View Full Version : Caloric deficit and strength gains
09-24-2007, 08:48 AM
I was interested to know what experience Rip has with training people who are losing weight.
I'm not talking obese, and I'm not talking about someone training for a bodybuilding contest. A flabby adult lifter, basically.
If they're dieting (nothing too severe and assuming adequate protein intake) how does it affect their strength gains? Do you have them make smaller jumps? Would you make any changes to their routine?
There seems to be tons of information about losing weight as it relates to bodybuilding, but less for strength training. But surely some athletes are trying to lose some weight (boxers for example).
So what's a reasonable strategy for someone wanting to attain, say, a reasonable 15% bodyfat level while getting stronger at the same time (not bigger - I understand the difference)?
09-24-2007, 10:28 PM
First, unless your bodyfat is only 20% right now, and depending on your age, 15% might be tough. Maybe it would be better if you told me your age, current bodyfat, and training history before I piss you off any more.
09-25-2007, 06:33 AM
Thanks for the prompt response.
Yeah, I should have been more specific, especially since many people don't consider themselves "adults" until the age of 40 and it makes me sound geriatric.
I'm 25, an intermediate trainee (training for a little over a year) and about 25-30% bodyfat. I need to lose about 30 lbs, I think. I'm currently doing the TM workout from practical programming.
I don't actually have a problem losing weight, per se. I know about adequate protein, etc., and I am losing steadily (1.5-2 lb/week). I'm essentially on track training-wise at the gym as of two weeks ago, but I feel more sore than usual and it feels more taxing on my body. I'm wondering if I'm still going to be making progress in a few weeks or whether the strength will start leaking out.
I know I haven't stalled yet, but I'd rather maintain some progress, even if it's smaller rather than hit a wall early on. I'm interested to know what you've done with other people like me and how they managed.
09-25-2007, 12:52 PM
If you are losing a couple of pounds a week and continuing to maintain a strength increase, that's about as good as you can do. With your training history, age, and current bodyfat levels, a strength increase occurring with a weight loss means bodyfat is coming off. If you haven't stalled, things are going well. If you're worried about soreness that is above normal, up your protein intake another 50 grams and see what happens. If this fixes the problem you'll know in 3-4 days.
But really, this is a perfect question for Lyle, who has a better handle on this than anybody else I know of. And if he has a different take than mine, go with his.
09-26-2007, 08:02 AM
Can you jump in on this, Lyle?
Just to be clear: I'm asking something a little different than the basic fat loss while retaining muscle question.
Strength is my primary goal. I want to get down to about 15% bf - nothing crazy. I'm also not in any particular rush. I've read one of your books (flexible dieting) but it doesn't quite answer the question of what you should do if fat loss is a secondary goal.
I guess what I'm asking, specifically, is that if I want to continue getting stronger, is it better to cut calories with a small deficit for a long time (a couple hundred kcal/day, say) or would diet at a large deficit for a short time (750-1000 kcal/day) be better in the long run?
Let's say I have 8 months- would I probably gain more strength overall losing 3/4 lb a week for the whole time, or by losing 1.5/week for 4 months and then eating at maintenance (or slightly above) for the rest?
Sorry this has drifted into Lyle's domain, but I figure it might be of interest to people who have fat loss as a peripheral interest and are following one of Rip's programs
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