Primal Powerlifting & Nutrition
This is my first post on MDA, but I've followed the site since last summer, and am a fan of the recommendations.
I wanted to post a little about myself, my training and diet routine, and get some experienced primal feedback on my current plan.
I'm also a big fan of intermittent fasting (as prescribed by Martin Berkhan & Leangains) and used it successfully over the winter to complete a lean mass stage, where I gained roughly 8 lbs of mostly muscle over a 9 month period, and saw my lifts go up pretty well. I also wasn't perfect and used bread & pasta to meet the recommended carb intake... and I binge drank once a week more often than not (not very primal, but again, I refer to the 80/20 adherence). I've decided I would like to eliminate those foods for good, and not use mass gaining as a crutch. My carb intake targets were usually over 300g, and for those not familiar it is recommended you eat high carb/low fat on training days, and low carb/high fat on rest days.
August 2012 Max Numbers:
Bench - 155 lbs x 5
Deadlift - 245 lbs x 5
Squat - 175 lbs x 5
OHP - 95 lbs x 5
Current Max Numbers:
Bench - 170 lbs x 5 (+15 lbs)... I was up to 180x5 and realized I was flaring my elbows, and was forced to go back down and re-learn the lift. Hence the "slow" progress.
Deadlift - 320 lbs x 5 (+75 lbs)
Squat - 265 lbs x 5 (+90 lbs)
OHP - 125 lbs x 5 (+30 lbs)
Roughly 15% bodyfat
I have 3 years total of weight training experience, but I would say this past year has been the only year where I "got it". The other two were one step forward, two steps back in regards to muscle vs fat gain.
My workout routine (made by myself)
Stagnated reps are reverse pyramid style, where I lift heaviest weight first (numbers above) and then strip 10% weight off, go for one more additional rep. Keeps you lifting at/near failure throughout all sets. I didn't include warmups for simplicity sake.
I am a big fan of compound lifts, minimalistic approaches, and reverse pyramid.
squats, 4 sets for 5/6/7/8
romanian deadlift, 3 sets for 10 reps
calf raises, 3 sets for 15 reps
bench, 4 sets for 5/6/7/8
incline db, 3 sets for 8-6
pushups for burn, I get to 35 utilizing tyson 15 style
deadlift, 2 sets for 5/6 reps
Overhead Press, 3 sets for 5/6/7 reps
chinups, 3 sets for 6-8 reps
barbell row, 3 sets for 6-8 reps
Ok theres the introduction.
I track all my calories with myfitnesspal, and I have a way to ensure it is as close to 100% accurate as possible with a simple scale... I trust the numbers. Been doing it successfully day in and day out for 8 months now.
Right now I am currently trying to cut to below 10% bodyfat for summer. As I estimate my bodyfat to be around the 15% mark based on visual evidence paired with scale & prior caliper tests, I figure I have about 10 lbs to lose.
I am continuing my same workout routine, and with a daily energy expenditure of 2250 kCal, I am consuming 1550 calories on rest days (-30) and 2000 calories on training days (-10). This should allow me to lose a pound of fat per week. I plan to do this until I hit the 170 mark, then I will move to a more conservative -20/+10 (1800 calories rest days, 2500 training days) for the final 3-4 lbs. Strength retention is key, and hopefully some strength can still be added (especially when I hit the -20/+10 mark).
I've been doing this for the past 3 weeks and seen a 3 lb result (I started at 180). My strength has continued to slowly rise in the main lifts as well. So far so good.
My diet is typical for primal... lots of beef/chicken/fish/eggs coupled with salads & fruit. Pretty much all home cooked (I've become quite the amateur chef). My current carb intake is around 100g or less on rest days from fruits and veggies only, and 150g on training days from the same + a cup of rice and cup and a half of chocolate almond milk.
My main question / why I am posting here is to see if anyone can relate to my current way of doing things, and perhaps has a bit more experience. More specifically, what their carb intake is like (I eat rice / potatoes on occassion) and how important they feel it is to performing in the gym. And also what their protein intake is like. I strive for 0.82 grams per lb of lean body mass, as a minimum and do my best to exceed it. The only thing I change with my diet on training days is add a whey protein shake + chocolate almond milk post workout. This equates to roughly 450 calories, the exact extra amount I'm alotted.
Hoping this sparks some discussion so I can get into more specifics... its long enough as it is!!!
What's your priority, getting lean, or getting strong?
I'm assuming you use the term "powerlifting" to describe your type of workout, and that you're not competitive, right?
Stick to clean primal, IF, cut out the alcohol, and try playing with lower carbs if you're willing to give it a shot.
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Why are you trying to lose weight? 6 foot 177 seems about right to me. Keep lifting big and your body will lean out. I'm your height and currently eating everything I can to get up from 165 to 180 (at 170ish now). I also share your goals and love of the compound lifts. A program I've been following is Wendler's 5-3-1. It's based on your 1rep max numbers and focuses on the big lifts. You can do it 3-4 days. Honestly I've never been stronger or enjoyed lifting as much. I've seen significant gains and this is only my 2nd (4 week long) cycle.
Check it out:
5/3/1 for a Beginner - JimWendler.com
blackironbeast.com - 5/3/1 Calculator
You can customize it to fit how you want to lift. As far as carbs go honestly rice isn't a bad option but I tend to stick to sweet potatoes. You can get 75-100 carbs from a single potato depending on size! I applaud you for making gains while in calorie deficit.. I'm trying to eat 3500 cals on training days to gain weight and strength. Let me know what you think man we seem to be in the same lifting boat.
Hope this helps, Jim
I'd say those are my priority equally. I'm getting lean for the summer, then staying that way forever (or doing the very best I can). I don't believe in bulk/cutting cycles.
Originally Posted by RichMahogany
Yes I don't compete, I want to be in the 1000 club and my lean weight before I start (I do plan to). I just meant it to attract the people who lift like that in here.
Yeah I'm willing to give lower carbs a shot, and have been. So far so good.
I'm very far off from my strength goals, but I'm losing weight so I can get to the 9-10% bodyfat level and stay there. I feel a ~12 week cut is necessary to do this.
Originally Posted by JimmyDamage
I'm very familiar with wendlers 5/3/1, and my program has a lot of similarities with it. I've customized it to fit me exactly, thats why I prefer it over his program. I think everyone should follow a customized program they've made for themselves once they understand what works best for them, using programs like wendlers for a "template".
I actually thought that if I lifted big, ate clean, and kept my rest day calories down that I would lean out... I wasn't perfect, but I saw significant strength gains and very very minimal fat gains. The issue was I started bulking at around 14-15% body fat, and I am not happy with that level of leanness. So while I am happy with the minimal fat gain, I definitely didn't come close to losing enough to lean out unfortunately. Hence my ~12 week cut.
How often do you eat sweet potatoes? Training days only? Or everyday? Are you eating 3500 calories everyday? How often do you lift?
And yes, I'd love to be 177 lbs at 6'0... lean! So if my lean goal weight is 167, that means I can add 10 lbs of muscle... I have my work cut out for me over the next year for sure
Currently eating 3500 everyday in an attempt to gain weight. I will eat more carbs on training days. This usually just means a big ol sweet potato or a burrito bowl, with rice, from chipotle if I'm feeling saucy. Also, I drink a protein shake with almond milk everyday, 2 times on training days. Otherwise, besides a little booze, I follow strict paleo/primal. Currently training strength with a customized Wendler 4 day plan. I love having the big 4 lifts seperate. I'll also sneak in 3 metcons/Olympic work/skill work at my crossfit gym each week. I double up my training days so that I have wed and sun as rest days. I probably should cut out one of those metcons but screw it, I'm young and love it. One of my goals is also to get into the 1000 total with dead squat and overhead press. Currently in the low 800s but gaining rapidly. My short term end of summer goal is to crack 900.
I'm not talking about a ridiculous flab-generating GOMAD + dirty bulk, but it's going to be hard to add the kind of weight you want to add to your lifts without putting some fluff on your frame, in my personal experience and opinion.
FWIW, I lift only to get strong for Jiu Jitsu, no powerlifting aspirations whatsoever, but my total would be right around 1,000 at the moment based on Wendler and Brzycki projections (which are definitely unreliable), and I presently weigh 154 at about 14-15% body fat.
Are you talking about power lifting total? Bench squat DL. Or crossfit total squat DL strict press? Still, at your body weight that has got to be elite. Pretty crazy since you have slightly high body fat, I would think someone with a total that high at that weight would be pretty much all muscle and at least single digit bf%
I meant PL total. Bench is projected 240, Squat projected 332, Deadlift porjected 429 = 1,001 according to Wendler's formula 1RM = weight + (weight x reps x 0.0333). But again, those are unreliable guesstimates using a formula and the fact that I've recently benched 200 for 6, squatted 250 for 10, and pulled 357.5 for 6. Numbers might be better IRL because I was doing those as part of other heavy lifting workouts, not working up to max singles, but all that honestly matters is that I lift a little more weight next week, since I'm not a powerlifter. And I squat pretty deep. I could probably eke out the same # of reps with a few more tens of pounds if I weren't going ~3-4 inches below parallel.
Originally Posted by JimmyDamage
So definitely not elite numbers, but as I've put on fluff and muscle together, the ratios of weight on the bar: weight on me has only improved. And I wasn't a skinny 15-year old, I was a skinny 31-year old. A little more bulking up, then I'll cut down on the eating for summer. Maybe start microloading or incorporate some more deload weeks at that point.