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Also submitted my goals for 2015, which are as follows:

I want to be able to perform low reps (1-3 reps) on these exercises for these weights:

Bench Press: 280 pounds

Squat: 320 pounds

Pullups: bodyweight + 90 pounds

Deadlift: 370 pounds

Overhead Press: 190 pounds

And I also want to weigh at least 210 pounds (currently 195) with a bodyfat of 15% or less by the end of the year. Aiming high on a couple of these goals, but I still think they are achievable.

Checked my progress on all of these this week (except for barbell bench press). Lifted the following in attempts to set new three-rep maxes:

Dumbbell Bench Press: 110 pounders for 3, 2, 2.

Squat: 270 for 3, 3, 2, 2.

Pullups: +65 pounds for 3, 3, 2, 2.

Deadlift: 350 for 3, 2, fail. (Honestly did not think I would get this one. Upping this goal to 400 by the end of the year).

Overhead Press: 170 for 2, 2, 1, 1, 1. (Honestly DID think I would get this one for 3 reps on the first set :evil:).

Bodyweight is hovering around 198-199. Moving forward :smile:

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Checked my progress on all of these this week (except for barbell bench press). Lifted the following in attempts to set new three-rep maxes:

Dumbbell Bench Press: 110 pounders for 3, 2, 2.

Squat: 270 for 3, 3, 2, 2.

Pullups: +65 pounds for 3, 3, 2, 2.

Deadlift: 350 for 3, 2, fail. (Honestly did not think I would get this one. Upping this goal to 400 by the end of the year).

Overhead Press: 170 for 2, 2, 1, 1, 1. (Honestly DID think I would get this one for 3 reps on the first set :evil:).

Bodyweight is hovering around 198-199. Moving forward :smile:

Yeah man, as beast as your workouts are, you got all of that by year end, for sure. You inspired me to try some weighted dips and pull-ups. Tough stuff. It was just for kekles, though, I don't think I'm gonna try and work those into my routines.

Speaking of which, to what degree is it an issue that I don't have a back day? Is it exacerbated or helped that I do a fair bit of ab training? Don't get me wrong, btw, I love deadlift. It's naturally my best lift. I just feel like I need to work the other stuff more and don't have a ton of time.

Also, I'm up to date on my Fitocracy, finally. Now I just gotta keep tracking. I really need to do the same consistently with my nutrition, but one step at a time, I suppose.

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My boss said he's up to 30 pullups, so I went all to the gym feeling like I could push past my 6 and do a couple sets.

I did 4. I'm guessing it's because I destroyed my abs with this YouTube video. This YouTube video was sent by heavenly decree to irrevocably destroy me.

Pullups: +65 pounds for 3, 3, 2, 2.

Weight belt/vest?

P.S. Vastly improved my cable crossovers form.

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Speaking of which, to what degree is it an issue that I don't have a back day? Is it exacerbated or helped that I do a fair bit of ab training? Don't get me wrong, btw, I love deadlift. It's naturally my best lift. I just feel like I need to work the other stuff more and don't have a ton of time.

Probably not the answer you want, but IMO it's very important. I've heard many health lifters (i.e. not powerlifters) say that you should do two pulling motions for every pushing motion. I don't do that many pulls, but I'd say I'm at a 1:1 ratio. It has been very important for me personally to ensure symmetrical development and for arm/grip strength.

I can't say how ab training may help or hinder your situation; I would think a lot depends on how you train your core. I cut out ab isolation work because I just didn't have time for it anymore, and it wasn't helping me as much as everything else was.

I can say, though, that training my back has helped unexpectedly in some other areas. For example, I guarantee my OHP wouldn't be up to 170 if I hadn't also been training my back heavily.

My boss said he's up to 30 pullups, so I went all to the gym feeling like I could push past my 6 and do a couple sets.

Weight belt/vest?

In NO WAY am I trying to knock your boss, but unless you've seen him do it, take it with a grain of salt. Tons of people claim to do high numbers of pullups when they're only doing half a rep at a time and/or the flailing Crossfit method. If he IS doing 30 strict pullups, then that is amazing and you must sit at his feet and learn from him.

And to answer your question, I use a belt.

Edited by Soul Splint
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Probably not the answer you want, but IMO it's very important. I've heard many health lifters (i.e. not powerlifters) say that you should do two pulling motions for every pushing motion. I don't do that many pulls, but I'd say I'm at a 1:1 ratio. It has been very important for me personally to ensure symmetrical development and for arm/grip strength.

Meh, the only answer I want is the right one. My lifting is primarily for health, but really mainly for making me strong enough to be an effective fighter/trainer. Back work does seem pretty important there, and I'll look into the idea of proper ratio of pull to push. It's interesting you say arm/grip strength, though, with all of the other stuff I see you doing on Fitocracy. It seems like bench/OHP and all of the supplementary exercises you do (such as pull-ups) would be working those sufficiently. For me, I do lots of stuff right now for arms and grip. The best argument I've heard thus far for back work is that it, like leg work, activates the biggest muscle groups in your body, which in turn promotes the greatest production of testosterone and consequently the most righteous gainz.

I can't say how ab training may help or hinder your situation; I would think a lot depends on how you train your core. I cut out ab isolation work because I just didn't have time for it anymore, and it wasn't helping me as much as everything else was.

I can say, though, that training my back has helped unexpectedly in some other areas. For example, I guarantee my OHP wouldn't be up to 170 if I hadn't also been training my back heavily.

Hmmm. I do lots of ab work, more or less at the same time as everything else. That is, I usually don't have an actual "ab day," but work in sets of ab exercises with my other lifts. On bench day, for instance, I do my six sets of bench with five sets of leg circles in between, starting with a set of ten and then going up by ten reps with each subsequent set. I typically do lots of oblique work as well on any given lifting day, mainly woodchoppers on the cable machine and oblique body lifts (on that weird diagonal platform thing you would do back body lifts on.) My ab work is for a few different reasons: in hopes that it will improve my endurance (this idea has long been held by fighting coaches, and is why you generally don't see boxers with weak abs, but the question of whether or not it's actually true is being reevaluated by science nowadays,) to develop a set of abs to take body blows should I need to, and for aesthetic purposes. The ladies love the abs. It does take a fair bit of time, though.

I mention it in reference to back work in the thought that the back and abs are antagonistic muscle groups. I'm of two minds here, and just don't know what's right. On the one hand, when you train one side of your body, the other side does get a little work through counter-movement. On the other, you def can create muscle imbalances, and those aren't good, based off of everything I've ever read. I must investigate more, but yeah, I may try to at least work dead lift into my workouts. Like I say, I love dead lift, so it's not too much of a heart breaker. I just don't have a ton of time, so I may have to combine it with one of my other days. Maybe my push jerk day?

As always, thanks for the advice, Soul Splint! You're my online brofessor.

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Alright, so I can basically run forever, my diet is reasonable, and I'm skinny.. but I have stomach flab and abs aren't showing through. Getting frustrated. If I ramp up my cardio or lower diet I won't get muscle gains I'm looking for. My genetics are just telling me to go screw myself.

Do I say screw it and just go CRAZY on cardio while still lifting? Or.. lift like crazy to burn more calories? I'm confused :whatevaa:

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Alright, so I can basically run forever, my diet is reasonable, and I'm skinny.. but I have stomach flab and abs aren't showing through. Getting frustrated. If I ramp up my cardio or lower diet I won't get muscle gains I'm looking for. My genetics are just telling me to go screw myself.

Do I say screw it and just go CRAZY on cardio while still lifting? Or.. lift like crazy to burn more calories? I'm confused :whatevaa:

From everything I've seen, there's a lot of factors to this. Genetics definitely plays a large part, but probably the biggest thing is leaning out. That's more than just being thin. You need to build lean muscle mass, which means good lifting/cardio and a low carb/high protein diet, but also you would need to cut out some of the water weight you carry.

We all carry water weight, all of the time. Study how fighters or wrestlers cut weight to meet goals for competitions and you'll see what I mean. One of your dietary issues may be sodium. It's in like everything nowadays, but especially processed or canned food. If those are large parts of your diet, you probably are retaining more water than you normally would, which would show most as stomach flab on most dudes. That's where men tend to carry our weight as is. It's definitely frustrating, so I would also advise to be patient. Slow gains are better than no gains which is still better than injury.

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From everything I've seen, there's a lot of factors to this. Genetics definitely plays a large part, but probably the biggest thing is leaning out. That's more than just being thin. You need to build lean muscle mass, which means good lifting/cardio and a low carb/high protein diet, but also you would need to cut out some of the water weight you carry.

We all carry water weight, all of the time. Study how fighters or wrestlers cut weight to meet goals for competitions and you'll see what I mean. One of your dietary issues may be sodium. It's in like everything nowadays, but especially processed or canned food. If those are large parts of your diet, you probably are retaining more water than you normally would, which would show most as stomach flab on most dudes. That's where men tend to carry our weight as is. It's definitely frustrating, so I would also advise to be patient. Slow gains are better than no gains which is still better than injury.

Thanks! Salt is out, that's at least something to go off of and monitor results. Yes, I use a lot of salt and still get fries once in a while. Those are now out too.

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Thanks! Salt is out, that's at least something to go off of and monitor results. Yes, I use a lot of salt and still get fries once in a while. Those are now out too.

You're welcome. :) Yeah, fries are the devil incarnate practically if you're trying to get in shape, especially if you're trying to get cut. Their metrics make baby Jesus cry. And they're super tasty. And quick. It's tough for sure.

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Wow, so I'm currently on vacation, and I forgot how much I love swimming. I think I may try and find a gym or community center or whatever with an Olympic-length pool once I get back home. I just cannot care enough to get out and run everyday (plus it's tough in sub-zero temps) or to spend a ton of time on a treadmill or elliptical, but I could swim laps all day.

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Do I say screw it and just go CRAZY on cardio while still lifting? Or.. lift like crazy to burn more calories? I'm confused :whatevaa:

You can't build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Technically it is possible in some ways, but the level of discipline and dedication (as well as genetics and luck) is ridiculous even to the guys who have been doing this for years. Pick one for 6 months, then switch to the other. :-)

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Yep it's the eternal problem. Though, for aesthetic purposes, I think it's fair to say that gaining muscle OR losing fat will in most cases make it look like you're doing both. For example I have been at a deficit of around 300-500/day for about 8 or 9 months now. My strength has not gone up much if at all but I definitely look a lot better having lost a solid 30 pounds of fat, even if there is technically no (or minimal) muscle growth happening.

Speaking of deficits I am so close to done with this cut. I just can't wait to eat again. The way it usually goes, I'm disciplined most days of the week and I clock in at 1650-1750 cals, and then 1 or 2 days I end up cheating up to 2100-2200 (which is probably at maintenance, or barely below). Usually because of travel, but sometimes because I'm just too hungry.. even though I eat ridiculous amounts of protein + drink tons of water daily.

Really my long game here isn't strength OR aesthetics but just to boost my metabolism to the point where I can eat tons of food all day and not gain weight. :<

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You can't build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Technically it is possible in some ways, but the level of discipline and dedication (as well as genetics and luck) is ridiculous even to the guys who have been doing this for years. Pick one for 6 months, then switch to the other. :-)

Well then.. it's a season of lifting. I'm just too thin in appearance to push any further. Maybe muscle mass will distribute and displace that last belt of fat.

Really my long game here isn't strength OR aesthetics but just to boost my metabolism to the point where I can eat tons of food all day and not gain weight. :<

That's admirable but I have the much less admirable goal of looking great AND being able to run a couple marathons a year :P Besides aesthetics, I've also noticed I can kick a cold much quicker than others. Time is money, less sick time the better!

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Good for you. Way to get back into it. Please refresh my memory as to what your current goal is?

My only goal at the moment is to get to 180-90 by April (I'm at about 210 now) and beef up my guns basically.

I'm being very general at the moment since I want to get a habit going *first* then set more intense goals for myself.

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Was doing Overhead Press on Friday with 130 pounds. Started out with a relatively easy seven reps on the first set, then got a good burning press on rep number eight. Normally, I would have stopped there, being that it was only the first set of six. I SHOULD have stopped there. But me, being the brilliant guy that I am, thought, "But one more rep and that will be a new personal best at this weight!"

My brilliance assured and my ego stoked, I proceeded to do a ninth rep. It took a good four or five seconds, and it was a grind. Barely locked it out.

The result? I was near-useless for the rest of my sets, putting up crap numbers. And later in the workout, I began to notice some odd tightness and soreness in my left shoulderblade/neck area, that turned into me being unable to turn my head more than halfway to the left by the end of the day.

It's now Monday, and it is still not quite back to 100%. And it could have been much worse. Ego-lifting, boys and girls. This is why we don't do it.

Someone remind me to go back and read this every week or so ;-)

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Heyo, I randomly stumbled upon this thread after being a 9-year OCR lover, and am hoping to join in on the fitness fun. 7 months ago I started working out for the first time in my life, and have been really excited & motivated the entire time to keep it going. Even though I've been at it for over half a year it STILL feels so new to me, so I'd love to get your guys' input on what I've been doing.

My regimen is the at-home P90 program. Basically for 6 days per week, you alternate between 1 day of 45 min overall weight training (all muscle groups, dumbells-only), and 1 day 50 min cardio/situps. Continues back and forth, so no particular day is devoted to a muscle group, but you don't work out any muscle groups 2 days in a row (though I do pushups & situps every day). I also walk ~50 minutes per day and jog ~10.

My TDEE is apparently ~1800. Over the first 4 months, my macros were 1400-1500 cal, 30 fat, 4 sat. fat, 180 carbs, 110 protein. I cut 20lbs over those 4 months, which was my ultimate goal. In a self-performed body fat test using calipers, I measure about 9% (5mm belly, 6mm pec, 22mm thigh).

Since then I've been eating much closer or above maintenance: 2000 cals, 45 fat, 12 sat. fat, 250 carbs, 145 protein. In the 3 months since that increase, I've seen virtually no weight loss/gain. Which I guess makes sense given that I'm eating more, but I would have expected an even bigger increase in weight gain. Maybe my TDEE is just higher than calculators show.

So, my questions:

- Ultimately, I'm looking to gain muscle. I'll admit that I'm a bit "scared" to eat more to achieve this, given all the work I've put into cutting. Sounds like a stupid question, but I guess the answer is simply to man up and do it, huh?

- Visually I see a small amount of muscle increase. However, 1) the change is coming exceedingly slowly, and 2) I don't *feel* much stronger, evidenced by the fact that I have barely increased my weights at all during this time. I usually do 15-20 reps of any given lift, but my capabilities here have never really increased. Should I be aiming to increase my weight regardless, doing fewer reps per exercise?

- If caloric deficit is all that matters in weight loss, I'm having difficulty understanding the role of fat, sat. fat, and carbs in weight loss. In my research I've never found a final answer to this. I've only found a few studies which showed that low-medium cal/low carb diets outperformed low cal/low fat diets.

- This last page had some discussion about sodium. I understand its impact on water weight, but sodium has close to no longterm effect on weight whatsoever, correct?

- The only break I've taken during this time (besides the 1 day per week) is a week in January. Should I be taking extended breaks of no workout whatsoever more often? Say, a week every few months or so?

- Does my regimen sound effective? From what I've read it's pretty standard, but it's a fairly outdated approach (2005), and it seems HIIT is becoming the hot ticket these days.

Thank you! Catching up with this thread has been enlightening, I've learned a lot of things I wouldn't have expected.

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My only goal at the moment is to get to 180-90 by April (I'm at about 210 now) and beef up my guns basically.

I'm being very general at the moment since I want to get a habit going *first* then set more intense goals for myself.

Good call to be general, though frankly 20-30 pounds in two months or so is pretty intense. I would call it unsafe and unwise, to be honest. How tall are you, if I might ask? Also, are you dieting? I would definitely caution trying to lose that weight more steadily, though. Fast weight loss often has all kinds of undesirable effects.

@Modus: Your goal and zircon's are actually fairly similar, all things told. Be able to do what you're talking about and you'll probably burn through junk calories much better than the rest of us. Not that you'd want to overdo that, of course. Also, I'll agree with the rest of the crew that if you build muscle, it will appear similar to cutting weight, and if you're feeling like that's the way to go right now, carry on. Additionally, muscle eats fat, so if you get more of it, you'll naturally burn more of your fat off as well.

@SoulSplint: It happens, brother. I saw that on Fitocracy, and hated it for ya then, too. I gotta cut down on my bench right now. I'm still losing weight (weighed myself in at 172 on Sunday,) and I think between it and just not adequately letting my arms rest (I know, I know, just tough with my schedule,) I'm plateauing at best. Meh. Hopefully my assistance work will help to compensate and I'll be getting back into gains by the end of this month.

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So, my questions:

- Ultimately, I'm looking to gain muscle. I'll admit that I'm a bit "scared" to eat more to achieve this, given all the work I've put into cutting. Sounds like a stupid question, but I guess the answer is simply to man up and do it, huh?

- Visually I see a small amount of muscle increase. However, 1) the change is coming exceedingly slowly, and 2) I don't *feel* much stronger, evidenced by the fact that I have barely increased my weights at all during this time. I usually do 15-20 reps of any given lift, but my capabilities here have never really increased. Should I be aiming to increase my weight regardless, doing fewer reps per exercise?

- If caloric deficit is all that matters in weight loss, I'm having difficulty understanding the role of fat, sat. fat, and carbs in weight loss. In my research I've never found a final answer to this. I've only found a few studies which showed that low-medium cal/low carb diets outperformed low cal/low fat diets.

- This last page had some discussion about sodium. I understand its impact on water weight, but sodium has close to no longterm effect on weight whatsoever, correct?

- The only break I've taken during this time (besides the 1 day per week) is a week in January. Should I be taking extended breaks of no workout whatsoever more often? Say, a week every few months or so?

- Does my regimen sound effective? From what I've read it's pretty standard, but it's a fairly outdated approach (2005), and it seems HIIT is becoming the hot ticket these days.

Welcome! I will do my best to answer some of your questions, and I'm sure the other folks in here will chime in as well. As a side note, I'm quite familiar with the P-90 structure, as I have completed the P90-X and P90-X2 programs.

1) It's very understandable that you are hesitant to eat more. There are two ways you can go about this. One, up your calories by 400-500 for a couple of weeks to a month, and rigidly track your progress to see how much you gain. You can then adjust accordingly. Two, you can start with upping your calories by 100-200 for a couple of weeks, then every other week bump them up another 100, tracking your progress all the while to determine your sweet spot. Don't be afraid to increase; you won't put on wait very quickly unless you're eating quite a bit above your TDEE (like 700 calories or more).

2) I would heartily recommend graduating to some heavier weights with lower reps. If your goal is strength and size, you need to be topping out at no more than 10 reps or so on any exercise. Personally, I have a four-week cycle. For the first week I aim to fail within 8-10 reps. From there, it goes to 6-7, 4-5, and then 2-3 is the final week (meaning if I can lift the weight more than three times, it is too light). The kind of training you've been doing is great for endurance, but your muscle growth and strength will be more limited than they will with lower rep ranges.

3) Caloric deficit is not all that matters, but it is the most important factor. Fat is critical for hormone production (yes, saturated fat too!), which will keep you going strong for the long run. Carbs vary more from person to person, but are usually important for energy and performance, and can also have a lasting effect on your hormone production if you are carb-deficient for a long enough time. Ectogemia had some great posts about this subject further back in the thread, if you can find them and want to learn a bit more.

4) You're correct; don't worry too much about sodium in the long run for fitness, unless it's related to health issues. The only time I worry about sodium is when getting into a temporary "best-shape" physique, for photos and competitions, etc.

5) Your break needs depend upon how hard you're pushing yourself. If you look at your workouts and can objectively say you're pushing yourself to your limits 4-5 times a week, it's probably best to take a deload week once every 1-2 months. (By limits, I would define this as lifting to failure 4-6 (or more) times per workout, while working out for 45 minutes or more). This is a bit of a grey area though, as it varies from person to person and really requires an objective self-evaluation. You'll also have weeks where your body just feels fatigued and ripe for injury, and that's another sign. By not taking these deload (or rest) weeks, you're also frying your Central Nervous System, which can lead to nastier results down the road than just strained muscles.

6) Whether or not it's effective depends on what you're trying to achieve. Doing heavier weights for lower reps is going in a fairly different direction from higher rep training with HIIT. What exactly are your short and long-term goals? We'll be able to help you a bit more once we know those.

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Heyo, I randomly stumbled upon this thread after being a 9-year OCR lover, and am hoping to join in on the fitness fun. 7 months ago I started working out for the first time in my life, and have been really excited & motivated the entire time to keep it going. Even though I've been at it for over half a year it STILL feels so new to me, so I'd love to get your guys' input on what I've been doing.

My regimen is the at-home P90 program. Basically for 6 days per week, you alternate between 1 day of 45 min overall weight training (all muscle groups, dumbells-only), and 1 day 50 min cardio/situps. Continues back and forth, so no particular day is devoted to a muscle group, but you don't work out any muscle groups 2 days in a row (though I do pushups & situps every day). I also walk ~50 minutes per day and jog ~10.

My TDEE is apparently ~1800. Over the first 4 months, my macros were 1400-1500 cal, 30 fat, 4 sat. fat, 180 carbs, 110 protein. I cut 20lbs over those 4 months, which was my ultimate goal. In a self-performed body fat test using calipers, I measure about 9% (5mm belly, 6mm pec, 22mm thigh).

Since then I've been eating much closer or above maintenance: 2000 cals, 45 fat, 12 sat. fat, 250 carbs, 145 protein. In the 3 months since that increase, I've seen virtually no weight loss/gain. Which I guess makes sense given that I'm eating more, but I would have expected an even bigger increase in weight gain. Maybe my TDEE is just higher than calculators show.

So, my questions:

- Ultimately, I'm looking to gain muscle. I'll admit that I'm a bit "scared" to eat more to achieve this, given all the work I've put into cutting. Sounds like a stupid question, but I guess the answer is simply to man up and do it, huh?

- Visually I see a small amount of muscle increase. However, 1) the change is coming exceedingly slowly, and 2) I don't *feel* much stronger, evidenced by the fact that I have barely increased my weights at all during this time. I usually do 15-20 reps of any given lift, but my capabilities here have never really increased. Should I be aiming to increase my weight regardless, doing fewer reps per exercise?

- If caloric deficit is all that matters in weight loss, I'm having difficulty understanding the role of fat, sat. fat, and carbs in weight loss. In my research I've never found a final answer to this. I've only found a few studies which showed that low-medium cal/low carb diets outperformed low cal/low fat diets.

- This last page had some discussion about sodium. I understand its impact on water weight, but sodium has close to no longterm effect on weight whatsoever, correct?

- The only break I've taken during this time (besides the 1 day per week) is a week in January. Should I be taking extended breaks of no workout whatsoever more often? Say, a week every few months or so?

- Does my regimen sound effective? From what I've read it's pretty standard, but it's a fairly outdated approach (2005), and it seems HIIT is becoming the hot ticket these days.

Thank you! Catching up with this thread has been enlightening, I've learned a lot of things I wouldn't have expected.

So, sorry for the double post, everyone, but this post happened while I was writing my last one, and I feel the need to comment.

First off, well met, DKeddo! Way to join in the fun, and awesome work thus far! It looks like you've done some terrific tracking thus far, and have a great work ethic!

So, to answer some of your questions, from my perspective:

- Ultimately, I'm looking to gain muscle. I'll admit that I'm a bit "scared" to eat more to achieve this, given all the work I've put into cutting. Sounds like a stupid question, but I guess the answer is simply to man up and do it, huh?

Pretty much. The only dependable answer for adding muscle I've ever seen is pick up heavy stuff and add in the protein to build muscle. I understand your fear of changing your habits so quickly, but your cutting work has laid the groundwork for you to cleanly feed your muscles. That, plus breakdown (the aforementioned picking up heavy stuff,) leads to rebuilt, stronger, bigger muscles.

- Visually I see a small amount of muscle increase. However, 1) the change is coming exceedingly slowly, and 2) I don't *feel* much stronger, evidenced by the fact that I have barely increased my weights at all during this time. I usually do 15-20 reps of any given lift, but my capabilities here have never really increased. Should I be aiming to increase my weight regardless, doing fewer reps per exercise?

It really depends on your goals, but from the above, I would say you probably want to do high weight, low rep work, which I don't believe P90X focuses on. I'm not downplaying P90X, it's hard stuff and great for you, but if you want to bulk/see strength gains, high weight, low rep is the way to go.

- If caloric deficit is all that matters in weight loss, I'm having difficulty understanding the role of fat, sat. fat, and carbs in weight loss. In my research I've never found a final answer to this. I've only found a few studies which showed that low-medium cal/low carb diets outperformed low cal/low fat diets.

It looks like the jury is still out there on this one, but yes, caloric deficit is all that matters for weight loss, but not for fat/muscle loss, satiation, and general health. You could just eat off of the dollar menu and lose weight, so long as it met your macros, but man, that would be super bad for you and suck a lot. For what you're doing, I would say get a good amount of calories period, though mainly from protein, carbs, and lean fats. Trans fat is the devil, and saturated fat should be taken in moderation. Sugar happens, but try not to do too much of it, just because it spikes your metabolism.

- This last page had some discussion about sodium. I understand its impact on water weight, but sodium has close to no longterm effect on weight whatsoever, correct?

Correct. It is important to general health, though. Some is necessary, a lot is dangerous, especially if you have a family history of heart issuess

- The only break I've taken during this time (besides the 1 day per week) is a week in January. Should I be taking extended breaks of no workout whatsoever more often? Say, a week every few months or so?

Meh. Break when you need to, but I wouldn't say you should feel obligated to ever do so, more than just what you need to let your muscles heal during the week to week work.

- Does my regimen sound effective? From what I've read it's pretty standard, but it's a fairly outdated approach (2005), and it seems HIIT is becoming the hot ticket these days.

It sounds great! That being said, as I stated above, it might not quite be in line with your current goal of gaining muscle. I also would recommend HIIT for cardio, for lots of reasons, probably the number one being that it produces good results with less time.

Anyways, hope this helps, and thanks for posting! Join our Fitocracy group if you haven't already. It's good times, and a great way to track your lifts.

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Good call to be general, though frankly 20-30 pounds in two months or so is pretty intense. I would call it unsafe and unwise, to be honest. How tall are you, if I might ask? Also, are you dieting? I would definitely caution trying to lose that weight more steadily, though. Fast weight loss often has all kinds of undesirable effects.

It would help if i proofread my posts! That should be 201 not 210. :| Sorry that does sound really really dangerous. I am mostly dieting, honestly my base diet is a fairly good one (oat meal in the morning, plain greek yogurt/carrot snacks and vegetable filled dinners usually with quinoa or chicken) but I've been going really ham on the sweets and cookies lately so I'm just getting rid of those lol.

I'm 5'11", and yes 20-30 pouts in two months is dangerous, but considering I lost 5lbs in water weight following me cutting down on sweets (and with it some sodium) 201-196 makes either of those goals seem far more reasonable.

Geez, sorry about that. No I just want to look 10-15 pounds in the next couple months not 20-30!!!

Also, did more running this morning, still sore from Sunday, I must hav e atrophied more than I thought.

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Haha, bench is so rough... my worst lift by far... I need to turn in my card as well.

Cyril: Just something to note, even if you eat all healthy foods, you can still gain weight. Foods like oats, quinoa, avocado, and nuts are all pretty good for you, but also dense in calories relative to some other things. Counting calories is really important.

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