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Old 02-13-2005, 02:49   #1
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Protein or calories more important for lean gains?

I'm having a problem with my midsection getting loose while making weight gains from lifting.

I've been lifting weights for about 7 years, sometimes more serious that other times. The past few years I've gotten pretty serious and have been making steady progress and overall added about 45 pounds to my frame. At 6' tall I started at only 140lbs, and now weigh 185 with fairly low bodyfat (never had a body fat test done though). I've always been thin and can basically eat whatever I want.

My whole body seems to have good shape and is muscular (most people I meet can tell I lift weights just by looking at me), but from over eating my midsection has gotten a little loose. The rest of my body is hard, and I you can see defenition in my abs, but with a slight layer of fat over them.

In the winter I do zero cardio since I'm such a hard gainer, and still stay quite lean, and in the summer I lift and mountian bike. I eat 6 meals a day and get about 180 grams of protein a day.

I'm not quite sure what I should do to tighten up my midsection. I don't want to cut back on calories because forcing myself to eat more is the only way I've made real gains. Obviously I want to keep my protein high. I'm nervous to do cardio since I don't want to burn any extra calories that I need.

I was thinking of cutting back on carbs and trying to replace those calories with protein, and doing some cardio. I realize it is almost impossible to make muscle/weight gains without adding atleast a little fat. What are your thoughts?
Without progression, I am nothing.

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Old 02-13-2005, 03:13   #2
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Protein, Carbs, Fats, Alcohol...they're ALL calories!

My man, you're going to have to do some cardio if you want to REALLY lean up your midsection.

You'll need to create an ever-so-slight deficiency in your caloric intake, make the deficiency come from your fat calories (but don't cut fat out completely) and up your cardio in frequency AND intensity.

Work your abs hard, but keep the rest of your body busy with resistance training as well. Remember, spot reduction is a MYTH! In order to lose fat in one area, you've got to work your entire body. Your body has it's own "order of fat loss", and there isn't much you can do about that...it's just genetics. For men, it's usually their tummys and love handles that go last. With women, it's their thighs and butts.

Also, with your body weight and activity level, you are doing fine with your current daily protein intake and won't really benefit from taking in any more per day.

Good luck and keep it up.
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:37   #3
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Isn't it difficult to add lean mass and reduce body fat at the same time? I've always understood that this is why serious lifters and bodybuilders go through bulking and cutting cycles.

They eat a ton while bulking so the body has ample calories to build lean mass, but this always comes with a bit of body fat. Then they run a caloric deficit and really bump up the cardio to get rid of the fat they added during the bulking phase. You'll lose a bit of muscle during this phase, but if you do it correctly, it will be minimal.

Do some research on that and I'm sure you'll find a ton of info.
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Old 02-14-2005, 20:08   #4
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you need the cals in order to gain, you also need quality protein...
without chemical assistance it would be difficult to gain muscle and loose fat at the same time....so either dont worry about looking fat right now and concentrate on gaining....then when you get to the size you want to get to diet down, keeping your protein intake steady as to preserve your muscle mass
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