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Abs - genetic predisposition or doing something wrong?

Discussion in 'Fat Loss/Cutting' started by emanphx, Jun 10, 2008.

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  1. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    I've now been working out for approximately one and a half years. I'm nearing the 8-week mark of my latest cut following a 3-month bulk, hoping to finally get some good abs showing. I've taken off 11lbs since my end-bulk weight (183lbs), and currently weigh 172lbs (I'm 6'1" tall). I'm a bit leery of cutting any further, though so far it's been a really good cut from my measurements - dropped just over 2" back off my waist, and bicep measurement's only gone down 0.1" during that time.

    So, my question now is, what on earth can I do to get my abs properly showing? I've had a vertical separation for the last few months, but no other definition besides that. I can't even feel any horizontal separation with my hands, just feels like 2 blocks, one on either side of the vertical line. Am I genetically pre-disposed to not have good abs showing, do I need to do more focused ab exercises (I currently do a 4-day SGX-style split, including squats, deadlifts, bench presses, etc, and one day includes focused ab training for 8 sets), or do I just need to lower my body fat even more (continued cut, or what's the best approach at this point?)

    My diet's 100% on track, when I'm cutting I'm taking in 180g of protein on non-lifting days, and 230g on lifting days, 60g and 75g of fat respectively, and keeping carbs down to just post-workout and a tiny bit in the evenings on off days (SGX-style diet and workout plan) with 6 meals per day. I eat only natural, whole foods. I have a solid cheat meal once every 2 weeks during this cut.

    A few pics are below showing my various cutting/bulking cycles and weights. From the pics, I don't see my body looking much different between January and June of this year, although I'm about 4lbs heavier now which is hopefully muscle, but I just don't see it on my body.

    Thanks for any and all advice!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  2. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    Here's what I see:

    Your body fat percentage looks about the same April and September, even though you're 9 pounds heavier. So that's really good news. Great job! Then in October, November it's up a little bit, but still fine. But the cut seems to have brought your body fat percentage and weight back down very close to where it used to be. :( (not much different between Sep 07 and Jan 08) Between January and June, I see a slight bit of difference, mostly in the shoulder area (notice the position of your arms and how far you're holding them out from your hips).

    It's funny; I would have expected to see more of a difference with such a detailed lifting and nutrition program. I'm not surprised that you're frustrated.

    I would say that probably a very slow controlled bulk could get you a better physique than trying to keep cutting. I wouldn't worry about the abs, but instead focus on a good building phase for shoulders, chest, pecs, and quads, with something either at or just above maintenance calories. That should hopefully bring your body fat percentage down without you losing any real scale weight.
     
  3. Red23

    Red23 Active Member

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    First off, nice work. Big difference between now and back in 06. There is a big difference in those pictures Seeing your abs is +80% bodyfat and probably 20% being a good core. If your doing deads, squats, etc. and a bit of ab training, which you say you are, then it's mostly about lowering your bf. We all have our tougher areas and you may be predisposed to storing in your mid-section which a lot of us are.

    If you are dead set on seeing ripped abs then you need to continue cutting. However, when you are ready I'd focus on a nice clean bulk to add a bit more lean mass. Pretty much round 2 of replicating the last year and a half of the solid work you did.

    Again, great work and good luck.
     
  4. 100%

    100% Active Member

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    Good work, what about cardio are you doing any?
     
  5. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for the responses so far. Sorry I forgot to include my cardio -- when I'm cutting I'm doing 45 minutes of LISS at 135 bpm 6x a week, fasted first thing in the morning. Boy am I hungry after those sessions! :)

    When I'm bulking my strength goes up pretty steadily so I feel confident that I'm packing on muscle then, but looking at the weights that I'm moving now while cutting compared to my last cut at the end of 2007, most of my weights are only up by about 5lbs (chest presses are a bit better, 10lbs heavier for all the exercises).

    Definitely getting frustrated with things and need to implement something differently.

    One last thing I forgot to include - in addition to lifting 4x a week, I also rock climb for 3 hours Tues and Thurs evenings. Slight concern about over-training with that thrown into the mix, but I loooove both hobbies/sports so much I can't give either up :)

    The bulking protocol that I've followed 09/07-11/07 and 01/08-04/08 were strict SUP2, although in the second round I stopped doing cardio in the mornings altogether, as I always work up a hell of a sweat during rock climbing and thought that would make a decent replacement. That also let me pack on weight a bit quicker than when I was doing cardio 3x a week on the full SUP2 protocol.

    My concern with continuing to cut is getting *too* skinny again and sacrificing some muscle.. plus, even when I was at 158lbs at my absolute lightest, even then I still had a bit of a belly and wasn't seeing any abs, so I'm not feeling confident that continuing to cut would get my abs to pop, hence my original question about it being a genetic problem, or what I need to do differently. I lost a LOT of weight when I was at 158lbs but my bf % remained pretty consistent.
     
  6. carguy

    carguy Well-Known Member

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    Eman, I see a difference in those pics. Your forearms, biceps, shoulders, traps, delts all look bigger and more defined. Your chest does too. Your waist is small and you are already at a low weight for your height so I wouldn't cut any more if I were you. I know you want to see the abs but that must be your problem area. Mine is my chest. With your discipline, if you could add even more mass to your upper body and legs, I don't think anyone would even notice that your six pack is reluctant to show itself.

    Congrats on the work so far. I think your best lifts are still ahead of you.:tu:
     
  7. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    Thanks Carguy for your input -- maybe I just need to age 20 years before I can get your kind of results! *smile* You continue to be quite the inspiration.

    Looking at my pics and stats again after reading Guava's comments about my best progress seeming to be from May 2007 - August 2007, I think I'd have to agree. I did get noticeably bigger during that time (+9 lbs) while keeping my body fat about the same.

    Doing the traditional bulk/cut cycle for all of 2008 has resulted in less off a difference than doing a slow clean bulk as I did in mid-2007. The bulk/cut cycles seem to work for most people, but for whatever reason, doesn't seem to have much of an effect on me.

    With that in mind, I'm now looking to continue a slow bulk as a few of you recommended to see if I can get the same results as I did last year. I also didn't like how fat I was starting to look at the end of my 3-month bulk (although I got rid of all that extra fat within 2 weeks of switching to cutting, thankfully!).

    Now I just need to figure out macro and calorie numbers for doing a slow bulk.. any tips on that one? My SUP2 bulking numbers were:

    Non-training days: 180g protein / 130g carbs / 45g fat
    Training days: 230g protein / 340g carbs / 30g fat


    Thanks again everyone, really good to get some input from other folks, I appreciate the time you took to look over my post and offer your advice!


    Cheers..
     
  8. jkugelman

    jkugelman Active Member

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    Wait a minute. Were those your cutting or bulking numbers? Cause that comes out to 1,645 calories on non-training days, 2,550 on training days. There's no way you could put on weight eating so little! :doh:
     
  9. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    I just double-checked, and yes, those are correct; the tiny detail I omitted was an apple on training days just before working out.

    The only thing I did differently between my official SUP2 bulk (09/2007 - 11/2007), and my unofficial SUP2 bulk (01/08 - 04/08) was approximately 100g more protein per day on both training and non-training days, and I was also doing cardio 3x a week back then. I ended up putting on weight a bit quick once I dropped the cardio for my unofficial SUP2 bulking, and decreased the protein intake (I didn't want to be consuming that much unnatural food from shakes, and only do shakes PWO now).

    As you can see in the pics, I definitely put on weight with that number of calories.

    Looking through my food logs from early August, before starting SUP2, I was taking in an average of 2,500-3,000 calories per day with a variety of foods, that's when I was doing my "slow, clean bulk" before following an official program.

    I'd love to hear opinions as to why I bulked up so much and so quickly with SUP2, despite taking in fewer calories?

    Thanks..
     
  10. carguy

    carguy Well-Known Member

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    It's called "Gain 20 Pounds With Carguy" :whistle:;) You were a star pupil. :lol: I wish I could have had more success in my own challenge.:doh:
     
  11. SwoleCat

    SwoleCat Well-Known Member

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    With me being the creator of SUP2, why not come to me and ask me how I made that possible? This would be far more beneficial in terms of gathering the accurate reasoning and methodologies as to exactly how this was made possible.

    Basically, u throw out the 80's mentality of "a calorie is a calorie" and kcals in vs. kcals out. Those are miles away from truly what is, and those who have worked with me now understand that the focus is entirely in different locations than those.

    Great you have done so well! For the ab development, u need more ab work, (genetics may hold a perfect six pack back away from you, that's just reality and I've seen this in many), and your entire body needs to grow and add 10-20-30 lbs. of muscle over 5+ years of hard-work and intelligent nutrition. The more you develop your entire self, the entire entity that is your physique, the better each bodypart will appear.

    Keep up the great work on SUP2!

    ~SC~
     
  12. SwoleCat

    SwoleCat Well-Known Member

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    I have to be honest as a paid sponsor in saying that it's a bummer that you disclosed so much of the personal program specifics that were agreed by you in the delivery of the protocol to be kept off of all public forum settings out of respect of what I do.

    Nothing you mentioned will give one their macro amounts which is the true factor that changes one entirely along w/constant adjustments, it's just a bummer that you went against the agreement when you first began.

    Just a bit disappointed, nothing groundbreaking was disclosed, but the fact of the agreement as to any info is applicable here as many SUP2 practices I constructed for what are your fantastic results, were
    regurgitated here in quite a few places.

    ~SC~
     
  13. Joel V.

    Joel V. Active Member

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    :mad: I'd be pissed also!
     
  14. alexbat

    alexbat Well-Known Member

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    Add 1-2 tbs of fish oil and you will see drastical changes in your physique.
     
  15. SwoleCat

    SwoleCat Well-Known Member

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    It's simply very disappointing in that after one agrees to keep what I've developed private. It's like not being able to trust those you assist when I keep my end of the bargain legit. I don't go around posting pictures and updates, as those are personal materials not intended for my dissemination. It's true that in reality (especially nutrition wise and with adjustments to be made) that his approach will work for him ONLY, but the sheer disregard for honoring an agreement and keeping your word just makes me shake my head. Hence the reason I tend to be very curt and
    to the point when it comes to issues such as this, as it's just disrespectful and wrong. I'm a believer in Karma, and access to my forums/consult/VIP client only access will be negated once I gather the information I'll be attaining in a couple of days as I have positive work to do in new clients and in enjoying summer time with my 9 year old son who is now out of school on break.

    In due time, no worries, carry on. At least the positive aspect of this thread is that of the sterling results seen as a results of my methodologies/formulas/intelligence as to when to alter this/that/etc.
    Honest people who operate in good faith are rewarded, and I shall be rewarded.

    All done here.

    ~SC~
     
  16. NCNBilly

    NCNBilly Well-Known Member

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    Wow, Chris...I was thinking the same thing as I was reading the posts. I'm sure John will delete it or edit it out if you like, but the "damage" has been done. In reality, though, with the number of clients you've had there are bound to be some that won't honor the nondisclosure, you've been pretty lucky with the small percentage IMO.

    As a faithful follower of SC, I'll vouch that the programs are personalized and that the above would likely flop for someone else.
     
  17. kevin_in_ga

    kevin_in_ga Active Member

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    This thread should be deleted - no need to harm SC's business model (accidently or not) by posting this information.
     
  18. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    As one who has never worked with SC (not for lack of want, but for lack of $$), I can say that reading this thread didn't tell me anything I didn't already know from reading the stickies (as far as lifts and macros).

    My thought was that the value of SC's program is in the specific customization of the program for each client, and the access to SC for questions and regular program adjustments the subscription allows.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is whether this thread stays or goes is irrelevant to me, but I don't think it reduced the value of SC's program, and I don't think anything really could, short of someone trying to be SC for someone else using his protocols.
     
  19. joe42

    joe42 Active Member

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    I can understand your desire for confidentiality, but honestly I don't see anything at all disclosed that should be considered private. He posted what, some macro numbers for training and nontraining days? Some straightforward routine work that echoes the stickies? This is confidential and proprietary??

    Personally, I'm interested in becoming a customer, but if your business is based on ultra-secrecy of basic and fundamental program information, it will not last long. Your focus should be on the creation of individual programs and private attention - not on the programs that are already out there that people might want to discuss or optimize. That's where you can *really* add value and do well.
     
  20. emanphx

    emanphx Active Member

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    Chris,

    My intent in posting my overall numbers was most definitely never malicious. I've always sung the praise of SUP2 and have recommended it to other people, and you definitely got me to add weight (especially muscle!) in a very short amount of time using your protocol.

    Apparently wrongly, I thought that posting my overall macro numbers was not crossing the line of revealing too much information about SUP2 - as you have pointed out yourself, there is so much more to the program than just overall macros, it's all about the timing, quantity at which meals, exactly what kinds of foods, and of course the great lifting program (and SUP2 is still my favorite, you're in and out of the gym pretty damn quickly compared to most other programs that I've read about or tried!).

    I have seen others post their overall macros used on SGX and SUP2 in similar requests to mine, trying to modify things a bit on their own, post-consultation, to try to adjust to a maintenance diet, for example.

    If you'd like me to edit my posts to remove those overall macro numbers with the preceding in mind, I'll certainly honor the request. I'd also ask that jkugelman also edit out the quoted part of my message, in which case there will be absolutely nothing about my personal plan on here anymore.

    I'm also emailing you privately with this post in the event that you not read this thread anymore, or it disappears.

    And in response to your first reply in this thread -- thank you for your advice, it's always appreciated. I didn't ask you these questions directly as I'm no longer under direct consultation with you, and I only expect you to answer my questions while you're being paid to do so, it's a business and I treat it as such.
     
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