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Old 04-01-2009, 06:22 PM   #1
Caz Berkowitz
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Starting Strength for old guys - Diet

I know there are a ton of Starting Strength threads. I’m looking for info as a 44 y.o. male and I’m wondering if I should work the program differently than a kid would.

Coming out of an ACL rehab I started Starting Strength to get my strength back up. I want to continue with a strength/mass building cycle for one more month so that I can perform CrossFit WODs without scaling.

Here are my stats so far:
1/25/09 167#, 36.5” waist, Body fat-23%. Daily Protein Req (g): 88.93 or 13 block diet.
Work sets- Squat-150 Mil-90. Bench-150. Dead-245. Row-115.
3/29/09 173#, 36.5” waist. Body fat-21%. Daily Protein Req (g): 96.77 or 14 block diet.
Work sets- Squat –220 (but just dropped to 210 cuz I thought my form was suffering). Mil-105. Bench-173.3. Dead –305. Row –145.
I been doing WODs and Kettlebells 1-2 times a week in addition to SS. Also tried to keep my diet close to maintenance cuz I haven’t wanted to gain fat. BUT NOW – I’m ready to make the commitment for about a month and will take the fat if I can get some more muscle.

So to check, I need to start eating a LOT, and not do any exercise other than SS 3x a week. Is it really that simple?

Yesterday I really forced myself to eat.
Milk & Protein powder pre-workout and as snacks through the day.
Breakfast- Yams, butter, eggs and almonds.
Lunch – Chicken, brocc, tomato, cheese and olive oil.
Dinner – Salmon, cottage cheese and olives.
Snacks – Walnuts, berries, milk and protein powder.
This was 3248 calories: 1085c protein (34%), 681c carbs (21%), 1440c fat (45%).

How should I change my diet? More calories overall? I ate a lot more protein than my Zone recommendation. More fat and less protein?

Should I eat differently on rest days than on workout days (for example, eat less on rest days or eat more carbs, etc.). If so, how much of an increase/decrease?

Should I just go for it and eat everything I can like the teens do? How bad will the damage (increased flab) be?

Any advice/opinions welcome.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:42 PM   #2
Brian Bedell
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Re: Starting Strength for old guys - Diet

I think in general eat regular amount, plus gomad. I'm not sure how much gain you are going to see in a month though.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:39 AM   #3
Victor Putz
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Re: Starting Strength for old guys - Diet

Caz:

I'm a little younger than you, but at 38 definitely past the high-metabolism-eat-anything stage. I did an SS cycle last summer, basically going the "eat a bunch plus gallon of milk a day". I almost never quite got the full gallon in, but I came pretty close, and while I did put on a little fat, it wasn't too egregious, so I would say it's worth a try.

Do SS until you can't keep up linear progression with reasonable weight. If you get to the end of your month and you can still add weight, press on.

It's also worth knowing that if you're doing this to "do the WODs without scaling"--the added mass is really going to hurt you on some WODs (pullups, HSPUs, etc), as much as it really helps you on others (in terms of the added strength). I think it's worthwhile, just don't be discouraged if, say, your Fran time hurts a bit (better time on the thrusters, worse time on the PU's). Overall it's a net positive, but I was frustrated at losing HSPU performance. It comes back.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:28 AM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Starting Strength for old guys - Diet

Why, oh why were you eating such little protein? Eat more animals.

There was a good read on T-nation about diet by Thibideau that if you don't want to gain lots of flab, try to eat only about 500 calories+ your Basal Metabolic rate+whatever calories you burn per day.

Your strength is decent and your still probably a bit chubby. Try CFSB instead, imo.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:38 AM   #5
Richard Davidson
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Re: Starting Strength for old guys - Diet

Compared to a kid you're not going to progress as fast and don't need as much food.

I asked Rip about GOMAD for an older person. He responded "You don't need a GOMAD since you're not trying to -- and cannot -- gain muscular weight as fast as a kid."

If you're going to do SS, start with only SS. Recovery is very important and doing other exercises cuts into recovery. After a while if you want you could try adding one metcon type WOD one day a week and see how it affects you.

CFSB may be a reasonable alternative. See how SS goes.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:42 AM   #6
Charly Aurelia
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Re: Starting Strength for old guys - Diet

Caz,

I am 38 and in the third week of a SS cycle (my first SS).

I normally eat paleo with no dairy but have been doing paleo with almost a GOMAD (somedays a full gallon, somedays probably 3+ quarts) and 16-24 oz of cottage cheese. I am pretty much eating as much as I can each day. I am visibly gaining mass and still experiencing linear progression of strength.

I have been eating the same on both work and rest days.

The only thing other than SS that I do is about one metcon per week and some grip strength on the rest days (CoC grippers, pinch work, sledge levering and wrist rollers).

I pretty much ensure I get 8 hours of sleep each night.

HTH
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:19 AM   #7
Charly Aurelia
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Re: Starting Strength for old guys - Diet

Forgot to add that I actually did paleo + IF before starting SS (no IF now) and I also do martial arts skill work 3 days a week (T, TH and Sat).
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:52 AM   #8
Jack Stetson
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Re: Starting Strength for old guys - Diet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charly Aurelia View Post

I pretty much ensure I get 8 hours of sleep each night.
I think this is crucial. 8-9. Keep in mind that Growth hormone is released predominantely during sleep, the majority of it in later stages of sleep. Git yer sleep.
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Last edited by Jack Stetson; 04-02-2009 at 10:55 AM..
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:12 PM   #9
Scott Ponte
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Re: Starting Strength for old guys - Diet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Bedell View Post
I think in general eat regular amount, plus gomad. I'm not sure how much gain you are going to see in a month though.
In the month I did SS before jumping into CF I put on about 50lbs in Squat, 35lbs Press, 125 lbs in Deadlift. I didn't Power Clean because I didn't know how and I'm deployed so I maxed out on pullups/chinups/kipping pullups on PC days.

I am however a 24 year old male with a all you can eat chow hall at my disposal. I ate like 2 chicken breasts and 2 beef entrees a day in addition to protein powder and eggs.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:32 PM   #10
Caz Berkowitz
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Re: Starting Strength for old guys - Diet

I don't mind lifting and I like to eat but I'm bad at math.
Fortunately I found this WFS article that uses a 170lb male weightlifter (that's me!) as an example.

Lyle's example uses 2500 cals as maintenance cals + 500 or so to gain mass. He cites 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight - that's 250 gs protein for the 170 lb guy. These numbers are pretty close to what I can get (in the FitDay example I posted) if I work at it. I'm guessing I could add another 500ish cals in fat and I should start to see some mass increase and may have a little more energy in general.

Over the last two months of SS I have been happy with my slow but steady gains on the bar, and I have gained a few pounds body weight without increasing fat too much, but I'm trying to dial in exact numbers and account for the old guy factor (can't convert as much food to muscle, can't recover from heavy lifts as quickly as young guys).

Thanks for all the responses. Still looking for ideas on macronutrient percentage changes on rest days vs work days and any other ideas/histories anyone would care to contribute.
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