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casticonstantinescu
11-04-2008, 09:16 AM
Regarding the length of this post, I'm not sure how much information is required, or whether I am being too vague, but I apologize in advance, and welcome any criticism being offered.

I have a few questions regarding nutrition, cutting, and bulking. I have just started to really track my nutrition and am getting used to the idea of bulk/cut cycles. I will try to provide as much information as possible, and will request some critique and suggestions on how to further maximize this goal (end result: I want to get into the habit, and give myself the ability to cut / bulk 1-2 lbs. / week as required).

I currently workout 4 days / week (2 days upper body, 2 days lower body, 30 minutes cardio / day at the end. I train abs 4 days / week (this may seem like overtraining but total reps between 9 sets is only about 100)). Id estimate per workout (monday tuesday, thursday saturday) I burn about 800 calories, 450 coming from cardio, the rest from weight training)

My workout looks something like this:

[Monday - Legs]
warmup
squat 3 X 5-8
calf raises (on machine) 4 X 10
quad / hamstring extension machines 4 X 10
crunches 3 X 10
hypers 3 X 10
leg raises 3 X 15
30 minute cardio

[Tuesday - Upper body]
5 minute warmup
Bench press (barbell) 3 X 5, 2 X 10 (cooldown / to fatigue)
Closed-Grip bench 3 X 8-10
Chinups 3 X 5
3 X 5 of either hammer curls, standing preacher, standing barbell curl (dep. on week)
Tricep push downs
Bent over Row
Lat Pulldown
Ab cycle (same as monday)

Thursday is similar to monday substituting squat for leg press, a different calf exercise, and a few other minor lifts.

Saturday is similar to Thursday substituting flat bench for incline bench, as well as pullups for chinups, and a few other minor lifts (forearms, etc).

Now on to my nutrition, I used a MBR calculator, and with estimating that I have about 14-16% BF, weighing in between 189-192 lbs. depending on the day, came to the conclusion that my base BMR is equivalent to about 2000 calories / day. I am trying to reduce these numbers to 10% BF and still weighing just about the same as a short term goal, and I will re-evaluate my physique and goals in another 16-24 weeks.

For cutting, on workout days I was under the impression that since my calorie deficit from my workouts is 800 calories, I should optimally be taking in about 2800 calories daily, +- 250-500 for cutting / bulking 1-2 lbs / week.

Now my question is regarding the importance of the breakdown of carb, protein, and fat numbers, and how they can increase / reduce bi-weekly results, as well as whether any other factors come into play (such as sugars, salts, etc).

My nutrition on a day to day basis will look something like this:

breakfast: 2 whole eggs, cooked. 2-3 pieces of whole wheat toast OR bowl of plain oatmeal. estimated at about 350-400 cals.

snack: 25g protein shake with water and/or a piece of fruit estimated 200 calories

lunch: grilled chicken tossed with pasta and a marinara sauce, or something similar. this is the meal with most carb for the day. estimated at about: 500-600 cals.

snack 2: 25g protein shake with water and a piece of fruit estimated 200 calories

dinner: some kind of meat (beef, chicken, pork) with either broccoli, cabbage, assorted vegetables stir fried with sesame oil, etc. etc. basically a protein & veggie meal. estimated another 500-600 calories.

with these numbers, id say I'm taking in about worst case 2000 calories, give or take say 200-300 (more than likely adding), and I thought I would be below my required maintenance level on workout days of 2800 by about 500 daily. On days that I do not lift, I try to offset this number also to still be at a bit of a deficit.

Speculating on this, I'd say that I am taking in about as much as 60% carb, 30% protein, 10% fat. to reach this calorie goal, along with anywhere between 2-4 litres of water.

Now, it may be too early to tell, I have been tracking my eating (loosely) for the last 2 weeks but even before have followed good eating habits, given these numbers I'm surprised I haven't dropped weight and am still hovering around this number of 189-192, or if I am looking about it the wrong way. Since I started lifting again (12 weeks on), I have dropped from 196 down, as well as noticably (in the mirror) reduced my gut, and body fat % throughout), but am curious as to this decline, or if I just need to be more strict to measure these results, and if a scale is really the best way to measure this.

So to sum up, questions would be:

1) Is the scale really a good way to measure my progress?
2) Do I need to tighten up on my eating and change my carb/protein/fat ratio?
3) Is my cardio sufficient on a weekly basis to promote cutting (2 hrs total split over 4 days)
4) What roles do salt/sugars/etc. play in my diet and the ability to effectively cut? (I eat very little sugars unless its natural in fruit, but my salt intake is moderate, I am trying to reduce this as well. i.e. on eggs, in cooked foods, etc).

I appreciate any replies!