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Can't Get A Full Six Pack! Help?
I have been training for a few months now and I am almost completely satisfied with my success. I've lost 30 pounds. I am 5' 8", 145 pounds right now. The beer belly is gone and my muscles are toning up. I do 30 minutes of intense cardio 3 times a week. I also ride my bike a lot since I ain't got a car, don't want one either. I lift 2 times per week (3 exercises per body part, 12-16 reps, 3 sets per exercise, including abs). I have a pretty good diet (I eat 5-6 meals per day).
My problem is that I have had a four pack for a while now but the lower two have not shown up yet. I can feel underneath the little "pouch" in my stomach. The little pouch does not seem to be going away. Or if it is, it is taking a long time. What else can I do? The rest of my body is doing well. Also I get a lot of mixed messages on diet and protein/carb/fat ratios. 40\40\20, 50\30\20? 1595-2500 calories per day. Well I want to start gaining some more weight but will the pouch go away if I increase my caloric intake? The rest of my body is pretty lean including 2 thirds of my abs and I feel ready to start gaining muscle. Any thoughts? I also take creatine, glutamine and protein. I tried the ECA stack but I was loopy for a few days, so I stopped. I would really appreciate your input in both training and nutrition. Thank you!
This guy seems to have enjoyed some serious success but he has hit a plateau, which seems more like a wall to him. Read on to see how the "Doctor" fixes up his client with a few recommendations including some metabolic trickery.
I applaud your success. You have lost thirty pounds and that is great. I know what your current problem is too. You may not want to hear this my man, but I am willing to bet all the money that I have (no I am not rich, I am a bodybuilder remember) that an increase in cardio will make the world of difference for you. Speaking from experience, when I began to prepare for a competition I make one major change to my life. I become CARDIOVASCULAR MAN! That is how I think of myself when in I am in contest mode. I am constantly doing cardio. Sure I do my 30 minutes on a daily basis in the off-season, but that is nothing in comparison to what I do during contest a time of preparation. So #27, for starters try to add in an extra cardio session each week. Start by completing 4 intense sessions for two weeks. After you get accustomed to that bump it up to 5 sessions. I am sure that by this time you will have already begun to see the results that you have been wanting. If not increase your amount of cardiovascular work again.
My next recommendation is to try and motivate you to lift on a more frequent basis. It is great that you are lifting, but if you want to get the most out of resistance training (and you spoke about trying to gain weight) you must lift more often. Shoot for three days a week at first. This will most likely snowball to 4 and then 5, which is the system that I use. For starters you can break it down as follows:
Day #1 - Legs & Abdominals
Day #2 - Chest, Triceps, & Shoulders
Day #3 - Back, Traps, & Biceps
This routine targets the entire body with the exception of the forearms. It will be great for starting out but like I said eventually you will lift on a more frequent basis.
Along with lifting more frequently I need you to try to go a little heavier. Using 12-16 repetitions is fine but to really stress the muscles you should be using a weight that will be challenging at the 6-8-rep mark. Stress brings about the need for repair. Repair means building bigger muscles. This is good! Okay now we can move onto the diet portion of your predicament.
Guestimating your needs via the information given and your goals I would shoot for 2000-2500 kilocalories a day utilizing a F10%-P80%-C10% approach. This regimen will roughly give you about 22-28 grams of fat each day. Your protein intake will be right at 400 grams and lastly your timed carbohydrate intake would be around 50 or so grams each day. The window of opportunity arises after training or in the early morning hours. Therefore, you should try to take you carbohydrates in then. This is why I referred to the carbohydrate portion as timed, but because you are only eating about 50 grams you may not be able to do this. You will get small intakes of inexcusable carbohydrates through the foods that you will be eating. For example I use a protein drink that has 3 grams of protein in each serving. There is nothing that I can do to loose those grams of carbohydrates. I literally cannot take them out of the powered mix. Get it?
This diet will definitely cut you up. If you reach a point to which you are satisfied with your physique then simply slowly introduce carbohydrates into the system utilizing the windows of opportunity (morning & after training). Be a smart dieter. You are almost there, press on you can make it! Your supplements are okay by me. I use all of those supplements as well. I was thrown off by "the stack" but I figured it was an ephedra based product or some other type of stimulant. Not a problem! If you do not have a problem with feeling weak or lethargic while dieting you may not need to use this product. I think that it is better for you to do it with your own power anyways. I am not saying that they are bad I am just stating that they are not necessary. But unless you have an immuno-compromised heart condition it sounds to me like you may have taken a little too much. If you decide to use them ever again start really slow. Cut the dose in to 1/4th the serving size. You may not feel anything on your first day but it is better to under dose than overdose. On day 2 you know that you need a little more, I think you get it. Take this to heart and pretty soon you will have that 6 pack that you have always wanted! Train hard!