Seeking advice on nutrition

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Hello all, I would like your advice and opinion about something that has been disturbing me for a couple of years now. I’d really appreciate if you read the full story and sorry that it took so long.

I’m 29yo, 5’8 (173cm) and been working out for 11 years or so. I’ve tried steroids before in my early 20s, run a couple of cycles, had regular results, was a bit dumb at the time and knew few about proper nutrition and training. Now I’m much more experienced, count my macros, log them, have proper nutrition and training plan, etc. Didn’t touched steroids for like 7 years or so now, with the exception of a couple of Clenbuterol cycles here and there while cutting.

When I was cycling around 2016 I thought I could be an athlete, I thought I had good genetics and I felt good. Gym occupied a great portion of my life. I was going 6-7 days/week and even being not stronger and wiser that I am now, I was still making lean gains. But obviously I was on gear and still had that noob gains I suppose (even after a couple of years into training? Maybe idk) (photo below)
2016ed.png2016(2)ed.jpg


In 2018 I looked and felt very good, wasn't following any dieting program but was doing IF (intermittent fasting) but was not counting macro tho. Was about 163lbs (74kg) and did a few clenbuterol cycles that year (photo below)

out18(2)ed.jpgout18ed.jpg



In 2019 I got fat because I was doing a vegetarian diet (which I did for 6-8 months) and wasn’t counting macros and any of that, but lifting weights was still great part of my life, like 5-6 days a week. I reached for the first time unbelievable 180lbs (82kg). Used to be always in the range of 74-77kgs (photo below)
2019ed.jpg



In 2020 pandemic happened and for the first time in like 9 years I stopped going to gym. For 1 year and a half I didn’t step foot in a gym. Still worked out 5-6 days a week at home with bands and light weight though. At that time I was focusing on personal stuff and studying a lot. I was no longer vegetarian (photo below)
2020 (2)ed.jpg2020(2).jpg



In 2021 me and my wife moved to Europe (and live ever since) and in July of 2021 I finally began to go to the gym 6 days a week. It was stressful, I was lifting children’s weight. I was putting one plate in squats and bench press. It was horrible mentally. But I overcome. Now I’m squatting with 3 plates and benching with 2 for lots of reps. I was training and dieting properly with professional assistance and counting my macros, etc etc.

At that time he made me a diet plan consisting of consuming 2,600kcal which was very, very much food for a guy with my size (at this point I was at 167lbs (76kg) and about 18% bf. That was the end of my IF (which i did for aprox. 4 years). He said it was part of the plan, because I needed to get my metabolism working again.

In August 2021 I was consuming 2,500at 170lbs (77kg). I was drinking a lot of water, like 4L per day, following my coach’s suggestion. The training program was insane. I was doing a lot of exercises, with a lot of volume, cardio, etc, it was like professional drug enhanced bodybuilding program.(photo below)
ago21ed.jpg

In the following months the kcal was decreasing slowly.

In November of 2021 I weighted 169.7lbs (77kg) with 16%bf.

In this month I began to eat only 1700kcal a day. My BMR was around 1700kcal. So I was eating extremely below my maintenance number since I was working out 90min a day, 6 days a week (photo below).
nov21(2)ed.jpgnov21.jpg


In february of 2022, after coming back from a 2-week vacay in middle January where I didn’t diet or trained, I was at 16,4% bf and 172lbs (78kg) and trying to eat 1850kcal a day. (photo below)
fev22(2)ed.jpgfev22(3).jpgfev22ed.jpg

In march I began to use clenbuterol and AAS and I went to 14 % bf eating 1900kcal a day, still training 6 days a week. I was getting leaner, and feeling better but still wish I could eat more. I was still in a moderate to severe caloric deficit. (photo below)
mar22(3)ed.jpgmar22ed.jpgmar22(2)ed.jpg

In May and June I was at 13ish % bf or maybe even 12% eating 1740kcal a day. slowly finishing my clenbuterol cycle and AAS cycle. I was probably in my all time best version. Sort of natty, veins popping, looking good with clothes off, taking lots of pics, etc. But I was eating less that I wanted (photos below)
may22ed.jpgmay22(5)ed.jpgjun22ed.jpg

In this summer, I cut ties with my coach for money reasons. I’m still couting macros and dieting but since November I began to train 4x a week, training each muscle group 2x per week. No cardio for the first time in a year ( I ride my bike to the gym everyday, 20min aprox. tho).

Since September I also increased my kcal consumption because I wanted to eat more because it's winter and bulk a bit. But things got terrible sideways. I now found myself fat (probably 16-17% bf, you guys can help me with that estimative). I think I might have increased too much? Here is what I did:


*all values below are in grams (g).*

I went from eating 1800kcal to eating 2000kcal (164p, 225c, 50g).

After a week, I went to 2200kcal(165p, 275c, 50g).

After a week, 2400kcal(180p, 300c, 55g).

Since I’m working out 4x a week, on rest days I try to eat a bit less.

So this plan got me from 74kg (163lbs) to 77kg(169lbs) in 3 months. And I feel fat and I look like I don’t lift at all. I know it’s after Christmas and I’m coming back from a one week vacay but still…

I’m thinking of taking a step back and eat 2300 kcal on training days and 2000kcal on rest days and give it a week or two to see if I lose a bit of fat.

I’m also thinking of running a test cycle once I reach 13% of bf again. But idk, is kinda hard to get blood test where I'm living and I still don't have a family doctor here.

Current workout program (working sets always until failure):

A-B-rest-A-B-rest-rest

A:

1-Barbell bench press 2x warm up 2x 5-6 1x 3 + drop set super slow

2-Pull ups 1x warm up 3x5-7 w/ weight

3-Dips 1x warm up 3x6-8 w/ weight

4-Seated cable low row 1x warm up 3x6-8

5- Seated face pull 3x10-12

6-Inclined bench press machine 1x warm up 3x6-8

7-Dumbbell lateral raise + alternating dumbbell curls 3x10-12

8-crunches 3xMax + lying back extensions 3x12


B:

1-Barbell squat 2x warm up 1x8 1x7 2x5 (always overloading the bar) following 1x ISO with one plate until failure

2-Dumbbell stiff leg deadlift 1x15 1x8 2x5-7 (here once a week I do deadlifts instead)

3-Seated leg curl 3x8

4-Leg extensions machine close stance 3x8-10

5-Lex extensions machine wide stance 3x8-10 + hanging crunches 4x10-12

6-calves wherever machine is available 4x8-10

7-barbell overhead press 1x warmup 1x8 2x4-6 + lateral raises 4x10-12

8-reverse EZ bar curl + EZ upright row + flat bench EZ bar triceps extensions 3x12

9-EZ bar curl 3x12


PS1: I try to develop my side delt and biceps as much as possible as it's a weak point;

PS2: Workouts usually takes 90min;

PS3: I'm not currently doing cardio in the gym but I ride my bike to the gym and it takes aprox 20min total;

PS4: I already mentioned my current kcal consumption during workout days and rest days but I never told what I usually eat. It's basically whole grain bread with ham and cheese in the morning, sometimes with one egg and one little sausage. Lunch is basically pasta or rice and chicken. Pre workout is greek yog with honey and oats. Post is creatine, whey and a banana or some other fruit. Then again some pasta or rice and chicken. And last meal is usually whole grain bread with peanut butter or egg.

Current photos of me:
dez22(2)ed.jpgdez22(3)ed.jpgdez22(6)ed.jpgdez22(5)ed.jpg


So my questions are:

Is this normal? I know in bulking we gain fat but I maybe I gained too much and need to eat a bit less?

Are my genetics just simply horrible?

Do I have more tendency of getting fat than most men?

Is 1900kcal a day my magic number to have a somewhat visible 6 pack and feel good?

Have I fully reached my maximum potential naturally?

Am I training wrong?


Please any suggestions are helpful. I feel like a teenager girl although I have been training for over a decade.
 

Reader591

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So you’re worried about gaining 6 lbs in three months? That’s not bad in my opinion. Are you also getting stronger? Pants still fit? You’re probably ok.

You may not look as lean cause of a little water weight, lighting, pump, etc. it seems to me you might be stressing a little much about it.
 

buck

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That is the type of diet i would eat to gain weight with a fair amount being fat. The fats that are being ate are mostly unhealthy/garbage ones in my opinion. Cleaning the diet up would make a big difference for me. Protein seems low and what the amount of carbs and fats are is a total guess for me. Nutrition is fairly low as those things that can be gotten from fruits and veggies are pretty much missing other then 1 banana a day.
 
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thank you all for the answers. I was probably indeed stressing over nothing, its just that I get used to the gains I've obtained and probably stalled a bit and for me I feel like a regular dude but everyone elses says I'm huge and all that. Also, everyone when bulking in my height and weight go over to 2,700 or even moe kcal a day and for me that is simple not recommended cause I would deffinetly get fat. Also I studied about lean bulking for advanced lifters, and it is recommended to DON'T eat that much. Only a little surplus. So thats what Im gonna do. Stay with 2,200-2,300 kcal on working days and 1,900-2,000 on rest days and see how it goes. Just want to maintain a good amount of muscle while showing a bit of my packs and don't starve like I was on 1700ish kcal a day.
 

CJ

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I don't mean to offend you, but for someone who has been training for 11+ years, you don't have much muscle to show for it.

I think you need to reevaluate your training just as much as your nutrition.
 

lifter6973

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It was good advice. @lifter6973 is a troll and provides nothing useful.
Sir, we all appreciate your useful posts but I respectfully ask that you please keep your insults to the flame forum where they belong.

I know @CJ and @BrotherIron would appreciate that.
Thank you for understanding sir.
 

CJ

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Sir, we all appreciate your useful posts but I respectfully ask that you please keep your insults to the flame forum where they belong.

I know @CJ and @BrotherIron would appreciate that.
Thank you for understanding sir.
How about EVERYONE stop trying to use the mods as pawns trying to get each other banned?

If there's a valid issue with a post, use the REPORT feature, and we'll address it accordingly.

You ALL look like little children tattling on each other.

Even though I tagged your post Lifter, it happens quite often with a number of members.
 
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This thread has officially hurt my head..

Just reading g the whole thing I can’t even stay focused I. It.
Had to read it on three different occasions taking a section at a time.
 
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It is difficult to make generalizations about what is "normal" when it comes to weight and body composition, as everyone's needs and goals are different. However, it may be helpful to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified fitness professional to determine your specific needs and develop an appropriate plan for your goals. They can help you determine an appropriate calorie intake for your needs, and help you design a training program that is tailored to your goals, abilities, and preferences.

It is also important to remember that there are many variables that affect body composition, including genetics, hormones, and lifestyle habits, and it's not always possible to control all of them. Additionally, body composition is not the only metric of health and well-being, and it's important to focus on overall health and well-being, rather than just appearance.

Also, it is important to note that there is no such thing as a "magic number" for calorie intake or macronutrient ratio that will work for everyone, and it may require some experimentation to find what works best for your body.
 

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