19 May Weight Loss Case Study, Lose weight with barbell training and counting macros.
I’m a moderator on https://www.reddit.com/r/StartingStrength/. I spend a great deal of time trying to help the lifters there with programming, form, and other questions. A few weeks ago a lifter who weighed in at 270lbs and 6 feet tall asked for some advice about programming his lifts and food requirements. He was very concerned about weight loss. He and I messaged back and forth a bit and I made some macro nutrient recommendations to him. I recommended 100 grams of fat, 200 grams of carbohydrates and 250 grams of protein each day.
This recommendation was just my initial recommendation. What we normally do is set macro nutrient goals that the trainee adheres to very closely for at least two weeks. At the end of the two weeks we check some important measurements, chief of which is the waist diameter and body weight. Depending on the stature, weight, sex and body fat composition of the trainee, I may be looking for the weight to stay the same, increase or decrease, and we almost always want to see the waist size decrease.
This gentleman diligently followed the macro nutrient recommendations to great result. Here is what he reported.
M, 31, 6’0″, 274 lb – Two week update/sanity check following recommendations from Scott Hambrick, SSC on 4/20.
Nutrition/Body Composition – All food intake tracked for two weeks; weight and measurements taken first thing each Saturday morning.
Macros (2 wk avg): 101.9/200.5/253.6 F/C/P (g)
Weight: 278.4 -> 274.2 | -4.2 lb
Neck: 17 1/4″ -> 17 7/8″ | +5/8″
Chest: 49 1/4″ -> 49 1/4″ | +0″
Waist: 48″ -> 46 1/2″ | -1 1/2″
Hips: 44 3/4″ -> 45 1/4″ | +1/2″
Lifts – Moved from SL5x5 to SS doing Sun/Tue/Thu. Can’t do chins – using lat pulldowns per Andy Baker on SS Forums. Alternating deadlifts/”chins” each workout as in PPST.
Squat: 235x5x5 -> 275x3x5 | +40 lb (hit bodyweight) (belted)
Bench: 205x5x5 -> 230x3x5 | +25 lb
Press: 110x5x5 -> 125x3x5 | +15 lb
Deadlift: 235x1x5 -> 275x1x5 | +40 lb (hit bodyweight) (belted)
Rows: 155x5x5 -> 165x3x5 | +10 lb (only on Thursdays leading into 2 rest days)
In two weeks he put 40 pounds on his squat and lost 4.2 pounds of body weight and 1.5″ on his waist. In fact, this is a little more weight loss than I’d like to see, so we upped his nutrient requirements and will be feeding him a little more every day.
You can see the entire post here: https://www.reddit.com/r/StartingStrength/comments/69mrgg/nutritionprogram_update_sanity_check/
This is the kind of work I love to do. I got to be involved in helping a motivated h. Sapiens in reaching his life goals.
Here’s how it works. The lifter has to be doing heavy barbell lifts. The heavy lifts increase muscle mass. The metabolic act of building increased muscle mass, bone density and the other adaptations that occur in the trainee requires an enormous amount of calories and nutrients. We have to make sure the trainee gets enough protein in their diet, enough carbs to train, and dial the numbers in so they are getting the remainder of calories they need from their existing fat stores. Additionally, all of this new muscle mass needs to be feed all day, every day. This raises the total daily energy requirement. The act of doing the heavy lifts also burns a great number of calories as well. If the trainee does not do the heavy weight training, they’ll likely 1) burn out from losing weight from calorie restriction or 2) lose the weight and end up “skinny fat”, with little muscle mass and high body fat, like I was after I lost 53 pounds.
To get started with this kind of approach I have the client complete a short questionnaire and we normally will do a phone consultation if we haven’t done an initial teaching session to teach all of the lifts properly. After studying the questionnaire in depth and my notes from the phone consultation, I can make a preliminary recommendation. Frequently, the initial recommendation is for the client to eat as he or she usually does, but have them log all of their food intake in myfitnesspal or loseit in their smartphone.
After analyzing that data we can make adjustments necessary to get the results desired; weight gain, recomposition, or weight loss.
If you have any questions or need help feel free to call or email me.