Early stall - should I be eating more? Early stall - should I be eating more?

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Thread: Early stall - should I be eating more?

  1. #1
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    Question Early stall - should I be eating more?

    • starting strength seminar august 2022
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    I have enjoyed the program so far, but a month in and I am having trouble adding weight to my squat, bench, and press. It's my understanding the bench-press and press numbers often stall out after a month and need to increment by smaller amounts, but my squat should continue to improve by 5 lbs per workout for 3-4 months as a general rule.

    Here is where my numbers are now (lbs):
    Squat: 220
    Bench: 205
    Dead-lift: 305
    Press: 140

    Sex: Male
    Age: 35
    Height: 6'6" (with short torso)
    Weight: 200

    I realize the legs numbers are crap. But the past 3 workouts (1 week) my squat has gone from 3x5 to 5,4,4 to 4,3,3,2,2,1. I was advised by our mutual acquaintance to read The First Three Questions and if so "stop being such a pussy" and grind out my squats. Perhaps I am actually hitting the limit of my strength for the first time and it is a matter of will. I am also wondering if I should be eating more. I thought I was eating a lot (more than normal), but when I actually counted up everything it was about 3500 calories.

    Should I be aiming higher (4000-6000)? I am fine doing the gallon of milk a day stuff if that is what I need to do, but after watching the video on this I don't know if I'm the right person for this diet. I was thinking I will need to add 50 lbs or so to be as strong as I want, but I'm not sure how fast I need to be gaining to continue adding 5 lbs to the bar per workout.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    -Joel

  2. #2
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    You probably need to eat 5000-6000, with carbs at 600 g/d and protein at 250 g/d. Get ready to chew more. You gotta get up to at least 275 quick.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the advice.

    To be honest I am having trouble seeing this. I have done a gain before. I went from 185 up to 205 a while ago. LeBron James is 6'8" and 240lbs. I don't think of him as skinny (although to be fair he isn't fat.) I will be a completely different person if/when I add 75lbs. I have always been a hard gainer. I checked my weight last night and it's actually up to 206lbs so perhaps some gain so far.

    It sounds like I have my work cut out for me.

    Thanks again.

    -Joel

  4. #4
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    Lebron James isn't strong, has good muscle insertions, naturally low bodyfat, does hours of endurance activity as a function of his sport, and is a professional basketball player with a standing vertical jump greater than 40 inches. Holding yourself to this standard is not productive if your goal is to build muscle and get stronger working with far fewer resources than he has.

  5. #5
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    I suppose it sounds silly comparing myself to one of the all-time greats in basketball. I was just picking someone that is much stronger than me and thinking why should I be even stronger and heavier than that person, while also being shorter. If my goal was to be the best player in the NBA then I suppose I wouldn't want to gain more than 40 lbs. I do play basketball - not professionally. Do you think adding 75lbs will limit my ability to dunk a basketball? I also do some mountain climbing. Do you think that sort of weight gain will make it difficult to climb mountains?

  6. #6
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    You have to decide what the priority is. You cannot get a big deadlift, be an awesome climber, run a marathon and be competitive at basketball. CrossFit is lying.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the help and advice. I really appreciate your patience as I sort this out. I plan to add the weight quickly.

  8. #8
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    You are welcome.

  9. #9
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    Based on my own experience, at 6'6" you may actually end up doing your best lifting at a bodyweight exceeding 300 pounds, potentially. A lot of those numbers are actually fairly high for a month of novice work and being underweight. The one I'd say probably has a lot of room for improvement is your deadlift. If you really have that build of a short torso and long arms, your deadlift probably has the potential to fly out ahead of your squat quite a bit. I know mine has. BMI might not say you are, but BMI no longer applies to you when you start training. 200 at 6'6" is definitely underweight for a lifter. You potentially may have started off on the high side with your lifts. Did your starting weights all basically come out to hard but with 2 or so more reps left, or did you try to get as high of a 5 rep set as you could right out of the gate? Thats what I did my first time doing this, I was overeager to get started lifting. Early stalls resulted.

    As for mountain climbing and basketball dunking, I've got no experience trying to balance those types of concerns with strength training. If it's worth it to you, an experienced coach is probably your best bet for navigating goals like that. But that kind of tailoring is more for intermediate training and beyond. It seems like you have some pretty solid potential to run a very good LP based on your current numbers and bodyweight. I'd focus on getting as much as you can out of it. It'll take less than a year, and once you're finished you can look at those other goals and how you have to adapt training for them.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    BMI never really applied to the extreme ends of the height spectrum anyways. I just wrote an article that touched on how reasonably apply BMI. If your BMI and body fat percentage are both high, you may have something to worry about. If your fat percentage is normal and your BMI is high, you've earned yourself a badge of honor.

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