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Hey guys, was wondering if there's a way to achieve a low bf (say, 10%) and decent lean mass without barbell training?
I used to go to the gym for almost 2 years with breaks and never really achieved too much. Always ended up spinning my wheels - either geting too fat when bulking or losing too much muscle wehn cutting. I didn't have my own way of paying for a good diet which I think is key for reaching the wanted results since I was doing decent beginner routines (maybe you've heard of babylover's starting strength routine or fierce 5, both focusing on compounds), so I didn't have a good macronutrient balance, and I definitely plan to count everything and eat in the right ratio this time around.
Howver, I got tired of the gym after that. Now that I think of coming back, I can see that I simply don't find it enjoyable enough to keep training for years. I might be able to pull off a year, but especially once summer comes, I find it quite hard to keep training frequently.
I was thinking that doing some sport might be much more fun and sustainable, however I don't think I can ever achieve a nice looking physique that way especially considering my genetics (I'm skinny fat, though I look much better now than I used to - but I don't find it easy to put on muscle thats for sure), and being the shallow person I am, my main goal is actually looking good.
Right now I'm doing pushups and pullups at home and occasionally some cardio, not really counting calories anymore though, just trying to eat healthy (although I do sneak some dirty food here and there). I'm nearly 26, think my bf is somewhere around 15%, 73-74kg at 185 cm height.
I found one of the threads suggesting some really short pullup-pushup routine, but I find it hard to believe I can get good results with that considering my genetics, training history etc. Do you guys think that with say, counting calories and keeping a good macronutrient balance while doing a routine like that and ocassionally playing some sports, doing cardio like brisk walking or cycling one can look decent enough to pull say, 8s and above? It's not that I'm greedy, just wondering what I can expect...
I have been lifting for almost two years and I know some people who will never touch a weight that will have greater arm development than me. However I have a better chest than half the people at my gym, including the ones that can out bench me.
With that being said, there is no yes or no answer to your question. Genetics play a huge role in what you can get away with. Some bigger, thicker framed individuals seem to respond well to calisthenics type exercises whereas other people (like me) will have to focus on bulking and progressive overload with barbell training to gain a decent looking physique. If you were to progress with only body weight exercises like weighted dips/chins for example, you may achieve pretty good results but your results will never be as optimal as if you were to do compound exercises along with it.
Age is a huge factor as well as genetics.
For very young (<20 yrs) people it is relatively easy to preserve a lot of muscle mass when dropping fat without need for muscle building, but as you get older it becomes more important to build muscle mass through weight training, then as you get even older, to simply preserve it through weight training. You need the muscle mass on your body in order to avoid becoming a frail, unhealthy, brittle weakling by middle age.
Bottom line: Lifting weights is a life skill and habit you need to develop in order to be healthy and happy. Sooner or later you need to train with weights anyway--why not just commit to this now?
Nutrition: yes it's important for training but it's also important for overall health. Also witness the buff dudes in prisons; their nutrition is obviously not optimal, but consistent training forces their bodies to adapt anyway.
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