It's time I end this Starting Strength cycle. I have been following the program religiously in regards to programming (other then the two overly ambitious 10lb deadlift jumps, which resulted in not handling the last deadlift workout with good form...watch the video if you need to), getting every single workout in, drinking a gallon of milk a day, and getting 8 hours of sleep, but I just haven’t been able to put down 7,000 calories a day. Its been more like 4,000 a day sometimes 5,000. Rippetoe the creator of the program has said that this is just not enough to bulk up and continue the linear progression as needed.
The primary reason I went on SS was my goal of bulking up to jump up into a bigger fighter’s weight class or two so to speak and at the same time getting useable strength (a secondary goal). In the world of fighting whether its the UFC, wrestling, boxing, or a cop fighting somebody jacked up on PCP, the bigger man has an advantage. Not to mention the possibility of avoiding a fight in the first place with the more intimidating command presence that a bigger cop gives off. Obviously there are bodybuilding programs out there that I could bulk up on, but thats a bunch of crap as there is little function fitness involved there. So my primary goal of getting bigger has been compromised (and the strength gains will be diminished as well) because I haven’t been able to eat enough. Working graveyards as a cop is not conducive to eating truckloads. There are nights when I go call to call and hardly have time to pop in a cliff bar, forget about putting down the kind of regular, disciplined, large meals that are necessary. It’s made it not worth it for me to continue. Let alone the fact of everything I’ve given up with not doing CrossFit. I’ve argued with myself the entire time I’ve been on this program about why I’m not doing CrossFit. But I guess I had to run my little experiment, and so here I am.
I’ve been on SS now for 6 weeks. I gained 15 pounds in the first two weeks, and for the last month haven’t gained anything! I’m stuck at 183/4 lbs depending on the day. I haven’t stalled out yet, and thats the only reason I've kept going… because I’m curious to see how much farther I will go until I stall out. I would have started to PR on Shoulder Press a week from today, PR on Cleans on Friday, and I’m already PR’ing on Squats and Bench. I’ve put a lot into this and did not want to quit without giving it my entire effort. Thats not who I am. But lets face it, to try and gain 30 pounds in 3 months and not as a 16-20 year old kid is a tough goal. Doable? Probably. But very tough, and you HAVE to follow the program verbatim. Which I haven't been. 7,000 calories is just not happening. I've tried and tried to keep pounding the food hard and to be aggressive about it, but it just aint happening. I hate to admit defeat in an area that seemingly just takes a little discipline, but here I am. And so you know I found without a doubt the hardest part of this program was eating enough. The only reason I can see to continue is to see how far I can make it before I stall out. But to the detriment of the rest of my fitness. So I’m not considering this a full on success, but a partial success. I’m a bit conflicted about it, but I know that I'm no longer truly following the program as it was designed. I also know that if I stop SS and get back on X-fit I will definitely still be able to continue to PR on these lifts (and a bunch more for that matter), while at the same time get my metcon back and improve on it. So CrossFit here I come!