T Nation

Former Fat Guy Needs Some Advice

New to forums but used T nation for a lot of information. This is a topic I don’t see a lot of but I might have missed it. I was at one point about a year and a half ago 380lbs now I hover around 215-220lbs was down to 207lbs back in April of this year. Watching the scale go up is an actual fear of mine after all the work I did to get down to a respectable weight for me at 6’2. I follow the starting strength routine currently own the book and everything began in May . But most of this information around is for small or average beginners people who have had an issue in gaining weight. I’ve been trying to do a controlled bulk eat around 3200-3300 calories a day I still do cardio 2-3 times a week and some core work as suggested in the book. When I was aiming to lose the weight I would eat around 2100-2400 calories a day. My main question is any advice as to my weight gain being to much for about 3 months so far and is starting strength an actual good routine for me?

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Hey man welcome and congratulations on all the weight loss. A 13 pound gain over 4 months doesn’t sound at all out of the ordinary for someone running Starting Strength who has never squatted before. I understand why you are hesitant to gain too much weight back though. As far as it being the right program for you, that depends on what your short-term and long-term goals are. I am assuming not gaining too much weight is a goal. Aside from that, is it just general fitness you are after? Strength? Want to have a beach body?

I want to get my strength up for sure short term and then maybe progress into mass building type of routine. Do to being so large and the abuse the weight did to my body I highly doubt ill have the beach body thing without surgery. So in terms of goal body wise just try to add as much muscle and strength as possible maybe have a powerlifter/strongman type build body wise in the end.


In my opinion, this is a great goal and SS is a good program for attaining it.

But, realize, you do have to eat to gain strength, and it seems like you already know that.

Also, I would advise you to develop a strategy now for when you stall. When I stalled on SS I assumed my novice gains were over, but I probably could have gotten more out of it if I had a strategy for the stall. There are several in the book, and you can use more than one to keep going. Order the micro plates now so you have them.

Congrats on the weight loss, good luck!

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Sounds like your head is in the right place man. And you’ve got a realistic goal which is great. Starting Strength will probably work well. I will say it is a program weighted toward people who want to get BIG and STRONG and like the poster above me said, looks like you already know that requires additional eating.

If you are interested in expanding your horizons by checking out some other programs, I would suggest checking out 5/3/1 and what Jim writes on conditioning. In that case you could still develop strength and size using the big barbell lifts but also devote some time to general athleticism and keeping your body composition in check.

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This is also great advice, but, I felt like SS was a better program for me to start on because it used the linear progression and allowed me to get to heavier weights faster than 5/3/1 would have. I have been on 5/3/1 for four cycles now and love it. I think any program with LP, adding weight frequently, is good for a beginner. I just preferred SS for me, but it’s a personal choice. The key is that you like the program so that you stick with it.

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I will look into 5/3/1 for sure I currently like SS just do the LP of it once the weights get to high and I start stalling 5/3/1 will be my way to continue making progress.

Being a person of size myself, I’d suggest swimming and walking for your cardio sessions to preserve your knees.

One of the most successful programs for me that I found on this site was thus:

pick a leg exercise, an upper body pressing exercise, and an upper body pulling exercise

Then do them 5x5, heavy load, long rest
then do them 4x8, medium load, medium rest
then do them 3x10, light load, short rest

Then you get your strength sets and your hypertrophy sets in the same day, but it does take a couple of hours.

Look into strategies for this in SS:BBT3 - there are many, try to extend LP as long as you can.

I was doing 5/3/1 in a globo gym with a Smith machine and I figured out that wasn’t right. So I switched to a gym with barbells, tested my TM’s, and started SS - my squat was 140. After about fourteen weeks or so, I was up to 265 on the squat and stalling, so I switched over to 5/3/1. If I had stayed with it and milked another few weeks, I think I may have gotten to 300. I’m 52, 6’1" and 190. I started SS at 183 and weighed 197 when I stalled. I’m back down to 190 now, with a lower body fat, but was thrilled with my results.

You seem to have a good handle on it. Just be patient and keep hitting the gym, the gainz will come.

I will read that part of SS for sure I just haven’t because I have not hit a stall yet but its probably better to be prepared for when I do stall.

I’ll throw out diet question also bc we all know diet is 80% of everything.

When I was losing weight I cut carbs kept fat moderate and protein at around 200grams a day protein made up the majority of my diet. Could some of my weight gain be “fake weight” such as my body holding onto excessive amounts of water or glycogen?

My current diet is usually around this daily 320grams of protein 160 carbs and 140 fats. I know carbs are energy for the body to function I get most of them with breakfast and in my after workout meal it still hits around 3200-3300 calories a day.

SS website just posted this

It’s motivational.

You could drop 100g of protein and add 100g of carbs (or 50g of carbs and 20g of fat or some other combination)