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Body recomposition question

Discussion in 'Ask Cathe' started by Dorus, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. Dorus Member

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    Hi,

    I'm relatively new at the forum, but not to training.

    I'm just entering the second mesocycle of STS - and according to my bodyfat measuring scale, I'm slowly gaining fat and losing lean mass. Calipers and tape measure tend to agree. Scale averages steady as a rock.

    Not what I wanted, need to shift about 10 pounds of fat, want to add lean mass and end at my current weight... so stead scale's fine by me, but losing lean and gaining fat is going the wrong way big time.

    By the numbers, using BMR equations and a 1.5 activity factor, I should maintain at 2100 calories, and I'm eating about 1650 calories. Macros are decent, food is whole, sleep is good, recovery feels good, etc...

    The quandary is, should I add calories in the hope of turning this around, or perhaps ignore the digital scale for now, or is this normal to drop a hair of lean mass in mesocycle 1 as it's an endurance focused thing, or am I all confused in general?

    Part of me says to eat at maintenance and see what happens - part of me says stay steady as she goes....

    Thoughts?

    -Dorus
     
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  2. Geoffrey New Member

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    I'm eager to hear an answer to this as well!
     
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  3. jamie vaughn Cathlete

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    I find it hard to believe you would have gained fat in the 1st mesocycle and lost muscle unless you're working out in a fasted state and your body is using muscle as fuel perhaps. I'm not an expert but don't know how accurate body fat scales are or calipers. My thought is that this is water retention which I've read is common during the STS program and will eventually flush out. I'm not sure how tall you are etc but I'm 5'2, weigh 110lbs, and eat about 1800 calories/ day and sometimes more when lifting heavy so if you're hungry it wouldn't hurt to eat more whole/ clean foods to satisfy you. I don't think I've really answered your question but maybe if you do a search under the STS section you'll find past threads which explains this. Good luck to you and hope you're enjoying the program.
    Jamie
     
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  4. Dorus Member

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    Thanks for the reply, Jamie.

    I'm a couple inches taller at 5'4", at 135 pounds.

    I do work out first thing in morning, on only about 50 calories before training,
    but I don't let much grass grow under my feet before I eat afterward.

    Just to give me a sense of proportion here, are you maintaining at that 1800 calorie level, or trying to drop a little fat?

    A little extra data - I tried to drop a couple hundred calories - and no way to do that and keep up the intensity.
    I'm thinking this has to mean to add some calories despite the fat increase...

    Dorus
     
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  5. jamie vaughn Cathlete

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    Yes this is maintenance for me. I guess the other thing you could do is take another look at what you're eating and any hidden sugars, proper balance of protein complex carbs healthy fats. Add some hiit cardio maybe if you can.
     
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  6. nckfitheart2009 Cathlete

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    Depending on how long you have been training , you may experience various body responses. Water retention is one them!
    One fact to bear in mind is most devices are not accurate. I am sure by now you must have heard about relying on how
    your clothes fit rather than on the number on the scale and inaccurate measurements.

    other elements to consider are:
    • your own body TYPE ectomorph, meso or endomorph? We can only work from what we have inherited and possibly improve some of it!
    • IS your training routine suitable to the goal pursued, to your own body type etc....
    • Have you given yourself a reasonable timescale before, possibly without driving yourself nut checking those measurements. It takes time to see results. Some bodies are promptly responsive compared to others. It take time to build, sculpt and Shape. Getting stronger require a lot of work, discipline, motivation and consistency:):) Changes do not happen over a night!;)
    My post refer to Fat loss campaign through Diet and STRENGTH training. This is different to weight loss pursued by someone looking to become
    a softy-smaller version of herself/himself solely and utterly focusing on number appearing on the scale.--- Just to add and clarify:):)ATB
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  7. Dorus Member

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    All good stuff!!

    Almost nobody is a pure body type.
    In my case, I lead toward ectomorph for joint structure, but meso/endo for muscle gain and fat storage...

    STS should be just the right training to snip off the last bit of fat and add a bunch of muscle, no?

    Not sure if mesocycle 1 is a long enough time to tell. Ideas?

    The goal for me is to essentially do a recomposition.
    I'd expect at 2100 maintenance, and at 1650, with a 450 calorie deficit, to drop maybe a pound a week - not to be in stasis or even gaining fat. All metrics - tape measure, clothes, calipers, electronic gadgets - agree the fat is hanging tough.

    I think based on trying a few less calories and losing energy, that definitely I don't want to drop any further.

    So - the real question is whether or not I should hold steady another few weeks, or add calories to see if that makes the fat move off and the iron move better...?

    Dorus
     
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  8. nckfitheart2009 Cathlete

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    STS is a well rounded program aiming at STRENGTH gain.regardless of the body type of the exerciser.:):) Fat loss get heavily mentioned in discussion because of the obsessive pressure from media/society on mainly women. It is not just about aesthetic, It is about health first. Aesthetic is just part of the puzzle. If nutrition is clean and the body is optimally fuelled the aesthetic puzzle will appear as part of
    the bigger puzzle. That is my opinion. STS is a great program:):)

    Give it a try! --- Complete the 3 mesos;):);)
    Few discs from meso 1 is not a sustainable accomplishment to make a solide fair opinion on the program, assuming it is your first attempt! You wait till the fun begin doing those double wave and triset from meso 2:p:p;).

    Body type was previously discussed here on the forum. you can find it on the search. Just please disregard the "emotionally heated" part
    of the tread/discussion. http://cathe.com/forum/threads/what...ne-an-effective-workout-routine.295940/page-3

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/becker3.htm
    http://www.fitnessrxwomen.com/training/perfect-form-with-jessie-h/lifting-for-your-body-type/
    http://cathe.com/fitness-training-body-type-somatotype

    ATB
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  9. Dorus Member

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    Actually, I'm finishing the second week of Meso 2 at the moment. Time flies...
    Guess I get to try the wave loading next week.

    Should that not be enough time to at least begin to assess where I stand with nutrition?

    The somatotype testing stuff gets me variable results depending on the test design. Best of that
    bunch came back with about equal degrees of all three body types, but really it is only averaging distinctly
    different characteristics from all three types to produce that bit of info.

    Goal-wise, yeah, I'm looking for health, primarily - and aware of the difference between training for strength versus simply trying to become
    a smaller version of oneself. As far as I'm concerned, I'd LOVE to add 10 pounds of muscle, would welcome dropping a bit of
    fat in the process too - but so far it's going the other way. Inches around waist accumulating, strength not progressing properly.

    I enjoy training hard - but I don't much like training hard to add fat and not gain any muscle. (!)

    It seems like this program is using energy I hadn't been using doing a barbell strength program.
    (Most recently Wendler's 5/3/1)

    Are there any guidelines I've missed on the forum, on what constitutes "well fueled" doing STS?
    It feels like I need to add calories.

    I keep coming back to nutrition tweaking as the most likely area for improvement...
     
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  10. nckfitheart2009 Cathlete

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    10 pound of muscles is a long-term goal IMHO:):)
    Wish you the best pursuing your goal.

    Hope you are having fun doing STS:)

    with regards to the previous program you did, I know it is different to STS. So it is common to experience water retention.
    There have been some discussion on 5x5. Feel free to search here on the forum. It is not an overall well rounded program IMO:)
    It is popular among those being apprehensive 4 getting "bulked":eek::eek:

    What I referred to as fuel is simply an "optimal nutrition intake". It is basically eating enough according to activity level.
    Poor nutrition can sabotage a fat loss campaign.Not eating enough can be the root of frustration caused by lack of gain.
    Excessive cardio can also interfere with results expected.
    Wish you the best pursuing the aestheticism you are after.;):)ATB
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
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  11. Dorus Member

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    Well, yeah, 10 pounds is a long term goal...
    I don't expect to get there tomorrow - but I do expect to get there eventually.

    Is it purely an "aesthetic" goal? Not really in my case.
    Any gains there are welcome, but "getting from size 4 to size 2" is not any part of why I'm doing this.

    It's about health.

    Allow me to explain a bit more...

    A little on 5/3/1, it is indeed primarily a strength program, meaning it trains
    neuromuscular efficiency, i.e. how well you can activate muscle fibers. Like STS, your
    performance in the current cycle dictates the weights you will use for the next.

    It isn't really about hypertrophy in those rep ranges, not meant to be.
    If you wanted to be as strong as possible at the lightest weight, this is just the ticket.

    Ultimately, you plateau - and then look at your weight log, and in the mirror, and wonder what to do next.

    In my case, the evidence said that actual muscle mass was too little, fat a bit much.
    Yeah, what I have is well trained, but the total amount of it isn't all that good.

    For performance purposes, more muscle, and less fat, is the order of the day.

    10 more pounds of muscle at my current weight will make a big difference on the pullup bar.....

    So, rather than keep beating my joints trying to eke out another 2% of strength from what muscle I have,
    perhaps it's a better bet to do a hypertrophy cycle. STS seems to be just the ticket. I like the system.

    Once I get the muscle built up, going back to strength training for a while will be the order of the day.
    Bringing 10 pounds more muscle to 5/3/1 would go a long way toward busting that 2x bodyweight deadlift...

    I figure I can switch back and forth indefinitely as needed, over the course of years, gaining each time.

    Thing is, hypertrophy is a different calorie universe from a strength program. More time at the gym,
    more reps, more calories for growth and energy.

    I'm just having trouble getting it all dialed in, is all.

    You can imagine my surprise when the data said I was gaining fat but no muscle...
     
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  12. jldx2in2000 Cathlete

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    I can't remember exactly where I read this (maybe from a Get Glutes forum that I am on) but Bret Contreras I believe stated that in order to do a body recomp (lose fat and gain muscle while staying at the same weight) that you should eat at maintenance or just slightly below (100-200 calories below max). I would say if 2100 is your maintenance and you are eating 500 less now, try increasing your calories.
     
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  13. nckfitheart2009 Cathlete

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    This makes sense IMO:)
     
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  14. nckfitheart2009 Cathlete

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    No:D:D LOL hypertrophy is not the lightest of the strength training to my knowledge. It's from 70 to 80 percent. Which is not a toothpick weight load:eek::eek:
    There is another difference you forgot to mention. correct if I am wrong, there is no isolation.

    Glad you are enjoying STS:)
    ATB:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
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  15. Dorus Member

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    Needs a little more explanation, I guess, not quite what that meant.
    To be strong as possible at the lightest BODY weight is what I meant, not lifting the teeniest weights.

    5/3/1 has you lifting weights with decreasing reps right down to a single, at increasing high percentages.

    During week 3, for example - deadlift:

    5 x 200
    3 x 235
    1 x 265

    Now, if you weigh 135 pounds and you do that, for your bodyweight
    you are stronger than someone who weighs 150 and does that.

    But, once you get all you can from 5/3/1 and the muscle you currently have,
    you've peaked out your ability to activate what you have, and it's time to do
    some hypertrophy work. That's me, stuck just below a 2x bodyweight deadlift.

    Say at 135 pounds, I have 100 pounds lean weight right now, and carry 35 pounds fat.

    If I add 10 pounds of muscle and lose 10 of fat, doing STS, I still weigh 135.
    Of course, the new muscle is there, but it isn't trained to fire as efficiently as it might.

    When I go back to 5/3/1 and train the new muscle I should easily raise that deadlift over
    a couple cycles to 270-300 and above, especially considering that "lean body weight" is
    everything that isn't fat (skin, organs, bones, etc.) and so the 10 pounds of muscle represents
    maybe a 25% increase in overall muscle mass.

    Do it right, and I'm a much more EFFICIENT athlete - someone who can lift well over twice
    her weight for reps. That's the idea there.... :)

    As far as isolation exercises, in 5/3/1, they do exist - dips, chins, pushups, rows, shrugs and the like are
    reserved as "assistance exercises" - meaning you need to have a good reason for doing them. So, if my grip
    is lagging and it's ruining my deadlift, I might add forearm work, for example... but not just for the heck of it.

    Makes sense?
     
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  16. nckfitheart2009 Cathlete

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    Thanks for clarifying. Good 4 you:):)
    I am currently working out without any spotter. I have mainly worked out this way and would not go below 5 rep
    without any spotter. I believe I do not need to explain myself for that:):p

    Please post a current video of yourself here cause we need some inspiration on flawless form.:):);)
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
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  17. Dorus Member

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    If I had flawless form, I'd do that... but... well.... let's just say I struggle with form.

    Here's a pretty good one for that:
    Excellent power to weight ratio, around 2.5x her weight.
    Natural Ms Universe a few seasons ago, powerlifter too.

    And another with pretty decent form:
    She is a big part of the Girls Gone Strong bunch

    Either of these can teach me worlds about deadlifting.

    Hard to beat Mark Rippetoe if you want coached:
    If you watch nothing else, this deserves a look.

    Learn from the best, I say.

    Nota Bene: These are full deadlifts, not the stiff legged variety I've seen so far in STS...

    Dorus
     
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  18. nckfitheart2009 Cathlete

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    I am retrieving this thread to share information. Hope this help anyone reading.:);)

    http://cathe.com/how-do-you-know-if-youre-gaining-muscle-when-you-strength-train
     
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  19. Dorus Member

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    Thanks! Hadn't seen that one.

    It's a nice illustration of how hard it is to figure out where you stand on muscle gain.

    I've seen studies where even the experts can't concur on whether there's been a gain or loss.

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphys.2016.00689/pdf

    Here they used different measurement standards, dexa scans, skinfolds, and so forth - and came to
    way different conclusions as to the changes in lean mass and fat.

    I guess that's what makes it challenging. It takes time and it isn't all cut and dried.
     
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  20. nckfitheart2009 Cathlete

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    [QUOTE="Dorus, post: 2397169, member: 163925
    I guess that's what makes it challenging. It takes time and it isn't all cut and dried.[/QUOTE]

    This:):)

    Yes, the inaccuracy of those tools makes the process challenging and exciting. We learn what works for and about ourselves
    while being in this process of "self-personal coaching" Yes it takes time and there is not any shortcut:);)

    Thanks so much for sharing link above.
     
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