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Natural Bodybuilding for Previously Fat Guys

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  • Natural Bodybuilding for Previously Fat Guys

    I grew up fat but luckily after a suggestion from my father decided to lose weight at a relatively young age. By 8th grade I was skinny but continued to almost anorexic levels because despite being thin I was not actually lean...couldn't see my abs which is all I wanted at the time.

    Anyway fast forward to today, 22 years old. Nothing special in terms of development but probably intermediate level compared to most gym goers.

    In any case, I have never been below 10% body fat. Every summer for the last 3-4 years the plan was to finally get shredded and I stopped because of muscle loss. I just couldn't stand mentally to lose all the muscle and strength I worked for, and the losses became significant when I got close to 10%. Every time, even when working with a coach. Even this year, I resorted to using gear but then 2 vacations got in the way. I want to go back to being natural though and will relatively soon.

    So to any formerly fat guys (NOT guys who aren't naturally fat but let body fat get higher in the off season) or coaches of formerly fat guys, how did you go about getting shredded (~6%) or getting your clients there? Were you able to hold onto most of your muscle and not look too thin? Being 6'1 it is very easy for me to look too skinny. Even in high school I remember getting up to 6-12 hours of cardio per week (swam 2 hours most days for the school team) while weight training and still couldn't get below 12% or so. Just got skinny.

    Also, did it get easier? I often hear it gets easier to diet to contest condition once you've already done it. Maybe only because mentally you have a reference point to compare size/strength to?

    I have a friend who worked with Skip and went from formerly obese to shredded but he did lose a ton of strength (he probably hired Skip a bit too late and things had to be more extreme to get him ready for his contest in time). I feel like he only didn't look too thin because he's 5'5" so it's hard to look lanky.

    Any thoughts on the process are greatly appreciated. Even once I get to 6% eventually I would love to stay sub 10% but I don't know if that is realistic for someone who puts on fat so easily. Hugo Rivera has a very similar story to mine but he is 5'4" and I don't know if he's really grown much since getting shredded and staying sub 10%

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I can never maintain muscle when I go under 10% bodyfat, assuming it's 10% on a 9 site caliper which is fairly accurate. Around 12-15% I can maintain that easy but under 10% is always a battle for me.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Andre Gregoire View Post
      I can never maintain muscle when I go under 10% bodyfat, assuming it's 10% on a 9 site caliper which is fairly accurate. Around 12-15% I can maintain that easy but under 10% is always a battle for me.
      How much muscle size and strength would you say you lose? It's very hard for me to have say 17in arms and a 500lb deadlift and see that down to almost 16in and 455lb or less when dieting.

      I guess one of the benefits of getting to 6% for the first time is that, while you will always lose strength/size with future diets, you will have a 6% reference point you can compare to. Just seems like I will be so weak and lanky by the time I get that lean unless I use a bunch of gear, which even if I do once, I certainly don't want to always depend on.

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      • #4
        I know, for me, whenever I dieted for my first show with skip my biggest problem with getting leaner was muscle development. The more developed you are the easier it is to lean out... So im in the stages of "offseason" and working like hell to put mass on.
        I have found iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me. It never runs. Friends may come and go but two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength, Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, its impossible to turn back, the iron never lies to you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ShankS View Post
          I know, for me, whenever I dieted for my first show with skip my biggest problem with getting leaner was muscle development. The more developed you are the easier it is to lean out... So im in the stages of "offseason" and working like hell to put mass on.
          What was your starting bf% when you chose to lean down naturally? And are you saying you didn't have much muscle development at the start of your cut, or you lost a lot of muscle on the way down?

          You look pretty solid in your profile pic....but I don't know how big you were when starting the cut.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Pumped340 View Post
            What was your starting bf% when you chose to lean down naturally? And are you saying you didn't have much muscle development at the start of your cut, or you lost a lot of muscle on the way down?

            You look pretty solid in your profile pic....but I don't know how big you were when starting the cut.
            mine was all natural. actually im not sure of my starting bf% I know i started the prep at 175 and stepped on stage at 173. I guess you could say I grew into my condition. Skips good let me tell ya. my profile picture is around 7 weeks from the show. when we cut the cals during my 5 week my workouts started to dwindle and I became weaker.

            I guess what im trying to say about muscle development is the more developed your body is (how well the muscle is built/maturity) the leaner those body parts will appear.
            I have found iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me. It never runs. Friends may come and go but two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength, Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, its impossible to turn back, the iron never lies to you.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ShankS View Post
              mine was all natural. actually im not sure of my starting bf% I know i started the prep at 175 and stepped on stage at 173. I guess you could say I grew into my condition. Skips good let me tell ya. my profile picture is around 7 weeks from the show. when we cut the cals during my 5 week my workouts started to dwindle and I became weaker.

              I guess what im trying to say about muscle development is the more developed your body is (how well the muscle is built/maturity) the leaner those body parts will appear.
              You only lost 2lb during your contest prep??? You must have been fairly lean to begin with then. I can't possible imagine someone over 10% needing to lose less than 2lb to compete and that would be with either ridiculous genetics or on gear. Unless that was a typo or something lol.

              What is the fattest you've been in your life?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pumped340 View Post
                You only lost 2lb during your contest prep??? You must have been fairly lean to begin with then. I can't possible imagine someone over 10% needing to lose less than 2lb to compete and that would be with either ridiculous genetics or on gear. Unless that was a typo or something lol.

                What is the fattest you've been in your life?
                Or he was gaining muscle / loosing fat at the same time under Skip's guidance.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LuNa23 View Post
                  Or he was gaining muscle / loosing fat at the same time under Skip's guidance.
                  I think it's called a RECOMP?!?!?!:funnies:
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                  • #10
                    I went from like 15% down to 8% starting at 200 and ending at 200 with skip.

                    Other note 3 years ago I was a fat 235.. did cardio and diet for almost a year and ended up a 160lb skinny fat before I touched the gym ever.

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                    • #11
                      here is how it works with natural bodybuilding

                      If you are a genetic freak you will do well period!

                      If you are a naturally lean person (ecto) you will be able to get shredded to the bone but you'll have a hard time really getting big...shredded but thin

                      If you're a husky guy..gaining muscle and looking thick in the offseason will be np you'll be big and strong and if you diet smart you'll get pretty lean 10% and still hold on to good amount of muscle....but it will be very very very hard to get shredded without losing a ton of mass and most of the time you'll just look a lot worse

                      AAS, fatburners, t3, gh help you go beyond your genetics....YOUR SHAPE IS YOUR SHAPE, Your muscle bellies are what they are so nothing will change that....but with drugs everyone can get big and everyone can get lean if diet is on point

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LuNa23 View Post
                        Or he was gaining muscle / loosing fat at the same time under Skip's guidance.
                        Originally posted by LG1 View Post
                        I think it's called a RECOMP?!?!?!:funnies:
                        I have been reading contest logs for years now and have never come across someone staying around the same weight unless they walk around 6% all the time. I can think of guys with fast metabolisms and who started at a relatively lean 210 or so and by the time they stepped on stage they were 175-180. Naturally.

                        I can think of one guy who worked with Skip and John Meadows, who was on a ton of gear (2-3g per week) and even he had to go from a relatively lean 205-210 to a shredded 190.

                        So not to be argumentative, but I have never seen someone barely lose weight and go from 10-15% at one weight to contest condition around the same weight, especially previously fat guys and more especially naturals....which is what this thread is about.

                        Thanks

                        Originally posted by 13B-T View Post
                        I went from like 15% down to 8% starting at 200 and ending at 200 with skip.

                        Other note 3 years ago I was a fat 235.. did cardio and diet for almost a year and ended up a 160lb skinny fat before I touched the gym ever.
                        That's a crazy recomp....how long did it take you to go from 200 15% to 200 8%, and did you go up in weight first them come down or did you hover around 200% the whole time? The latter seems less plausible.

                        Originally posted by Mast View Post
                        here is how it works with natural bodybuilding

                        If you are a genetic freak you will do well period!

                        If you are a naturally lean person (ecto) you will be able to get shredded to the bone but you'll have a hard time really getting big...shredded but thin

                        If you're a husky guy..gaining muscle and looking thick in the offseason will be np you'll be big and strong and if you diet smart you'll get pretty lean 10% and still hold on to good amount of muscle....but it will be very very very hard to get shredded without losing a ton of mass and most of the time you'll just look a lot worse

                        AAS, fatburners, t3, gh help you go beyond your genetics....YOUR SHAPE IS YOUR SHAPE, Your muscle bellies are what they are so nothing will change that....but with drugs everyone can get big and everyone can get lean if diet is on point
                        Unfortunately, this seems very true and is my experience. My natural friends are either shredded and small or big but soft. Some of us can hold the fat pretty well and get to say 230 without looking obese, but by the time they diet down to 8-10% muscle loss starts occurring a lot more and they end up getting as small as the naturally shredded guys.

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