Strong and Lean, or Big and Strong?

  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 17, 2007 2:29 PM GMT
    I've done my ground work and lost a lot of weight. I'm down very close to my goal weight. I'm weighing in at around 170, and would like to be 164.

    HOWEVER, my body is still a higher fat percentage than I'd like it to be.

    So my question is, should I begin Lean and Strong, or the Big and Strong work out?

    Lifting will burn off some of the fat and add to my muscle mass, however will it burn off enough? Should I instead get rid of the weight I have, and start from scratch, getting my weight down to 150 or so and build up from there?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 17, 2007 3:37 PM GMT
    Hmmm, good question.

    If it was me and I was close to my goal weight and my body fat was 10 - 15 %, I'd weight train like mad now, keep up the cardio then cut at the end and see what muscle mass I'd gained.

    150 sounds a bit low..... and 20 pounds away!
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 17, 2007 3:51 PM GMT
    let me clarify.
    My goal weight is 165 or so.
    I only mentioned the 150 because i wasn't sure whether I should keep at the cardio until i weigh in at 150, then build muscle from there, or if it was smarter to begin working on building muscle now, allowing that muscle mass to help burn the fat away...
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Oct 17, 2007 3:54 PM GMT
    Do you burn or build more easily?

    Start with the hard one.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 17, 2007 4:00 PM GMT
    That's great advice Diver. :-) Very logical. I like it!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 17, 2007 7:45 PM GMT
    I'm pretty much in your boat... I've been following the strong and lean plan, and it appears to be working... I've gained some weight, and have definitely become leaner since starting. I'm currently part way through week 8.

    Don't worry about how much you weigh; it really doesn't matter. Focus instead on becoming lean. If you're doing things right, you'll actually gain some weight from this point, simply because you're replacing that last bit of fat with muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat, you'll actually be heavier.

    Also, be sure that you're eating properly. If at all possible, go for 6 or 7 small meals or snacks throughout the day so that you never become hungry.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Oct 17, 2007 7:47 PM GMT
    I am a veritable font of logicality... logicalness... logicalosity... truthiness.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 17, 2007 7:57 PM GMT
    GC- I've had no problems doing the 6-7 small meals a day. It's actually really easy once you start eating proper portions. I also realized while doing that, i was not taking in enough protein...which i'm working on remedying.

    DS- Logicality is my favorite. Unfortuantely it makes it so others don't like to watch scarey movies with me, because I end up ruining them. :-(
    oh well! Veracitigraphy over friendship I always say!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 17, 2007 7:58 PM GMT
    I think it's easier to be lean.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 17, 2007 8:23 PM GMT
    Why on earth would you starve yourself down to 150? I personally haven't weighed 150 since I was 13. I can't imagine being that thin.

    By starving yourself, you train your body how to be a fat-storing machine, which is an idiotic thing to do. That's why fat people fail so badly on repeated diets, and then make excuses about having bad genes, being full-figured, big-boned, etc. They train their bodies how to be fat-storing machines via caloric deprivation, eating the wrong things, at the wrong times, and having meal sizes that are to large at each sitting.

    On one hand, and I have to be honest here, being underweight (if you're sedentary) can help you live longer, but, on the other hand, the more muscle you build the easier it is to stay lean because every pound of muscle gobbles up calories just sitting there, and you'll have all the benefits of being a machine that's well-oiled, sexy at the primal level, and not "rusty." One should not just go off and die, as so many fat folks to, at age 18, or even before. That's a waste of a good body. Use it, or lose it.

    It's always in your best interest, barring a medical condition, to engage in resistance exercise. Your bones will be stronger, your brain will work better, you'll have a higher base metabolism (resistance exercise is the ONLY exercise that does that), and you'll grow stronger, and more muscular, AS YOU GROW OLDER. Don't hinder what should be a natural process by not eating, and engaging in needless weight management. Let your body do what it wants to do on its own under a positive stimulus: grow.

    Anything worth doing should be worth doing well, including lifting weights / resistance exercise.

    Don't worry, you won't get to big (LOL). That takes time, money, genes, smarts, desire, and a lot of hard work, which most folks can't muster.

    Remember: more muscle = a faster engine. A faster engine means it's easier to stay lean, and you burn more calories. Strong bones, a good brain, a good heart, are all great side effects. It's just a common sense thing when you study the science of it all.

    And, while some are quick to make the disclaimers of "I don't wanna' be big", and so on. Many folks are attracted to hunky vs skinny. That's not delusional...that's primal, and hard-wired into our brains.

    Some things you have to understand about folks on mags:
    1. These guys train all day.
    2. They take the best of the best meds / supps, and know how to use them.
    3. They only look like that for a few days at a time.
    4 They are genetically gifted in many cases for a certain look.

    Balance. Wax on, wax off.

    Looking like your reside in a third world country isn't really something that I would do, but, it's your game, and you play it as you will.
  • OutOfEden

    Posts: 100

    Oct 17, 2007 9:11 PM GMT
    I faced the same divergence and chose the (edit)*Muscle Building* path. I'm not perfectly pleased but I figure that if I'm Strong in December but still have too much fat, I'll switch. I build muscle easier than lose weight so I went with the easier choice.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 17, 2007 9:15 PM GMT
    I believe I'm headed your way as well OOE. I know I can drop the weight by doing cardio, and watching my caloric intake, so that's not hard, it's the building muscle part that i'm not sure i'm good at yet.
    We will see shortly I guess. lol
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Oct 17, 2007 9:21 PM GMT
    I guess I phrased this thread poorly. It's not a choice between being 150lbs or being 165lbs. I'm going to end up being 165lbs, at least that's the goal, the question is, whether I should use the Strong and Lean or Big and Strong work out plan to lower my body fat percentage...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 17, 2007 9:34 PM GMT
    I'd consider your own psychology a bit. Bulking up first and then leaning down is a great strategy, but for some guys it can be mentally difficult to accept the inevitable muscle loss that's part of any significant fat-reduction program. You can minimize the muscle loss through lots of strategies, many of which have already been outlined on this thread, but you're going to experience some. It can make you feel like you're backsliding. If that might be your own psychology, I'd do strong and lean first, and then big and strong. If you're confident you can deal with two steps forward then a half step back on muscle mass, then I'd go straight to big and strong, especially since you're not talking about substantial fat on your current frame anyway.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 10, 2007 7:56 PM GMT
    most dudes need to loose the fat then build the muscle. they should be loosing the fat through dieting, weight lifing and cardio. Once the fat is off, drop the cardio, increase your calories and keep up with the weights. It is not usual that you can develop a lean and big body at the same time. Use the winter to bulk up and build muscle, then when spring comes around start dieting down, when the fat is off, you are basically sculpting the body. you want the veins and striations in the muscle to pop....that is an acheivment you can be proud off.

    If you are having trouble putting in the time to eat, get a weight gainer protein mix and drink it between meals and definately right before bed, try peanut butter (the real stuff, not skippys) in it before bed.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 10, 2007 8:53 PM GMT
    As it has been pointed out, every guy's metabolism is different and it changes according to age. When I was competing in my 20's, my body burned more fat as I put on muscle than by doing cardio. So I cut back on cardio until I was at a weight (and strength) I wanted to be, then upped the cardio, lowered caloric intake to lean down. In my case, my ceiling was 180 lbs, and I would cut down to 165-170 (and sometimes even down to 160). However, that involved some pretty drastic diet changes, as well as lots of cardio. (Oh, I am 5'4", by the way, so those weights look different on my frame than on someone taller, which would e just about

    In my 30's, I've found my body will still burn more fat, ut less than it did in my 20's. So if I want to lean out, I need to increase my cardio (UGH). Right now, during winter, I'm focusing on being really strong at my current weight (195 lbs) without adding bodyweight, so I can lean out later if I want. (Of course, some guys like my thickness and size, but that's a different I like being able to bench 405 lbs, or deadlift 435lbs, or deep squat 435 lbs. If I cut down to 180, my strength would likely decline probably by 10%, maybe 15%.

    You know, again, its a matter of personal preference. If you like how you look (or think will look) at 160, you can do it. You won't be as strong, but you'll be lean. Right now I don't mind being big and strong, even if I carry a little more bodyfat.
  • comtnjock

    Posts: 47

    Dec 10, 2007 8:59 PM GMT
    As a nutritional chemist (who usually doesn't follow my own advice), the more muscle groups you work at once in one exercise, the more fat-burning potential you have. The main problem comes in with trying to eat healthy, as well as keeping up the cardio. My recommendation, since you are at 170 and want to go to 164 lbs, I would do teh strong and lean program. The program doesn't focus on one muscle group and there are some exercises that utilize the full body. I would also recommend upping the cardio when doing the program. It suggests three days of cardio separate from the three days of lifting. I would add a day or two on top of the lifting. In doing so, you will be forced into a 5-7 meal/snack eating plan. This will help you get to your weight goal by burning the fat. You will see an increase in your weight as well because of building muscle. Depending on your body type, you may actually gain weight because you are building muscle faster than burning fat. If this occurs, decrease the weight during lifting days, increase the reps in full body exercises and increase the cardio intensity.

    I hate to say this because I'm a beer brewer, but lay off the beer too! A typical pint contains anywhere from 200-800 calories!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 10, 2007 9:12 PM GMT
    To build muscle and burn fat is like walking a trapeze blind folded. Some lucky buggers are able to do it but the rest fall on their arse.

    My question to you is this:

    If you havent been able to get lean before how do you expect to eat more now and train to lose the fat? Yes you may have learnt lessons along the way but you are not where you want to be now so how do you expect to get there when changing tac before hitting the finishing line.

    There was a comment earlier about starving yourself creates a fat storage machine and thats the biggest load of crap I have read on here so far. Maybe if your current weightloss strategy is sub 700 calories a day and then like a meathead you up it overnight to 4000+ there could be some justification in that argument. But as with cycling the calories down to the level required to burn fat you should also adjust it in similar way back up.

    If you are on a deficit at say 2000 calories you will add muscle as soon as you increase above that calorie level as the body responds to the additional nutrients provided.

    Then theres the whole argument of getting lean and strong and the glycogen rebound effect