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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Hi guys.

I need some help, bad.

To wit:

I am 6', 200 lbs today. I am happy with my appearance at 6' 200 lbs. I'm in relatively good shape. I can bang out a 5k in 25 minutes, can do a half dozen sets of all out sprints, can drag and move heavy things, etc.

I am able to eat a low carb paleo diet "eat until not hungry" diet and hover at about 200lbs without much effort, and remain at roughly 20% body fat. I cannot get below this body fat level without severe calorie restriction (i.e. PSMF with leangains protocol), and to be honest with you I don't think I have been below 20% bodyfat except for a period of a couple of weeks since I was a preteen.

I have some food issues - allergies to most fruits and bread really rips up my stomach.

I *love* lifting, and my goal is to bench 300, squat 400, dead 500. I have made 0 progress towards this goal in the last two years or so.

Below is my current workout split.

A:
Squat (3x5)
Bench (3x5)
Row (3x5)
Dead (1x5)

B:
Squat (3x5)
Press (3x5)
Chin BW, mostly singles (I suck at these)
Power Clean (5x3)

Here is the problem. When I am lifting weights, I get ravenously hungry the day after - to the point of binge eating. The day after lifting some serious weight it is NOTHING for me to kill 5000 kcal, even of whole foods. If there is healthy food available, I will eat all of that food . I will eat a dozen eggs for breakfast #1 and 2, 2 lbs of meat for lunch, and 2 lbs of meat for dinner without batting an eyelash. If there is not healthy food in that quantity, I get the most unbelievable cravings to just shove my face with junk food.

As an example, I lifted last night. I ate 2400 calories by noon today,, with plenty of protein. By 2pm I ran out of food while at work. An hour after lunch I was so hungry and out of food that I ate a bag of skittles, a hershey's bar, and two large chocolate chip cookies. By 7pm I will be dying of hunger again and will probably kill at least a pound of meat product, a sweet potato, a lb of vegetable matter, and two tbsp of fish oil. And I will still fall asleep hungry.

Now, this is fine if I was a thin guy. But at 20% bodyfat, it does not take long for me, while lifting and eating, to get sloppy and to get uncomfortable with where my weight is going. Every time I start lifting weights seriously this happens, and thus I make almost zero progress. I have been squatting around 300, DLing around 350, benching around 200, and pressing around 140 for such a long time, and just when I start getting to those PRs I get to around 24% body fat and I start thinking that I need to lean out. My mass partitioning during these phases is NOT GOOD. Roughly 70%fat to 30% muscle, usually. Strength gains are always good when I am eating, though. I am good enough at lifting that I am fairly confident that I could probably ride a linear progression all the way to my goals if I just accepted the stratospheric BF increase, but I enjoy looking like a normal human instead of bloating out.

I have tried leaning out to the 15% BF range (from what I have read this is suggested before doing a proper "bulk") but my body just fights me like all hell when I try and I've only gotten down to 18% once. When I tried to eat correctly for lifting gains from the 18% mark, I was back up to 24% in two months. Bottom line here is that trying to shift below 20% is like moving a damn mountain for me.

So, on to the questions.

How the heck do I get to 300/400/500 without getting over 25% bodyfat, given my cirumstances?

Piggy backing off of that - should I even try? Am I just not built to get strong without getting truly fat?

Do you think that I should just let the hunger increase ride, and exhaust LP regardless of BF gains?

Is any of this (i.e. the extreme hunger, inability to get below 20%) something that warrants medical attention/consultation?

Any other suggestions or opinions on how I should proceed? I'm burnt out and at this point all I want is to make some progress.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:52 pm 
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How old are you? If you're a young man the solution would be different than if you're an old woman. I'm guessing it's the former.

" I ate 2400 calories by noon today, with plenty of protein. By 2pm I ran out of food while at work. An hour after lunch I was so hungry and out of food that I ate a bag of skittles, a hershey's bar, and two large chocolate chip cookies. "

This is very telling. If you are really hungry, eat real food. For breakfast, instead of just eggs, bulk it up with veggies, like onions, mushrooms, spinach, etc. A pound a meal is not too much. If you have to snack between meals, eat bigger meals. Do whatever it takes to avoid the junk food. If a food is more calories than nutrients, don't eat it. Ask yourself that for everything you eat. if you're not hungry at meal time, skip it. You don't have to eat every time the clock strikes a particular hour. Get to know the difference between hungry and full. You don't have to be full all the time but you should avoid real hunger.

Keep a supply of dark chocolate with you. Get as bitter as you can stand, at least 85% cocoa. Have a small piece, say a square or two, if you're a liitle hungry. That should carry you through for a couple of hours and you probably won't be tempted to wolf it all down.

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Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:35 pm 
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stuward wrote:
How old are you? If you're a young man the solution would be different than if you're an old woman. I'm guessing it's the former.

" I ate 2400 calories by noon today, with plenty of protein. By 2pm I ran out of food while at work. An hour after lunch I was so hungry and out of food that I ate a bag of skittles, a hershey's bar, and two large chocolate chip cookies. "

This is very telling. If you are really hungry, eat real food. For breakfast, instead of just eggs, bulk it up with veggies, like onions, mushrooms, spinach, etc. A pound a meal is not too much. If you have to snack between meals, eat bigger meals. Do whatever it takes to avoid the junk food. If a food is more calories than nutrients, don't eat it. Ask yourself that for everything you eat. if you're not hungry at meal time, skip it. You don't have to eat every time the clock strikes a particular hour. Get to know the difference between hungry and full. You don't have to be full all the time but you should avoid real hunger.

Keep a supply of dark chocolate with you. Get as bitter as you can stand, at least 85% cocoa. Have a small piece, say a square or two, if you're a liitle hungry. That should carry you through for a couple of hours and you probably won't be tempted to wolf it all down.


Stuward,

Thanks for the response.

I am male and just turned 30.

So the thing with the cookies and crap is this - I know you are right, I should eat real food. I try hard. I really do. I'm not trying I make excuses here. I know this sounds crazy. But I do tons of food prep every week. Two 7lb whole chickens, a beef roast, etc lasts me about two days at most. Today my first lunch at 11am prior to the binge on junk was a pound of pork shoulder and a lb of steamed broccoli, followed by a 1.5 lb mixed salad about a half hour later with 5tbsp blue cheese dressing on top (just to have some fats and some bulk). It's like - how much "real food" do I have to put a dent in the hunger? When I lift I have to bring ridiculous amounts of food with me to work. It fills up a army issue backpack. Three or four Tupperware containers. I get funny looks from coworkers. I eat it all, then go looking for more. And eventually I run out, still ravenous, and can't just leave my job to have a third lunch. So to the cafeteria I go so I can get back to work without drawing attention. I'll kill two hamburgers at 2 and it'll barely get me through until dinner. I could buy four I guess and pull off the buns or something. But even so it's just a lot of food and clearly my body thinks it is more than I actually need to sustain my training.

Is this level of hunger normal? I only get it when I weight train. I dont enjoy eating this much at all. Honest. The hungry feeling sucks.

I'll try the chocolate thing.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:27 pm 
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You are kind of between a rock and a hard place. It is difficult to gain strength and muscle without gaining fat and if you are successful at it, you compromise the amount of strength you can gain. IMHO, you need to step back and choose a goal - get lean or get strong. The healthier and sane choice is to get lean. This is coming from a fat stong man (6'2" 305 with ~25%bf). I made the choice to get strong and worry about my health later. If you don't make a choice, you will flounder at both.

I don't think I'd worry about anything medically wrong with you. I'd guess you have some insulin sensitivity (which makes you prone to getting diabetis later). I suspect that the reason you get hungry is because you never get over the insulin sensitivity. Wanna guess how I know? Try this - go Atkins for about a week - eat less than 14 carbs a day and stay away from anything other than low sugar vegetables (stay away from onions, tomatoes, carrots). Eat any meat you want. Try to get at least 4K calories a day - through eating 5-6 meals a day. When you stop being hungry, SLOWLY introduce real food back into your diet - no processed foods and nothing white (potatoes, noodles, rice, etc). I find that once I eat clean, I struggle with eating enough because I'm never hungry.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Hoosegow,

Thanks for the response.

My goal is just to 300/400/500.

I think that's what pisses me off so much. Everyone on the internet wants to get cut and jacked, or massively huge, or whatever. I have what I consider pretty modest strength goals (except the bench), and modest appearance goals (most people aren't happy at 20% BF). For me, this is leaner than I have pretty much ever been in my adult life, and I'm very happy staying around here.

I'm not sure if this makes sense, but I am fine with the fact that gaining muscle means putting on *some* fat. If I could stay my current size and reach those goals, I would be thrilled. I don't care about leaning out further than I am currently. I wish be THRILLED if I could stay the way I am, happily hovering around 20% bodyfat, but hit those numbers on my lifts. I just want to be physically strong. I'm built in such a way that I already look "big" (very broad shoulders and deep chest/V shaped upper body, tapering to wide hips and tree trunkish legs), so I don't care about gains in physical size. When they eventually bury me, it'll be in a big box whether I gain weight or not.

If I had to get to 250 to hit those goals and stayed at 20% bodyfat I'd be happy. The fact that all my efforts have been more like 70/30 (at best!) is the disheartening thing, and that is why I have not met my goals. I get to about 220 and I'm just saggy as hell beccause the proportions are off. Then I give up on lifting, switch to eating atkins, drop 20 lbs in about two months at most, and end up right back where I was before.

Not sure if this helps at all, but as an FYI, I was a really fat, untrained ~250 in 2009 and got down to 200 in just a few months doing Atkins as you prescribed. Dropping weight was easy for me to about 200 lbs. The problem is that once I introduced exercise (specifically, strength training) to my daily life things went totally haywire because of the appetite.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:40 am 
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I don't think low bodyfat and strenght is something impossible to gain. There are so many examples around the world that low bodyfat and weight in general can withold huge amounts of strength and power. Hoose is right about gaining strenght with lower bodyfat is harder than just gaining weight and strength. But it's far from too hard.

Your goal is to gain strenght without gaining too much fat? Let's see where I can put my two cents.

Routine
Okay, first things first. Your routine looks a bit hard for my taste. Having four hardcore compound max effort lifts at one workout. No wonder you're not progressing that well. I think you should split your workout a bit further. Or atleast cut one or two major lifts out of the schedule. I would prefer the first option, since all those exercises are great for your goals and overall development.

Just a few questions to get even further:
Are you pushing progress? (i.e. are you adding reps, sets or weight to your lifts) How many times a week do you workout? How much do you rest between sets? Are all the lifts full intensity (1 or 2 reps shy to failure)?
I'm conserned you're doing too much in one workout and not gaining the full benefits from them. You might be burning your nervous system.

Diet
You eat crap, you gain crap. It's that simple. I think that the carbo binges are your major problem. You see, it's very very hard to gain weight or fat by eating just fat and protein. But the carbs go straight to your fat storages if the muscles don't need more fuel. You seem to have problem or a wicked cycle to say the least: You binge huge amounts of sugar and cause great insulin bursts --> The next day you have carb cravings and your body demands sugar --> You binge huge amounts of sugar again. Eating clean and having some sort of diet usually takes discipline to take off and get going properly. If you can't resist your cravings, they will continue. If you try to eat low carb, your body and will most likely demand carbs and sugar in general. If you can ignore this and continue eating clean foods, the problem should theoritically go away. I'm not saying to go full atkins, I personally don't like that. But what I would recommend is carb cycling: Eating low carb on non-workout days and eating moderate to high carbs on workout days. It's simple and should be beneficial for your goals. Stu said a lot about filling your binge urges with healthier choises: You can't really get fat with protein and veggies.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:46 am 
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Well hell tuco if you just want to get strong... Eat. Eat some more. And then eat a little more. Your BMR is 2000 calories. Depending on how active you are, you may need to triple that amount. Try to eat clean, but eat.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:07 am 
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Dub, Hoose, thanks for the responses. Here are my answers to Dub's questions.

Q: Are you pushing progress? (i.e. are you adding reps, sets or weight to your lifts)
A: I add weight but keep sets and reps stable. Lower body gets a fiver each time, upper gets a 5 or a 2.5. I'll be microloading upper body lifts soon.


Q: How many times a week do you workout?
A:Three times weekly, always with a day in between.

Q: How much do you rest between sets?
A: Somewhere between three and seven minutes between each set depending on the exercise.

Q: Are all the lifts full intensity (1 or 2 reps shy to failure)?
A: Not yet. I'm easing back into my previous totals. I am stronger than what I am putting up in my sessions right now but I figured easing into my previous maxes would be wise (I don't want to break anything that's become unadapted during my long bout of no training)

"I'm conserned you're doing too much in one workout and not gaining the full benefits from them. You might be burning your nervous system."

I think if I kept up my current workout for more than a couple weeks you'd be completely right. My plan is to do this until I'm pulling around 350 again (should be in about two weeks) then I'll drop the deads down to once a week and keep the workouts to one heavy push, one heavy pull, and a squat. Maybe one set of accessory work (back extensions or GHR) depending on how things go.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:14 pm 
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I mentioned earlier about quality of food. More and more I'm starting to feel that vegetable oil and sugar are the 2 big evils. You mentioned blue cheese dressing. Unless you made it yourself, it's vegetable oil and sugar. You mentioned hamburgers. The buns are vegetable oil and sugar. Who knows what's in the meat but it's not much better. Get quality meat and fish and scour your choices from crap. If your food eats crap, the meat is crap.

You may also want to add in some cardio. Try this at the end of your workout: http://straighttothebar.com/articles/20 ... nman_mile/

99% of people on this site will have to scale this down dramatically.

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Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:25 pm 
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Stuward,

Heavy carries sound like fun.

So I've been thinking about how I'm going to tackle the next week from a food perspective. Here is what I have come up with. I'd appreciate your thoughts.

(6am) Breakfasts will revolve around roughly a half dozen eggs and veggies.
(10am) Second breakfasts occur at 10am and involve a cup of full fat cottage cheese or yogurt.
(12pm) Lunch involves a pound of meat product (chicken or lean ground beef), olive oil, veggies
(2pm) Second lunch will be another cup of full fat cottage cheese or yogurt.
(6-8pm) Dinner is a pound of meat product, olive oil, veggies

On WO days, I will have a preworkout shake comprised of one scoop whey isolate and one PWO of the same, with two TBSP carlson's fish oil.

That would be approximiately 3200 calories: ~350 pro, ~100 carb, ~145 fat, with a ~1:2 O3 to O6 ratio on the fats.

I'm thinking cottage cheese because it has a lot of stick to your guts power, so hopefully that will tide me over during the parts of the day that I tend to get my crazy cravings. I might try alternating that with full fat greek yogurt in roughly equal proportions.

I get along great with dairy so I don't have a ton of concerns there and I'm hoping that the casein will tide me over.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Tuco wrote:
(6am) Breakfasts will revolve around roughly a half dozen eggs and veggies.
(10am) Second breakfasts occur at 10am and involve a cup of full fat cottage cheese or yogurt.
(12pm) Lunch involves a pound of meat product (chicken or lean ground beef), olive oil, veggies
(2pm) Second lunch will be another cup of full fat cottage cheese or yogurt.
(6-8pm) Dinner is a pound of meat product, olive oil, veggies
On WO days, I will have a preworkout shake comprised of one scoop whey isolate and one PWO of the same, with two TBSP carlson's fish oil.
That would be approximiately 3200 calories: ~350 pro, ~100 carb, ~145 fat, with a ~1:2 O3 to O6 ratio on the fats.

I'm thinking cottage cheese because it has a lot of stick to your guts power, so hopefully that will tide me over during the parts of the day that I tend to get my crazy cravings. I might try alternating that with full fat greek yogurt in roughly equal proportions.
I get along great with dairy so I don't have a ton of concerns there and I'm hoping that the casein will tide me over.

I think it looks alright. It just bothers me that there are no carbs even on workout days. Well, maybe that's some recent nutritional wind, but I seriously think that you should have more carbs on your workout days. Specifically because your goals aren't in fat loss but in strength gain. I still believe that carbs(or muscle glycogen from carbs) are the fuel and the main part of recovery around your workouts. Me, I take somewhere along 50-100g of carbs pre workout, but that's very optional and personal. I just feel that I work better if I have some carbs reserved for exercising, especially after few low carb days. Then after working out I take as much carbs as I cleanly can. For me, it's whole wheat, fruits and veggies. Sometimes some of that evil sugar. But Carbs are good for recovery. After resistance training, your body will collect all the energy it needs, and it will take it from fat AND muscles if you don't take carbs. None of the carbs will go to fat cells due to the metabolic disturbance caused to muscle. But since you got this craving and binging, I would not recommend you to harvest all the carbs possible, but taking somewhere along 100-250g of carbs after working out. Maybe even more. This too is very personal. You'll have to try it and see.

Hoose is practically right, to get strong you got to eat. But the timing and cycling of nutrients comes into play if you desire not to gain too much fat. Just my two cents. Even in this forum there are differing opinions and methods, but this is how I work.

Plus, I'm a fan of dairy proteins too. Cottage cheese, greek and turkish yoghurt and quark are my main protein sources after meat. The last one I consume the most, but I'm not sure how normal and available/cheap it is in other countries.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:47 pm 
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If he has some root vegetables, like turnip, sweet potatoes, etc, he should get enough carbs. Some people do better with the carbs early in the day, some later, but the safest time is after your workout. Some like to cycle them so some days, like when you're really hungry, eat more, when you're not, eat less. Keep your protein relatively constant.

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:09 pm 
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What about, say, 8oz skim milk with each of my pre and post workout shakes? That'll bump my carbs up quite a bit and put my work out day calories right around 3500. I have definitely noticed that some carbs about a half hour before my workout helps me through it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Milk's good for workout drinks.

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:41 pm 
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Dan John often quotes a bit of wisdom that has been around as long as people have been able to talk, "Success leaves tracks." If you want to succeed at something, copy those who've done it. Who's done what you are after? Bodybuilders. Yes, even before steroids, and even without steroids.

Find out what bodybuilders do. We have some here, but the mainstream here is powerlifting, and that won't get you the right advice.


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