Starting strength programme while in a calorie deficit Starting strength programme while in a calorie deficit

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Thread: Starting strength programme while in a calorie deficit

  1. #1
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    Sep 2021
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    Default Starting strength programme while in a calorie deficit

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    Dear Mark,

    Once upon a time I was a 65kg height 175cm 18 year old male who needed to pick up a barbell and drink a gallon of milk a day. Unfortunately I have only discovered this advice as a 35 year old minimally trained obese male now 90kg with 25% body fat.

    Would you advise using the starting strength programme in a calorie deficit or continue to cut and then begin the programme in a calorie surplus? Also at what body far percentage would you advise switching to a calorie surplus?

    Many thanks

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    How about you start the program, run it for three months. Get stronger and you will find your caloric burn rate increasing and likely some weight loss. At 175cm and 90kg you are likely more than 25% body fat. Get to work on putting on sum muscle and fix the body fat once you get strong. You will find it much easier then!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Have you considered fasting? Fasting is a terrible idea if you are trying to get stronger. When you don't eat anything at all your body switches over to burning ketones for fuel. Those ketones come from breaking down everything else. You will lose fat, bone density, extra skin, and muscle mass (your pecker might even shrink), BUT fasting can be the quickest was for a metabolically unhealthy person to become insulin sensitive. If you are training during a fast you will not gain any muscle mass, but you won't lose much either. There are a few things to find out from your Dr. What is your fasting insulin level, and what is your HgA1C? Is it safe for you to fast? Diabetic ketoacidosis is very rare, but extremely serious so please consult your Doc before you consider severe caloric restriction. Fasting is to the typical fat loss diet as a barbell squat is to playing around with dumbells. If you are basically healthy you can just start the program and eat real food--forget fasting. If you need serious fat loss for health reasons, fasting can be tool to get healthy in little time. Trying to stay on a calorie restricted diet for months or years and do strength training at the same time will just keep you frustrated.

  5. #5
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    You're recommending fasting for a 35-year-old man at 25% bodyfat who wants to do a strength training program? Why would you suggest something this stupid?

  6. #6
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    May 2021
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    There was big fat IF in my post. If his body fat is really only 25% (Determined how? Dexa score or just one of those little things in the gym?), and IF he is healthy, he just needs to work the program. There are people around who have non alcoholic fatty liver disease and do not know it. He seems to be very concerned about weight gain. He implied that he was intending to train for months while trying to restrict calories, and that never works. It doesn't hurt to go without food for two or three days once in a while. Of course it does not help him gain strength at all, but it may give him the confidence to eat enough real food every single non fasting day to get stronger.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    You're recommending fasting for a 35-year-old man at 25% bodyfat who wants to do a strength training program? Why would you suggest something this stupid?
    I did my initial novice progression at age 42 at a body weight of about 350 pounds. Over the course of a year I lost about 135 pounds eating a ketogenic diet consisting of meat, eggs, vegetables and some cheese. Obviosuly, in order to lose 135 pounds I was eating ata caloric deficit. My progression was less than optimal, as might be expected given my age and diet, but I did progress.

    In my opinion, make sure you eat your protein targets (o.8g/lb of bodyweight) and allow your caloric needs to be met by your excess adipose tissue. Thats what its there for.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    I feel like you should just train hard and eat enough that you're making progress (aka getting stronger). Everyone knows if they are a fat slob. If you're getting sloppy and hog fat then eat less food.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by RayK View Post
    There was big fat IF in my post. If his body fat is really only 25% (Determined how? Dexa score or just one of those little things in the gym?), and IF he is healthy, he just needs to work the program. There are people around who have non alcoholic fatty liver disease and do not know it. He seems to be very concerned about weight gain. He implied that he was intending to train for months while trying to restrict calories, and that never works. It doesn't hurt to go without food for two or three days once in a while. Of course it does not help him gain strength at all, but it may give him the confidence to eat enough real food every single non fasting day to get stronger.
    At 5'9" and 198, just doing the program for a few months will have profound effects provided he eats enough to recover properly, which he will need to do every day.

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