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Hey guys! Back in November I created a thread sharing my message: I need to get rid of my pudge! You guys gave me some handy advice for my journey, and I would love to hear anymore you guys have for me. You see, my main goal, other than developing a healthier lifestyle, is to make my abdominal muscles visible. To give you a better idea of what I'm hoping for, I'm picturing something like how these Abercrombie models look like. Especially the kind of build on the two on the right. Something Zac Efron-ish, not something crazy-muscle man-built.

So here's my current situation: When I started on November 1st, I weighed 188. Currently, as of April 26th, I weigh 141.3 pounds. (My height is around 5'7 if that's needed too.) The thing is, I don't know if that's an "appropriate" number to start training differently for the look I'm going for. Basically, all of my exercising has consisted of running a half an hour everyday- and I don't know if 141.3 is low enough to start building muscle. From what I understand, making abs visible requires low fat content, and I don't know if I'm low enough.

What should I do? What do you guys recommend? Should I just continue strictly running for awhile longer, and start lifting weights when I'm at 130 (or something even lower?) I don't even know what exercises I should do when I get to that point.

Any advice is awesome! surprised
You're never "too fat" to build muscle. Maybe too fat to bulk, but you Do Not need to bulk to gain muscle, especially not for beginner lifters.

Abs are 70% percent diet, 30% lifting. To have visible abs, you have to be below at least 8% body fat. Those models are probably around 5%. I would recommend to continue lifting, but to eat a similar amount of calories. Increase how much protein you are eating to at least .5grams/pound per body weight if not closer to 1g/pound of bodyweight. To get abs like theirs, you need to do Weighted ab exercises. Lift like you would any other muscle for growth, as heavy as you can for 8-12 reps each set.

I would recommend getting your body fat checked and go from there. Many gyms will do a body fat test with either calipers, or an electronic scale that sends Painless electronic surges through your body.

If you want to know how many calories to eat, just google BMR calculator and it should tell you roughly how many calories a day you should eat to stay the same weight.

To end, eat however much you have been eating but more protein. In addition to your running, do weighted ab exercises and possibly more bodybuilding stuff if you want. Don't worry about getting "too muscular" it won't happen unless you try ridiculously hard.
John Dapper
You're never "too fat" to build muscle. Maybe too fat to bulk, but you Do Not need to bulk to gain muscle, especially not for beginner lifters.

Abs are 70% percent diet, 30% lifting. To have visible abs, you have to be below at least 8% body fat. Those models are probably around 5%. I would recommend to continue lifting, but to eat a similar amount of calories. Increase how much protein you are eating to at least .5grams/pound per body weight if not closer to 1g/pound of bodyweight. To get abs like theirs, you need to do Weighted ab exercises. Lift like you would any other muscle for growth, as heavy as you can for 8-12 reps each set.

I would recommend getting your body fat checked and go from there. Many gyms will do a body fat test with either calipers, or an electronic scale that sends Painless electronic surges through your body.

If you want to know how many calories to eat, just google BMR calculator and it should tell you roughly how many calories a day you should eat to stay the same weight.

To end, eat however much you have been eating but more protein. In addition to your running, do weighted ab exercises and possibly more bodybuilding stuff if you want. Don't worry about getting "too muscular" it won't happen unless you try ridiculously hard.


First of all, thanks for all of the advice!

I had no idea that's actually how people measured their bodies' fat percentage. xd Is there any method that you're aware of that I could do at home? I'm a beginner to this type of thing, and I have no idea even of what kind of exercises I should be doing when I get to the gym. So far I've been just jogging outside my home for my daily exercising. What kind of things should I be doing?
I was always built larger than the average person.. My shoulders are 1' 10" in width and my waist itself is 34 inches around.. I am also 5' 9" and I weigh about 180 lbs. Yes I have abs, but I didn't start out that way.

As you may know, when it comes to abs, it isn't about weight anymore, it is about body fat.

There are many ways to lose weight.

1. Calorie diet, straight and simple. Just determine how many calories you consume and eat less than what your body demands.

2. Working out, this helps boost your metabolism and makes losing fat much easier.

3. Metabolic diet, this is when you eat food in such a manner that it encourages burning even more calories and targets fat specifically while building muscle.
This includes; when you eat, when you stop eating, how you eat, what you drink and how much you drink (water) and what you eat.


First off, I don't change my calorie intake by looking at the calories alone, you will see why in a moment as it will make sense.

Secondly, I work out by swimming, biking and running, these three exercises are very different yet all attack your entire body, causing mass fat loss and metabolism boosts. Those three also work on your abs a ton. Lifting weights is great too.

Thirdly, (this is what takes the most self control, so bear with me), low carbs or no carbs.

No more than 30 carbs a day, no carbs after lunch.

4-6 liters of water throughout the day, 1 liter before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You must have 10-12 hours of time in between when you eat at night and when you eat in the morning. So for example.. If you have dinner at 7, you must eat breakfast after/at 7.

That's about it. The carbs I consume are from fruits, veggies and/or nuts.
By removing the carbs, your calorie deficit is massive, don't worry, you can make up for it with meat. smile
Here is how I think...

Carbs are your enemy.

Veggies, fruits and some nuts are your friends.

Water and lean chicken, fish and steak are your closest allies.
Nocturoe Nara
I was always built larger than the average person.. My shoulders are 1' 10" in width and my waist itself is 34 inches around..

As you may know, when it comes to abs, it isn't about weight anymore, it is about body fat.

There are many ways to lose weight.

1. Calorie diet, straight and simple. Just determine how many calories you consume and eat less than what your body demands.

2. Working out, this helps boost your metabolism and makes losing fat much easier.

3. Metabolic diet, this is when you eat food in such a manner that it encourages burning even more calories and targets fat specifically while building muscle.
This includes; when you eat, when you stop eating, how you eat, what you drink and how much you drink (water) and what you eat.


First off, I don't change my calorie intake by looking at the calories alone, you will see why in a moment as it will make sense.

Secondly, I work out by swimming, biking and running, these three exercises are very different yet all attack your entire body, causing mass fat loss and metabolism boosts.

Thirdly, (this is what takes the most self control, so bear with me), low carbs or no carbs.

No more than 30 carbs a day, no carbs after lunch.

4-6 liters of water throughout the day, 1 liter before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You must have 10-12 hours of time in between when you eat at night and when you eat in the morning. So have dinner at 7 and breakfast at 7.

That's about it. The carbs I consume are from fruits, veggies and/or nuts.
By removing the carbs, your calorie deficit is massive, don't worry, you can make up for it with meat. smile
Here is how I think...

Carbs are your enemy.

Veggies, fruits and some nuts are your friends.

Water and lean chicken, fish and steak are your closest allies.


But that's just my thing.. I mean, you can take it or leave it. I lost 30 lbs from it and I have rock hard abs now. After just a year of even doing it with "cheat days", I literally changed my body and I feel much better about myself. A cheat day comes in after about a month of doing it, you just let a cheat day come in on one day of the week. So my cheat days are usually Wednesdays due to the fact that I am out all day and so I let myself eat out.. It also stops my girlfriend from feeling self conscious, she hates seeing me eat so healthy when she is slurping down a slushie on a date. smile

Oh and take it slow with the water.. I don't wanna kill anybody. I am a 180 lb guy now. I used to be 210 lbs. So if you're smaller, then you may want to make it one liter or even half a liter per meal. I hate having more than 3 meals a day, it is awkward and I never have time for it.
John Dapper
You're never "too fat" to build muscle. Maybe too fat to bulk, but you Do Not need to bulk to gain muscle, especially not for beginner lifters.

Abs are 70% percent diet, 30% lifting. To have visible abs, you have to be below at least 8% body fat. Those models are probably around 5%. I would recommend to continue lifting, but to eat a similar amount of calories. Increase how much protein you are eating to at least .5grams/pound per body weight if not closer to 1g/pound of bodyweight. To get abs like theirs, you need to do Weighted ab exercises. Lift like you would any other muscle for growth, as heavy as you can for 8-12 reps each set.

I would recommend getting your body fat checked and go from there. Many gyms will do a body fat test with either calipers, or an electronic scale that sends Painless electronic surges through your body.

If you want to know how many calories to eat, just google BMR calculator and it should tell you roughly how many calories a day you should eat to stay the same weight.

To end, eat however much you have been eating but more protein. In addition to your running, do weighted ab exercises and possibly more bodybuilding stuff if you want. Don't worry about getting "too muscular" it won't happen unless you try ridiculously hard.


I agree with this as well. Honestly, getting too muscular is due to two things..
1. Steroids.
2. Genetic mutation/dysfunctions.

So honestly, doing full body work outs which include your abs such as, push ups, planks, swimming, climbing trees, running, pull ups etc.. Those will crank up metabolism and get your abs rock hard.
F u j i b e r r y's avatar

Dapper Codger

Abs come with lower bodyfat, HOWEVER, 'cutting fat' doesn't necessarily give you abs if there isn't any already built. You have to bulk and lift heavy and often for a considerable amount of time. You're going to gain some fat with the muscle, but that's just how it goes. Cut afterwards and there you go. If you don't have visible abs then, bulk again, then cut.
F u j i b e r r y's avatar

Dapper Codger

You're at the low end weight wise because of your height. BULK NOW. Come back in a year or two, then cut. : )
Thanks for responding guys!!

Nocturoe Nara
I was always built larger than the average person.. My shoulders are 1' 10" in width and my waist itself is 34 inches around.. I am also 5' 9" and I weigh about 180 lbs. Yes I have abs, but I didn't start out that way.

As you may know, when it comes to abs, it isn't about weight anymore, it is about body fat.

There are many ways to lose weight.

1. Calorie diet, straight and simple. Just determine how many calories you consume and eat less than what your body demands.

2. Working out, this helps boost your metabolism and makes losing fat much easier.

3. Metabolic diet, this is when you eat food in such a manner that it encourages burning even more calories and targets fat specifically while building muscle.
This includes; when you eat, when you stop eating, how you eat, what you drink and how much you drink (water) and what you eat.


First off, I don't change my calorie intake by looking at the calories alone, you will see why in a moment as it will make sense.

Secondly, I work out by swimming, biking and running, these three exercises are very different yet all attack your entire body, causing mass fat loss and metabolism boosts. Those three also work on your abs a ton. Lifting weights is great too.

Thirdly, (this is what takes the most self control, so bear with me), low carbs or no carbs.

No more than 30 carbs a day, no carbs after lunch.

4-6 liters of water throughout the day, 1 liter before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You must have 10-12 hours of time in between when you eat at night and when you eat in the morning. So for example.. If you have dinner at 7, you must eat breakfast after/at 7.

That's about it. The carbs I consume are from fruits, veggies and/or nuts.
By removing the carbs, your calorie deficit is massive, don't worry, you can make up for it with meat. smile
Here is how I think...

Carbs are your enemy.

Veggies, fruits and some nuts are your friends.

Water and lean chicken, fish and steak are your closest allies.


That sounds pretty good! I've been doing a lot of this already to get where I am today. I'm not familiar at all with carbs and haven't really looked into that. I'm taking a more "common sense" kind of approach like what you're suggesting- if I want to be healthier, I simply eat healthier and get active. I'm very ignorant when it comes to "lifting" and what not- did you do any of that to get where you are today, or did you stick with your running, swimming, etc?


F u j i b e r r y
Abs come with lower bodyfat, HOWEVER, 'cutting fat' doesn't necessarily give you abs if there isn't any already built. You have to bulk and lift heavy and often for a considerable amount of time. You're going to gain some fat with the muscle, but that's just how it goes. Cut afterwards and there you go. If you don't have visible abs then, bulk again, then cut.

F u j i b e r r y
You're at the low end weight wise because of your height. BULK NOW. Come back in a year or two, then cut. : )


I'm sorry, I'm new to this, but what exactly is bulking? sweatdrop

What exactly should I be lifting? lol I have no idea any of the exercises I should be doing. This is how I'm picturing it so far: continue running everyday, eat like I have been (only drinking water, having "what I need" not overeating, more fruits and veggies, etc.), and go to the gym to "lift" or something for a bit? I'm so in the dark. xd
F u j i b e r r y's avatar

Dapper Codger

Tuken
Thanks for responding guys!!

Nocturoe Nara
I was always built larger than the average person.. My shoulders are 1' 10" in width and my waist itself is 34 inches around.. I am also 5' 9" and I weigh about 180 lbs. Yes I have abs, but I didn't start out that way.

As you may know, when it comes to abs, it isn't about weight anymore, it is about body fat.

There are many ways to lose weight.

1. Calorie diet, straight and simple. Just determine how many calories you consume and eat less than what your body demands.

2. Working out, this helps boost your metabolism and makes losing fat much easier.

3. Metabolic diet, this is when you eat food in such a manner that it encourages burning even more calories and targets fat specifically while building muscle.
This includes; when you eat, when you stop eating, how you eat, what you drink and how much you drink (water) and what you eat.


First off, I don't change my calorie intake by looking at the calories alone, you will see why in a moment as it will make sense.

Secondly, I work out by swimming, biking and running, these three exercises are very different yet all attack your entire body, causing mass fat loss and metabolism boosts. Those three also work on your abs a ton. Lifting weights is great too.

Thirdly, (this is what takes the most self control, so bear with me), low carbs or no carbs.

No more than 30 carbs a day, no carbs after lunch.

4-6 liters of water throughout the day, 1 liter before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You must have 10-12 hours of time in between when you eat at night and when you eat in the morning. So for example.. If you have dinner at 7, you must eat breakfast after/at 7.

That's about it. The carbs I consume are from fruits, veggies and/or nuts.
By removing the carbs, your calorie deficit is massive, don't worry, you can make up for it with meat. smile
Here is how I think...

Carbs are your enemy.

Veggies, fruits and some nuts are your friends.

Water and lean chicken, fish and steak are your closest allies.


That sounds pretty good! I've been doing a lot of this already to get where I am today. I'm not familiar at all with carbs and haven't really looked into that. I'm taking a more "common sense" kind of approach like what you're suggesting- if I want to be healthier, I simply eat healthier and get active. I'm very ignorant when it comes to "lifting" and what not- did you do any of that to get where you are today, or did you stick with your running, swimming, etc?


F u j i b e r r y
Abs come with lower bodyfat, HOWEVER, 'cutting fat' doesn't necessarily give you abs if there isn't any already built. You have to bulk and lift heavy and often for a considerable amount of time. You're going to gain some fat with the muscle, but that's just how it goes. Cut afterwards and there you go. If you don't have visible abs then, bulk again, then cut.

F u j i b e r r y
You're at the low end weight wise because of your height. BULK NOW. Come back in a year or two, then cut. : )


I'm sorry, I'm new to this, but what exactly is bulking? sweatdrop

What exactly should I be lifting? lol I have no idea any of the exercises I should be doing. This is how I'm picturing it so far: continue running everyday, eat like I have been (only drinking water, having "what I need" not overeating, more fruits and veggies, etc.), and go to the gym to "lift" or something for a bit? I'm so in the dark. xd


It's okay. Most people think that building muscle is easy, so you're fine~! Building muscle is a science.

Bulking: Eating at a caloric surplus, building/gaining muscle. Some fat gain is inevitable when building muscle

Cutting: Eating at a caloric deficit, losing fat while trying to maintain muscle gained during the bulk, reveals the muscle underneath the fat gained during the bulk

Caloric maintenance: # of calories your body needs to maintain your weight
Surplus: Eating more than your maintenance
Deficit: Eating under your maintenance

Cardio is detrimental to your muscle building goal if you don't eat enough. Muscles need calories. Cardio burns excess calories you need to build muscle. If you do cardio while trying to build muscle, you must eat back the calories you burned through cardio.

You cannot lose weight and expect to see muscle if there has not been enough time spent bulking. You will end up 'skinny fat'. Slim, but with no muscle tone.

A long slow bulk of at least 1-2 years is recommended for beginners who want some muscle tone to show when they cut.

If you want to slooooowly lose weight and slooooowly build muscle, eat at your maintenance. This only works for beginners. Beginners will have accelerated muscle gain. You gain less muscle each year, so take advantage of your beginner gains.

Compound lifts will be your best friends. Stay away from machines for now, and use compound lifts with free weights. They use more muscles than any exercise and will help you build a solid foundation to build off of.

You must be consistent with lifting and eating to get results. Look for a free muscle building program on bodybuilding.com.

Lift for your goal:
1-6 reps - strength
8-12 - muscle gain and strength
13+ endurance

3-4 sets per exercise is enough.

Lifting 4 days a week is good if you're a beginner. You don't want to risk burning out. Rest is a MUST for your muscle to rebuild themselves.

Hope this all helps! Let me know if you need more info. smile
I'm looking to compete 2+ years from now. I'm currently on a long bulk. : D
F u j i b e r r y

It's okay. Most people think that building muscle is easy, so you're fine~! Building muscle is a science.

Bulking: Eating at a caloric surplus, building/gaining muscle. Some fat gain is inevitable when building muscle

Cutting: Eating at a caloric deficit, losing fat while trying to maintain muscle gained during the bulk, reveals the muscle underneath the fat gained during the bulk

Caloric maintenance: # of calories your body needs to maintain your weight
Surplus: Eating more than your maintenance
Deficit: Eating under your maintenance

Cardio is detrimental to your muscle building goal if you don't eat enough. Muscles need calories. Cardio burns excess calories you need to build muscle. If you do cardio while trying to build muscle, you must eat back the calories you burned through cardio.

You cannot lose weight and expect to see muscle if there has not been enough time spent bulking. You will end up 'skinny fat'. Slim, but with no muscle tone.

A long slow bulk of at least 1-2 years is recommended for beginners who want some muscle tone to show when they cut.

If you want to slooooowly lose weight and slooooowly build muscle, eat at your maintenance. This only works for beginners. Beginners will have accelerated muscle gain. You gain less muscle each year, so take advantage of your beginner gains.

Compound lifts will be your best friends. Stay away from machines for now, and use compound lifts with free weights. They use more muscles than any exercise and will help you build a solid foundation to build off of.

You must be consistent with lifting and eating to get results. Look for a free muscle building program on bodybuilding.com.

Lift for your goal:
1-6 reps - strength
8-12 - muscle gain and strength
13+ endurance

3-4 sets per exercise is enough.

Lifting 4 days a week is good if you're a beginner. You don't want to risk burning out. Rest is a MUST for your muscle to rebuild themselves.

Hope this all helps! Let me know if you need more info. smile
I'm looking to compete 2+ years from now. I'm currently on a long bulk. : D

WOAH, that's a ton of info I had no idea about! xp Thank you for taking time out of your day to respond to me. You've been very helpful and informative. So far, from what I'm understanding, is that in order for me to "get" abs, I will have to decrease on running (or eat more) and focus on lifting weights instead. And because muscle, which I want for my abdominals, need calories to grow, I need to increase my calorie intake (AKA protein?)

I'm not familiar at all with lifting weights (I did have to go through a strength training course in HS, but that was so long ago lol.) And it seems a bit confusing making sure I'm gaining muscle while getting rid of fat. Hopefully this is easier than it seems to look! Good luck with your own journey BTW!
F u j i b e r r y's avatar

Dapper Codger

Tuken
F u j i b e r r y

It's okay. Most people think that building muscle is easy, so you're fine~! Building muscle is a science.

Bulking: Eating at a caloric surplus, building/gaining muscle. Some fat gain is inevitable when building muscle

Cutting: Eating at a caloric deficit, losing fat while trying to maintain muscle gained during the bulk, reveals the muscle underneath the fat gained during the bulk

Caloric maintenance: # of calories your body needs to maintain your weight
Surplus: Eating more than your maintenance
Deficit: Eating under your maintenance

Cardio is detrimental to your muscle building goal if you don't eat enough. Muscles need calories. Cardio burns excess calories you need to build muscle. If you do cardio while trying to build muscle, you must eat back the calories you burned through cardio.

You cannot lose weight and expect to see muscle if there has not been enough time spent bulking. You will end up 'skinny fat'. Slim, but with no muscle tone.

A long slow bulk of at least 1-2 years is recommended for beginners who want some muscle tone to show when they cut.

If you want to slooooowly lose weight and slooooowly build muscle, eat at your maintenance. This only works for beginners. Beginners will have accelerated muscle gain. You gain less muscle each year, so take advantage of your beginner gains.

Compound lifts will be your best friends. Stay away from machines for now, and use compound lifts with free weights. They use more muscles than any exercise and will help you build a solid foundation to build off of.

You must be consistent with lifting and eating to get results. Look for a free muscle building program on bodybuilding.com.

Lift for your goal:
1-6 reps - strength
8-12 - muscle gain and strength
13+ endurance

3-4 sets per exercise is enough.

Lifting 4 days a week is good if you're a beginner. You don't want to risk burning out. Rest is a MUST for your muscle to rebuild themselves.

Hope this all helps! Let me know if you need more info. smile
I'm looking to compete 2+ years from now. I'm currently on a long bulk. : D

WOAH, that's a ton of info I had no idea about! xp Thank you for taking time out of your day to respond to me. You've been very helpful and informative. So far, from what I'm understanding, is that in order for me to "get" abs, I will have to decrease on running (or eat more) and focus on lifting weights instead. And because muscle, which I want for my abdominals, need calories to grow, I need to increase my calorie intake (AKA protein?)

I'm not familiar at all with lifting weights (I did have to go through a strength training course in HS, but that was so long ago lol.) And it seems a bit confusing making sure I'm gaining muscle while getting rid of fat. Hopefully this is easier than it seems to look! Good luck with your own journey BTW!


Yup! You need to eat more! Check out BMR & TDEE calculators online. BMR is the the amount your body burns just by living. Do not under any circumstances, purposefully eat under this amount. Doing so will starve your body. TDEE is your daily expenditure when exercise is taken into account. Eat under this amount to 'cut', and over to 'bulk'. A bulk caloric # is usually above 2,000.

Diet -is- important when cutting, so keep this in mind.
Healthy foods only contain so many calories, so you will have to incorporate more high-caloric foods to meet your surplus goal. You can either count calories or macros.

Eat at least 1-1.5 grams of protein per body weight pound.
For instance, I weigh 109 lbs. I need around 109 g of protein daily for muscle growth.
Carbs are needed for energy, and healthy fats are needed for muscle growth as well.

You seem to be on the lower end weight wise for your height, so I wouldn't worry about losing fat. You don't need to be super skinny to start bulking either. You just need to have low enough body fat that you're not obese or overweight. I started when I was slim, but I definitely had pudge to me. I was 'skinny fat' .

If you're looking for more info, check out he 'stickies' in the forums at Bodybuilding.com. There's tons of info and people are always willing to steer you to the right, healthy path.

It's definitely really confusing at first, so don't worry! It took me several months of trial an error as well as learning in my spare time.

And don't worry about supplements for now. After several months, if you feel like you really need some, buy them. The beginner gains already puts you at an advantage. The only thing I would really advise is possibly getting some protein powder if you're the kind of person who doesn't really incorporate a lot of it in their diet naturally.

And as always, eat whole foods! Cut the processed junk. Eat treats in moderation, but don't forget to indulge and enjoy life. smile
F u j i b e r r y's avatar

Dapper Codger

And thank you! smile
Tuken
Hey guys! Back in November I created a thread sharing my message: I need to get rid of my pudge! You guys gave me some handy advice for my journey, and I would love to hear anymore you guys have for me. You see, my main goal, other than developing a healthier lifestyle, is to make my abdominal muscles visible. To give you a better idea of what I'm hoping for, I'm picturing something like how these Abercrombie models look like. Especially the kind of build on the two on the right. Something Zac Efron-ish, not something crazy-muscle man-built.

So here's my current situation: When I started on November 1st, I weighed 188. Currently, as of April 26th, I weigh 141.3 pounds. (My height is around 5'7 if that's needed too.) The thing is, I don't know if that's an "appropriate" number to start training differently for the look I'm going for. Basically, all of my exercising has consisted of running a half an hour everyday- and I don't know if 141.3 is low enough to start building muscle. From what I understand, making abs visible requires low fat content, and I don't know if I'm low enough.

What should I do? What do you guys recommend? Should I just continue strictly running for awhile longer, and start lifting weights when I'm at 130 (or something even lower?) I don't even know what exercises I should do when I get to that point.

Any advice is awesome! surprised






ʕ•㉨•ʔ I heard that abs is actually genetic. Some people can get 4 packs some can get 6 packs some get none. But yeah, you basically have to reduce body fat in order for your abs to show.

I'm not bragging or anything, but I do have some abs that are a little visible. I do need to lose more weight in order for them to be more defined. I think core strengthening and stability exercises are good for abdominal muscles. ʕ•㉨•ʔ

F u j i b e r r y
Tuken
F u j i b e r r y

It's okay. Most people think that building muscle is easy, so you're fine~! Building muscle is a science.

Bulking: Eating at a caloric surplus, building/gaining muscle. Some fat gain is inevitable when building muscle

Cutting: Eating at a caloric deficit, losing fat while trying to maintain muscle gained during the bulk, reveals the muscle underneath the fat gained during the bulk

Caloric maintenance: # of calories your body needs to maintain your weight
Surplus: Eating more than your maintenance
Deficit: Eating under your maintenance

Cardio is detrimental to your muscle building goal if you don't eat enough. Muscles need calories. Cardio burns excess calories you need to build muscle. If you do cardio while trying to build muscle, you must eat back the calories you burned through cardio.

You cannot lose weight and expect to see muscle if there has not been enough time spent bulking. You will end up 'skinny fat'. Slim, but with no muscle tone.

A long slow bulk of at least 1-2 years is recommended for beginners who want some muscle tone to show when they cut.

If you want to slooooowly lose weight and slooooowly build muscle, eat at your maintenance. This only works for beginners. Beginners will have accelerated muscle gain. You gain less muscle each year, so take advantage of your beginner gains.

Compound lifts will be your best friends. Stay away from machines for now, and use compound lifts with free weights. They use more muscles than any exercise and will help you build a solid foundation to build off of.

You must be consistent with lifting and eating to get results. Look for a free muscle building program on bodybuilding.com.

Lift for your goal:
1-6 reps - strength
8-12 - muscle gain and strength
13+ endurance

3-4 sets per exercise is enough.

Lifting 4 days a week is good if you're a beginner. You don't want to risk burning out. Rest is a MUST for your muscle to rebuild themselves.

Hope this all helps! Let me know if you need more info. smile
I'm looking to compete 2+ years from now. I'm currently on a long bulk. : D

WOAH, that's a ton of info I had no idea about! xp Thank you for taking time out of your day to respond to me. You've been very helpful and informative. So far, from what I'm understanding, is that in order for me to "get" abs, I will have to decrease on running (or eat more) and focus on lifting weights instead. And because muscle, which I want for my abdominals, need calories to grow, I need to increase my calorie intake (AKA protein?)

I'm not familiar at all with lifting weights (I did have to go through a strength training course in HS, but that was so long ago lol.) And it seems a bit confusing making sure I'm gaining muscle while getting rid of fat. Hopefully this is easier than it seems to look! Good luck with your own journey BTW!


Yup! You need to eat more! Check out BMR & TDEE calculators online. BMR is the the amount your body burns just by living. Do not under any circumstances, purposefully eat under this amount. Doing so will starve your body. TDEE is your daily expenditure when exercise is taken into account. Eat under this amount to 'cut', and over to 'bulk'. A bulk caloric # is usually above 2,000.

Diet -is- important when cutting, so keep this in mind.
Healthy foods only contain so many calories, so you will have to incorporate more high-caloric foods to meet your surplus goal. You can either count calories or macros.

Eat at least 1-1.5 grams of protein per body weight pound.
For instance, I weigh 109 lbs. I need around 109 g of protein daily for muscle growth.
Carbs are needed for energy, and healthy fats are needed for muscle growth as well.

You seem to be on the lower end weight wise for your height, so I wouldn't worry about losing fat. You don't need to be super skinny to start bulking either. You just need to have low enough body fat that you're not obese or overweight. I started when I was slim, but I definitely had pudge to me. I was 'skinny fat' .

If you're looking for more info, check out he 'stickies' in the forums at Bodybuilding.com. There's tons of info and people are always willing to steer you to the right, healthy path.

It's definitely really confusing at first, so don't worry! It took me several months of trial an error as well as learning in my spare time.

And don't worry about supplements for now. After several months, if you feel like you really need some, buy them. The beginner gains already puts you at an advantage. The only thing I would really advise is possibly getting some protein powder if you're the kind of person who doesn't really incorporate a lot of it in their diet naturally.

And as always, eat whole foods! Cut the processed junk. Eat treats in moderation, but don't forget to indulge and enjoy life. smile

It's funny to hear someone say I'm on the lower end weight-wise. I've always been considered a chunky person lol xd Thank you again! You've showed me a different PoV than I've been looking at. I just figured I should always keep my body moving- as in, I didn't realize running could actually lower my chances of "getting" abs. I will definitely look at the forums there too btw! heart

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