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Cals & Rippletoe's, IsThis Right?

Hey everyone, I’ve been lurking on some good advice, but found nothing like my situation. So here goes.

I just started Rippletoe’s about a month ago, and I’m clueless about some program details. Some questions below.

I’m 21, 5’6", 155 lbs at the start, currently at 162. I lifted on and off for the last 4 years, but with no rhyme or reason (leg press over squat, never tried DLs, etc.). This is the first guided program I’ve ever done.

I’ve been eating some junk due to a new job, but I used to eat about three meals and two snacks daily for about 2200-2400 calories. Now, though, I’ve upped my intake to 5-6 meals daily (no snacks) for about 3000 calories.

Questions:
1.) I don’t know what my BF% is or was. Am I right in assuming that BF% (and therefore, my non-fat weight) dictates how much I should eat?

2.) My goal is to add about 10 pounds of muscle. I’m planning on sticking with Ripple’s for about 3 months, then cutting down afterwards. Feasible?

3.) I’m getting a gut as part of my increased intake. Normal? Can this be cut away? I’m a former fat guy (pigged out as a kid, etc.), so keep that in mind.

4.) I had some soreness in my hips from squatting ATG, as well as some rounding of the back. Yesterday, I only went parallel (hips in line with the knees, like Squat Rx says), and I felt fine but taxed. Is this acceptable, or is ATG the only way to go? Should I be increasing hip flexibility instead?

I’m not a fan of bulking and cutting, especially for beginners, because I don’t think it works. Eat clean, slightly more than you need on days that you work out. Eat slightly less than you need on days that you don’t work out. Don’t worry about your weight. Go by what the mirror tells you. If you have a gut, lower the calories more on the non workout days. If you look OK, raise the calories on the working days.

Make sure you get post workout carbs and protein.

If you’re getting stronger, you’re building muscle.

Stu

Thanks, Stu. Anyone else?