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Old 11-13-2011, 04:01 PM   #1
Robert Walsh
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strength gains and overeating

Hello all,
In my somewhat limited experience it seems like the only way I can make steady strength gains (dl, sqt, ohp) is by overeating. I mean, consuming 4,000 calories or more. And while I do enjoy the numbers going up, I do not enjoy the body fat gain.

I am curious if others have had the same experience? I guess alot of it depends on body type and genetics as well. I mean, you see some of these skinny-lean guys who just lift and eat like crazy, and experience very minimal fat-gain.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:53 PM   #2
Bill M. Hesse
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Re: strength gains and overeating

If you are seeing big bring gains you are eating too much. To some degree though, you are going to see trying absolutely go away while trying to beast it out.
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:32 PM   #3
Craig Rogers
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Re: strength gains and overeating

I am doing my strength gain now, during 'sweatshirt season.' Eat a lot, lift heavy and add some strength through November - Jan then lean back out in Feb before spring.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:29 PM   #4
Chris Mason
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Re: strength gains and overeating

Robert there is a fine line between being in a sufficient caloric surplus to gain lean muscle mass and to gaining excess body fat. Are you really counting calories such that you are confident you are consuming 4k cals per day?


Chris
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:01 AM   #5
Arturo Garcia
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Re: strength gains and overeating

The only time a Linear Progression worked for me (meaning I went over 6 weeks without stalling) was when I ate like CRAZY. This led to 30 pound gain including tons of fat. I set PR's in ALL compound lifts, though. But was very unhappy about the fat gain.

You're correct in assuming that hardgainers have all the luck. They complain about not being able to gain weight and having to eat "too much" -- hah! Wish I had that problem.

Doesn't mean those of us who get fat easily can't get strong and lean, but it seems to me it's MUCH harder for us and you have to experiment a lot to find what works for you.

Personally, I'm nearly convinced that we former fat guys are better off leaning out first, then trying to slowly (but steadily) add lean mass, than trying the conventional Bulking/Cutting which makes up super-fat and then the fat doesn't just magically "melts" away by eating clean. Just my opinion.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:11 AM   #6
Luke Seubert
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Re: strength gains and overeating

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Originally Posted by Robert Walsh View Post
Hello all,
In my somewhat limited experience it seems like the only way I can make steady strength gains (dl, sqt, ohp) is by overeating. I mean, consuming 4,000 calories or more. And while I do enjoy the numbers going up, I do not enjoy the body fat gain.

I am curious if others have had the same experience? I guess alot of it depends on body type and genetics as well. I mean, you see some of these skinny-lean guys who just lift and eat like crazy, and experience very minimal fat-gain.
Robert, I can share an unusual personal experience of mine. I believe it is possible for many though not all people to gain muscle mass while not gaining fat, for at least a modest period of time, though probably not over the long term.

Doing so requires very strict attention to dietary intake and body metrics. We are talking about weighing and measuring all foods eaten for every meal, daily monitoring of bodyweight and body fat composition, and taking weekly body measurements. Doing this for many weeks gives you a very sound intuitive sense of how your body is responding to slight changes in nutrition and exercise. This empowers you to fine tune your diet and exercise to achieve specific results, such as gaining muscle while NOT gaining fat.

In my own case, I am following a Lacto-Paleo diet, eating 4 to 5 times per day, with strength oriented workouts coupled with heavy MetCons focusing on the posterior chain. I drink a quart of whole milk after each workout, with 4 to 6 workouts per week. Since I am still quite obese and unfit, my workouts are not impressive by CrossFit standards, but for me they are tough workouts. Tough workouts done consistently, coupled with disciplined WAM-Lacto-Paleo is what has worked for me.

How well has it worked? In the past week, I gained approximately 3 pounds of muscle mass while losing 3 pounds of fat. Approximately. While I doubt I can sustain this indefinitely, given that my ultimate goal right now is fat loss and not muscle gain, I think I can keep it up for a short while anyway. If you are curious to know more details, please refer to the following two posts from my workout log, PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey (WFS):The point of all this? If one can hold muscle mass steady while losing fat, then it should be possible to gain muscle while holding fat steady. However, it takes a lot of diet discipline and careful, frequent monitoring of body metrics to pull it off.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:18 PM   #7
Tom Gerhard
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Re: strength gains and overeating

Hi Robert,

Like you, before I found Crossfit, I was eating > lifting >eating > lifting to get bigger and stronger. Unfortunately, bigger seemed to surpass stronger after a while. I feel your pain.

What worked for me was intermittent fasting (in this forum: http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=71315). Regular metcons, IF and extremely low carb (if not downright paleo) meals just ripped the fat off. I added back the weights, dialed back a smidge on the metcons and kept the diet the same. My only addition has been a daily protein shake. (It seems to help with recovery.) I'm doing Korte 3x3 along with a short WOD afterwards and am happy with my progress in both.

So, yes, it is possible to not eat like a pig and still lift heavy and well.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:54 AM   #8
Bill M. Hesse
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Re: strength gains and overeating

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Originally Posted by Bill M. Hesse View Post
If you are seeing big bring gains you are eating too much. To some degree though, you are going to see trying absolutely go away while trying to beast it out.
What the heck did I even write? Auto correct and me must have not gotten along. I guess it pays to proof read. I meant to say if you are seeing big fat gains then you are eating too much. However, it will be tough to gain nothing but muscle in any kind if serious manner without taking on a bit of chub. The key is to just check the calories at the door when you are done gaining weight.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:13 AM   #9
Daniel Ricksecker
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Re: strength gains and overeating

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Originally Posted by Bill M. Hesse View Post
What the heck did I even write? Auto correct and me must have not gotten along. I guess it pays to proof read. I meant to say if you are seeing big fat gains then you are eating too much. However, it will be tough to gain nothing but muscle in any kind if serious manner without taking on a bit of chub. The key is to just check the calories at the door when you are done gaining weight.
That makes A LOT more sense. I was wondering what on earth that first post was about. Reread it like 10 times and still had zero clue.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:38 AM   #10
Steve Bray
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Re: strength gains and overeating

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Originally Posted by Tom Gerhard View Post
Hi Robert,

Like you, before I found Crossfit, I was eating > lifting >eating > lifting to get bigger and stronger. Unfortunately, bigger seemed to surpass stronger after a while. I feel your pain.

What worked for me was intermittent fasting (in this forum: http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=71315). Regular metcons, IF and extremely low carb (if not downright paleo) meals just ripped the fat off. I added back the weights, dialed back a smidge on the metcons and kept the diet the same. My only addition has been a daily protein shake. (It seems to help with recovery.) I'm doing Korte 3x3 along with a short WOD afterwards and am happy with my progress in both.

So, yes, it is possible to not eat like a pig and still lift heavy and well.
paleo is NOT a no carb or low carb diet.
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