Thread: Oh Help Me Great Fitness Gurus!
6/15/2012 4:44pm, #1
Oh Help Me Great Fitness Gurus!
I'm entering my 14th week of Stronglifts. I'm still getting nearly linear gains, and am approaching body weight on my squat and deadlift.
I feel fantastic, and with the exception of a hip injury have been lifting 3x week, almost uninterrupted.
My weight, as you might expect, is increasing, I assume due to muscle gain. In total, I've gone from 312lb, to 318lb, in 14 weeks. I'm eating ~2800-3200 cal/day with a heavy emphasis on rice, beans, and seafood due to my wife being a pescetarian. (Vegetarian + Fish)
I'd like to be under 300lbs, and ideally, around 250lbs.
According to the math I'm doing, I should be eating around 2700 kcal to lose 1-2lbs a week.
My BMR, based on a height of 6'3", 318lbs, 28yrs old, Male is 2800 kcal/day. I'm a desk jockey, so I used the Harris-Benedict multiplier for light activity, that's 1.375, for a final "caloric need" of 3850 kcal.
To drop two lbs a week, I need to drop roughly a thousand kcal/day which brings me to 2850, which is roughly where I've been eating. Yet I keep, slowly, gaining weight.
Am I simply stressing over nothing? Is there a flaw in my reasoning/math? Am I crazy? Am I not going to see weight loss on a 5x5 type program?
Any input from those more knowledgeable then I would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by ignatzami; 6/15/2012 4:49pm at .I do not aspire to be great, or even good, I hope to suck a little less then last class.
6/15/2012 6:00pm, #2
I'm no guru but if you're gaining weight when you want to lose, why don't you try eating less?
6/15/2012 6:24pm, #3I do not aspire to be great, or even good, I hope to suck a little less then last class.
6/15/2012 6:32pm, #4
I'm no expert I like to read a lot and I like to read about fitness. It's possible that the weight gain is from muscle you're putting on. Stronglifts is a strength program, the goal of the program is to get you stronger. Although I believe they do mention you can loose weight while on the program it's not the program's specialty. The message I got from stronglifts was that one way to burn fat is by building muscle. By building more muscle your body will burn more calories while you're not working out. It makes sense to me but you may be in a different boat. From your stats it sounds like you are a pretty heavy guy (maybe even obese). Stronglifts and the dietary recommendations might be more ideal for someone slightly to moderately overweight and of course even better for skinny guys. If weight loss is your goal perhaps you should find a weight loss specific program and respective dietary guidelines. Then after you've lost some weight check out stronglifts again?
Hopefully someone who's more knowledgeable will chime in. To me it makes sense, if weight loss is what you want find a weight loss program. If strength with some weight loss is your goal maybe stronglifts will work but perhaps not as quickly as a purely weight loss workout.
6/15/2012 10:27pm, #5
It is possible that you've put on six pounds of muscle in fourteen weeks, but not likely. I recommend you stop paying attention to the scale and start paying attention to how your belt fits; it's a much better proxy for body fat.
To start losing body fat:
-Replace your sugar and starch intake (rice/beans) with protein, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, omega-3 fat, and fibrous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, etc. - stuff yourself with these)
-Do high-intensity intervals 4-6x/week
-Be wary of very calorie-dense foods (macadamia nuts have a great lipid profile, but I've learned the hard way that it's way too easy to go through a pound of them in a sitting)
6/15/2012 10:42pm, #6
I don't know much about the diet aspect, but if you want to burn fat you need to get your heart rate up for more than 20 minutes. On the days you don't lift, find a cardio activity you enjoy and try to do it for at least 40 minutes. For example, I need to lose a little weight so I'm going to start practising with the local rugby team twice a week in addition to my MA training.
6/15/2012 11:52pm, #7
6/19/2012 7:08pm, #8
I'm feeling both helpful and contrarian, so I'm predicting a long post with thoughts as they come.
Harris-Benedict is pretty solid, but even the best estimates are still estimates. If you're going the calorie counting route and you're not losing weight, then the estimate is wrong or you're not actually hitting the deficit. Try reducing daily calories by 100 - 200 a week until you're seeing the results you want. Also keep in mind that Harris-Benedict averages out activity throughout the week. Consider decreasing calories on non-exercise days by 300-500 and bumping them up around that same amount on days you resistance train. Best results tend to happen when this change comes in the form of carbohydrates around training.
A big pitfall is inaccurate measuring of serving sizes. Try measuring and/or weighing your portions for 2 - 3 weeks (or longer) to get a very solid idea of what the proper portion size looks like. It's quite possible you are eating much more than you think you are.
If you're having trouble with recovery there are few major considerations:
1. Bodies don't like going out of homeostasis and there is a 1 - 2 week period where you might have to endure feeling kind of crappy. This anecdotally happens on the 5th day of a caloric deficit and lasts about a week tops. If you haven't been in a true deficit before, this may come soon.
2. Your protein intake isn't as high as it should be. If need be, use protein supplements. Whey, casein, or blends are the most researched. I am generally pretty strongly anti-supplement, but if protein alone isn't cutting it, BCAA's are pretty harmless and may help. Enough protein intake should take care of BCAA's anyway. The old bodybuilder standby is 1g per 1lb, but at your size that sounds somewhat tricky and even unnecessary. An updated version from a very smart fellow (Alan Aragon) is 1g per 1lb of the weight you want to be as a target point. You won't shrivel and die if you miss the mark.
3. Your electrolyte balance is out of whack. I wouldn't even consider this until you take care of the first 2. I haven't personally found any need for these things, but I've had both "Ultima" and "Electromix" recommended from a source I trust very highly.
I ultimately like the idea of paying more attention to the belt more than the scale, but you should have noticed some weight loss in that period. That kind of rapid muscle gain only tends to happen if you've never resistance trained before.
You don't have to cut out starchy foods completely, nor would I even advise it. However, starchy and sugary foods are easy to overdo it on. This can be mitigated if you are stricter with your portion sizes. You may find that with higher protein and vegetable intake these portions take care of themselves.
I'm going to disagree on the interval training unless you're doing it once a week or so. Especially if you're having trouble recovering already, more stress is not what your body needs. Additionally if you are overweight, many traditional means of interval training (running, skipping rope, etc) is not very kind to joints. Some light to moderate activity like walking outside, riding a bike, or using an elliptical on non-resistance training days couldn't hurt. I don't care for treadmills much.
The elevated heart rate business is bullshit plain and simple.
6/19/2012 8:03pm, #9
6/20/2012 1:19pm, #10
I've done a fair bit of reading, and thank you for the responses. I think I'll start doing some sort of cardio after I lift. I know Stronglisfts used to advocate for that, and now doesn't. Given that I can't find a reason for the change, I'll start rowing for 30 minutes after my lifts.
I do weigh, and measure some of my foods. Vegetables I don't bother, as an extra cup of broccoli isn't going to break the bank.
In terms of the belt advice, I'm finding anecdotally that my shoulders, chest, arms, and thighs are all getting bigger, but my gut isn't getting smaller. Hence my concern about the weight. It seems like the bulk of my body fat is collecting above my hips, as opposed to a more even distribution a few months ago.
I'm going to try the lifting/cardio mix for the next twelve to fourteen weeks, and I'll see where I stand then.
Again, thank you for the feedback.I do not aspire to be great, or even good, I hope to suck a little less then last class.