress slightly. Is this normal at my current BMI/BF% while in a 20% deficit? Should I increase intake to allow for overload or stay the course until my belly recedes?
    • Do you recommend any changes to my routine and/or diet (my food diary should be public) to expedite this final, infuriating stage?

    Thanks in advance!

  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Member Posts: 28,074 Member Member Posts: 28,074 Member
    WAIT: You're 6 ft tall and 149 pounds?!? Are you male or female? How old are you? Would you be willing to share a photo of this terrible belly? Maybe you need to check out this thread (if female)...

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10689837/does-this-uterus-make-my-stomach-look-fat/p1


    First response, before I converted height and weight: Where'd you get your workout plan from, @friedpet? It seems really random. The first thing I'd tweak is getting on a proven, progressive lifting program. Stay in a slight food deficit, 250 calories under Eat at maintenance, and hit the weights. Oh, and put on your patient pants. Stupid bellies are stupid. ;)

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1
    edited February 2020
  • kimny72kimny72 Member Posts: 15,926 Member Member Posts: 15,926 Member
    WAIT: You're 6 ft tall and 149 pounds?!? Are you male or female? How old are you? Would you be willing to share a photo of this terrible belly? Maybe you need to check out this thread (if female)...

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10689837/does-this-uterus-make-my-stomach-look-fat/p1


    First response, before I converted height and weight: Where'd you get your workout plan from, @friedpet? It seems really random. The first thing I'd tweak is getting on a proven, progressive lifting program. Stay in a slight food deficit, 250 calories under Eat at maintenance, and hit the weights. Oh, and put on your patient pants. Stupid bellies are stupid. ;)

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1

    Profile says male.
    OP, you are approaching underweight status. As a 6' male, you are eating less calories than I am, and I'm a 5'4 female. You should at least be focused on recomp, and perhaps would see better aesthetic results from doing a bulk. You are either not seeing yourself accurately, or you are under-muscled, and neither will be benefited by continuing to eat at a deficit.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 8,808 Member Member Posts: 8,808 Member
    friedpet wrote: »
    I have a few questions for the OP (and anyone else), but first, some context:
    Recently, I've noticed a severe plateau in my ability to do this. In some cases, I've started to regress slightly. Is this normal at my current BMI/BF% while in a 20% deficit? Should I increase intake to allow for overload or stay the course until my belly recedes?
    [*] Do you recommend any changes to my routine and/or diet (my food diary should be public) to expedite this final, infuriating stage?
    [/list]
    Thanks in advance!

    You are eating at -20% from sedentary per your description; but, you are not sedentary, per your description. So you are eating at a paper deficit that is greater than 20%.

    BMI ~20 + the above quoted information from your post = you should probably be eating at maintenance or considering options other than losing even more weight as your vehicle to the physique you want.
  • friedpetfriedpet Member Posts: 20 Member Member Posts: 20 Member
    First response, before I converted height and weight: Where'd you get your workout plan from, @friedpet? It seems really random. The first thing I'd tweak is getting on a proven, progressive lifting program. Stay in a slight food deficit, 250 calories under Eat at maintenance, and hit the weights. Oh, and put on your patient pants. Stupid bellies are stupid. ;)
    The workout plan was adapted from my gym's (LifeTime Fitness) beginner upper/lower body training routines. A full circuit hits most of the major muscle groups. Also, I've had my patient pants on for the last ten months. Not terribly long, I know, but I'd find them easier to tolerate if they were loosening at the same rate as my wedding ring.
    kimny72 wrote: »
    Profile says male.
    OP, you are approaching underweight status. As a 6' male, you are eating less calories than I am, and I'm a 5'4 female. You should at least be focused on recomp, and perhaps would see better aesthetic results from doing a bulk. You are either not seeing yourself accurately, or you are under-muscled, and neither will be benefited by continuing to eat at a deficit.
    I'm likely somewhat under-muscled, as I have no serious history of strength training prior to last year. I recently had a medical Tanita bioimpedance scan report that 5/6 body areas contain "average" muscle (oddly, my left leg reported low), but I'm aware that such scans aren't overly accurate. I was steadily adding weight to my lifts up until about three months ago, so I'm at least a little less under-muscled than when I started.
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    You are eating at -20% from sedentary per your description; but, you are not sedentary, per your description. So you are eating at a paper deficit that is greater than 20%.

    BMI ~20 + the above quoted information from your post = you should probably be eating at maintenance or considering options other than losing even more weight as your vehicle to the physique you want.
    I have one untracked day per week, largely because my favorite Thai restaurant doesn't have nutrition info available. While I don't go full-tilt binge-mode on these days, I'm willing to bet I average 500 over sedentary maintenance, which brings my weekly average up to ~1,750 per day. Thus far, my weight loss hasn't exceeded the recommended cap of 1 pound per week, so I've been content with this estimation.

    Regarding the general consensus of eating at maintenance: I'm concerned that doing so would lead to unfavorable (read: belly) weight gain. Lifting weights doesn't burn a significant amount of calories, which I why I set my activity level at sedentary. My body clearly prefers storing the first available excess energy where I least desire, so it will be all too easy to lose what progress I've made.
  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Member Posts: 28,074 Member Member Posts: 28,074 Member
    It sounds like you aren't on board with our suggestions, @friedpet? I'll wish you the best of luck, then, and see myself out.
    edited February 2020
  • friedpetfriedpet Member Posts: 20 Member Member Posts: 20 Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    By definition, eating maintenance calories means eating the calories at which you will neither lose or gain weight. You said you are currently losing weight, so we are suggesting you eat a bit more so that you stop losing weight.

    Regardless, considering the stats you provided, you either have an unrealistic idea of a what a real person's stomach is supposed to look like, or you have body dysmorphia and aren't seeing what's really there, or you are quite under-muscled. Continuing to lose weight is not going to make you look better at this point, and eating at a deficit is hampering your ability to build muscle. But if you aren't willing to eat more, and you aren't willing to consider that you might have better success with a different lifting program, I don't have any other ideas for you. Best of luck!
    Here are my most recent status pictures, taken last Friday immediately after waking up.tes35kvyxpte.jpg
    66xv3dhi7t2n.jpg
    Perhaps my perception is skewed, but it looks to me like my stomach isn't flat. It protrudes off of my ab wall, and when I flex my abs, I can poke a good 0.5-1 inches of squishy stuff before I feel the muscle. I admit that I am under-muscled (as I previously stated), but I have been regularly lifting weights and had been making progressive increases every few weeks until around the first of November. Doesn't that indicate that I was building for a time even in a deficit? If so, why has that stopped?

    I'm not opposed to trying a different routine. I just want to know if anyone has any ideas about why mine has stopped working or even why I should switch given that it's promoted by a nationwide gym chain as a good place to start and not something I pulled from thin air.

    I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be an *kitten*. I'm just very frustrated and looking for advice.




  • jdhcm2006jdhcm2006 Member Posts: 2,293 Member Member Posts: 2,293 Member
    Looking at the photos, I agree that you should eat at maintanence and follow a progressive weight lifting program. In the “gaining” weight section of this board, there’s a thread about finding the best lifting program. It is active and @psuLemon is extremely helpful.
  • kimny72kimny72 Member Posts: 15,926 Member Member Posts: 15,926 Member
    friedpet wrote: »

    I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be an *kitten*. I'm just very frustrated and looking for advice.

    I totally get being frustrated when you're working hard and not getting where you want to :smile:

    I will let others with more experience at guessing bf% and physique give more specific guidance. I do still think that continuing to eat in a deficit and lose weight is not going to get you the results you're looking for though.
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Member Posts: 877 Member Member Posts: 877 Member
    OP don’t lose any more weight. I understand if you don’t want to bulk but losing more will not get you where you want to be. You are under muscled. You need to get really serious about your training. And at least maintain your weight if you are not wanting to bulk. Do some research on the different programmes available for hypertrophy. Reliable sources are barbell medicine, 3 d muscle journey, stronger by science, Renaissance periodisation. Look at all the info on the weight gain and body building part of these forums.

    As others have said yr current programme is sub optimal. Spend some time doing some research and self education if you are even half serious about improving your physique.
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Member Posts: 877 Member Member Posts: 877 Member
    OP I should add that the body building forum in this site is active though there aren’t as many regular posters there are several very experienced powerlifters and bodybuilders. If you post specific questions in a new thread people will be willing to help. It does sound like you possibly have some psychological difficulty with the concept of gaining weight and that is tough but if you want to make progress in terms of getting a more muscular physique then maintenance ( with a proper lifting programme) and possibly a bulk is your way forward. You can’t lose weight forever and you have very very little fat left on your abs. If you had development in your abs it would IMO be showing now. If you lose more weight you will just look emanciated.
  • friedpetfriedpet Member Posts: 20 Member Member Posts: 20 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    jdhcm2006 wrote: »
    Looking at the photos, I agree that you should eat at maintanence and follow a progressive weight lifting program. In the “gaining” weight section of this board, there’s a thread about finding the best lifting program. It is active and @psuLemon is extremely helpful.

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1

    There is the thread.

    Looking at the posters lifting routine, it seems a bit underwhelming and a bit high on the reps. I think a more structured routine, like PHUL, would provide a better foundation to develop muscle.

    Overall, there is a little belly fat, but a recomp could address that issue. I would agree that being under developed is the biggest issue.
    Thanks for the link! I'll check out the PHUL routine and rummage around in that forum for more info.
    OP don’t lose any more weight. I understand if you don’t want to bulk but losing more will not get you where you want to be. You are under muscled. You need to get really serious about your training. And at least maintain your weight if you are not wanting to bulk. Do some research on the different programmes available for hypertrophy. Reliable sources are barbell medicine, 3 d muscle journey, stronger by science, Renaissance periodisation. Look at all the info on the weight gain and body building part of these forums.

    As others have said yr current programme is sub optimal. Spend some time doing some research and self education if you are even half serious about improving your physique.

    I should add that the body building forum in this site is active though there aren’t as many regular posters there are several very experienced powerlifters and bodybuilders. If you post specific questions in a new thread people will be willing to help. It does sound like you possibly have some psychological difficulty with the concept of gaining weight and that is tough but if you want to make progress in terms of getting a more muscular physique then maintenance ( with a proper lifting programme) and possibly a bulk is your way forward. You can’t lose weight forever and you have very very little fat left on your abs. If you had development in your abs it would IMO be showing now. If you lose more weight you will just look emanciated.
    You're correct about the psychological difficulty. If I had to choose, I'd take Arthur Fleck's physique over my current one any day. I believe it's called Former Fat Boy syndrome in these parts. However, I'd appreciate not having my level of dedication judged solely by my routine. You have no idea how much willpower it takes for me to even go to the gym.
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Member Posts: 877 Member Member Posts: 877 Member
    friedpet wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    jdhcm2006 wrote: »
    Looking at the photos, I agree that you should eat at maintanence and follow a progressive weight lifting program. In the “gaining” weight section of this board, there’s a thread about finding the best lifting program. It is active and @psuLemon is extremely helpful.

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1

    There is the thread.

    Looking at the posters lifting routine, it seems a bit underwhelming and a bit high on the reps. I think a more structured routine, like PHUL, would provide a better foundation to develop muscle.

    Overall, there is a little belly fat, but a recomp could address that issue. I would agree that being under developed is the biggest issue.
    Thanks for the link! I'll check out the PHUL routine and rummage around in that forum for more info.
    OP don’t lose any more weight. I understand if you don’t want to bulk but losing more will not get you where you want to be. You are under muscled. You need to get really serious about your training. And at least maintain your weight if you are not wanting to bulk. Do some research on the different programmes available for hypertrophy. Reliable sources are barbell medicine, 3 d muscle journey, stronger by science, Renaissance periodisation. Look at all the info on the weight gain and body building part of these forums.

    As others have said yr current programme is sub optimal. Spend some time doing some research and self education if you are even half serious about improving your physique.

    I should add that the body building forum in this site is active though there aren’t as many regular posters there are several very experienced powerlifters and bodybuilders. If you post specific questions in a new thread people will be willing to help. It does sound like you possibly have some psychological difficulty with the concept of gaining weight and that is tough but if you want to make progress in terms of getting a more muscular physique then maintenance ( with a proper lifting programme) and possibly a bulk is your way forward. You can’t lose weight forever and you have very very little fat left on your abs. If you had development in your abs it would IMO be showing now. If you lose more weight you will just look emanciated.
    You're correct about the psychological difficulty. If I had to choose, I'd take Arthur Fleck's physique over my current one any day. I believe it's called Former Fat Boy syndrome in these parts. However, I'd appreciate not having my level of dedication judged solely by my routine. You have no idea how much willpower it takes for me to even go to the gym.

    I’m sorry that came across as me doubting your seriousness.

    It does take consistently showing up at the gym 3 to 6 times a week and following an effective progressive overload programme, for most people it’s years and years of work to get a great physique. So you need to work out a way of making training a pleasure rather than a struggle. You need to enjoy the journey of training imo.
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