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Old 06-26-2011, 06:55 AM   #1
John DeMoss
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Starting strength: really?

So, I'm embarking on a strength program, using SS. I have a good diet, but typically am eating 2500ish calories... With enough protein to cover my 174 lbs (grams). However, it looks like rippetoe is suggesting 174g protein PLUS 2500-5000 calories per day.

After having been overweight down to 9% body fat, I am a little nervous. Any thoughts? I am doing it and thought I'd give it a couple months. Just looking for "hey, I did something like that and it worked"
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:23 AM   #2
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Starting strength: really?

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Originally Posted by John DeMoss View Post
So, I'm embarking on a strength program, using SS. I have a good diet, but typically am eating 2500ish calories... With enough protein to cover my 174 lbs (grams). However, it looks like rippetoe is suggesting 174g protein PLUS 2500-5000 calories per day.

After having been overweight down to 9% body fat, I am a little nervous. Any thoughts? I am doing it and thought I'd give it a couple months. Just looking for "hey, I did something like that and it worked"
Have you read the article "A Clarification" in the SS forums Resources section?
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:36 AM   #3
Michael Dries
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Re: Starting strength: really?

yea that ^^^

and


You need to increase your food intake to handle the recovery required for linear over load.

That said, if you are doing the program correctly you won't be hitting PR territory for a couple of weeks (maybe 6-9 works outs) Starting lower than you should will give you time to perfect the movements before it becomes "hard" and your form starts to break down.

I'd recommend you shoot for >1g/lb of protein and start at 2500 calories/day. for a few weeks. Every 2-3 weeks see how you feel, are you getting chubby? Are your lifts progressing properly? If the answer to either of those is no add another 500calories/day for a week or two. Eventually you'll get into the 4000-5000 calories range where it becomes a workout just to eat. Meal frequency doesn't matter so it you like 2 big *** meals and it works for your schedule do it. If you are nuts and like 6-7 meals a day go for it. It simply doesn't matter all that much. Just get the calories in.

Please understand that GOMAD is NOT part of the SS program. Eating enough calories to support linear progression is, but it doens't mean going from 2500 to 6000 calories/day over night, that will just make you fat. Increase the calories in a stepped fashion and you should be fine.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:47 AM   #4
Steve Bray
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Re: Starting strength: really?

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Originally Posted by Michael Dries View Post
yea that ^^^

and


You need to increase your food intake to handle the recovery required for linear over load.

That said, if you are doing the program correctly you won't be hitting PR territory for a couple of weeks (maybe 6-9 works outs) Starting lower than you should will give you time to perfect the movements before it becomes "hard" and your form starts to break down.

I'd recommend you shoot for >1g/lb of protein and start at 2500 calories/day. for a few weeks. Every 2-3 weeks see how you feel, are you getting chubby? Are your lifts progressing properly? If the answer to either of those is no add another 500calories/day for a week or two. Eventually you'll get into the 4000-5000 calories range where it becomes a workout just to eat. Meal frequency doesn't matter so it you like 2 big *** meals and it works for your schedule do it. If you are nuts and like 6-7 meals a day go for it. It simply doesn't matter all that much. Just get the calories in.

Please understand that GOMAD is NOT part of the SS program. Eating enough calories to support linear progression is, but it doens't mean going from 2500 to 6000 calories/day over night, that will just make you fat. Increase the calories in a stepped fashion and you should be fine.
why do you say meal frequency doesnt matter? do you mean in his specific case or in general?
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
David Meverden
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Re: Starting strength: really?

I'm not sure what kind of validation you are looking for here. Do you want people who had success WITH tons of food (tons of those) or people who have had success WITHOUT tons of food (not that many of those)?

If you are more scared about fat than you are about staying weak, then this programs probably not for you (GraySkull lifting program is a similar program that was modified for longer, somewhat slower, progression and less rapid body weight gain. Might be worth looking at if you are scared about fat).

Some people have success doing SS without gaining too much body weight, and this might be true for you if you are basically new to any kind of strength training, but most people are not very successful unless they dive in completely. You need to accept that you will eat a lot, put on weight (I'm talking at least 20#), and put on some fat. You will get a lot stronger, ESPECIALLY your lower body, but you will put on muscle and fat. Most people who add 15 lbs of muscle have little trouble losing the 10-15 lbs of fat they gained, and can be back and lean (if they want to be) in a couple of months.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:54 AM   #6
John DeMoss
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Re: Starting strength: really?

Thanks Tamara. Clarification is helpful. I was just looking for reassurance that I'm not going to just get fat without the strength.

I guess one reason (I start officially tomorrow) is that the few weights I've done this past week (deadlifts, squats, cleans) leave me feeling good, but not as completely "spent" as hard conditioning, which is what I've done for the past year. I know there is warmup, but 3x5 work sets for 3 movements/day, 3 days/week is significantly less effort than I've been used to putting forth. But I suppose that follows, as I'm now trying to GAIN weight as opposed to losing it (past year). And yes, I'm pushing myself on the weights.

I'm thinking one reason I might be now weaker than I remembered is because I metabolized a fair amount of muscle during the past year, as I lost weight. Possible.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:16 AM   #7
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Starting strength: really?

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Originally Posted by John DeMoss View Post
I know there is warmup, but 3x5 work sets for 3 movements/day, 3 days/week is significantly less effort than I've been used to putting forth.
It shouldn't be, and it won't be for long. Enjoy the "easy" sets at the beginning while you can.

If you don't get to the point that you shake or want to puke or cry instead of getting under the bar for another set, then you probably aren't doing it right.

I watched someone squat a set today, and I wanted to cry for him.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:27 AM   #8
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Starting strength: really?

Also, what are your current lifts?
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:45 AM   #9
Josh Wright
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Re: Starting strength: really?

I'm 10 weeks into a linear progression program similar to SS. I've been lifting twice a week, adding 5lbs to each squat session, 10 lbs to deads every time they come up, and 2.5 lbs to bench, press and cleans every time they come up. I did gomad for the first couple months or so and quickly went from 185lbs to my current 211 (6'1"). I've certainly put on fat, but I've also put on a good bit of muscle in the legs, butt, upper back and shoulders. My squats have gone from 200lb work sets to 300lb work sets (my 1RM when starting was 285) and deeds have gone from 295x5 to 395x5. Squats are feeling heavy, probably a reset coming soon, deads are heavy but still very strong and I don't foresee a reset before 435 or so.

The program works, but I definitely felt a difference from workout to workout if I hadn't eaten enough in between.
I also feel much better than I have in the last two years or so of doing mostly met con with the occasional strength day thrown in.

Give it a shot.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:48 AM   #10
Michael Dries
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Re: Starting strength: really?

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Originally Posted by Steve Bray View Post
why do you say meal frequency doesnt matter? do you mean in his specific case or in general?
I say it doesn't matter because he's 9% body fat and gaining a few % of body fat is part of the journey of getting strong. Also if you told me I need to eat 5000 calories a day spread over 6 meals I simply wouldn't be able to do it. That's >800 cals every 3 hours or so. Just not possible to be that hungry throughout the day.

Meanwhile I can crush a 2000cal breakfast a smaller lunch and a giant post workout dinner with little trouble. It takes about 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your stomach to tell your brain you're full. I can go into vacuum mode and kill a few thousand calories in 15 minutes and be good for a like 6 hours.

When gaining mass the subtle nuances of nutrition aren't as important when trying to loose fat while minimizing muscle loss. Just get the damn calories in.
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