Maintaining Strength During Weight Loss

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by Carl_AK, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Carl_AK White Belt

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    Hey guys. I've managed to loose about 30lbs. I'm trying to cut for a jujitsu tournament in October. I started around 260, I'm at 227 now, and I got to get down to at least 215. If I have the time, I might go down to the next weight class at like 202, but that would be a stretch.

    I'm really happy with my progress on the scale and in the mirror, but I'm a bit nerveous at the strength I'm loseing. My push-up max has gone down by like 30%!

    I'm doing basic weight training three times a week, and doing jujitsu for cardio five times a week. I'm not really counting calories or on a specific diet. I just eat a lot of common sense good food.

    Can anyone share some basic principles to losing weight, and maintaining strength?

    Thanks in advance,

    -Carl-
     
  2. rubberducky27 Yellow Belt

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    I'll bite.

    Can anyone share some basic principles to losing weight, and maintaining strength?

    Read the FAQ's, it's full of ideas and discussions.

    I'm confused, you talk about losing strength but highlight your max pushups, which for me is endurance drop, not strength lost.

    Strength and conditioning forum is full of threads related to strength gains and training ideas.

    If you read the faq's here and still need more help on your diet I think you'd need to summarise what you class as "eat a lot of common sense good food".

    Keeping things simple:

    Calories in vs Calories burned = weight loss, gain or maintain.

    Eat clean & Lift Heavy
     
  3. Endo o hai!

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    High protein diet and heavy resistance training.
     
  4. modena1983 I

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    Lift heavy as possible at every session with compound movements.
     
  5. Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    How tall are you? I've been able to maintain strength up to a certain point in weight loss, but then it becomes really tough. There is no set in stone answer as there are multiple factors. Often when I'm dropping weight, I'm cutting back on strength training anyways in favor of conditioning. If that's the case, it's pretty obvious that your strength will suffer due to the drop in strength training.

    The simple answer IMO is to decrease volume and increase intensity. Timing of your meals becomes more important than ever as well IMO.
     
  6. Endo o hai!

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    This is solid information.

    OB, I think your decrease was mainly caused by lack of protein throughout most of your diet, which I had suggested to you when you were dieting. However, there is only so much you can do with a low-calorie intake, and energy is going to drop regardless. Dropping back volume and increasing intensity is excellent advice for anyone looking to retain strength during a dieting phase. Outside of this; you are dead on about the timing of your meals being important, and I believe the type of food you eat has a huge role in really low-calorie circumstances.

    Just from my experience, eating certain things could easily be the difference between 20-40lbs on a lift, and the difficulty at which the lift was performed. On some days I could nail lifts flawlessly when I ate certain things. When I removed those foods before going to lift, my numbers most certainly suffered.
     
  7. Monger Chronically Injured

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    WTF? 20-40lbs difference based on one food choice over another? 20-40lbs!!??

    Anyhow, I agree with the consensus in the thread.

    To maintain strength while dieting, the general rule is to maintain intensity, lower volume, and ensure adequate protein intake. And all of that is dependant on other variables such as how extreme the diet is, how long you've been dieting, what other activities you do, BF%, etc...
     
  8. Endo o hai!

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    I suppose it could have been a mental thing, but my sweet potatoes made me rock the gym, and without I couldn't lift quite as much as I did the time before, when I had my little pre-carb. I had quite an inconsistency for a little while with squats.

    Not that I would drop off of any lift by 40, but sometimes I just couldn't complete a full 3x5 at heavy weights. And other times, if I could, it was a real fucking grinding weight to nail for the 3 sets.

    I had also been dieting for how long, before I got a gym membership? Maybe off/on for 6 months or longer.
     
  9. Monger Chronically Injured

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    EndoGlo,

    There's a big difference between having difficulty and grinding at old weights than dropping off 20-40lbs on any given lift. I know you were dieting for a long time and quite hard but with any reasonable diet, you simply won't see any strength disparities like that on an acute basis. If you are learning a lift, maybe... but that's from technique issues and not because you had potatoes vs. bread or whatever.

    But I'll stop there because it isn't all that relevant to the thread and I don't want to derail it anymore than I already did.
     
  10. Carl_AK White Belt

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    Okay, so the basic consensus is high protien diet, frequent meals, and lift heavy weight/low reps. Is that right? I figured on the first two, but I was really curious about how to weight train to keep muscle mass while in a calorie deficit. What about number of sets? Keep them low, or is okay to do 8-12 sets per muscle group?
     
  11. IDRISCKY Purple Belt

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    You need to read the S&P FAQs.
     
  12. Endo o hai!

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    Less volume = less reps. Higher intensity means heavier weight. So, no.
     
  13. Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    This. Honestly, if you are doing a lot of cardio to assist in the weight loss, the 2 day split in the FAQ would be your best option. I'd probably only do 3 working sets on each lift.
     

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