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10 Weeks to a Competition with Coworkers - Need Assistance

Good afternoon,

I’m out of shape. Very very out of shape. I used to be in better shape, but that was before I met my wife, got married, and had a child. I’m about 265 pounds, and of that 40-50 pounds of it is fat. I used to weight train several years ago seriously. I got my Squat up to 315x5x3 (weightxrepsxsets), my bench to 240x5x3, and my deadlift to 385x5x1. I did not do any conditioning however.

Just today I have been challenged by 2 coworkers who are in much better shape than me to a contest on August 5th. The challenge is as follows.

Pushups - max reps in 60 seconds
Squats - 1 rep max, 3 attempts (powerlifting rules)
Chin ups - x Max reps in an attempt
2 mile run.

Not being one to back down from a challenge I agreed, knowing full well that I am in no condition to win anything. However I’d rather fail miserably at something than to skirt from it. Plus this challenge will force me back in the gym where I belong and back on the right track to a healthy lifestyle.

The only problem I have is that I haven’t done a pushup in years, so probably can’t do a lot. I haven’t squatted in 2 years, but feel that I can gain that back relatively quickly. I’m also pretty sure I couldn’t do a pull up right now either. And 2 miles might as well be 40 miles.

I thought the best course of action for my training would be to follow the starting strength protocol, but instead of doing bench presses I would do pushups, and instead of deadlifts, I would do Chins. What do you all think of that?

As for the 2 mile run, I will follow the couch to 5k plan. It seems a bit agressive, but I will modify it, or re-do weeks if I feel it necessary.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

[quote]luigisacs wrote:
I’m about 265 pounds, and of that 40-50 pounds of it is fat.[/quote]
Just for reference, how tall are you?

Getting your nutrition in line will help drop some fat, which will make the bodyweight exercises that much easier.

Is there money involved? I just took a quick scan of your post history and you’ve had a bunch of training logs, so you know what to do, you just need to stick with it. Having some kind of money on the line, rather than “just” bragging rights, might be an extra kick in the ass to go all the way.

Or, if money’s not an option, there’s always Alpo:

[quote]Pushups - max reps in 60 seconds
Squats - 1 rep max, 3 attempts (powerlifting rules)
Chin ups - x Max reps in an attempt
2 mile run.

The only problem I have is that I haven’t done a pushup in years, so probably can’t do a lot. I haven’t squatted in 2 years, but feel that I can gain that back relatively quickly. I’m also pretty sure I couldn’t do a pull up right now either. And 2 miles might as well be 40 miles.[/quote]
Where exactly are you with each of these tests. Knowing your starting point will make it easier to properly design a training plan.

I think doing the “Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training” program without two basic barbell exercises is a bad idea. I’d follow almost any well-designed training plan to the letter, making sure you “test” or train the squat, chin-up, and push-up once a week to get some experience with them.

Or you could consider starting each workout those three exercises, as High Frequency Strength Work or Grease the Groove training, basically working the exercises often but with low volume (something like 2x5 or 3x3).

I’m not 100% familiar with that plan, but if it lets you incorporate weight training into the cardio training, it should be fine enough.

Thank you for the response. I wasn’t expecting anyone to answer truthfully. I’ll try to answer your questions as best as I can.

a. I’m 6 foot even. Not huge, but not a shrimp either. Typically I can carry 215-220 (which was several years ago by the way) well. 265 make me look like a slob.
I do agree with the nutrition. I’m just trying to consciously not eat shitty foods and go with more lean meats and veggies. I’m not going to worry about any complex dieting method until later.

b. No money involved unfortunately, but that wasn’t my idea. I offered up the idea of 100 bucks a man, but they didn’t go for it. And believe me I don’t need cash for motivation. I’ve been taking shit from these guys for years. Let me give you a background of the guys I’m dealing with so you can have a better understanding.

First person - 42 years old, and used to be able to do everything better. When I was powerlifting he constantly told me how much stronger he used to be than me, and that he probably could beat me any day. And when he meant stronger than me he meant the bench. Never did a squat in his life (sarchasm: but he’s got very VERY strong legs, as so he says, and has done stiff deadlifts in the smith machine all the time. At one point I was boxing for a year and a half and he swore he could beat me in a fight too. I’ve attempted to have a competition in the past but there was always something that came up. Now that there are other people involved he has no choice but to buck up.

Second person - 33 years old - 5’3, 155 lbs. This person is a P90x’er. I will not deny that he is in better shape than me. Can’t deny that. But due to his P90x’ing he thinks he’s the best at everything. Thinks he’s faster than me, stronger than me, and basically told me the other day that I will come in dead last. Nothing would make me happier than to shut him up.

Third person - and a new entry into the mix, is my boss, and is a she - 47 years old. She has done a mini-triathalon and swears that she is in the best shape of everybod. Although I do acknowledge her accomplishment of completing the mini-triathalon, and her weekly 5k runs, I highly doubt that she is in better shape than I. How can I tell? The size of her ass is one. And the fat rolls that slide off her sides is the other. I also call her the bastion of mis applied information. Did you know what percentage of coffee drinkers get cancer when they turn 50 or older? No, well she does. And hordes of other useless information. This information that she gets from various womens magazines means that she is a know it all. So when I told her that my training as a powerlifter was no worse or better than her training (just different) she scoffawed at me. So I’d like to shut her ass up as well.

c. Currently I stand at the following maxes.
Pushups- 15. I have a broken right wrist with a screw in it, so doing pushups is hard and very painful. But I got clearance from the doc that said as long as I wrap it well it should be no problem.
Squats- 225, and only because I haven’t trained in some time that I didn’t want to push it.
Chins - None. Sad.
2 mile run - Can’t do it yet. Never did a run in my life.

d. I was rethinking my training protcol. I know I have to do pushups and chins to get them stronger to finish the competition. However I do not want to not do bench and deadlifts. So I’m going to take your advise and do them prior to the Starting Strength work. Since there is not weight added I don’t think they would affect my training and would be a good warm up prior to the real work. What do you think?

Sorry if this is a long post, I had to get the background out there.

It’s been 6 days have you tried to run? If not you need to start that right away, as getting down to a decent time will take a longer than you seem to think.

The first person sounds like he’s full of shit.
The second person will be hard to beat at 155, pushups and running are a walk in the park. Chin-ups depends if he did that yet.
The lady if she’s a true triathlon should destroy everybody in the running. Be pretty weak in the lifting.

Silly comp definitely favors lighter people, unless you add a bench weight or something.

Do fist pushups, possibly be difficult on the knuckle at first but you adjust quick and much less stress on the wrist. I would do 100, starting off with a set for max reps every other day until you get to 20. Once you get to 20 you can try greasing the groove or just do them all the time like the military. Too high a frequency for something you can’t rep out can be detrimental.

Chin ups will be the roughest for you (and on the wrist, tape your wrist securely). I would do one day a week all eccentrics, another use a lat pull down machine until you can at least get 5 reps. Then switch it up.

You can do squats once a week, 20reps warm up set just the bar concentrating on whatever technique your going to use, groove your knees and hips, then a simple 5x5 you’ll improve until august. At your weight your legs are likely already stronger than theirs. Plus the sprints will help. You can try one day of sprints or maybe 80% ± 100meter runs and the other days regular ss aerobic or fartleks. The sprints will aid in increasing the squat. I don’t see you getting fast enough in time to be a triathlete.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
It’s been 6 days have you tried to run? If not you need to start that right away, as getting down to a decent time will take a longer than you seem to think.

The first person sounds like he’s full of shit.
The second person will be hard to beat at 155, pushups and running are a walk in the park. Chin-ups depends if he did that yet.
The lady if she’s a true triathlon should destroy everybody in the running. Be pretty weak in the lifting.

Silly comp definitely favors lighter people, unless you add a bench weight or something.

Do fist pushups, possibly be difficult on the knuckle at first but you adjust quick and much less stress on the wrist. I would do 100, starting off with a set for max reps every other day until you get to 20. Once you get to 20 you can try greasing the groove or just do them all the time like the military. Too high a frequency for something you can’t rep out can be detrimental.

Chin ups will be the roughest for you (and on the wrist, tape your wrist securely). I would do one day a week all eccentrics, another use a lat pull down machine until you can at least get 5 reps. Then switch it up.

You can do squats once a week, 20reps warm up set just the bar concentrating on whatever technique your going to use, groove your knees and hips, then a simple 5x5 you’ll improve until august. At your weight your legs are likely already stronger than theirs. Plus the sprints will help. You can try one day of sprints or maybe 80% ± 100meter runs and the other days regular ss aerobic or fartleks. The sprints will aid in increasing the squat. I don’t see you getting fast enough in time to be a triathlete.
[/quote]

Thank you for the post. Yes I agree this is a stupid stupid competition geared for lighter people. I did try to get them to do more weight lifting events (ones that I would have a better chance at winning) but they didn’t think they were important. It’s a sad indication but most people don’t consider big and strong to be important anymore. Everyone wants to be lean and be able to run 203 miles.

Yes I already started running. I’m working on a run/walk program right now and will progress weekly. It will be hard I agree, but not impossible.

The first individual is full of shit. He puported that he could 100 pushups. He didn’t say how many sets it took or how long. IF I can’t beat him in the pushups, I will definitely beat him in the squat and may be able to take the run off him. The lighter gentleman will be difficult in the pushups and the chins as he weighs nothing. But I’m going to fucking destroy him in the squats (hey, he wanted to be slim right). As for the lady, a triathelete she is not. She competed in a mini triatahalon. She stated she runs a 9 minute mile which I don’t believe to be world caliber, but again I can’t do that right now, so I’m not going to judge.

Geez, the four of you could be some kind of Fitness A-team. Everyone has their own niche that they “should” do best at.

Best you can do is stick to the training and muscle-building/fat loss diet 100% from now until the comp. Get back into fighting shape, get and stay healthy (especially your wrist and knees), and glide into the peak week with total confidence.

How is the winner going to be calculated? If someone dominates one event and then tanks in another, that should be factored into an overall score or something.

Oh, and best of luck beating your boss in this thing. Talk about a no-win situation.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Geez, the four of you could be some kind of Fitness A-team. [/quote]

I love it when a plan comes together.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Geez, the four of you could be some kind of Fitness A-team. Everyone has their own niche that they “should” do best at.

Best you can do is stick to the training and muscle-building/fat loss diet 100% from now until the comp. Get back into fighting shape, get and stay healthy (especially your wrist and knees), and glide into the peak week with total confidence.

How is the winner going to be calculated? If someone dominates one event and then tanks in another, that should be factored into an overall score or something.

Oh, and best of luck beating your boss in this thing. Talk about a no-win situation.[/quote]

Thank you for the post. I totally agree with you here, I’m just going to stick with my plan until the week of the competition. It is hard not to make tweaks to it as there is a wealth of information on this site. But I’m being diligent. This week was a tough one and I was pretty sore, but I’ll be better going forward.

It was determined that each placing would get a core (ie, first 10 pts, second 8 pts, etc). That way its an overall assessment of how you did in the competition overall that will determine the winner. Theoretically I can come in 2nd in each event and win. So I like that idea.

And as for my boss . . .well it’s an impossibility to get her to understand different things in general, so to try to educate her on different training protocols would be akin to ramming your head into a brick wall; can be done, but you’ll just end up with a gigantic headache.

My biggest concern at this moment is the gym I go to here in Queens. It is awful. Squat racks are too narrow and I can’t get a grip on the bar properly, the power rack is not well made and the holes for the pins are too far apart. So the bar is either too high, or too low to squat in. They don’t have 2.5 plates, so I can’t incrementally go up in weight. And the biggest PITA is the fact that all the weights are octagonal which makes doing deadlifts really difficult. Ce sa vi I guess.