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Need some advise on caloric intake with lifting

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  • Need some advise on caloric intake with lifting

    So here is my dilema. I was very strick with my lifting and dieting for some time back in 09-10. Since October 2010 I've been hanging on, doing this and that but making it work and about 220 with less than desireable body comp. I've been back on track with diet and cardio since october and for 3 weeks or so back to strong lifts 5x5. I've been calorie restrictive to 2500 cals a day and really average 2k or even under on some days. Since starting lifting again I've tried to stay more to the 2500. I eat very clean most likely on the 98% or higher side of primal with dairy. I'm 6'4" as of writing this post after dinner 200lbs. I feel as though I may be shy on my intake to see gains, I say this because back in October 10 my working weight was squats:225, bench 165, OHP 105, deadlift 270, I was about 185-190 t that time, whats the thought

  • #2
    I forgot to add my current SL weights, silly me. Squat 195, bench 160, OHP 110, Deadift 235. I feel as though my squat, bench and OHP is very close to a de-load session. I have a slightly modified schedule, I'm going on to my rest days starting tomorrow so I'm hoping that with be what I need. Or is it more calories i need? Out of my macro's my carbs are very rarely over 60G and my protein is usually 200G+ with my fat hovering 90-140G.

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    • #3
      Don't expect to set new personal records on a calorie restricted diet. Low calorie dieting is for losing weight and getting lean, whereas high calorie dieting is for gaining strength and growing muscle.
      Yeah, my grammar sucks. Deal with it!

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      • #4
        What Kharnath said exactly. ^^
        Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test.
        -Rick Warren

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kharnath View Post
          Don't expect to set new personal records on a calorie restricted diet. Low calorie dieting is for losing weight and getting lean, whereas high calorie dieting is for gaining strength and growing muscle.
          So I should add calories?

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          • #6
            You need to decide whether or not you want to cut, bulk or maintain.

            2500 calories for a 6'4 200lb dude lifting heavy is bird crumbs.

            If you want to get lean, cut and vascular - cut, and don't expect any strength gains.

            If you want to keep UP with your lifts and maybe see an increase in lifts here and there, eat at maintenance calories.

            If you want to up your lifts and lift some really heavy shit, then you are going to have to feed those muscles what they
            want and give them a caloric surplus. Time your big meals AROUND your training and see how you do.

            If you're afraid of putting on fat while eating in a surplus, well, that's what bulking is all about if you want to lift heavy stuff.

            However, you could always off-set it on your rest days and eat in a deficit.

            "Bulking" doesn't have to mean eating everything in sight and getting up to 300lbs of pure muscle, veins and sinew, but it DOES mean
            that if you want to up your lifts, yer gonna have to give your body what it wants.

            You can alllllllways cut later... like for summer.


            Julie

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            • #7
              Not trying to thread-jack, but do you guys find that excess/over maintenance calories are necessary to get stronger? From my somewhat limited experience, it seems that you can get stronger pretty much as fast eating at maintenance versus eating well above it. I know you have to build muscle to get stronger after a certain point, but it's certainly possible to get stronger with the muscle tissue you currently have without building more too.

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              • #8
                Absolutely, and it usually applies to New Lifters.

                For us old timer lifters (lifting heavy over a year), you can still lift progressively more weight without eating in a surplus,
                but only if you're allowing adequate recovery time.

                So if you're lifting heavy 4 days a week - GOOD LUCK WITH THAT in a deficit.

                If you lift, say, Monday and Friday, heavy, 3X5, in a SMALL deficit, you may see some gain in your lifts.

                At some point though, you will have to eat more to get them thar muscles BIGGER and STRONGER so
                they can lift heavier..... but you don't have to go crazy to do it.

                I've been doing the Monday - Friday thing (though it kills me not to lift every day, cuz it's my crack), in a deficit, and
                I've gotten my dumbbell row up to 60lbs. And I'm a chick!. 5'3, 120lbs and 43yo.

                This is all without eating a shit ton of food.... however, I've been stuck at my 60lb dumbbell row... fer like... hmm,
                6 months? But still, it's 60lbs!

                It also really helps to vary your exercises too. They may seeeem the same, and work the same muscles, like dumbell
                row versus a bent over barbell row with an overhand grip, but it's different to the muscles. Get them used to one thing
                for a few lifting sessions and then mix it up with something else and they'll like it lots.

                Julie

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by InSearchOfAbs View Post
                  I've been doing the Monday - Friday thing (though it kills me not to lift every day, cuz it's my crack), in a deficit, and
                  I've gotten my dumbbell row up to 60lbs. And I'm a chick!. 5'3, 120lbs and 43yo.
                  Julie
                  Nice! That is impressive - Half your bodyweight! That's more than I use on DB rows, and I'm a 165 5'11" guy. And thanks for the advice and clarification.

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                  • #10
                    Ha! Thanks!

                    However, in your defense, it's not like I'm repping out a 3X8 with those puppies... more like a 3X3.... for NOW. RARRRR!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by yodiewan View Post
                      I know you have to build muscle to get stronger after a certain point, but it's certainly possible to get stronger with the muscle tissue you currently have without building more too.
                      strength = muscle x CNS

                      Athletes who compete in a fixed weight class train their central nervous system exclusively, and that alone makes them stronger. Women typically lack the hormones to grow any significant amount of muscle mass, but they improve their lifts too, simply from neuromuscular adaptation.


                      By the way, where are all the calorie haters? I'm just waiting for someone to jump in and explain how the laws of thermodynamics don't apply to the human body, and that being in a calorie surplus isn't necessary to increase energy stores (in this case, lean body mass).
                      Yeah, my grammar sucks. Deal with it!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kharnath View Post
                        strength = muscle x CNS
                        Thanks, Karnath. That's what I was trying to express. That equation does it very succinctly. I was going for the point that you can get stronger by training what muscle mass you have to contract more forefully per unit of mass (CNS), so strength can increase from that and not just muscle mass.

                        I agree that a caloric excess is necessary to build more muscle tissue. But I don't think you can just say "You weigh x pounds, so you need y calories." I agree with Kurt Harris that "there's no such thing as a macronutrient". For example, 100g of "carbs" as starch is more easily digested and assimilated than 100g of fiber. I guess the point I'm trying to make is, it's not what you put in your mouth, it's what you absorb in your gut.
                        Last edited by yodiewan; 12-14-2011, 12:51 PM.

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                        • #13
                          So I guess I'll go firther into detail, maybe someone can interject some light for me. I am a Firefighter/EMT-I so I work a rotating schedule. I do not have the proper equipment at work to lift so I use those days as cardio. I work 1-24hr shift then have 3days off. I do SL 5x5 and I have altered the program to look like this in order to fit in with my work schedule. lift, rest, lift, rest, lift, rest, lift, rest, rest, rest on my days off I try and do some cardio or like today I cut about 5 cords of firewood. My plans are not to be huge, I would like to be a leaner 200lbs. My personal goal is to get 1000lbs in combined squat, deadlift and bench. Thank you all for your input so far and I look forward to more. Also the formula I have been using in the past for caloric intake is Cutting: BWx10 or 12, Maintain: BWx14 or 16 and Bulk: BWx18 or 20. Does this look on par with the normal?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by marktripp View Post
                            So I should add calories?
                            I recommend you look at the 72-hour refeed link in my signature and think about trying the Ultimate Diet 2.0 if you're 15% body fat or less. It's been pretty successful for all of us in terms of cutting body fat while building muscle simultaneously, which is the holy grail as far as I'm concerned. It's a hardcore, rigid diet with lots of tracking, though.
                            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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