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Stalled and need to start working out.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 22, 2011 at 3:03 AM

I've been paleo for about a year and a half. I went from 285lbs to 245lbs and have stalled here for about 6 mo. I walk about 4k, 4-5 times a week. I need to start working out and would like some ideas. What do you think about Doug McGuff's Body by Science approach?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 29, 2011
at 05:07 AM

Agree with Travis. Most people are not athletic enough to create a significant caloric deficit on the activity side of the equation. Look at the intake side instead. List what you eat and maybe people can help.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on December 29, 2011
at 12:17 AM

Diet's sloppy if you stalled at 245. Working out will improve your health in a lot of ways, but it may not be enough.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on December 22, 2011
at 12:46 PM

Hmm. Having met Doug McGuff at AHS11, I think this idea of "rapidly decreasing gains" is hard to reconcile!

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 22, 2011
at 05:03 AM

It's a good program, esp. for older adults. If you are younger, you could opt for a more conventional form of HIT...

A3ff262a2686d79789e09a26013901b3

(1208)

on December 22, 2011
at 04:26 AM

I am thoughoughly educated on everthing paleo. I've been a member of this site for over a year. I've seen all of Taubes video's and every other paleo video on you tube. I listen to Robb Wolf, Jimmy Moore, Kriss Kresser and latest in Paleo weekly. Plus I follow a lot of other paleo blogs as well. I wasn't looking for newbie advice on diet. I just wanted an opinion on the body by science protocol or another way to ramp up my fitness. Thanks to those who answered appropriately, ala Heidi and josh.

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7 Answers

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2
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on December 22, 2011
at 01:11 PM

I did BBS from February to July and loved it. I stopped after throwing my back out at AHS11 ... I've been in recovery mode since August and expect to restart after the New Year. Here's what's great about BBS or other super slow workouts:

  1. The workouts are very safe for newbies (and/or older folks like me!). Because the motion is slow and controlled you cannot use momentum to lift a weight too heavy for you to control. This reduces risk of injury.
  2. The workouts are short. You do five basic exercises each workout. In my case, this was a leg press and four upper body exercises. The weight is heavy enough that you get to failure in 2-3 minutes. So allowing for a little bit of chat time with your trainer (if you have one) and recovery between exercises, you're done in 20 minutes.
  3. The workouts are infrequent. I was working out once a week to start, but had just begun doing a workout every 10 days or so. My BBS trainer said that Dr. McGuff's wife only worked out every other week to maintain rather than gain.

So if you want to get "ripped" then perhaps there are better programs (although as I implied in a comment, Doug McGuff in person looks pretty ripped to me!). Or if you like the social aspects of a gym, then another approach may work better. For me, the one con for BBS was the relatively limited core work involved. But that's easy enough to add in with other exercise.

Another not-so-much con but consideration is whether you'll do this on your own or with a trainer. I went the latter route, and very quickly realized the usefulness. For one, your brain will give up before your body will in terms of working to failure. If I didn't have a trainer egging me on, I probably wouldn't get in that all-important last 5 seconds or so. For another, once in a while I found it helpful for the trainer to offload the weight to exit. You don't need a trainer for that ... a buddy you workout with could do the same.

Diana Hsieh has a couple of good posts on her experiences with superslow. See here and here. And if you haven't read it, check out Doug McGuff's guest post on Mark's Daily Apple. He has a pretty good intro to BBS there. I think it's well worth giving this a try and seeing how it works for you!

1
F76c98905f0df4357ba210a1f430edd8

on December 28, 2011
at 09:34 PM

I respectfully disagree with Harfatum. I have been doing this for the last two years now and I can say it's certainly changed how I view exercise and working out. I go for 7 to 10 days between workouts. I tried doing more frequently but I noticed that my body wasn't able to recover and adapt as quickly (I was see strength declines if I went shorter than 5 days).

Harfatum, that's a bold statement to throw up there. Here's a quick list of very respected and experienced powerlifters and health trainers to the contrary: Doug McGuff Mike Mentzer John Little Ben Bocchicchio Ken Hutchins Arthur Jones Werner Kieser Joe Mullins Jim Flanagan Tim Ryan Fred Hahn Doug Holland Adam Zickerman

Some of these guys are huge and that's not to say that everyone who does this workout (or any type of workout) can get as big as those that are naturally predisposed to becoming professional body builders.

Like in football, there's selection bias occurring in this world of body building. Wide receivers are naturally lean, thin and tall while linemen are big and stout with explosive energy. A wide receiver could never take the spot of lineman and vice versa. Same situation with body builders. Prolonged high intensity workouts may actually not be enough for guys that naturally gifted towards body building. Every one of us has to figure this out on their own.

Take meticulous records at first and vary the time between rest periods and you'll quickly find out what your body can or can't handle.

Believing what professional body builders say works for them, may not in fact work for you as what they experience is unlikely to work for the average person in this world.

That doesn't mean high intensity can't benefit you. Just keep in mind that you're going to be increasing muscle tissue to the degree that your body is naturally able to, which will affect your weight. You could very well gain weight, but if it's muscle mass, that's a good thing.

1
22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on December 22, 2011
at 04:15 AM

Movnat hands down. It's adaptive to your environment, can be scaled to any level, and is just plain fun! I do believe there is a book in the works, but going to the website and reading the philosophy will give you a good idea of how to move like human animals should move. You'll shed weight, get fit, and feel like a kid again.

1
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 22, 2011
at 03:55 AM

I've really liked Mark Sisson's program Primal Blueprint fitness program. I walk 3-4 times a week, do one high intensity short duration sprint work out a week (swimming sprints--my knees are shot after 5 knee surgeries) and body weight exercises once or twice a week. I've really made a lot of gains in muscle strength and general fitness, even after being active most of my life. It also fits into my busy lifestyle as a single mom of twin three-year-olds and a PhD student. I do the sprints and the body weight exercise in 15-20 minute sessions. Perfect for a busy person!

0
499f188c87c6980742b9ba98caa6f563

(683)

on December 29, 2011
at 12:00 AM

Beth and Ernesto pretty much covered everything that needed to be said. I too stalled out because of too frequent workouts BBS style. Nowadays I do 2 exercises in John Little's Max Pyramid style (see this article on the BBS website) every 5 to 7 days, and it keeps me really fit. Also I seem to have gained some muscle even though I'm 58 years old!

As Beth said, using a trainer is best, you really need to be pushed for this protocol to be effective, but I couldn't find one (I live in Japan). So instead I bought a Smith machine with a barbell on guide rails and stoppers on the bottom -- even squats can be done in perfect safety with it.

Some other trainer remarked that BBS has the best balance between results, efficiency, and safety. If you're a young mesomorph with lots of energy, you'll gladly sacrifice some efficiency and safety for results, so BBS won't fit the bill for you. If you have an average physique and you're working a full-time job while raising a growing family, then BBS is perfect because the time investment is low and safety is a priority.

0
7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on December 22, 2011
at 04:44 AM

Most of the very highly respected and experienced powerlifters and weight trainers feel that the HIT / Body By Science approach is only good for short periods of time, and prolonged stretches on that program will result in rapidly decreasing gains.

I don't have enough experience myself to say definitively, but if you try it and notice yourself stalling out, try switching to a more conventional barbell program like Starting Strength, (older) Stronglifts, or Greyskull LP.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on December 22, 2011
at 12:46 PM

Hmm. Having met Doug McGuff at AHS11, I think this idea of "rapidly decreasing gains" is hard to reconcile!

-1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on December 22, 2011
at 03:51 AM

There is some information here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/46722/how-do-i-lose-weight

Have you read Taubes GCBC or Why we get fat?

A3ff262a2686d79789e09a26013901b3

(1208)

on December 22, 2011
at 04:26 AM

I am thoughoughly educated on everthing paleo. I've been a member of this site for over a year. I've seen all of Taubes video's and every other paleo video on you tube. I listen to Robb Wolf, Jimmy Moore, Kriss Kresser and latest in Paleo weekly. Plus I follow a lot of other paleo blogs as well. I wasn't looking for newbie advice on diet. I just wanted an opinion on the body by science protocol or another way to ramp up my fitness. Thanks to those who answered appropriately, ala Heidi and josh.

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