Can Starting Strength Be Used as a Fat Loss Program?

  1. Can Starting Strength Be Used as a Fat Loss Program?


    Most of us have heard of Mark Rippetoe's "Starting Strength" program, read the books and even tried it.

    I applaud him for simplifying a lot of the information overload and finding something that actually works well without wasting time.

    However, his idea is that most people are skinny young males who should simply lift heavy and eat huge amounts of food to put on mass.

    I am not sure I agree with that. As many people have too much fat but not enough strength and not enough strength and muscle mass.

    Is there any way Starting Strength could effectively be used as part of a fat loss protocol?


    My guess is that someone could do the 3x a week Starting Strength routine, but also do high intensity cardio after that workout. They could also do an intensive cardio program like "Insanity" on their 3 off days.

    Diet would be a more modest 2000 calories a day, etc.

    Is there anything wrong with such a strategy? Would it still not be effective?


  2. You can't successfully do starting strength or linear progression in general on a calorie deficit for any real length of time.
    bang and your gains are gone
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  3. Diet= fatloss

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Smont View Post
    Diet= fatloss
    this. any training program will "work" as a fat loss supplement, but you need to taper expectations as far as gains go.

    the only purpose of training towards fat loss is for a SMALL caloric burn and to MAINTAIN (maybe slight gain/loss) strength and size in order to help keep metabolism up and muscle mass.

    The only thing that really would differ from the letter of the program would be the progression as you likely would not be able to progress as much in a deficit.
    Serious Nutrition Solutions Product Rep - db77 @ seriousnutritionsolutions.com

  5. So, what should a person do who is at 25% bodyfat. I am not sure I am there, I am just asking for the thought experiment.

    1. A person could simply not do Starting Strength and try to trim down as much fat as possible using something like Insanity, then build up after?

    2. They could do Starting Strength at that high bodyfat, but then run a deficit?
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  6. Eat at maintenance and train with the program. I wouldn’t train in a deficit with any strength program.
    *Psalms 62:1-62:2*
    Serious Nutrition Solutions Rep

  7. Quote Originally Posted by tyga tyga View Post
    Eat at maintenance and train with the program. I wouldn’t train in a deficit with any strength program.
    This. As you build muscle, your caloric requirement will naturally increase (more size needs more fuel) so you will burn more anyways.

    The goal of a diet is body composition (in this case, fat loss). The goal of training is muscle/endurance/etc improvement or maintenance.
    Serious Nutrition Solutions Product Rep - db77 @ seriousnutritionsolutions.com

  8. You can do something that structurally resembles SS, you just have to forget about increasing strength, or even maintaining it, unless you're already pretty weak.


    HLM works a bit better because you can eat more carbs/calories the night or morning before your heavy workout to get through it, then use the poundage from that workout to define your light and medium days.

    So you eat a cheat meal or carb load Sunday night, Monday you do your heavy workout and let's say you work up to a top set of 200kg x 5 reps. Based on that you'll squat 160kg for 5 on Wednesday, then 180kg on Friday. Those workouts will be less taxing so you'll get through them easier on lower calorie days.
    bang and your gains are gone

  9. Quote Originally Posted by BarryScott View Post
    You can do something that structurally resembles SS, you just have to forget about increasing strength, or even maintaining it, unless you're already pretty weak.


    HLM works a bit better because you can eat more carbs/calories the night or morning before your heavy workout to get through it, then use the poundage from that workout to define your light and medium days.

    So you eat a cheat meal or carb load Sunday night, Monday you do your heavy workout and let's say you work up to a top set of 200kg x 5 reps. Based on that you'll squat 160kg for 5 on Wednesday, then 180kg on Friday. Those workouts will be less taxing so you'll get through them easier on lower calorie days.
    I’m pretty confident the hypothetical person OP refers to won’t be squatting 440lbs for 5 lol

    First paragraph is exactly what I would have said. Any weight lifting program can (and should) be used in a cut, you just won’t overload......but you won’t lose as much muscle mass as you would if you didn’t do it.

    As @Smont pointed out early on, the type of training in relation to fat loss is largely irrelevant as fat loss is determined by diet

  10. Quote Originally Posted by Whisky View Post
    I’m pretty confident the hypothetical person OP refers to won’t be squatting 440lbs for 5 lol
    Well you're right, the more untrained and out of shape you are, the less you need to worry about your programming.
    bang and your gains are gone
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