Starting Strength for the Obese Trainee Starting Strength for the Obese Trainee

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Thread: Starting Strength for the Obese Trainee

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Texas
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    Default Starting Strength for the Obese Trainee

    by Nick Klemetson

    "Obese trainees have more than likely already been living a sedentary lifestyle, resulting in a low base of strength to begin with. On the positive side, beginning at such a low baseline allows for quick increases in strength from the very beginning. If they are not able to initially perform full barbell exercises, many available options will allow them to begin building the strength they need"

    Read article

  2. #2
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    Aug 2017
    Location
    Killen, Alabama
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    Thank you all for posting this article. Lots of good stuff to help big boys and girls! This stuff works! I fit this demographic. I am headed out of this demographic as well because of the quality of the Starting Strength LP. I was able to start with the empty barbell. Balance is a huge deal for the fat folks. The thing that gives me the most trouble still is the DL. I have to do the rack pulls with the bottom of the plates about 1" off the floor which also helps with loading the bar. I tried a couple of times to load and pull the bar from the floor. I would be out of breath just trying to load the plates, bent over holding the bar up. I would have to rest just from the setup. Again, Keep doing what your doing. It is helping people! Thanks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    9

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    Wouldn't it be great to have a book on this topic, like BBRx for obesity? It looks like you have the needed talent: Nick, Leah, the Docs, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    STL(ish)
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    591

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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelmccoig View Post
    Thank you all for posting this article. Lots of good stuff to help big boys and girls! This stuff works! I fit this demographic. I am headed out of this demographic as well because of the quality of the Starting Strength LP. I was able to start with the empty barbell. Balance is a huge deal for the fat folks. The thing that gives me the most trouble still is the DL. I have to do the rack pulls with the bottom of the plates about 1" off the floor which also helps with loading the bar. I tried a couple of times to load and pull the bar from the floor. I would be out of breath just trying to load the plates, bent over holding the bar up. I would have to rest just from the setup. Again, Keep doing what your doing. It is helping people! Thanks
    If you can afford it, a deadlift jack is worth the investment for loading and unloading plates for the floor pulls. I got mine from rogue.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    517

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    Quote Originally Posted by raivyne View Post
    If you can afford it, a deadlift jack is worth the investment for loading and unloading plates for the floor pulls. I got mine from rogue.
    ...or roll the inner 45 up onto a 2.5# plate.

    Has loose skin become an issue for the (initially) obese trainee? How about as it relates to lifting belt usage (skin pinching, etc)?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Bacliff, TX
    Posts
    53

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    As an aged Obese trainee (5'10M, 40, 315lbs) I would really appreciate some direction for the alternative exercises.

    I started at 347lbs June 1, 2017 and had never squat or dead-lifted in my life. Numbers as of yesterday's session was sq: 285, ohp: 120, bp: 180, dl: 325 (my first body-weight lift!) I am currently eating ~2650 calories a day when at my most compliant and aiming for 250g of protein/day although I'm usually somewhere just north of 200. Some days I eat less, and other days I still eat more. I am usually sleeping 7.5 hours, but may get as little as 6 once every other week or so.

    I am approaching the point where I dont think I can recover from the dead-lift every workout and am taking two or three training sessions to add weight to the bar, and am looking for the appropriate substitute for the B workout. I realize I could probably eat more to facilitate that recovery for the dead-lift, but I really feel like I have a good weekly caloric level and dont want to mess with it too much. As stated in the article, and everywhere else in SSLP literature, the power-clean is not suitable for the trainee of my vintage, or size. The chin-up is sadly, still impossible with a 315lb body-weight to overcome. The barbell row has such a small range of motion due to the belly, I believe it is also a poor option at this time.

    I am considering pull-downs with a chin-up grip, but the machine has 15lb jumps, so I'm not sure I'll be able to sustain strength gains very long. In any case, there is VERY little published guidance from SS in this area.

    Another issue that could use some more commentary is bar placement for the obese squatter. All of the adipose tissue stored in the upper back continues to mask the "lower shelf" for bar placement while also making it very difficult to reach over and feel the spine of the scapula. I'm hoping as I shed fat, that lower shelf will become more visible and help hold the bar in place.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Bacliff, TX
    Posts
    53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post
    ...or roll the inner 45 up onto a 2.5# plate.

    Has loose skin become an issue for the (initially) obese trainee? How about as it relates to lifting belt usage (skin pinching, etc)?
    I wear compression clothes under my workout clothes, and plan to in the future to prevent the skin from moving around.

    As a 5'10 315lb trainee, I'll deal with loose skin if I have to, but in an ideal scenario I'll fill that loose skin out with muscle, and the rest of it will just contract and adjust as a living organism should.

    I'm using a cheapo $15 velcro belt at the moment, and the only problem is that I'm getting too small for it. No point in spending $100+ on a leather belt I'm going to be too small for in a few months.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    129

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhurstell View Post
    As an aged Obese trainee (5'10M, 40, 315lbs) I would really appreciate some direction for the alternative exercises.

    I started at 347lbs June 1, 2017 and had never squat or dead-lifted in my life. Numbers as of yesterday's session was sq: 285, ohp: 120, bp: 180, dl: 325 (my first body-weight lift!) I am currently eating ~2650 calories a day when at my most compliant and aiming for 250g of protein/day although I'm usually somewhere just north of 200. Some days I eat less, and other days I still eat more. I am usually sleeping 7.5 hours, but may get as little as 6 once every other week or so.
    This is great progress, nice job.

    I am approaching the point where I dont think I can recover from the dead-lift every workout and am taking two or three training sessions to add weight to the bar, and am looking for the appropriate substitute for the B workout. I realize I could probably eat more to facilitate that recovery for the dead-lift, but I really feel like I have a good weekly caloric level and dont want to mess with it too much. As stated in the article, and everywhere else in SSLP literature, the power-clean is not suitable for the trainee of my vintage, or size. The chin-up is sadly, still impossible with a 315lb body-weight to overcome. The barbell row has such a small range of motion due to the belly, I believe it is also a poor option at this time.

    I am considering pull-downs with a chin-up grip, but the machine has 15lb jumps, so I'm not sure I'll be able to sustain strength gains very long. In any case, there is VERY little published guidance from SS in this area.
    You have some options here. You could do a "light" deadlift day for the 'B' workout where you're only deadlifting 80% or so of the 'A' workout. Remember that in addition to training for power, power cleans also function as a "light" pulling day for trainees, so by doing light deadlifts instead, you're leaving that part of the program in tact and just removing the power part.

    Lat pulldowns would be good too, but they won't provide as much training stress as the light deadlift day. As far as the 15 pound jumps; can you set a 10 lb. or 5 lb. barbell plate on the weight stack as needed? Either way, you're not going to be able to do LP on the pulldowns, it's an assistance exercise, just use it to get training volume in until you're ready for chin ups.

    Another issue that could use some more commentary is bar placement for the obese squatter. All of the adipose tissue stored in the upper back continues to mask the "lower shelf" for bar placement while also making it very difficult to reach over and feel the spine of the scapula. I'm hoping as I shed fat, that lower shelf will become more visible and help hold the bar in place.
    Possibly. FWIW I can't squat low bar because my shoulder is messed up. High bar may not be as good as low bar, but it's still pretty good.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    122

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    I know you all think strength is the most important thing, but when you are over-weight with a family history of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, fat loss should become a priority. It's absolutely ridiculous to tell someone in that condition not to do any cardio. I'd even go so far as to say if you do you must have some mild form of mental retardation.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    38,416

    Default

    You think cardio is the best way to lose bodyfat? Especially when you weigh 350?

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