T Nation

lets troubleshoot this:

Hey T-Gang,

So about a week ago, I decided that I wanted to lose about ten pounds before spring break (March 14th). After basically training for strength since september, and putting on around 4lbs of mass during the winter holidays (about 2lbs muscle, 2lbs fat, I’d estimate), I thought I would just gradually peel away some of this weight.

I multiplied my body weight (192) by 15 and then subtracted 350 to come up with 2530 as my caloric needs for the day. Given a BF of approximately 13% (visible 2 pack… some days a 4pack) Assumably, I am in a caloric deficit at this point. Yet strangely, my weight has gone up by 4 lbs in the past week!

I am stumped. Usually I drop weight like the dickens when I undereat - What perplexes me is I eat every 3-3.5 hours, high protein, high healthy fats, and carbs come from oatmeal and veggies, occasionally brown rice. As best I can, I eat ‘massive eating’ style, but not always.

Mathematically, this type of gain in weight does not seem to make sense. I am not eating a surplus of calories that would promote this type of increase, and as far as I know, am not sensitive to oatmeal so much that i would be retaining extensive amounts of water.

My training consists of Rest-Pause for 10x1 on Bench and Seated Row, then Barbell hang-clean and press for 4x8 on M and F. Wednesday I do deadlifts, good mornings, bent press, and calve work. Saturdays, I am incorporating Roadwork using 1/6th mile laps with Bent Press, Dumbell Clean and press, Dumbell swings, crunches, hindu squats, and pushups. The roadwork is, by the way, brutal!

Hopefully, someone who is more experienced with dieting for weight loss can pinpoint a weakness or mistake in my diet that will clear things up.

I can’t give you any theory to explain your situation other than a theory that would come from the information gleaned from years of reading T-Mag… :wink:

What I can do is help you from a position of somebody who’s been there. A couple of things first:

  1. How are you weighing yourself? At the same time of day once weekly? Are you following another protocol?

  2. You state that you try to follow the Massive Eating protocols “as best as you can.”
    I’m not sure what you mean by “as best as you can,” but it might have something to do with your problem!

  3. How long have you been training? Sounds like you switched up when you started dieting, and at the level of calories you’re eating it is possible to put on muscle with the right kind of stimulus. I can. Some people can just function on less food. Even Berardi will tell you that.

Anyway. The Massive Eating is a guideline, and more than that, it’s an idea. A good idea, but just an idea. If it doesn’t work for you (if you’re doing everything right, that is), and you gave it enough time to tell if it’s working for you by doing everything like you’re supposed to, then…

Do something else.

I don’t mean change what you’re doing completely, I mean modify the program. Subtract another 250 calories, then keep going.

I went on Meltdown and the T-Dawg diet, and lost 2 lbs of fat the first week, and after that nothing. Stayed on the T-Dawg diet, switched up the routine, nothing. So, I subtracted a little more food from my daily total and it started working.

Remember that all of these great workouts and diets are paradigms, nothing more. And then use that to your advantage, by developing your own ideas about what works for you, blah, blah…


-Being Tony Robbins before Tony Robbins was Tony Robbins, since 1932.

have your checked your bodyfat? If that has gone up, then reduce the calories some. Also, I do not recommend doing the bent press with roadwork. Stick to drills such as snatches, clean and presses etc that are not as technincally demanding.

Franks- I was 192 and also at 192 when I hit a platue. I was taking t2 and tribex 500 at the time as well as an eca stack. I was doing a fat fast type diet with a 1000 cal. deficit and wasn’t losing a frickin pound after 6 weeks. These guys are right switch it up. I started doing interval cardio instead of level load and doing a carb up every fourth day. Dropped four ibs. additional so far. Want to get to 185 which will put me at 10%bf. At age 40 I will be a happy man. Tweak the plan bro. Your doing the right things just need to manipulate them differently.

If you changed your training protocol from what you were doing previously usually you gain a little bit of muscle. I am not saying that you gained 4lbs. of muscle but maybe some water too. Maybe you made a mistake calculating you calories.

Thanks for the responses so far guys,

I was discussing it with my girlfriend tonight and she thought maybe it had to do with my reintroducing a lot more carbs into my diet than previously. Yes, they are ‘healthy’ carbs, but because of my skin, i usually eat around 40g carbs a day… on this diet I’m eating around 150-200g, and I’m beginning to agree with her that I might just be holding on to a lot more water weight than usual.

regarding training, I’m switching over from a program that focused on the posterior chain to this program, just to hold my strength levels up as high as possible while I’m hypocaloric. Last time I did rest-pause, I got extremely good results! (5RM went up by 20%).

I’m going to check the scale again wednesday at noon and see what the numbers are. Hopefully i’m not up to 200lbs by then… that would be goofy. Strange thing is, my clothes fit about the same-looser.

Mike - Thanks for the heads up on the Bent-Press… I considered that and put them first in the workout, using 20lbs less than usual. It felt fine to me, but I’ll consider switching that up if its going to mean not cracking my brain open.

Thanks for the input guys, anyone else with any ideas and I'd be thrilled to hear. I'll update you in a week or so and let you know if the POA changes.

Franks, all we can do is guess as to what your problem is. However, if you’ll start a food log, there are a number of us here that could give you very precise information as to how to modify your diet. Without the food log, we’re forced to guess. It would be helpful to have daily caloric intake, macronutrient percentages and whether or not you do P+F and P+C food combining. I, too, have a problem with the “as best I can.” And the reason I say that is I went through a multi-month plateau. Breaking the plateau (meaning NO weight losss) involved reducing calories by 140 calories per day (I’m now losing 1 pound or a little more a week) and making changes to my macronutrient percentages. Oh, and I also incorporated some highly precise, scientific carb refeeds. Subtle changes to your diet can make a big difference. Those “subtle” changes cannot be made without a food log.

BTW, I diet at a multiple of 13 times my LBM. The 15 is just a starting point. Your mileage will vary. (grin)