I’m a novice lifter and a college rower, been doing various “routines” in the gym over the last year with breaks here and there, but nothing serious, been mainly focussing on cardio for the rowing.
I’m planning on taking lifting more seriously from now on (end of rowing season) and will be dedicating myself to the Starting Strength program over the coming months. My aim is to gain strength and size so I will have a caloric surplus, but don’t want the fat gain to be too excessive. So I’m going to start with a 500 calorie surplus on training days and 200 calorie surplus on rest days, with lower carbs on the rest days. I will see how this works for 2 weeks then adjust.
My concern is that over the next 3 months I will have no access to the gym once for a period of a week and once for a period of 2 weeks due to family holidays to pretty remote areas that have no gyms. Given how the program emphasises continued progress and not skipping sessions, what would be the best way to strategise my nutrition and cardio on those holidays?
I will have no access to a gym for 1 week, in the 3rd week of the program, but can go for runs/sprints. And then no access to the gym for 2 weeks in the 11th week of the program, however I will be swimming daily during this holiday, so will be doing cardio.
So for those 2 periods I’d like to maintain muscle strength and size as much as possible, and prevent fat gain. Ideally I’d even maybe use those periods to burn off a bit of the fat. I accept I will lose some strength/size, but i want to minimise this.
Whilst I know skipping sessions isn’t ideal, it’s unavoidable. So should I take advantage of those periods to do cardio, get a moderate caloric deficit and burn the added fat? Or just stick to maintenance calories? What should my nutrition and cardio be like when not lifting?
Also, should I maybe go harder than the program says on the 1-2 workouts before I go for my holiday (say extra reps/sets or exercises), as I will then have a lot of recovery time.
FYI, I am 6ft0, 157 pounds. Although relatively “skinny” right now with some ab definition, i gain fat quite easily and it took some dieting to get down to this weight and a lot of cardio (rowing) to get there.
As soon as I come back from both holidays I aim to resume the program by the next day.
Thanks in advance!