T Nation

Am I Missing Something?

I am 26 female 5’2 135 lb 24% body fat ( according to Taylor’s body fat scale).I have been following a low carb, high protein and moderate fat diet for fat loss.I do Rippetoe’s starting strength on Sundays,Tuesdays and Thursdays and cardio ( 20 min HIIT on elliptical and 5 min on rows) all other days

Here’s my diet( my required calories is 2400 , I eat 2000 calories)
Meal 1:
oats and milk( 1 and half cup)
protein shake( with one cup milk)

Meal 2:
almonds
protein shake

meal 3 :
almonds/peanuts
protein shake

meal 4:
almonds/peanuts/cashews
protein shake

meal 5:
omelette’s with 3 eggs/chicken + cottage cheese/ turkey+cottage cheese
protein shake

I have been following this program past one month.I started at 137 lb.I have made some strength gains in my weight training but not notable increase of strength.

these are my training stats:
I started with:
squat 45 lb, bench press 8lb, shoulder press 8lb,deadlift 45 lb , pendley rows 45 lb

Right now:
squat 80 lb, bench press 15 lb, shoulder press 12 lb
deadlift 75 lb , pendley rows 75 lb

Can you critique my program and suggest what I can do to improve my results?

Is your goal to lose weight or get stronger? It sounds like you are disappointed by small strength gains you’ve seen thus far, but you have a calorie deficit.

Your diet is a little strange too. 3 of your 5 meals are nuts and a protein shake.

I hate to answer a question with a question, (let alone with the same question) but am I missing something?

I am by no means proficient in female weight training (I freaked out when I saw 135lb so I re-read and realized you weren’t a guy), but is there any particular reason you don’t use a straightbar with your bench press and opt for dumbbells?

Also, you’re running a calorie deficit - I’m sure that’s not optimal for strength gains, but its good to see you’re adapting to the exercises (near double squat now, sweet). Was your original goal solely fat loss, or weight loss too?

[quote]TPreuss wrote:

Your diet is a little strange too. 3 of your 5 meals are nuts and a protein shake.

[/quote]

I do that when I am traveling for work and it works fine as long as the macros are sufficient.

To the OP, not sure what exactly it is you are looking for. According to your post, you have almost doubled the weight on squat, db bench and deadlift. Did you expect them to triple in a little more than a month?

Sorry missed this out in my earlier post
I am aiming at fat loss mainly

Thanks a lot for the responses till now guys.

[quote]TPreuss wrote:
Is your goal to lose weight or get stronger? It sounds like you are disappointed by small strength gains you’ve seen thus far, but you have a calorie deficit.

Your diet is a little strange too. 3 of your 5 meals are nuts and a protein shake.

I hate to answer a question with a question, (let alone with the same question) but am I missing something?[/quote]

Well, I wish to mainly get rid of bodyfat, and I will gladly accept any strength gains in the process.
Regarding the nut meals, I thought that is an efficient way to get healthy fats and is also easy to snack without having to take a break from work. If that seems to be the limiting factor, then fine, I am open to changing that.

[quote]CapnYousef wrote:
I am by no means proficient in female weight training (I freaked out when I saw 135lb so I re-read and realized you weren’t a guy), but is there any particular reason you don’t use a straightbar with your bench press and opt for dumbbells?

Also, you’re running a calorie deficit - I’m sure that’s not optimal for strength gains, but its good to see you’re adapting to the exercises (near double squat now, sweet). Was your original goal solely fat loss, or weight loss too?[/quote]

My goal was and is fat loss. I really don’t have weight issues, so I wanted to start training, get some strength, and lose fat in the process. Rather, my priorities are in the reverse order.

[quote]Icarus wrote:

[quote]TPreuss wrote:

Your diet is a little strange too. 3 of your 5 meals are nuts and a protein shake.

[/quote]

I do that when I am traveling for work and it works fine as long as the macros are sufficient.

To the OP, not sure what exactly it is you are looking for. According to your post, you have almost doubled the weight on squat, db bench and deadlift. Did you expect them to triple in a little more than a month?
[/quote]

I am certainly happy about the strength gains. My main crib is that the scale reads (almost) the same, within 1-2 lb from when I started training (4 weeks) and I look more or less the same.

[quote]fatcoyote wrote:

[quote]TPreuss wrote:
Is your goal to lose weight or get stronger? It sounds like you are disappointed by small strength gains you’ve seen thus far, but you have a calorie deficit.

Your diet is a little strange too. 3 of your 5 meals are nuts and a protein shake.

I hate to answer a question with a question, (let alone with the same question) but am I missing something?[/quote]

Well, I wish to mainly get rid of bodyfat, and I will gladly accept any strength gains in the process.
Regarding the nut meals, I thought that is an efficient way to get healthy fats and is also easy to snack without having to take a break from work. If that seems to be the limiting factor, then fine, I am open to changing that.[/quote]

It would be a limiting factor if your main goal is strength. If you are going for fat loss, then it should be ok. Might want to check out the nutrition facts on some of the nuts, as they are high in protein, but certain ones can also be high in fat.

The small results may be from losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. There won’t be a huge weight change right away and body composition changes can be hard to see after only 4 weeks. I’d stick with the routine you have for a few more weeks. If you are still unhappy with the results, decrease the calories. That should speed things up.

Yeah I would say you are doing well for what your goals are. Don’t get discouraged by the scale and stick with it!
If you’re just judging on looking in the mirror every day it’s hard to see the changes since they happen so gradually.

It could help if you took some pictures now for you to compare to in 2 months time. You’ll really be able to see a difference more than what a scale could tell you. Taking measurements of your waist, hips, arms, legs, etc…will help too.

Along with what TP said, you may be experiencing a form of recomposition. You could very well be shedding pounds in the fat department but gaining their equivalent in muscle mass. What results is a version of you around the same weight but leaner, if that made sense.

Thats a possibility, I’m not saying its whats going on before Colucci comes in here and shreds me to pieces for terrible advice.

(just kidding Colucci, you’re a badass.)

The scale is a total mind-fuck. I would ignore it for a great while. You say that you want to lose fat, but the scale is not an indicator of fat loss - but of weight loss. As others have stated, you are going through a body recomp (hence your strength increases) and the scale weight usually doesn’t move much.

You are doing fine. I have found that it takes about 4 weeks for me to see any large changes in my physique when dieting. So, you are right at the cusp of what might be noticeable changes.
Are you taking pictures every week or are you looking in the mirror everyday trying to see a difference from the day before?

If it’s the latter, I would suggest the former approach. Take the pictures and then compare pictures after a few weeks. You will see differences.
I say keep the nuts and shakes. Just my opinion tho. They work for me.

[quote]qirard wrote:
Yeah I would say you are doing well for what your goals are. Don’t get discouraged by the scale and stick with it!
If you’re just judging on looking in the mirror every day it’s hard to see the changes since they happen so gradually.

It could help if you took some pictures now for you to compare to in 2 months time. You’ll really be able to see a difference more than what a scale could tell you. Taking measurements of your waist, hips, arms, legs, etc…will help too.

[/quote]

x2 good advice

If you are new to lifting, you should keep your weight low and reps high. After time, however, to see any strenth gains you will need to lower the reps and increase the weight. It’s all about progressive overload. You’ve only been at it one month. It takes 6-8 weeks (minimum) to allow your body time to adjust when you are starting out. Be patient.