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  1. #1
    Registered User santiago0221's Avatar
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    Expected results for an obese beginner using Starting Strength as written?

    I'm 5'8", 260lbs, heavily obese and out of shape. I know I "should" start out with a cutting program, but I'm really just interested in adding muscle and strength right now to be quite honest.

    So, my question is this: If I follow the Starting Strength program exactly, without screwing with any of the workouts or anything, AND I go on a clean, surplus diet to allow muscle and strength development, what would the results be?

    Since I'm obese, would I just get real fat and puffy looking, with some added muscle? Or would my weight sort of stay the same for a bit, until my added muscle started burning off the (lots) of excess fat I have?

    From reading a little bit of Ripptoe's book, he implies that "if the body needs to cut fat, it will", and to not worry about cutting under this program....how true is this, and would that line of thought even apply to me?
    Last edited by santiago0221; 07-20-2010 at 09:56 PM.
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  2. #2
    You're not my supervisor! Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by santiago0221 View Post
    I'm 5'8", 260lbs, heavily obese and out of shape. I know I "should" start out with a cutting program, but I'm really just interested in adding muscle and strength right now to be quite honest.

    So, my question is this: If I follow the Starting Strength program exactly, without screwing with any of the workouts or anything, AND I go on a clean, surplus diet to allow muscle and strength development, what would the results be?

    Since I'm obese, would I just get real fat and puffy looking, with some added muscle? Or would my weight sort of stay the same for a bit, until my added muscle started burning off the (lots) of excess fat I have?

    From reading a little bit of Riptoe's book, he implies that "if the body needs to cut fat, it will", and to not worry about cutting under this program....how true is this, and would that line of thought even apply to me?
    Don't go on a surplus diet. At your height/weight you can make strength and even muscle gains on a slight calorie deficit if your program, diet (protein!) and rest are in order.

    http://startingstrength.com/articles...n_rippetoe.pdf
    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

    A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.—Thomas Jefferson
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  3. #3
    Registered User santiago0221's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Don't go on a surplus diet. At your height/weight you can make strength and even muscle gains on a slight calorie deficit if your program, diet (protein!) and rest are in order.

    http://startingstrength.com/articles...n_rippetoe.pdf
    So, should I just go on a straight 40/40/20 macro diet, or something like Keto?

    And in terms of my caloric intake, I believe a deficit for me would be about 2300-2500 calories, with maintenance being 2800-3000 calories, and a surplus being 3000+. Does that sound right? I know I'm at least 40% body fat right now, if not a little more. I would be doing the workout as written, and my job does entail some physical activity, as I'm not sitting behind a desk all day.

    So I guess something like 2500 calories a day?
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  4. #4
    You're not my supervisor! Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by santiago0221 View Post
    So, should I just go on a straight 40/40/20 macro diet, or something like Keto?

    And in terms of my caloric intake, I believe a deficit for me would be about 2300-2500 calories, with maintenance being 2800-3000 calories, and a surplus being 3000+. Does that sound right? I know I'm at least 40% body fat right now, if not a little more. I would be doing the workout as written, and my job does entail some physical activity, as I'm not sitting behind a desk all day.

    So I guess something like 2500 calories a day?
    I don't know crap about calories. I never even count my own. I just pay attention to the scale and make sure to get enough protein. I have also never (yet) cut.

    Rule of thumb: Eat so that you lose 1 lb of bodyweight per week with at least 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass per day. Usually people say 1-1.5 per pound of bodyweight, but in your case that would probably be more than necessary, so maybe some 200 grams of protein per day.


    Check the nutrition section. There is much better information from more knowledgeable posters regarding diet in there.
    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

    A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.—Thomas Jefferson
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by santiago0221 View Post
    So I guess something like 2500 calories a day?
    That sounds like a fine starting point, but ultimately you are going to have to experiment yourself to see how your body responds to specific nutrition and training guidelines. It's part art, part science. So keep a food log and a weight/photo/etc. log to track physical progress and your diet. IMO, at your weight and BF%, while running SS, you should def. see fat loss and lean body mass gains if you are taking in 2500cals/day. Make sure you get enough protein. That will make/break the diet, along with the calories of course.
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  6. #6
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    Farley and jb hit the nail on the head here. At your height/weight you could probably do just fine losing 2 lbs a week for several weeks, imo. Just keep protein intake high. Don't do a keto diet unless you also want to deal with the side effects. It's just not necessary and likely will not improve results noticeably if at all.
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