View Full Version : Hit the Wall

Brian Gill
04-16-2010, 02:44 PM
Hey guys, love the website and all its valueable information.

Gotta question for ya. Ive been doing Starting strength for the past 6 months. My bodyweight has gone from 155 to 194 and my lifts have increased amazingly. I am now 5 weeks out from my first powerlifting meet and I fear that I might bump up into the next class. There are only two classes, lightweight (<198) and heavyweight (>198).
At 5'7" I dont necessarily want to weigh 200 lbs all the time. I was competing in weightlifting at 155 and decided I wanted to get much, much stronger to compete at 85kg. On my journey to gain strength I decided I would compete in atleast one powerlifting meet.
As my weight reaches 200 lbs I have slowly started eating less, but as expected I am no longer recovering to continue with starting strength. So my questions are: Do I say F it, continue to pound down the Kcals and get as big and strong as I can before this meet and not care about what weight class Im in? ( I ask this because I was hoping to be somewhat competitive at the meet). Or do I swtich to a more periodized program that will allow me to continue to make gains and eat at a slightly more moderate amount of food? Any input is greatly appreciated, thanks guys!

Grissim Connery
04-16-2010, 04:11 PM
in 6 months you increased your BW by 32%. clinically it's a concern to change more than 10% in 6 months. now granted this is not a stone cold rule, but i think it's safe to say you could stop trying to gain for at least a little while.

Brian Gill
04-16-2010, 06:11 PM
Hey Grissim I appreciate the Reply. I don't think my gains from starting strength are all that uncommon for a six month period of hard training and eating. My BF % went from 10% to 13% (taken by a skilled caliper user FWIW) and I agree that I'm not trying to gain anymore weight.

So my question I guess is, should I push forward with the training and food to continue my linear gains in SS up until the the PL meet and cut down after the meet as I get back into OLing (and lose the extra BF to get into the 85/77 kg class). Or should I start some sort of light periodization program, like the texas method, which might allow me to eat a little more moderately and still makes gains up until the meet?
O and remember, I plan on going back to OLing after this meet and trying to compete in the 85kg or 77 kg class. I was just tired of being weak and 155lbs.

Brian DeGennaro
04-16-2010, 06:22 PM
You're better suited to weigh in the 85kg-94kg class at your height. I'm 5'5" and fit pretty easily in the 77s, and am considering moving up over the next 2 years possibly.

Brian Gill
04-16-2010, 07:37 PM
Ya Brian, 77kg is probably two small. I like your suggestion of 85-94kg. We will see where I land and what feels comfortable after losing some of the fat I gained during SS.

Geoffrey Thompson
04-17-2010, 06:14 AM
As far as powerlifting classes, 90kg would probably be reasonable for somebody at you height, and that means walking around at a slightly heavier weight. Have your mass gains been slowing down? You can probably get away with gaining for 3 weeks and then cutting for the last two weeks before the meet (or even just the last week, depending on how close you are). If you're gaining like 3#/week at this point, you should be fine with this approach.

Brian Gill
04-17-2010, 12:01 PM
Hey Geoffrey, yes my mass gains have slowed over the past two weeks because I cut my eating down in an effort to try to hang out in the mid 190's lbs. But now my workouts are suffering in SS and I'm not recovering. However, I feel my linear progress in SS isn't done and I could easily get up to 200lbs or so before the meet while making gains. I just don't want to compete in that class.

So you are suggesting I continue to eat and train like I have been and cut back the last two weeks to get back into my weight class (assuming I go over)? I assume then the last two weeks I would drop SS and periodize to peak for the meet? I like this idea...

Ian Gallimore
04-17-2010, 12:19 PM
94kg at 5'7" would make you pretty damn jacked for that class - bigger than Pashaev who's the shortest of the top 94s at 5'8". 5'7" would put you at the very top end of the 77s (think Sagir) or the bottom end of the 85s (Kuznetsov, just moved up from the 77s). In the long term I'd go for the latter if OL is your focus. For the PL comp I'd just forget about your weight/being competitive and just enjoy your first comp.

Alex Bond
04-17-2010, 05:13 PM
94kg at 5'7" would make you pretty damn jacked for that class - bigger than Pashaev who's the shortest of the top 94s at 5'8". 5'7" would put you at the very top end of the 77s (think Sagir) or the bottom end of the 85s (Kuznetsov, just moved up from the 77s). In the long term I'd go for the latter if OL is your focus. For the PL comp I'd just forget about your weight/being competitive and just enjoy your first comp.

Don't compare yourself to Olympians unless you are an Olympic contender. Get to a weight where you feel comfortable, perform well, and look good with your shirt off, and then stay there and be happy, whether it's in the 77s or the 105s.

Geoffrey Thompson
04-17-2010, 06:38 PM
What's typically done is walking around a few pounds heavier than you compete at. It's not a huge deal to drop 5# in a couple weeks. 10# is often done. More than that is tricky. If you're at 194 right now, how high do you think you'll get to if you eat like you ought to on SS for 3 weeks? You could gain 10#. You might gain 15#. 10 is more likely. Then you'd have to be down 6# in two weeks. That's easy. A lot of people would just take care of 6# in the days preceding the meet and meet day itself with water weight. My weight might fluctuate 4# in a single day. The week before your meet won't be like a normal SS week, you should get the advice of somebody who has more experience, but, at the very least, the last workout before the meet you should just work up to your planned openers using your planned warmups and go home rather than a 3x5 day.

Brian Gill
04-17-2010, 11:12 PM
Ian, thanks for the reference of olympians at my particular height, but like Alex said I don't think I will compare myself to them. I want to be somewhat competitive when I get back into OLing and I think that the 85kg class will probably be perfect.

Geoffrey I think you are spot on. I will continue to eat and gain as much as I can because I don't see myself gaining more then ten pounds in the next 5 weeks. I will probably end up around 200 lbs when it comes to weigh in and can lose a few pounds before that to get in to the <198 class. Thanks guys! Any suggestions from the PL guys on what my week before the meet should look like? Work up to my warm-ups on Monday?

Alex Bond
04-18-2010, 09:24 AM
I like to do a heavy enough squat and bench workout that I don't forget what it's like to have a bar on my back. Certainly don't go nuts, but make sure you are still working. Wednesday I go in and do my openers for squat and bench 1 to 3 times each depending on how heavy I plan to open - heavy opener = only do it once or twice, a lighter opener I may do for three singles. Saturday or Sunday, meet. I don't deadlift the week of the meet besides some real light stuff, not even up to opener. Real deadlifting is too stressful and I don't want to take the chance of being fatigued, and something like Romanians or a deadlift variant with a lighter load worries me the week before the meet because that close in I don't want to ingrain any movement patterns besides the ones I'll be using in competition. Basically, do a medium workout Monday, a light one Wednesday, and stretch/mobility and think positive mental thoughts during your Friday workout time.

Gant Grimes
04-19-2010, 09:33 AM
Keep eating and keep training. It doesn't matter if you get into the next class by .001 pounds. Who cares?

For your first meet, you should focus on picking good openers, making proper jumps, and learning how to manage your stress and fatigue throughout the day. Worrying about cutting and maintaining introduces another variable you don't have the experience to deal with right now. Keep lifting, eating, and having a good time.

Click on the 70s Big link in my sig. Several guys from our gym went to the Texas PL meet last weekend. They'll have several posts on it this week.

BTW, nice progress!

Brian Gill
04-19-2010, 09:22 PM
Thanks Gant! I'm back on the milk, and heading back towards 200lbs.

Going 9 for 9 would be amazing for my first PL meet.