Condensed version: I'm trying to get to under 10% BF and I feel like I'm starving all the muscle off my body, how should I feel and how aggressive can I get with dieting and cardio? i'm very worried about overdoing it and loosing muscle, but at the same time, it seems like the conventional stuff just won't let me get past about 15% BF
Hey everyone, I haven't been on the forum that much recently. Been training and all, just no time for posting!
But well, I really need some help. If there are any vets out there, people who have done contest etc, help me out here!
I've been training for about 3 years now, maybe a bit more, and I've always been plagued with the same problems. Most of my body weight is in my torso, I have always had skinny arms, and legs, (which is a whole separate problem haha) and a little gut, even 13 years ago when I was emaciated during my "ok I'm vegan now, but wtf do I eat?" phase, had a little skinny fat belly. I can't complain about everything though my back is pretty strong... I'm 5'8" sitting at 150lbs 15 or 16% BF right now
Anyways, more to the point when I started training, I was told, if you want to get big you've got to eat big, and eat big I did, because at this point I had become very good at managing my diet and well I pounded the calories away.... so I did get bigger and stronger, packed that newbie muscle on, but I got fat in the process. So by about the time that I had really gotten my bearings in hte gym I decided it was time to cut.
So, I made the mistake of going all out on the diet, I ate maybe 1700 calories a day, ran intense intervals on an empty stomach in the mornings, ate a low carb diet, etc. the result was I lost weight, but just looked really damn skinny. So I gave up on that after a few months, took a break from training and eventually got back into it, put my weight back up to almost 180lbs and I was the biggest I had ever been but again, seriously fat (for me). So, after reading some layne norton articles about pre contest preparation I went on a much better diet. I ate my BMR X 1.2 and minus a couple hundred calories, worked out to be about 2000 calories a day. Just did my normal resistance training and sometimes walked on a steep incline afterwards. This went pretty well, and I stuck with it until I got down to about 137lbs, and thats where I ran into problems.
Getting those last few pounds off was exceedingly difficult and came at the cost of muscle. I was losing weight but not body fat at that point, I was WAY more hungry than I had been on the diet up until that point, and was seriously losing my motivation for the gym. So, I faced facts and thought that I simply didn't have enough active tissue (IE muscle) on my body to support being at a low BF %. So I took a bit of time off, and went back to bulking and hit the gym way harder than I had before. over about 4 months I got back up to 180 and was feeling really strong, I definitely made some solid gains during the bulk, but again, took on a lot of fat too.
So March 1 of this year hits and I decide its time to try and get the beach body happening, I started dieting again, which has been going well, I'm leaner than I was during my last cut, however something different happened this time. When I got down to about 155lbs I stopped losing weight, but I did continue to lean out and lower my BF% for about a month. I think this was partly due to the fact that I started cycling more consistently, but also I just thought I had gotten into that zone. However, it didn't last that long and now I'm sitting at around 152, and I've made some changes in hopes of shredding off another 5% or more. I started doing morning cardio, just 30 minutes walking on an incline, or 30 minutes on the spin bike at a moderate pace, I've started running intervals (nothing tooo crazy though) after my weight training and I've also started doing slow, low rep high weight workouts in hopes of encouraging myofibrillar growth rather than sarcoplasmic growth. This started to work, I dropped a few more lbs started to look leaner, but the problem is, I can feel that I'm much more hungry most of the time, and I can deal with hunger pains but I know they mean my body is probably breaking down muscle now too. It might just be psychological but I feel like I'm not lifting the same in the gym now either...
Anyways, I know this is long, but thank you if you read it. Basically what I really need to know is, what I should be feeling like during this phase. Something in my body has definitely changed, and I basically want to know if I should stick with it, or call my loses and go back and try to bulk more before trying to get down to a very low BF%.