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Training with Weight Restrictions

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  • Training with Weight Restrictions

    I'm a newly commissioned 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force and I want to get big and strong. I'm a 5'11 male with a 32-33 inch waist, 183 pounds, approx. 18-20% body fat. I've got *some* muscle mass and I scored pretty well on my last fitness assessment (94.5 out of 100), but I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of skinny-fat. I know the normal skinny-fat solution for most people would be to get big and strong first and then diet down to lose the excess body fat, but the max allowable weight for my height and age in the Air Force is 197 and my waist can't go above 35 inches or I start losing points off the body composition portion of the fitness assessment. I don't have a lot of room to work here.

    What's the best solution here? Train with a novice program like Starting Strength or the Barbell Medicine Beginner Template while eating at maintenance calories? Do the program on a small calorie deficit? Or, don't do the program and diet down to 160-165 and then do the novice program properly to get big? My concern with that third one is losing the little bit of strength gains I got doing Starting Strength the first time this summer while I was losing weight, or having to start back up at a much lower working weight than I started with the first time.

    I should also mention, I'm headed to my first duty station this weekend and while I'm there I have to attend mandatory PT 3 times a week, which should be 30-45 minutes of calisthenics and PT.

  • #2
    Thank you for your service, Spartan. We appreciate it.

    I am not sure that you're nearing skinny-fat territory, but your waist circumference, reported body fat, and training history suggests that you'd likely benefit from engaging in regular resistance and aerobic training while consuming maintenance calories to attempt and reduce your waist circumference while maintaining body weight.

    I think the notion that "it's easy to lose weight later" is offensively incorrect, given the obesity epidemic and relative difficulty nearly EVERYONE has in losing weight and keeping it off.

    With respect to your training, we'd recommend the Beginner Template and skip the programmed GPP in place of your occupational PT.

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