View Full Version : Short article by Shelby Starnes- "Set Point Theory"

09-06-2010, 09:54 PM
I found this interesting.

Set point theory is the idea that the body has a pre-set weight and body fat distribution that it prefers to be at... sort of like an internal thermostat.

We can overeat, or undereat, and our body will naturally try to bring it's weight and composition back to that set point. It takes work (diet and exercise) to keep it at a different point for very long.

Last year I stayed very lean (and pretty light) almost the entire year. I competed in May at 187, then in August at 168, 2 weeks later at 165, in October at 187, and finally in November at 185.

When I started my offseason after that final show, I had a real problem getting much over 225-230. It was very uncomfortable, even though I was fairly lean. My body just didn't want to go higher. I think this is in part due to me "re-setting" my set point to a lighter and leaner weight with all the dieting prior.

Now this year, I only dieted for 18 weeks. I started at around 230 and was onstage at about 190. After the show, I didn't continue dieting - I went right back into a full-fledged offseason. This time though, I had no problem getting past 230. Right now I'm sitting at about 245, and will probably get up to 250-255 by the end of the year. Again, I think I reset my setpoint by not dieting for long this year.

And now I'm trying to reset it once more, to an even higher bodyweight. But it takes time - I can't just hit 240 (or whatever number) and then start dieting - I need to stay at that weight for a while in order for my body to recognize it as its new weight. If I were to start dieting immediately upon hitting 240, the new muscle would have less chance of "sticking" with me as I diet down, even if I diet intelligently.

Anyways, that's my little story for today.

Moral of the story is diet less, stay big longer!

Heres the link http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/training-logs.asp?qid=127567&tid=

09-06-2010, 11:13 PM
O yes most definitely. I've experienced this first hand. Naturally I'm a skinny bastard. I remember having to eat my ass of to get out of the 160's my set weight wasaround 165(even says that on my license lol). After I cut from my bulk this year (peaked at 197) my new set weight was 175. I have to eat eat and eat some more to gain. But if I **** up and miss some meals I'll end right back at 175. After this current bulk I'm hoping my new set weight will be around 185. Very interesting theory I have heard it discussed before but never given a formal name of "set point theory"

Joe Black
09-07-2010, 02:49 AM
I have definately experienced this too.

I was at 215lbs for like 5 years and my body just loved being there.

When I got to 168lbs, I relaxed up and my body is settling around 175lbs now and to be fair I am being a bit of an idiot in respect to consistency right now. But, even with say 50% consistency it seems to now prefer to be around this level and I think it would take a good few months of not training and eating what I want to get to 215 again.

The one thing I was always told is that it is easier to stay lean than get lean and thats SO true. At one point I was less than I am now and I struggled for weeks to see the scale dip below 180.

What it all comes down to at the end of the day is having a firm goal, a solid eating and training plan and being consistent to that and your body will eventually get to where you need to be and it'll stay there if you stay consistent - the only unfortunate thing is that being consistent is the hardest thing of all!

09-17-2010, 08:51 AM
I found this interesting.

[I][B]Set point theory is the idea that the body has a pre-set weight and body fat distribution that it prefers to be at...

The faster people understand this, the better they will train/diet.

Genetics are, unforunately, the determining factor in how we look. You can manipulate your body to a certain degree, but understanding where your boundaries are and where your body desires to be in terms of weight/bf is essential.

There are many people that don't understand this, hence the pictures of people you see bulking way beyond their limit, putting on weight in a 5 to 1 ratio of fat to muscle.