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  • Posted On: 03-11-20, 10:51 am (EDT) #1

    Measuring strength gain from push-ups/pull-ups & "calories burned"

    March 11, 2020, 10:51 am

    Hi Scott and friends! Super sorry for this long post, but it's been a long time coming. I got some great advice from Scott about training beginners on compound lifts at the LA Fitness expo earlier this year, and I spent some time applying it before coming to tell you about my experience with it. (If it rings a bell, I have super short hair and a "killer broccoli attacking a city" phone case that you complimented!)


    I spent February and March applying the advice you gave me before I planned on applying it to some if my client programs. I paired bench press with push-ups tacked on to the end, and I saw some strength gain as I went from 6 solid push-ups with good form to 10 in a very short time. I saw a  correlation in strength between my push-up reps increasing and my bench press strength improving. I've been applying the same principle to my pull-up training by pairing my assisted band pull-ups with lat pull down to be able to put a number on my strength improvements and to pump out some extra volume. It's helped me to be more patient with the process of earning my pull-ups, because I was pretty frustrated with feeling like I wasn't getting anywhere for a while, but I know patience is key.


    So, thank you for the sound and practical advice! Please let me know if there are any fallacies with my thinking because I'm always open to improving my training methods.


    I have one problem that I could use  other people's insight on right now. I joined a church's healthy lifestyle program called 'Operation Healthy Lives' and got paired up with a coach that had training experience, but hasn't trained anyone full time in 10 years. I respect him very much, but we disagree on a few things about training and weight loss. He focuses heavily on the 'calories burned' per workout, and told me that if I'm working out for an hour, I'm burning around 600 calories and therefore need to eat more, but I disagree with this set in stone number he's given me.


    I think that most people overestimate the number of calories they burn in their workouts, but please correct me on this if I'm wrong. I prefer to think about my workouts as an opportunity to develop competency and good form in the 5 basic human movements, the squat, hinge, push, pull and lunge. Focusing on calories burned really messes with my head since I used to be heavily overweight and a binge-eater, so when I train, I train for movement efficiency. Nutrition is for fat loss. Training is for improving how I move! Any weight loss or muscle gain that occurs is a bonus, but not my focus.


    Currently, I'm not dealing with hunger or fatigue during workouts or during the day. I love my meals, and I lost 5 of water weight in the first week. So his advice feels a little off. If I've learned anything over the last few years of training (and watching your content), it's that if you're getting results from your program, don't up and change it. I feel this is a case of 'too eager to want to give advice' because we had just started and he simply wants to find any way he can to help me hit my peak, but I could be wrong. Maybe he's right, and I'm letting my own biases get in the way.


    What's Scott and Co.'s opinion on this supposed 600 calories burned per 1 hour of working out? I've been trying to discuss it with him, but it's been coming down to a 'he is right' and 'I am wrong' anytime I try to get a better explanation into his reasoning or try to discuss it as professionals. Thanks for all of your help and consideration!

  • Posted On: 03-13-20, 10:20 am (EDT) #2

    Measuring strength gain from push-ups/pull-ups & "calories burned"

    March 13, 2020, 10:20 am

    Hey Heather!!! of course I remember our conversation!!  I actually just followed you on instagram as well! haha


    So pumped to see all the progress you made with pull-ups and push-ups!!  You are really taking things to the next level and I love it!


    As for the calories burned, I totally understand where you are coming from.  Often times it seems that a lot a of trainers get stuck in their own ways of thinking. In my opinion, there are no "solid numbers".  Whenever I train a client, we always have a "starting point" with calories and then make adjustments every 2 - 3 weeks based on results.


    Such as:

    - You feel hungry and depleted? = increase calories (200 - 300)

    - Feeling fat and bloated? = decrease calories (200 - 300)

    - Feel like a bad ass unstoppable machine? = Do nothing for now... check again in another 


    Calculations for calories burned and starting macros are just a baseline.. not the "final" solution.


    Does that make sense?


  • Posted On: 03-14-20, 5:20 pm (EDT) #3

    Measuring strength gain from push-ups/pull-ups & "calories burned"

    March 14, 2020, 5:20 pm

    I appreciate your encouragement! You really made my day! 


    That makes perfect sense. Thanks for the simple and easy-to-apply advice. You've given me some relief knowing that I was on the right track. 

    I know I'll have to make adjustments this week because I've had to change my workouts to home/neighborhood workouts due to the pandemic situation. I've got my routine on autopilot though, so all I need to do is focus on my nutrition and keep at it.


    One last thing: do me a favor and enjoy your next greek yogurt for me! I cut it for a few weeks to see how my body responded without dairy. It turns out that it was the reason my psoriasis was flaring up and acne breakouts. I'm heartbroken because that was my one comfort food and such a boss source of protein, but my skin/health > greek yogurt. </3 


    Thanks for giving me some of your valuable time to answer my questions!

  • Posted On: 03-18-20, 5:12 pm (EDT) #4

    Measuring strength gain from push-ups/pull-ups & "calories burned"

    March 18, 2020, 5:12 pm
    Posted by: hmlewisburke

    I appreciate your encouragement! You really made my day! 


    That makes perfect sense. Thanks for the simple and easy-to-apply advice. You've given me some relief knowing that I was on the right track. 

    I know I'll have to make adjustments this week because I've had to change my workouts to home/neighborhood workouts due to the pandemic situation. I've got my routine on autopilot though, so all I need to do is focus on my nutrition and keep at it.


    One last thing: do me a favor and enjoy your next greek yogurt for me! I cut it for a few weeks to see how my body responded without dairy. It turns out that it was the reason my psoriasis was flaring up and acne breakouts. I'm heartbroken because that was my one comfort food and such a boss source of protein, but my skin/health > greek yogurt. </3 


    Thanks for giving me some of your valuable time to answer my questions!

    @hmlewisburke Sorry about the Greek yoghurt, I don't know what I would do if I couldn't eat it anymore either, I eat it basically every day! You could always try coconut yoghurt? That should be dairy free and maybe that won't cause acne breakouts or any psoriasis flare ups?

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