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Old 03-17-2008, 09:57 PM   #1
Joe Bernard
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Starting Strength Questions

I just ordered the SS book and I am stoked to start gaining some strength. Currently, I am 18yrs old, 145lbs, and with around 8% BF (not tested, but I am pretty sure it's around there). My lifts are: BS- 180, SP- 95, DL-200
(CFT = 475). I know I am weak and want to do SS so I can do the WODs as Rx'd and not scaled.

I have read some past posts concerning SS and it seems like people have gained anywhere from 10-15lbs. I have two big concerns regarding SS: (1) I have been skinny my entire life and don't like putting on fat. (2) I have a six pack and would like to keep it while doing SS, is that possible? I have put alot of effort into attaining a six pack, but I also want to gain some serious strength and mass. I was thinking of doing my ab workout on one of the off days every week, but people say to take the rest days seriously and not workout because SS takes alot of energy. I know gaining mass and having a six pack doesn't go hand in hand, so any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by Joe Bernard : 03-17-2008 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:28 PM   #2
Moran Bentzur
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Re: Starting Strength Questions

You are going to have to compromise in this aspect. If you do SS as rx'd (rest on the rest days, drink a gallon of milk per day) you will gain muscle and some fat. will your sixpack vanish? I doubt it. You will lose some definition. Do SS until you reach your goal, or you are done with it, then lean out again and do CF. These cycles can actually be good for you since you won't be stuck with the same program (diet and excersize) for too long.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:07 PM   #3
Robert Callahan
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Re: Starting Strength Questions

You are young, i know right now it may seem like the most important thing to keep that 6-pack for the ladies but coming from experience, it will not be that big of a deal if it fades for a month or so while you put on weight and get stronger. Besides girls don't give a **** what you look like, it is how you act Plus once the weight is on any bad weight will come off very quickly when you come back to CF and start doing more metcon again and then youll have more defenition than before, just gotta keep it in perspective

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Old 03-17-2008, 11:32 PM   #4
Ariff Saufi
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Re: Starting Strength Questions

i have not gained an ounce of "bad weight" or lose any definition whatsoever due to SS.

i have gained about 5lbs in 6 weeks, but i'm not on the gallon a day of milk diet. I just eat clean(er) and getting the right stuffs into my body.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:56 PM   #5
Elliot Fuller
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Re: Starting Strength Questions

If you're doing the gallon of milk a day, and really packing in the calories, you can expect to gain your share of fat along with the muscle. In all truth, getting a six pack shouldn't be that difficult. In fact, it should be easier to re-obtain once you have more muscle.

Ab workouts won't help you keep your six pack. Most of SS is pretty ab intensive as it stands. Don't worry about that.

Remember the saying that Six Packs are made in the kitchen. Pack on the muscle and accept the fact that it's going to come with some fat. When you drop the fat again, your six pack will look even better. Dropping the fat will be 99% a function of your diet once you're done with SS.

You'll burn more calories with the added muscle mass, and losing the fat shouldn't be too difficult. Eat right (Zone + Paleo) and I see no real problem.

I know it's hard to say goodbye to that six pack, even for a little while. I hadn't had one for most of my teens and all through college. I finally got one in the last year doing CrossFit, and have now lost a lot of definition due to my attempts at weight gain (I was a scrawny 145# 5'9'er).

I know it will be back, but it's still hard to say "see you soon."

Don't sweat the small stuff, bro. You'll be glad to have the extra mass and strength once all is said and done.
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:09 AM   #6
Randy Tarasevich
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Re: Starting Strength Questions

Most women would prefer a strong, healthy-looking man over a twiggy one with a six-pack.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:25 AM   #7
Joe Bernard
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Re: Starting Strength Questions

Oh yea, I forgot to say that I do paleo. I plan on not doing the gallon of milk a day thing because after I dropped it from my diet when I started paleo, I saw a significant increase in my performance, my acne has gone down, and I feel better overall.

@Arrif- thanks man, that is what I was looking for in terms of nutrition while on SS. Good to know that I will put on little fat.

@Moran and Robert- That's good to know that I can become more defined after SS when I switch back to the WODs and more metcon. This has convinced me to sacrifice my abs in the short run to have better defined ones in the long run.

@Elliot- I just did my CFT to see where I stand before SS and it was a pretty good ab burner. This helped me alot in easing me out of doing ab workouts every week. That extra mass and strength will really help, so I will just keep that in mind when sacrificing my abs.

@Randy- Haha, good point, I pretty much fit that definition.

Thank you all for the info, it is really helpfull

My one last concern (forgot to post it last night) is that I play golf competitively (1 handicap) and I was wondering if doing SS would have any negative impacts on my game. The main impact being flexibility because a golf swing relies on a good amount of flexibility. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:48 AM   #8
David Knutzen
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Re: Starting Strength Questions

Just stretch after the workout if you need to. Although I'd imagine that it could potentially increase your hip flexibility with all the deep squatting.

Just make sure you eat lots of fat, and you'll be fine. I wish I was in a situation where I could focus on my strength like that, since it would seriously improve my overall fitness. Keep a good log, and let us know how it goes.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:52 AM   #9
Ian Haya
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Re: Starting Strength Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bernard View Post
My one last concern (forgot to post it last night) is that I play golf competitively (1 handicap) and I was wondering if doing SS would have any negative impacts on my game. The main impact being flexibility because a golf swing relies on a good amount of flexibility. Any thoughts?
Not sure how the weather is down in Penn right now, but if you're still in the off-season, I wouldn't worry about it. As long as you don't short-change yourself on the ROM for the exercises and stretch after each workout and on rest days, the only thing you'll have to worry about is having shorter irons into the green because you'll be longer off the tee.

However, I think something like SS would be too much in season. You'll be gassed, tired, and your game will suffer. With a 1 handicap, I'm guessing you must aim for something like 4-6 rounds/week? For me, 3 rds/week wasn't enough to stay sharp. If golf is your main focus in the summer, I'd switch to maybe 2 short CF metcons/week on top of the golf, but no more than that.
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:08 AM   #10
Joe Bernard
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Re: Starting Strength Questions

David- Will do with the log.

Ian- I am going to start SS next week or the week after at the latest, so I will avoid doing it in the heat of the season. As far as WODs, I was able to do 3-4 per week last summer and my swing was not impacted significantly. I worked out after I played golf, which is the reason why it had such little effect. Only on days that the WOD was extremely taxing would it impact my swing. But if anything, my muscles being sore prevented me from being jumpy with my putter. But for tournaments, I will be taking it easier this summer with regard to the WODs, so I will try the 2 metcons during tournament week.
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