Workout/Nutrition Advice

Answered on June 27, 2013
Created June 20, 2013 at 11:58 PM

Hey there everyone-

So I've asked several questions since first coming to this site, and after a month or so, I'm into a new dilema-

My last post concerned finding out my Testosterone level was frighteningly low, and asking for advice about it- I still have very low levels, and am waiting to start TRT as soon as possible.

However, in dealing with this issue, my endocrinologist suggested I have a bod-pod test done, in order to determine if my T levels were a result of a too-low body fat percentage. I went today, and according to the test, I have 4.3% body fat. Jusr some info regarding myself: I'm 16, 114 lbs, (earlier I thought I was 118, but it turns out I'd been weighing myself improperly, I was weighing myself after drinking my morning tea and going to the bathroom, and as I have muliple cups in the morning, some of the weight was water.) 5'7" tall.

I don't look as though my BF is this low, however, but that apparently is because all of the avaliable fat my body has has been redistributed to my abdomen, around my organs, as a stress reaction to my low BF and screwed up hormones. I have recently watched as my definition in my body slowly gets worse... it has been frustrating to not know why, but I know now that I haven't been eating enough, or getting the right amounts of macro nutrients. (too few carbs for the intensity of the workouts I was doing) Additionally, I received tons of advice about the sort of workout program I should start doing, instead of the long, "chronic," workouts I've been doing up until now. However, I don't know quite what I should do yet... Here are my questions:

I was advised to try "westside for skinny bastards," but I'm going to be working out in a crossfit gym, so I'll only have access to olympic bars, and maybe some dumbbells, along with a place to do dips and pullups- Are there any programs, maybe even Crossfit-related, that would be good for adding strength AND muscle? (I don't want to be a puffy bodybuilder who only looks good, but I also don't want to just be strong, I do want to gain noticeable muscle AND be able to use it)

Is WSFSS a good place to start, considering I've never really done any real heavy strength training before? How does it compare in your opinion, to doing full body workouts 3x a week, and if that would be better, what do you suggest for a program? I've heard of Starting strength, stronglifts, and many of the other programs like it, but they seem only aimed at strength, while my goals are slightly more narcissistic than that, if you see what I mean :)

Alternatively, would any of you advise forgoing these strength type workouts, and actually pick up a more bodybuilding-styled approach to exercise? if so, what programs do you know of that would work (IYO) for me?

I also plan on doing gymnastics skill work 2-3 times a week, and a plyometric or HIIT cardio sprinting/other workout like that once a week... would it be better to do these 2x a week? also, how would crossfit metcons fit into this sort of schedule, would they replace a HIIT sprint workout?

LASTLY: How would you advise nutrition for this? Carb cycling seems to be a smart idea, but would it be good to do the high carb days 3x a week vs 2x a week on my heaviest training days? also, I've been not eatingenough, and tracking my food, I've been eating around 2400 cals on avg per day, over the course of the week. I don't want to track calories and macros anymore, and I'm trying to stop, but I'm afraid of not eating enough, and just continuing to lose body composition, as well as not heal my hormone issues, so what would you advise I eat in terms of calories, and also particularly in the form of carbs and protein- I have been eating around 220 grams of protein a day, is that too much for my weight, even though I'm a teenager, and working out hard? the carbs portion is regarding how much I'd really need for the WSFSB/other strength training program, along with the sprints/plyo or metcons and gymnastics I'm planning to do. ALRIGHT

That wraps it up... I apologize if this is hard to understand, but anyway, any advice would be appreciated.



on June 21, 2013
at 12:37 AM

Seriously, eat. Eat lots, you are woefully underweight. 4% BF is just above minimum.

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on June 27, 2013
at 08:07 PM

Right, so, first things first: YOU NEED TO EAT MORE. Matt noted this as well, but honestly, if you eat good food, I promise you that no matter how much you eat, you will NOT gain a significant amount of body fat. You are a teenager looking at doing a heavy lifting program: you are God's gift to meatheads at the moment and will be until well into your 20s. EAT MORE. It cannot be said enough for anyone wanting to put on muscle.

In regards to lifing: if you haven't done a lot of lifting before, it won't matter which program you use, you will gain significant amounts of muscle regardless. I'm a personal fan of Stronglifts or Starting Strength, but any heavy lifting routine will work, as will a bodyweight routine. Again, if you haven't been lifting before, don't even worry about trying to maximize muscle growth with a "bodybuilding routine." Just focus on building functional strength and the muscle will come naturally to you.

If you want to put on muscle, you've got to cut your exercise levels down considerably. You were planning on doing 3xWeek heavy lifting ALONG WITH 3xW gymnastic skill workouts AND 2xW sprinting? You'll end up burned out and possibly in worse shape than before if you try that. Putting on muscle means lifting HEAVY, heavy enough that you have to rest the days in between workouts. Put too much on your body during the week and you won't recover enough to make any progress.

Also, if you're eating 220g of protein a day, where in the world are you getting 2400 calories a day from? I have trouble eating more than 150g a day unless I force-feed myself and I'm 6'2'' and skinny as a rail still. You need to cut back on some of that protein and focus on getting carbs or fats into your diet instead to up your caloric intake. Again, at your age and with what you're planning, it's not going to matter which you eat: your body just needs calories to produce muscle with. Don't sweat macronutrient ratios: get at least a gram of protein per pound of body weight and eat A LOT otherwise.

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