First, I want to clarify
my background information. My height & weight are correct (6'1" AND 186 pounds,
but my body fat (15%) has not been measured in quite some time. I am currently
20 years old. As I recall, I was 16 years old the last time my body fat was
measured (5' 10'' & 170lbs) at 16% body fat.
My body fat was measured
using the skin pinching method. I estimate 15% body fat now, because I am
significantly taller & my muscles show more definition through my skin, even
though I have also gained weight. Either way, I have never been a "skinny,"
"cut" or "ripped" person.
But I have always been
athletic and healthy; I've been to districts/states on my high school swim team
since 10th grade & I continued on to college swimming. I have since quit sports
because of time constraints (engineering major).
I have spent the last 5 years training on and off. Throughout that time, most of
my training was cardio training, with deviations into core training and weight
training. Throughout high school & college I spent a significant amount of time
in the gym, both on my own and with personal trainers. I also spent about 2
years doing various ply metrics and core exercises. Nowadays, I limit myself to
3 days of training per week at about 35-45 minutes of heavy interval weight
training per session. I switched my training style, because I felt little
impact/gains after 45 minutes of hard training.
I am not a body builder.
I currently try to focus more on total body exercises like front squats or
weighted pull ups rather than isolation exercises like bicep curls. I have never
been a "hard gainer."
Usually my body responds
fairly quickly to strength training. However, problems can arise if I do not
allow my tendons or grip to catch up to my strength gains. My other main problem
is my body fat.
While it is not really a
problem (and is considered healthy by many), I have been at about the same
percentage my entire life. It rarely changes almost regardless of what I eat,
how hard I train, or how in shape I am at the moment.
Currently, I have been weight lifting for about 2 months. I re-started weight
lifting, after taking the summer off. I started at about 178lbs.
Regarding supplements, the only supplements I have ever tried are creatine and
muscle milk (chocolate version without creatine). Muscle milk (mixed with 1%
milk 16oz liquid) was mostly taken after practice when my mom was running
late on dinner.
I did not see a lot of
noticeable gains, but I did feel better after drinking it. I do believe my body
responded very well to the creatine supplement, because I noticed I would stop
breathing during the first 15 seconds of vigorous work. However, I was only on
creatine (cycled) for 4 months. In general, I do not really believe in
supplements. I like to make gains naturally. Yet, I am still open to supplements
right now, because of my horrible college dining plan & the expensive cost of
high quality food (especially large quantities of protein).
My current goal is to gain mass and strength. I am not 100% sure how big I want
to get at the moment. I was originally shooting for 200-210lbs. However, now I
am thinking more like 195-200lbs.
I'm not sure if I want to
look like a complete animal yet. Most of my friends who have gone on huge
gaining plans, end up looking pretty bad a couple of years later when they
cannot find time to hit the gym. My goal is to gain lean mass and strength for
about four to six months. After this gaining period I am going to switch goals.
My next goal will be to
cut fat until I am well into the 10-12% body fat range, possibly single digits
if I can manage. I believe 12% body fat is definitely manageable. But I would
also like to push myself to the <10% range for a month or week to just see what
it is like. I will most likely lose a little mass and strength during my pursuit
of low body fat.
This leaves me with my main question. How do I go about accomplishing these
goals? Also are there any supplements you would recommend to help me reach these
As I already stated, I am
not a huge supplement fan, but being on a college dinning plan limits the amount
of "good" food I can get. I am open to suggestions. I'm pretty confident I can
reach my mass goals if I stick to lots of vegetables, 2% milk, and chicken/fish.
But I really have no idea
how I am going to reach my fat percentage goals. My mom, who is a dietitian,
tells me I'm going to have to each just vegetable & chicken/fish without any
carbohydrates whatsoever. Thank you for your advice. I look forward to your