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  1. #1
    Registered User Smallape's Avatar
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    Not sure what to do

    Hey guys and girls. I'm a 5' 8" 27 y/o Male. 155 lbs. I am a skinny-fat ectomorph and have lived an extremely sedentary lifestyle for the past 7 years. I was previously a collegiate athlete and was around 145 with a pretty low body fat % at my peak shape. All the fat I have acquired since is around my lower belly/waist, chest, and face. I've decided to buckle down and get back into shape and am lifting and doing cardio on off days. I am a complete amateur when it comes to proper nutrition as my metabolism and activity levels back then carried me.

    My questions are as follows:

    - Do I need to be eating at a caloric deficit to burn the fat? I feel like my weight is mostly fine but I want to lose the fat in my face and belly/waistline. I am just worried I will lose too much weight and struggle to put more muscle on.

    - Should I burn the fat first then bulk back up?

    - Should I just bulk then cut?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Cnty10's Avatar
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    - Do I need to be eating at a caloric deficit to burn the fat? I feel like my weight is mostly fine but I want to lose the fat in my face and belly/waistline. I am just worried I will lose too much weight and struggle to put more muscle on.

    To burn the fat off you would need to eat in deficit. However i was right where you are now, 10 years ago. I started a regular routine, AllPros beginner routine, and started eating at 2800 CAL a day, i was maintaining my weight but my body comp changed. I lost love handles, gained muscle definition, strength and some size.

    - Should I burn the fat first then bulk back up?
    - Should I just bulk then cut?

    All my responses when I was asking these questions was to just start working out, see how your body responds and eat accordingly. Set your calorie goal based on BMI calculators, eat those calories, the best you can. If you're maintaining your weight while meeting calorie goals and working out, but seeing muscle gains, you're on the right path. You should be able to start adding calories slowly and start a slow bulk from there out/
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  3. #3
    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    Someone else from this forum summed it up in 4 words: Move more, eat less.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    Someone else from this forum summed it up in 4 words: Move more, eat less.
    I noticed a high proportion of currently out of shape people say they used to be in great shape. Is this accurate or is this generally how we like to remember ourselves?
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    IMO: You are 155lbs and need to bulk and run novice linear progression. Don't even think about cutting or how your fat looks until done NLP.

    But it all depends on how much you value your appearance as well. Some people can't handle looking fat for a while during their bulk.
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  6. #6
    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I noticed a high proportion of currently out of shape people say they used to be in great shape. Is this accurate or is this generally how we like to remember ourselves?
    I think it's accurate. I could bench 275 for 2 reps half my lifetime ago. Now, none of any working sets is less than 10 reps and I really don't care what my max on any lift is. Why? Because I know if I try to max out on something it's going to tear me up.
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  7. #7
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    I think it's accurate. I could bench 275 for 2 reps half my lifetime ago. Now, none of any working sets is less than 10 reps and I really don't care what my max on any lift is. Why? Because I know if I try to max out on something it's going to tear me up.
    Well that's slightly diff than looking/being in shape or out of shape.
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  8. #8
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    I think it's accurate. I could bench 275 for 2 reps half my lifetime ago. Now, none of any working sets is less than 10 reps and I really don't care what my max on any lift is. Why? Because I know if I try to max out on something it's going to tear me up.
    Can you bench 275 for 10? That would be cool and I could believe it.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I noticed a high proportion of currently out of shape people say they used to be in great shape. Is this accurate or is this generally how we like to remember ourselves?
    I think it is sometimes true and sometimes wishful thinking. It's a very interesting question. I like to think I was in good shape at 18, but I am the same weight now at 30 as I was then and I know I have more muscle mass now and I am probably like 17% BF. So was I really in good shape? Probably it's more wishful thinking than I'd like to admit...
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.

    - Richard Feynman
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  10. #10
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    I think it is sometimes true and sometimes wishful thinking. It's a very interesting question. I like to think I was in good shape at 18, but I am the same weight now at 30 as I was then and I know I have more muscle mass now and I am probably like 17% BF. So was I really in good shape? Probably it's more wishful thinking than I'd like to admit...
    Also, how you evaluate the entire question. At 18, I truly was in the upper teens BF% with separation and a faint showing of abs in neutral light; now I am somewhere in the lowish 20s but am so much stronger and even more athletically capable than I was then. I hit the same 1.5 mile runtime a month ago weighing 60 pounds more as I did, then, when I was lean. I couldn't even bench one plate at 18 for more than a couple reps. So while it's an important factor, I don't think leanness should be the only metric when we consider "in shape" as strength, stamina, athletic ability, etc., are all relevant.
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  11. #11
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Also, how you evaluate the entire question. At 18, I truly was in the upper teens BF% with separation and a faint showing of abs in neutral light; now I am somewhere in the lowish 20s but am so much stronger and even more athletically capable than I was then. I hit the same 1.5 mile runtime a month ago weighing 60 pounds more as I did, then, when I was lean. I couldn't even bench one plate at 18 for more than a couple reps. So while it's an important factor, I don't think leanness should be the only metric when we consider "in shape" as strength, stamina, athletic ability, etc., are all relevant.
    Well you guys aren't people who post saying they're currently really out of shape or overweight, so not really who I was referring to. But feel free to ponder if you're in better shape now or before, using whatever metrics you want to consider.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Smallape's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cal0rieKing View Post
    IMO: You are 155lbs and need to bulk and run novice linear progression. Don't even think about cutting or how your fat looks until done NLP.

    But it all depends on how much you value your appearance as well. Some people can't handle looking fat for a while during their bulk.
    Thanks for the response. Yeah this is my issue. I'm so tired of being skinny-fat and how I feel when I look in the mirror I just want it gone.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Smallape's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cnty10 View Post
    - Do I need to be eating at a caloric deficit to burn the fat? I feel like my weight is mostly fine but I want to lose the fat in my face and belly/waistline. I am just worried I will lose too much weight and struggle to put more muscle on.

    To burn the fat off you would need to eat in deficit. However i was right where you are now, 10 years ago. I started a regular routine, AllPros beginner routine, and started eating at 2800 CAL a day, i was maintaining my weight but my body comp changed. I lost love handles, gained muscle definition, strength and some size.

    - Should I burn the fat first then bulk back up?
    - Should I just bulk then cut?

    All my responses when I was asking these questions was to just start working out, see how your body responds and eat accordingly. Set your calorie goal based on BMI calculators, eat those calories, the best you can. If you're maintaining your weight while meeting calorie goals and working out, but seeing muscle gains, you're on the right path. You should be able to start adding calories slowly and start a slow bulk from there out/
    Thank you so much. I love that you've also been there and your advice comes from experience.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Smallape's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cal0rieKing View Post
    IMO: You are 155lbs and need to bulk and run novice linear progression. Don't even think about cutting or how your fat looks until done NLP.

    But it all depends on how much you value your appearance as well. Some people can't handle looking fat for a while during their bulk.
    Thank you. This seems to be what most are recommending and the route i'm going to go.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I noticed a high proportion of currently out of shape people say they used to be in great shape. Is this accurate or is this generally how we like to remember ourselves?
    I’d have gone pro if coach would have put me in in the 4th quarter
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    Registered User EiFit91's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Also, how you evaluate the entire question. At 18, I truly was in the upper teens BF% with separation and a faint showing of abs in neutral light; now I am somewhere in the lowish 20s but am so much stronger and even more athletically capable than I was then. I hit the same 1.5 mile runtime a month ago weighing 60 pounds more as I did, then, when I was lean. I couldn't even bench one plate at 18 for more than a couple reps. So while it's an important factor, I don't think leanness should be the only metric when we consider "in shape" as strength, stamina, athletic ability, etc., are all relevant.
    Good point. But I am also in much better shape, both cardiovascular and strength wise, than I was back then. I think I benched about my bodyweight back then so about 180 lbs, I don’t bench now but I think it would be closer to 1.5 times my bodyweight now.

    And relatedly last summer I was struggling to walk up a mountain and a man with a really large belly just jogged casually past me...
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  17. #17
    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Smallape View Post
    Thank you so much. I love that you've also been there and your advice comes from experience.
    My vision was definitely better when I was younger. At my first glance of your user name I thought it was Smallpeepee.
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  18. #18
    Registered User Smallape's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    My vision was definitely better when I was younger. At my first glance of your user name I thought it was Smallpeepee.
    Lmao
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    My vision was definitely better when I was younger. At my first glance of your user name I thought it was Smallpeepee.
    That’s my nickname at the Indian casino (feather)
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