Compound Lifts and Staying Paleo

by (141) Updated May 07, 2014 at 12:22 AM Created July 13, 2011 at 9:23 PM

From a lot of the places i've been drawing info on compound lifting routines such as, stronglift.com, wendler 5-3-1, SS programs and so on. It seems the majority of them seem to draw on 'Whey' protein as a diet essential and oats in their shakes rather then maltodextrin due to the extra nutrients from oats (specially for those trying to add weight in the process).

Now i'll be starting one of these programs fresh but am still concerned that i want to be eating mainly paleo maybe with the addition of regular potato to help with additional carbs (i get bored of sweet potato it seems).

A lot also seem to be using full fat milk as a big weight gainer (or GOMAD) just to generally add those calories in so there's a surplus. But how effective is this? I've not been very tolerable of the dairy i've added in since finishing my 30 day paleo so i get the impression that this route isn't for me. And i imagine it just makes the majority of people fat without being in a strict weekly routine.

I'm basically looking for some advice from someone that partakes or has experience in these programs and what their diet looked like in terms of keeping it paleo but still allowing for decent gains with a healthy diet (been reading a lot about how top athletes have awful diets purely to pack on the pounds, was a long feature on the stronglift.com site mentioning certain athletes i think).

And do you think you've benefited from keeping to paleo while using these programs? Or would you have benefited from simply upping the calories from anything and everything?

My ideal answer would be that i can stay Paleo and gains/energy levels are still going to be up with 3 large lifting days. And if so, what would be the essential for adding that weight (will it simply be to make sure my carb intake is higher)? However i know my protein intake will be plenty for the muscle repair side of things.

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7 Replies

21258 · July 14, 2011 at 3:18 AM

My background is in strongman. I built my base of strength on classic 5x5 routines. I also dabbled in Paleo (Neanderthin) when I first started out in strongman, for about a year (2002-2004 or so)...

Now I lift 3 times a week, mostly front squats, clean pulls, and powercleans. I just eat paleo. Nothing special. My wife got the Sara F. "Everyday Paleo" book and has taken over the kitchen which is awesome for me (although my guts are not yet finished acclimating to the extra fiber and starch).

After having 3 shoulder scopes for calcium deposits/bonespurs, I can no longer in good judgement suggest anyone follow Gomad. I think you can get plenty of calories in Paleo, maybe a bit of dairy in the form of a pint of heavy cream per day...

The main reason why whey and other liquid calorie supplements were invented was so weightlifters could purposely overfeed. Why bother? You can get plenty of calories in with whole foods.

1346 · July 13, 2011 at 9:54 PM

I just eat lots of meat and eggs, and yes, throw in potatos in the PWO meals. My strength gains might be slower than some, but staying lean is important to me. I would rather eat a big pile of steak and eggs and taters than a shake any day.

60 · July 14, 2011 at 12:27 AM

As long as you are liftiing heavy, getting enough calories, and getting enough protein you should be fine. PWO definitely get some potatoes/carbs and whey. If you are eating paleo and concentrating your carb intake post workout you shouldn't have any problems putting on that muscle mass while keeping lean. My personally favorite PW snack is a frozen banana with whey smoothie (berries, cinnamon, maybe a little cocoa powder...delicious). Then the rest of the day just load up on the meat and good veggies. Definitely agree with above poster about 1g to 1.5g a day. I usually hover around the 1g and do just fine.

Basically.... EAT, especially dead animals.

1279 · July 14, 2011 at 12:25 AM

You really don't need a gallon of milk a day unless you desperately want to put on weight as fast as possible, don't care about adding some fat, and are already squatting a decent amount (1.5x bodyweight at bare minimum). Focus on meats and tubers or white rice for post-workout. Shakes with whey and a high-GI carb like brown rice syrup, dextrose, or maltodextrin may be slightly more optimal in terms of gains, but the whole foods route works fine as well.

I have found that low-carb postworkout does not work at all for me; I actually lost ground on my lifts during my month-long experiment with it, without losing any weight.

Get enough protein, get plenty of carbs after workouts, and you're set. Whey protein is good but not critical by any means.

15831 · July 13, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Few easy basics:

Stay full paleo with a lot of potatoes and sweet potatoes

Use whey protein powder with minimal other ingredients. I use ON Whey. Cheap, basic.

Coconut water is a good carb source for immediate pre and post WO, but you still gotta eatbig post WO even after the coconut water. That cocnut is just for immediate refuel, it doesn't take the place of meat and potatoes.

Try 1-1.5 grams protein per pound of bodyweight daily.

You will be totally fine on any lifting program with basic meat and potatoes. it's worked for millions of lifters for a whole long time. Whey justmakes it a little easier to sneak in extra calories.

118 · March 05, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Like everyone else is saying, sweet potato PW is essential. It just is. I stopped doing that and stopped gaining. I make sure I consume between .75-1.25lbs of sweet potato PW with milk but I really love milk. I drink it all day. The rest of my meals are meat. I try consuming a little over a pound of meat per meal along with a few other veggies. Its been working pretty damn well.

285 · July 13, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Sweet potatoes!!! I'm using the Westside lifting template, and I get by pretty well. You will have to most likely increase you kcal intake. Just eat more. Take a sweet potato, cover in butter, sprinkle cinnamon on top. Cook a steak with it. Rinse/repeat/etc.

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