T Nation

Which is a Better Method for Fatloss?

Okay, as much as I love lifting, I’ve been on a pretty much year + hiatus from it where I haven’t done anything consistently. Aside from some decent strength decreases (all my lifts are down) and being terribly unconditioned, I have gained a lot of weight. I was already overweight, but it’s worse now. I lost about 30 pounds since Thanksgiving through diet alone (pretty much following a paleo diet), but still have about 60 pounds to lose (based on current percentages; using the Navy tape measure test, so more, less, Idk). I’m ready to start exercising/lifting again but not sure what to do.

About five years ago, maybe, I did several months of Starting Strength, noticed some body composition change, and that was with a shitty diet. Have also done several cycles of 5/3/1 over the years. I like both programs for several reasons and realize both have advantages and disadvantages.

One idea I had was to do SS with the only added work being walking to and from the gym. Just keep my diet very tight. I’m thinking that with the deconditioned and “weakend” state that I am in, my body will react like a newbie on SS and I can ride some quick gains for awhile (maybe at least til I get to my old PRs). My biggest concerns are A) I remember always being sore and tired from SS, which does suck and B) as much as I try, I’m never very hungry. Ripp even says that even those trying to lose weight should still eat 3500 cals/day. I’m just never hungry enough to eat that much (cleanly), even with lifting.

The second idea was to do 5/3/1, with good assistance work, keep diet tight, and throw in some additional work like lap swimming (which I do miss) and hill sprints and some hiking. My biggest concern for this idea is that, if my body will respond like a beginner, I’ll miss out on some “newbie” gains.

Goals: Primary - Drop the weight for health, general fitness (play tennis, snowboard, etc without feeling like I’m going to cough up blood and die), and to look good naked. Secondary - Do another powerlifting meet within a year. Tertiary - Possibly do a Tough Mudder “race” in a year, year and a half.

Age: 26
Height: 6’1"
Current weight - 288 lbs
Goal Weight - (based off of current stats) 220-230 lbs
Body Fat - (Navy tape measure test method) 31%

Sqaut - 210 lbs
Deadlift - 255 lbs
Bench - 180 lbs
Military Press - 125 lbs
Power Clean - ??
Pullups - none

Well, it sounds like you have some muscle w/ a few years of lifting under your belt, though your numbers are a little low.

Since your goal is fat loss, clean up the diet and focus on a fatloss program.

Get your sleep and go for walks.

This is from someone that is fat and has resisted a fatloss program for some time.

If weight-loss while building some strength is your goal and you have a good deal of time, then I’d say-

-Eat exactly at your daily caloric requirements. This will obviously change as you lose weight.
-Lift 4x week. Follow Stronglift 5x5, but the actual weight-increases can depend on what you can manage to actually do. I don’t think you’ll be able to add 15lb to your squat a week, simply because you’re going to be eating at your daily caloric requirements and as such will go into a deficit simply from lifting/walking. 5/3/1 is geared towards people who are already fairly damned strong, and doesn’t have enough intensity built into it for fat loss imo. That’s why Jim Wendler really likes people to sprint hills or do some incredibly challenging conditioning work along with it.
-Walk on a treadmill with an incline that feels quite challenging to you (At least 5+?) and at a pace that is challenging for 20-30 min. 3-4x a week.
-Stay on your feet a lot. Just pace around while reading a book or watching t.v. or whatever you do for entertainment instead of sitting. Pacing is better than standing because standing in itself sucks for your body.

If you eat properly, then you’ll naturally be at a pretty sizable caloric deficit everyday. Probably not quite enough for the whole 1lb/week loss, but keep in mind that you have a lot of bf based upon your calc. Your body isn’t mechanical when it comes to losing and gaining fat. It won’t mind shedding excess fat, and that’s what you should be aiming for. Once you lose whatever your body determines is excess fat and fat loss stalls, then you can take a new look at the situation and start again from there.

[quote]magick wrote:
-Lift 4x week. Follow Stronglift 5x5[/quote]

This confuses me. Why would you suggest Stronglifts, but also say to lift 4x/week? To the best of my knowledge, isn’t Stronglifts a 3-day/week program? And essentially Starting Strength, just with more reps and replacing the power clean with rows?

That was a typo. Stronglifts is a 3day/week program, but you would be better served if you do some form of exercise/lifting 4-6x a week.

I just think Stronglifts is better because it has a slower pace in weight increase and more volume built into it. More volume=More practice at actually doing the lift and more exertion for the body and as such more potential fat-loss.

Conditioning is good for fat loss, don’t worry about which weight training program you use. The one you feel comfortable with and will be able to stick with will be the best program.

You mentioned you used to swim laps. If you like doing that and you know youll stick to it you can burn ridiculous calories doing that. Not to mention it will stretch out and soothe your muscles.

Ive never felt better than after a good swim. Plus, just being in cold water sucks calories out of you as your body burns calories to maintain homeostasis.

If you like swimming and will stick to it, then go for it. As jasonthorpe said the program you feel comfortable with is the best

Yes, swimming is an excellent way of combining cardio and recovery from weight training.