[quote]You have to get big first (no starving), then lean out. Lift heavy, skip the cardio. Lift hard, eat big and rest. Once you reach a goal (for instance, 1.5x bodyweight squat), reduce the calories, add some metcons, continue to lift heavy as you can until you reach your body fat goal. [quote]
I can't do a 1.5 BW squat - that's a completion level for women, and I am not gifted athletically enough to compete & never was, but I squat above body weight. Tried to bulk up following sport's nutritionist' laid out program to a 't'. I gained 75% fat, and 25% muscle, which is an unacceptable ratio (gotta be below 50% fat gain). When I cut, I cut every ounce of muscle that I gained, and it took 6 months to get those 12 lbs off, and I looked like a total shit. I am afraid to do it again, because I believe it has the same potential as yo-yo dieting to make me even fatter at my age when I am getting more and more vulnerable to fat gain.
This is an oversimplification that all you get to do is to lift heavier and heavier and eat a ton and you shall succeed. Bullshit. You hit your athletic ceiling, and that's it. Linear gains for novices make a lot of people giddy with expectation. But most of us, the average Janes, can't improve very much on the max lift after just a few month. I am working with the PT now and he told me: "I can't guarantee you gains" even though we are trying the plateau pushing techniques. My wrists go, my back goes, lately even my knees are going whenever I push, and I keep getting an odd shit in my right thumb (WTF?). I f'd my feet with running (bunions). I am scared that the knees and wrists speaking out now mean that I am getting arthritis.
I do metabolic conditioning, KBs and HIIT on the x-trainer, hitting 225 cals in 20 min intensity that corresponds to the conditioning sessions intensity (~ 1000 cals per hour).
Did that too. Took ~ 2 months slow movement and gardening break a couple years back, did a couple of 1 week breaks, did a 2+ week break this summer in July. Three years is a long time....Wow! that is like a dozen different things in such a short period of time.
Perhaps you need rest.
MY POINT is that not everybody can get a body they want , no matter how hard they try, and if they do everything RIGHT and work really, really HARD. Lyle McDonalds explains it in gross and depressing detail. I think I work FAR harder than an average person to get AVERAGE result, and that's just the luck of the draw, so I will never be able to look good. ALl I can hope for is a cut with preserving as much muscule as I can, because I am such a hopeless endomorph coupled with a below average athletic capacity (far below average I suspect; I am neither strong, nor fast, nor flexible. The only thing I have is endurance (some)).
I have picture, as you can see you can never tell that I am working hard on my body, just 'Oh, you are not fat!' kind (that's actually 4 lbs less than now, so I look better here than now, but overall, the same idea, smooth, plump bottom and waist line, too much BF% overall, and not enough upper body muscle).
I want to EMPHASIZE that I UNDERSTAND, that it is better than a LOT of women get at my age, and yes, there are many who would not mind a body like mine. I just want MORE, am willing to work for it, and tried many a recommendation, read books, experimented, and still no dice. That's why Lyle speaks so much to me and that is why I do not believe any more that "One only has to work harder and she can achieve any body she wants!" "Why Women Need Fat" also cover that as a fallacy in the gross and depressing detail, basically saying that in our society we have the fetish of being able to achieve anything, but it's just impossible to push your body beyond the genetic restriction, yes, even if you do drugs, even if you do everything right, everything by the book, all the things that work for other people....
So, I call it a fallacy to say that 'you are just not working hard enough', 'you are just not sacrificing enough', 'you can get everything you want out of your body if you only try hard enough'. It's the same fallacy as to say that everyone can become a PhD in Physics if they only try hard enough. Some people are not as intelligent as the others; some people don't have the athleticism, genetic fat deposition pattern, and drug sensitivity to get their body to be that muscular or that lean.
That's why really really fit looking women are an exception, HECK, even women with a pronounced deltoid and skinny upper legs are a RARE exception in the 30+ age group. It just doesn't happen to a lot of women, no matter what they lift and how they run.
We, the womanhood, are ready to do anything, and always did. Eat under 1000 calories! And we did. Run 10 K daily! And we did. Now it's Lift Like Men! And we do. (Sigh)