Set Point Theory

Set point theory is the idea that the body has a pre-set weight and body fat distribution that it prefers to be at…sort of like an internal thermostat.

We can overeat or under eat, and our body will naturally try to bring it’s weight and composition back to that set point. It takes work (diet and exercise) to keep it at a different point for very long.

Last year I stayed very lean (and pretty light) almost the entire year. I competed in May at 187, then in August at 168, 2 weeks later at 165, in October at 187, and finally in November at 185.

When I started my off-season after that final show, I had a real problem getting much over 225-230. It was very uncomfortable, even though I was fairly lean. My body just didn’t want to go higher. I think this is in part due to me “re-setting” my set point to a lighter and leaner weight with all the dieting prior.

Now this year, I only dieted for 18 weeks. I started at around 230 pounds and was onstage at about 190. After the show, I didn’t continue dieting – I went right back into a full-fledged off-season. This time though, I had no problem getting past 230 pounds. Right now I’m sitting at about 245, and will probably get up to 250-255 by the end of the year. Again, I think I reset my set point by not dieting for long this year.

And now I’m trying to reset it once more, to an even higher bodyweight. But it takes time – I can’t just hit 240 (or whatever number) and then start dieting – I need to stay at that weight for a while in order for my body to recognize it as its new weight. If I were to start dieting immediately upon hitting 240, the new muscle would have less chance of “sticking” with me as I diet down, even if I diet intelligently.

Anyways, that’s my story for today.

Oh, one last thing – Justin and I just came out with a new pre-workout supplement that will blow your socks off. It’s called Hypertrop – it’s available for purchase on the Troponin site here (scroll down a bit – it’s called HYPERTROP):

holy shit this stuff kicks ass

We’ll try to get it up for sale on Elite soon too. Try it out, but be warned – it’s strong! Take a half dose (or even less) at first to assess tolerance.
I think you guys are really going to like this one.

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About the Author

Shelby Starnes is an IFBB professional bodybuilder and top nutritionist and trainer. He has helped hundreds of athletes dial in their training, nutrition, and supplementation. Shelby has been involved in powerlifting and bodybuilding for over twelve years, competing and placing very respectably in both. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wayne State University and has written numerous articles on physique development for many magazines and websites To find out more about him and his consultation services, visit his website at www.ShelbyStarnes.com View Shelby’s Training Log HERE