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  1. #1
    Registered User Butcher22's Avatar
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    Arrow Starting Strength/Diet

    I just started Starting Strength after doing a ton of research on here (Friday will be my 3rd workout).

    I have some concerns about diet however. Just to give a quick history, I am 6'3" 175 lbs. I was a skinny kid growing up, then became fat when I went to college (got up to 220 at one point) then began eating healthy and lost 45 pounds and here I am at skinny again. I have been going to the gym irregularly for about 2 years yielding minimal gains. My goal is to basically be in the 190-200 range and be lean, cut and athletic.

    In the last 5 days I began changing my diet to accomodate these goals. I am eating 3000-3500 calories a day consisting of roughly 130g fat, 350g carbs, and 250g protein. The most sudden change to my body that I've noticed is the increase in stomach size/flab. This obviously sets off alarm bells for me being a former fat guy.

    So basically my question is, am I eating too much? Or will things sort of even out as I continue with the workout routine?

    Another thing I'm wondering is, to reach my goal, will/should I follow starting strength until I reach my target weight, then focus on toning/leaning/cutting/getting "ripped" (whatever you wanna call it)?

    Any help is appreciated. The thing I struggle with is definitely not a lack of motivation, but more uncertainty over whether or not I am doing the right things.
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  2. #2
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You don't gain fat that suddenly. You are probably just experiencing some bloating due to extra food in general and possibly because some types of food like red meat and milk cause this to happen. You will also see a rapid increase in scale weight initially because of the extra food in transit.

    As long as you keep mass gains below 2-3lbs a month once past the initial weight gain, you should be fine.

    Yes, at some point in the future, you will need to cut. You could pass your target weight by 10-20 lbs and then cut back. Or if you don't like the idea of being 220lbs again, you could do it in cycles.
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    Off the wagon PeterGibbons316's Avatar
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    Track your weight and calories every day for at least two weeks before you make any changes to your diet.

    Why are you worried about gaining too much fat? You lost 45 lbs, you know how to get rid of it. If you get too fat, just do what you did before. No problem.
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  4. #4
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    reported in for future details, riding the same train as OP to dat der clean bulk land
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    Registered User dracoz's Avatar
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    I would make sure to track exact calories every day and weigh yourself first thing in the mourning a few times a week. As others said 5lbs+ can easily be water weight; digestion, DOMS, building muscles, etc, but after 3+ weeks of a similar routine you should begin to get an accurate idea of how much weight you are putting on.

    I'm kind of in a similar situation as you as being 6'3" and skinny, I'm only looking to add a couple lbs a month. Myfitnesspal app for my android phone has helped a ton with accurately tracking calories, there were days I used to guess I was eating enough but I probably only had 1400 cals!
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    Originally Posted by PeterGibbons316 View Post
    Track your weight and calories every day for at least two weeks before you make any changes to your diet.

    Why are you worried about gaining too much fat? You lost 45 lbs, you know how to get rid of it. If you get too fat, just do what you did before. No problem.
    I do track my calories every day to try and stay in that range that I'm in as mentioned in the OP, just unsure if that is the right amount or too much.

    I am worried because I don't want to get too fat again or have to diet to lose a bunch of weight when I am going to the gym regularly and eating well. Seems counterproductive.
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  7. #7
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    Seems counterproductive.
    Actually, it's not - from experience...

    It's much more likely that you spin your wheels and get nowhere if you are afraid of a little weight gain.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Butcher22's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Actually, it's not - from experience...

    It's much more likely that you spin your wheels and get nowhere if you are afraid of a little weight gain.
    So in order to get bigger (chest, arms, back, etc) you have to get a little flabby around the belly at first too?
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  9. #9
    Registered User MichaelCJ's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    So in order to get bigger (chest, arms, back, etc) you have to get a little flabby around the belly at first too?
    No.

    But for a lot of people, it's going to be a hell of a lot easier if they let that happen, as a consequence of eating enough for once. And it'll be easier shedding that later, rather than sooner.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Butcher22's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MichaelCJ View Post
    No.

    But for a lot of people, it's going to be a hell of a lot easier if they let that happen, as a consequence of eating enough for once. And it'll be easier shedding that later, rather than sooner.
    So when the time comes (I know it's a ways away) how does one go about shedding the fat and keeping the muscle they've gained?
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    So when the time comes (I know it's a ways away) how does one go about shedding the fat and keeping the muscle they've gained?
    You read the stickies and educate yourself. Starting with this one:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=121703981

    Good Luck.
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  12. #12
    Off the wagon PeterGibbons316's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    So when the time comes (I know it's a ways away) how does one go about shedding the fat and keeping the muscle they've gained?
    How did you lose 45 lbs before? It's about discipline and controlling what you eat. Anyone that has the will to drop nearly 50 lbs is going to be successful in this endeavor.

    When the time comes, keep your protein intake high, and your calories low, try to lose no more than 1 lb/week.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Actually, it's not - from experience...

    It's much more likely that you spin your wheels and get nowhere if you are afraid of a little weight gain.
    Follow this advice Butcher22. I actually did exactly what suffolk suggested and from undereating LOST weight due to being afraid of fat gains. Eat well and train hard...worry about the fat later, just keep it relatively under control.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    I do track my calories every day to try and stay in that range that I'm in as mentioned in the OP, just unsure if that is the right amount or too much.

    I am worried because I don't want to get too fat again or have to diet to lose a bunch of weight when I am going to the gym regularly and eating well. Seems counterproductive.
    If your doing a clean bulk, eating the proper healty food and not cheeseburgers all day, then you won't actually get "fat" per say. You'll deffently get bigger and won't be cut or 'ripped'...but you'll be bigger ALL OVER not just in your stomach.

    Look at the professionals, if they're not prepping for a contest they're probably in the low to mid 20% in BF.
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    Originally Posted by PeterGibbons316 View Post
    How did you lose 45 lbs before? It's about discipline and controlling what you eat. Anyone that has the will to drop nearly 50 lbs is going to be successful in this endeavor.

    When the time comes, keep your protein intake high, and your calories low, try to lose no more than 1 lb/week.
    I ate healthy and biked 200 miles a week basically. If I do that once I get big, won't I lose the muscle I've gained too?
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    I ate healthy and biked 200 miles a week basically. If I do that once I get big, won't I lose the muscle I've gained too?
    Not if your eating a calorie surplus.
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    Did my 4th SS workout today. It's going well. Unforunately as I continue to paruse the forums I am getting the feeling that SS may not be the best choice for me.

    A lot of people have mentioned that the gains are slow and more long term driven and the purpose of the program is to give you a base for future gains (saw one poster even mention 2+ years down the line).

    I'm not looking for some miracle program but I'd like to see a big difference by the summer.

    Another thing I've read about SS is how it's geared towards the ultimate beginner, which isn't exactly what I'd consider myself. I've been working out for years now, albeit never very consistently or with a ton of results, but I'm no stranger to the gym.

    Do you guys think I'm on the right track here or should I go another direction program wise?
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    Did my 4th SS workout today. It's going well. Unforunately as I continue to paruse the forums I am getting the feeling that SS may not be the best choice for me.

    A lot of people have mentioned that the gains are slow and more long term driven and the purpose of the program is to give you a base for future gains (saw one poster even mention 2+ years down the line).
    I've added 55 lbs to my squat in 3 sessions. Doesn't seem like slow progression to me.


    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    Another thing I've read about SS is how it's geared towards the ultimate beginner
    It's a beginner program, in that "beginner" is defined as someone who can add weight to the bar in a linear progression from workout to workout. We want to be beginners for as long as possible when consistently weight training. No longer a beginner = slower progression.
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    Did my 4th SS workout today. It's going well. Unforunately as I continue to paruse the forums I am getting the feeling that SS may not be the best choice for me.

    A lot of people have mentioned that the gains are slow and more long term driven and the purpose of the program is to give you a base for future gains (saw one poster even mention 2+ years down the line).

    I'm not looking for some miracle program but I'd like to see a big difference by the summer.

    Another thing I've read about SS is how it's geared towards the ultimate beginner, which isn't exactly what I'd consider myself. I've been working out for years now, albeit never very consistently or with a ton of results, but I'm no stranger to the gym.

    Do you guys think I'm on the right track here or should I go another direction program wise?
    lol! The idea is that it's as fast as possible - making best use of a beginners abilities.

    You probably are still a beginner despite what you think. This is not a badge of shame, it simply means you can progress faster than someone at a higher level.
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    Did my 4th SS workout today. It's going well. Unforunately as I continue to paruse the forums I am getting the feeling that SS may not be the best choice for me.

    A lot of people have mentioned that the gains are slow and more long term driven and the purpose of the program is to give you a base for future gains (saw one poster even mention 2+ years down the line).

    I'm not looking for some miracle program but I'd like to see a big difference by the summer.

    Another thing I've read about SS is how it's geared towards the ultimate beginner, which isn't exactly what I'd consider myself. I've been working out for years now, albeit never very consistently or with a ton of results, but I'm no stranger to the gym.
    Where are your squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press and power clean at?
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    lol! The idea is that it's as fast as possible - making best use of a beginners abilities.

    You probably are still a beginner despite what you think. This is not a badge of shame, it simply means you can progress faster than someone at a higher level.
    ^This

    I wish I was still a beginner.
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    Originally Posted by Cy4 View Post
    I've added 55 lbs to my squat in 3 sessions. Doesn't seem like slow progression to me.




    It's a beginner program, in that "beginner" is defined as someone who can add weight to the bar in a linear progression from workout to workout. We want to be beginners for as long as possible when consistently weight training. No longer a beginner = slower progression.
    I didn't mean slow progression in terms of adding weight to your lifts, I meant aesthetic gains.
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    Originally Posted by MichaelCJ View Post
    Where are your squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press and power clean at?
    145, 120, 155, 95, 95 (using pendlay row not power clean)
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    I didn't mean slow progression in terms of adding weight to your lifts, I meant aesthetic gains.
    Strength training 101...strength programs don't produce aesthetics untill you get to much heavier weights.
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    145, 120, 155, 95, 95 (using pendlay row not power clean)
    Unless you are a small woman, you are definitely still a beginner. Congrats, you will be able to progress faster than your more experienced brethren.
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    Originally Posted by Butcher22 View Post
    145, 120, 155, 95, 95 (using pendlay row not power clean)
    Um, yeah. You're definitely still a "beginner" / "novice". Nothing to be ashamed of, mind you - it's just how it is, for now. up to you how by when that changes.

    You can see here a reasonable approximation of novice, intermediate, etc.: http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...Standards.html

    edit: Ninjaed!
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    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Starting Strength is not geared towards aesthetics - it focuses on whole body strength - groups of muscles that are commonly used in sport related movements (hip extension, explosion, posterior chain/core strength).

    If you want a program that concentrates on the visible muscles, look at all pros simple beginners routine. Yes, you are also a beginner on this program and you can continue to run it probably until you squat 300lbs
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Starting Strength is not geared towards aesthetics - it focuses on whole body strength - groups of muscles that are commonly used in sport related movements (hip extension, explosion, posterior chain/core strength).

    If you want a program that concentrates on the visible muscles, look at all pros simple beginners routine. Yes, you are also a beginner on this program and you can continue to run it probably until you squat 300lbs
    This is kind of the response I was looking for as I was already considering all pros routine.
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    So I think I am going to use all-pro routine on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays with HIIT training on Tuesdays and Thursdays
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