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View Full Version : Is getting strong worth it?



hug dog
03-10-2011, 10:06 AM
Let me explain what I mean. I am currently 5"7 220 lbs. At least 30 to 40 lbs over weight. After reading Rippetoe and Jim Wendler it seems I should get as strong as I can before I cut weight. I have only been working out hard for about 3 weeks but I haven't lost any weight. (mainly because I am drinking a protein shake and making sure I am taking in enough protein to let me muscles grow and not be sore)

The reason i bring this up is I just bought a pair of pants and I had to get a 38 inch waste. It was a bit big but felt good. That is freaken huge for a guy my height. Am I thinking about this wrong? Should I first focus on losing the weight and making myself happy with the way I look or should I continue to get strong and gain the muscles and then remove the fat on top of them?

I know the choice is ultimately up to me but I am sure I am not the only one who has thought about this.

StLRPh
03-10-2011, 10:20 AM
That advice is typically aimed at young lifters that are not anywhere near your size and are more worried about their abs than their total.

Like you said, it's ultimately up to you. Probably one of the most important questions at this point would be what's your bodyfat %? If it's in the 20's (or higher) it might be a good idea to get it down to the low teens and then gain weight.

killxswitch
03-10-2011, 10:21 AM
If you aren't happy with your routine I don't see why you'd continue doing it the way you are. It's not like once you get down to x weight you'll never be able to increase your strength or muscle size. Lifting weights is not a required activity that you must do this or that way. It sounds like you might have conflicting goals and you think one of them (being thinner and feeling good about it) isn't or shouldn't be valid. But they're your goals so you get to decide if they are valid or not.

GazzyG
03-10-2011, 10:21 AM
If you don't feel comfortable in your skin, then focus on losing weight.

If you've just literally started weight training, then your body will easily lose weight AND get stronger, at least for a while.

Just follow the program to the letter and make sure you take in LESS calories than your maintenance, but lots of protein.

Gaz

AdamBAG
03-10-2011, 10:42 AM
You need to do what makes you happy.

I think Jim and Rip are speaking to the segment of the population that can't figure out why they can't get stronger but refuse to eat anything.

If I was you I would just go bust my ass in the gym to get stronger and try to clean my diet up to lose some fat.

hug dog
03-10-2011, 10:47 AM
stLRPh - I will check my bf% (kinda worried) I would imagine it would be 30 or more. I really just want to be a healthy weight I also know that total weight doesn't matter because the old saying Muscle weighs more then fat. Thanks for that good reminder.

killxswitch - I love the 5 x 5 I am doing right now. I am adding weight every workout and feel great afterward. I finally am sleeping like a baby. You are right about my goals. I don't want to compete or set records I just want to be strong and fit. We are getting ready to start trying for our first kid and I don't want to be a fat lazy dad. I want to be someone they can look up to.

GazzyG - You make an interesting point. The only time I don't feel comfortable in my own skin is at the lake or anytime I take my shirt off, around friends and family. Which if like 3 or 4 times a year. By looking at different pictures I see plenty of strong fit people in here. I think I will give that a try. Stick with what I am doing besides try to cut some calories.

hug dog
03-10-2011, 10:50 AM
AdamBAG You need to do what makes you happy.- I think Jim and Rip are speaking to the segment of the population that can't figure out why they can't get stronger but refuse to eat anything.-If I was you I would just go bust my ass in the gym to get stronger and try to clean my diet up to lose some fat.

That is what I don't want to be like. All the other pansies I see at the gym. I want to be pushing some serious weight but also look good. I feel happy just by working out just sometimes, like most americans, I will get depressed by looking in the mirror. clean up my diet - allot easy said then done but that will be part of my knew goal. Thanks

killxswitch
03-10-2011, 10:59 AM
Since you mentioned Wendler this article might be right up your alley - From Fat Ass to Bad Ass (http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/training-articles/from-fat-ass-to-bad-ass/)

GreggNJ
03-10-2011, 11:00 AM
That is what I don't want to be like. All the other pansies I see at the gym. I want to be pushing some serious weight but also look good. I feel happy just by working out just sometimes, like most americans, I will get depressed by looking in the mirror. clean up my diet - allot easy said then done but that will be part of my knew goal. Thanks

It would seem that you have answered your question. But as it's been said, it's really up to you. I'm 5'8" and currently am 210 pounds. I've been in the gym like it was my job following the HCT-12 program since the end of November and have made big gains in strength - which I love. I also lost some body fat, but no weight. I just recently started to watch my diet closer and almost instantly dropped 5 pounds, while still getting stronger. Once I'm happy with my body fat, I would like to add some more lean muscle.

But in both losing body fat or gaining muscle, to me, getting stronger is a must and is worth every minute I spend in the gym.

mchicia1
03-10-2011, 11:12 AM
Since you just started, you can still gain strength while losing fat. I recommend a low volume program aimed at pure strength and a low calorie diet. Then once you are at a bodyfat percentage you like, you will have a solid base of strength...then you can start bodybuilding/bulking.

hug dog
03-10-2011, 11:28 AM
killxswitch - Thanks for the article I will take a look.

GreggNJ - It is nice to hear aobut someone ina similar situation but making it work. I would like to try the HCT-12 do you do a 3 day split? I am having trouble getting a spreadsheet to work for me. It seems a bit complicated. But that is probably what i will do next.

mchicia1 - That sounds very reasonable. I will check out your journal and see about the 5-3-1 log.

Dan Fanelli
03-10-2011, 11:30 AM
You can lose 30-40 lbs in about 3-6 months. Its going to take 3-10+ years to build a significant amount of muscle/strength.

So thats up to you, do you want to wait 3-10 years until you are "strong enough to cut" or just get it over with now?

And at the point where you are now, I see no reason why you cant lose the 30-40 lbs AND get stronger AND build muscle....

hug dog
03-10-2011, 11:49 AM
Dan the man, I think that kind of thinking is what should keep me motivated.

GreggNJ
03-10-2011, 12:23 PM
GreggNJ - It is nice to hear aobut someone ina similar situation but making it work. I would like to try the HCT-12 do you do a 3 day split? I am having trouble getting a spreadsheet to work for me. It seems a bit complicated. But that is probably what i will do next.


I'm using it on a 4 day split and have been doing that since I started. Once this cycle is over I was thinking of moving to a 3 day split, since getting the 4th day in is a bit difficult due to my schedule and my gym having crappy weekend hours.

shocker4221
03-10-2011, 12:28 PM
I had the same dillema just over a year and a half ago. I'm 5'6" and was weighing around 240. I decided to go after the weights over doing cardio and losing all the fat and it has paid off. Not that I'm slim now, i'm weighing 207 now but have packed on a lot of muscle and am stronger now than any other point of my life and i'll be 36 this year. By doing resistance training you will lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.

mchicia1
03-10-2011, 02:05 PM
mchicia1 - That sounds very reasonable. I will check out your journal and see about the 5-3-1 log.

I am actually doing hct-12 now. HCT-12 would be fine on a cut as well, but I would probably do less clusters or get rid of the clusters all together. I would also supplement with a lot of BCAA+ to help hold onto muscle.

hug dog
03-10-2011, 02:18 PM
GreggNJ - mchicia1 - sounds like after I get stuck on this 5 x 5 then I will have to do some more research and figure out how to start the HCT - 12 workout.

shocker4221 - Glad to hear you are happy with this method. I believe I will stick with it. Who cares if that means one more fat man at the lake for one more summer.

killxswitch - wow great article. Makes it seems so easy. I really need to focus on some kind of cardio everyday. Even if it is just walking. That has got to be part of my goal.

Sensei
03-10-2011, 02:22 PM
Since you mentioned Wendler this article might be right up your alley - From Fat Ass to Bad Ass (http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/training-articles/from-fat-ass-to-bad-ass/)
Jim W's stuff is always great. Thank you for posting the link.

Brian C
03-10-2011, 02:31 PM
As was said, resistance training will burn fat and add muscle. Doing more anaerobic cardio too will help burn off the lbs without sacrificing strength.

thatNUCKOLSkid
03-10-2011, 03:00 PM
if you're getting stronger but not gaining weight, odds are you're putting on muscle and losing fat. one of my most successful "cuts" ever involved me gaining about 5 pounds. i stayed the same weight for 3 months but trained my tail off and brought up all my lifts significantly. even though i gained weight i was a fair amount leaner. there's no reason not to clean up your diet and do some conditioning as long as it doesn't take away from your goals in the gym, but if you're getting stronger without gaining weight, your body composition is going in the right direction.

stlpower123
03-10-2011, 03:36 PM
definitely dont drink a gallon of milk per day if ur overweight

theBarzeen
03-10-2011, 03:51 PM
I think that a lot of posters on here ( respectfully) are thinking too hard about this and missing the big picture.

If you have been working out for 3 weeks you haven't even gotten started yet.

My wife ballooned up to 170+ after we started dating ( at 5'2") Within 2 years she had cut down to 130# squatted 200 raw, and felt good about herself for our wedding..... by eating healthy and lifting weights..... meat, veggies, no bread or sweets, no fast food..... and no cardio other than strongman medleys ...

Now, 5 years later she is still 130#, looking jacked, squatting ( multi-ply) in the 450 range, benching in the 220's ( single ply)..... still eating clean and not doing any cardio.

If a little girl can do it, so can you. Eat clean, don't starve yourself, lift heavy....... I do the same and I'm 300#+ at 6'5" with the same size waist as you......

it's not rocket science. Eat good, lift heavy, get jacked.

ScottYard
03-10-2011, 05:14 PM
You dont need to be a fat ass to get better in the gym. Its all about commom sense. As for it being worth it. To me its better then being "normal"

NickAus
03-10-2011, 06:20 PM
You dont need to be a fat ass to get better in the gym. Its all about commom sense. As for it being worth it. To me its better then being "normal"

Yeah normal is ****.........average is just as close to the bottom as the top!

hug dog
03-11-2011, 12:02 PM
Yeah normal is ****.........average is just as close to the bottom as the top!



average is just as close to the bottom as the top! That is a great line. More motivation.

ScottYard - True but that same common since says that in order for muscles to grow you need to eat. I guess the gyms I go to I either see big "fat" strong guys or small weak guys. Not to many who are both. strong and fit.

theBarzeen - thanks for the example. I read it to my wife and she said I had better not tell anyone how much she weighs. haha - another great quote - it's not rocket science. Eat good, lift heavy, get jacked.

stlpower123 - yeah I certainly never started to do that. Thanks for checking though.

thatNUCKOLSkid - no reason not to clean up your diet - yeah but it is hard making changes. So far making the change of working out 3 times a week is big. fixing my eating habits will be even bigger. I guess I kind of felt like I had to eat a ton to get stronger. After reading I see that was aimed toward the small guys not eating enough anyway.

Brian C - next step will be adding some kind of cardio. probably start with walking the dog everyday.

theBarzeen
03-11-2011, 02:59 PM
HugDog: I asked permission before posting that..... she's usually pretty proud about how much work she's done, but I always like to check.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6WhHJ30PtU

this was her about 13 months ago..... by this point she was just starting to get really strong but she'd lost all the weight...... and FWIW she doesn't still squat quite as upright.... she learned to sit back harder in to the suit and her squat has skyrocketed.