Need some guidance/help

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    Jul 11, 2010 7:08 PM GMT
    I have plateaued at 215 lbs ( ideally would like 195) and I cant get my biceps to fucking gain anything. any suggestions? This has been a tremendous year for me. I went from a fat ass ( 300 lb, lazy slob April/May 2009) to a healthy, in-shape soldier, who excels at Army PT and can smoke most of his fellow soldiers. I worked very hard everyday for hours and maintained a good diet and had alot of success with that. These days however. Nothing I do seems to bring results or success. Hell I ran 18+ miles this week and that didnt do shit. Any ideas or suggestions would be great!
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    Jul 11, 2010 8:01 PM GMT
    Crossfit dude.
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    Jul 11, 2010 8:30 PM GMT
    Hey - first of all, thanks very much for your service. There are other active duty and recent-service vets on the site.

    I like the workout programs and philosophy in Stuart McRobert's books, especially Beyond Brawn. The basic philosophy he recommends is to first concentrate on a solid program of major multi-joint exercises, and most body parts will fall in line, with spot work only as needed.

    That might seem counter-intuitive, but I see guys working their biceps excessively (actually over-working them) and staying on a plateau.

    The only other thing is the amount of your cardio if you're doing as part of your plan to cut weight, often hard to build muscle at the same time. That's why guys often have separate cutting and bulking phases. (Some people can do both cutting and bulking at the same time, but for many better results are achieved by concentrating on each separately.) One strategy would be to focus on getting to 195 assuming that puts you at a good BF%, and not worry about increasing muscle mass until you get there.

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    Jul 11, 2010 11:18 PM GMT
    Why so concerned about dropping weight? Obviously you're physically fit. And don't forget that muscle weighs more than fat. I'm sure as you're losing the fat, you're gaining lean muscle mass. So it would seem like you hit a plateau. But really, you're making progress.

    As for biceps, train them twice a week. Use a variety of exercises. Focus on proper form.
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    Jul 12, 2010 12:05 PM GMT
    Just a couple of additional comments:

    If you were to lose fat and go from 215 to 195, then put on additional muscle, you would put on additional pounds. So 195 might not be your ultimate goal. Really pointing out the importance of going by body fat % instead of weight.

    Measuring BF is a whole topic in itself. I haven't kept up with the most recent literature on this, but based on a few years ago: the electrical methods to measure BF are not accurate because of the many variables that impact the reading that are hard to control. Underwater weighing is among the best, but only if the lab also measures your residual lung capacity instead of doing what I think most do, that is use tables to estimate it. Probably the best practical method is for an experienced person measuring skin folds with calipers.

    If you do need to lose some fat and also want to gain additional muscle mass, there is some debate as to whether you do both simultaneously. My sense is that the further out of shape you are, the easier it is to do both simultaneously. But the closer you get to your "ideal" in terms of BF% and desired muscle mass, it does become harder, and many guys will concentrate on either cutting or bulking.

    Also some related info here:

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bbinfo.php?page=hitprograms
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    Jul 12, 2010 5:51 PM GMT
    Thanks for the advice and information. I really need to find someone in the area that is more well versed in exercise and personal training to walk me through setting up the proper routine. If you have any suggestions for a plan that would help me feel free to send it my way.

    My ideal goal is to get my abs and torso to a place were i feel comfortable to shedding clothes in front of others. At basic and AIT it wasn't a issue but now i get so fricken nervous. I just want to get some sort of visible abs. I am fully aware that this also-in part- is left of psychological issues from when i was bigger.

    I dont think it helps either that i am surrounded by so many people with perfect bodies. It just makes me feel even more out of place. This last week was the first time it really truly affected my love life and it sucked. I landed a 10/10 and i couldn'y take my shirt off since i couldn't even remotely compete body wise. It fucking sucked.

    Sorry for the rant. any help would be appreciated.
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    Jul 12, 2010 6:15 PM GMT
    Look on the bright side man, you landed a 10/10! You obviously have what it takes already.
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    Jul 12, 2010 6:33 PM GMT
    sounds like you need a shake up to training or diet. If i could see your body better i´d be able to make more accurate comments (trust me, I´m a professional hahaha)
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    Jul 12, 2010 6:53 PM GMT
    Mil8 saidLook on the bright side man, you landed a 10/10! You obviously have what it takes already.



    haha true i landed a 10/10 but then cut out of the picture entirely...obviously not good enough for round two!!

    Lost Boy- pictures will be coming soon!
  • HndsmKansan

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    Jul 12, 2010 7:00 PM GMT
    Keep up the great work and congrats on a job well done!

    Plateus are commonplace and usually have to mix it up with diet or exercise. Just make sure to approach it reasonably, maybe even get some input from a licensed trainer or dietician.

    Above all, awesome... you definitely belong here. My hats off to you for your time and dedication.
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    Jul 12, 2010 8:09 PM GMT
    The book I mentioned by Stuart McRobert, Beyond Brawn, will help you design a specific program: exercise selection, reps, sets, grouping e.g. 3 day splits.