I know, just another “iam nuu, halp me plis!!” thread, right? Well, I hope my spelling isn’t quite that bad, and I hope I don’t make this post overly long, and that I demonstrate at least some knowledge of what I’m asking about. Basically, I’ve read a few “Maximal Size” articles, and I was thinking to myself “Size is good and all, but what about Maximal STRENGTH?”
I’ve been searching through the archives, and man, there is so much information out there these days, that I don’t even know where to start. But sadly, most people seem to be interested in their size, and not their actual strength. I know, the logic goes bigger = stronger, but there are olympic lifters who are no bigger than your Average Joe powerlifting hundreds of pounds. What the hell? (Q1: How does that work, anyway?)
I started off using weights, doing everything ‘wrong’; bicep curls, etc. Lot’s of isolation excersizes. I made some progress, but I was worried about getting too big (I’m only 5’5" man, it dosn’t take a lot for me to look like an Oompa Loompa; even at 155 I’m still a bit too husky. I think the problem is my thick bones) I found a body weight-only website, and a lot of the guys looked really buff and ripped, but not overly big. So, I started doing a bodyweight only routine; mostly squats/lunges, pushups, pullups, dips, etc.
I made some progress and I am very proud of myself. Initially I could only do around 8 pushups. That was less than 6 months ago. After two months I could do sets of 12 pushups. Now, I can do 25 pushups.
My basic goal is to increase my strength and indurance, and to reduce down to around 10% bodyfat (I’m at 15.3%). I know that along with increasing strength, muscle mass will increase as well, but I would like to limit size gains as much as possible while maximizing my strength. I also know that you need to “eat big” to get big, and to “cut” things out of your diet to lean up. But, that got me thinking; why CAN’T you do both at the same time? (Q2)? Because you “need more calories to grow.” But the fat stored in your body is basically calories in cache… so why can’t you use those towards gaining muscle mass? (Q3)
Well so far, My routine basically looks something like this:
Ascending Pushups (start level but gradually raise feet - this hits slow twitch, intermediate twitch, and fast twitch fibers; the sets go from high rep of 20-25, down to low reps of about 6)
Horizontal Pullups (getting my back)
Crunches and Supermans (supermans counter the crunches to maintain correct posture)
“Stadiums” (running up and down the stadium stairs)
100 Meter Sprints / Jogging
My diet is very clean. I’m on the Paleo Diet, and I eat below 60 grams of carbs a day, all coming from fruit and veggies (no grains or soy), but I eat a little more carbs when I excersize because I know I need to restore the glycogen in my muscles. The rest of my diet is fat (from avocados and nuts) and protein (from bison/venison steak, fish, and nuts- occasionally a hemp-based protein shake). I get around 1,500 calories a day, but I have not lost any LBM on this diet and in fact have lost 6 lbs (dropping from 160 to 154) in 2 months, while increasing my general physical abilities, so I know I have not lost muscle mass. And if I have lost some muscle mass, it’s not a very big concern to me, because I have increased the efficiency of strength of the muscle I do have. I work out between 2 - 3 times a week, following an Art de Vany type approach- frequently light workouts, but once a week a very heavy load hitting as much of my muscles as I can.
So basically my major question is:
Am I on the right track so far to leaning up while increasing my strength and endurance?
Should I increase my calories? I don’t seem to be losing LBM, but I have lost a lot of fat weight.
Is 15.3% a good fat percentage?
How do I increase my strength without adding on a lot more size?
Are the excersizes I’m doing good?
Thanks guys, I really appreciate it.