39 & Beginning Again with NROL

Hi everyone.

I’ve lifted on and off for years - far more off than on. I could be classified as a chronic beginner. The longest duration I’ve ever lifted was in my late 20’s in the Air Force. My programs back then could be summed up as the “Muscle & Fitness program du jour”. I rarely stuck with any program long enough to make any real progress. I was very lean back then at about 6’2" and 190 lbs, but not very strong. My heaviest squat was 275, heaviest bench 225, and I didn’t deadlift. I did do lots of curls, dips, leg extensions, and leg curls. I did all the bodybuilding finishing exercises that I probably hadn’t earned the right to do yet.

Now, 10 1/2 years later, I’m 225 pounds. I sit on my ass all day in a job that is very good for supporting a family, but not so good for the body. I run several days per week (sprints 3 days and distance (3 miles max) 2 days. Still, the job isn’t allowing me to lose the fat and my back aches from sitting. I’ve decided to do something about this.

I’m picked up a copy of New Rules of Lifting by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove. If only I had read this a decade ago! I should’ve incorporated this kind of basic lifting in my youth. But I’m not going to look back. I still have my forties ahead of me, and I want to get stronger, leaner, and look good naked in front of the wife!

I’m starting off with a canned program in the book for the “eternal beginner”. The program gives consists of several phases that should be executed over a year. The first phase has several fat loss programs of full body workouts which I need to get used to lifting again, and I also need to torch the gut I’ve acquired over the years. Next, there’s a few hypertrophy phases, and the year is closed out with a few strength training phases.

I’m going to do the full year as the book recommends, and then re-evaluate at the end of the year. I’ll post weekly progress. Maybe I’ll post some pics eventually. I’m a little shy about posting pics on the internet, but if I trim the fat off and add muscle, then maybe so. Thanks for all the great material on this site. It’s fantastic. Go middle-aged guys!

Welcome aboard! Be sure to read and take advantage of the feedbackfrommeat thread. Lift hard,

Jack

[quote]iyaayas wrote:
Hi everyone.

I’ve lifted on and off for years - far more off than on. I could be classified as a chronic beginner. The longest duration I’ve ever lifted was in my late 20’s in the Air Force. My programs back then could be summed up as the “Muscle & Fitness program du jour”. I rarely stuck with any program long enough to make any real progress. I was very lean back then at about 6’2" and 190 lbs, but not very strong. My heaviest squat was 275, heaviest bench 225, and I didn’t deadlift. I did do lots of curls, dips, leg extensions, and leg curls. I did all the bodybuilding finishing exercises that I probably hadn’t earned the right to do yet.

Now, 10 1/2 years later, I’m 225 pounds. I sit on my ass all day in a job that is very good for supporting a family, but not so good for the body. I run several days per week (sprints 3 days and distance (3 miles max) 2 days. Still, the job isn’t allowing me to lose the fat and my back aches from sitting. I’ve decided to do something about this.

I’m picked up a copy of New Rules of Lifting by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove. If only I had read this a decade ago! I should’ve incorporated this kind of basic lifting in my youth. But I’m not going to look back. I still have my forties ahead of me, and I want to get stronger, leaner, and look good naked in front of the wife!

I’m starting off with a canned program in the book for the “eternal beginner”. The program gives consists of several phases that should be executed over a year. The first phase has several fat loss programs of full body workouts which I need to get used to lifting again, and I also need to torch the gut I’ve acquired over the years. Next, there’s a few hypertrophy phases, and the year is closed out with a few strength training phases.

I’m going to do the full year as the book recommends, and then re-evaluate at the end of the year. I’ll post weekly progress. Maybe I’ll post some pics eventually. I’m a little shy about posting pics on the internet, but if I trim the fat off and add muscle, then maybe so. Thanks for all the great material on this site. It’s fantastic. Go middle-aged guys![/quote]

It is a good book and you’ve got a good program to start out with. Sounds like you’ve got a job like mine. You get older, you will be more grateful for it :wink: But it can be hard on physical fitness. I ballooned up to 265 at my last job.

Keeping at a steady program for a while will really make a difference, you will be surprised.

A big welcome to another Colorado poster!

Lot’s of us have that desk/computer job syndrome we’re trying to mitigate.

Thanks Soldog. Hope to represent Colorado well!

What’s the best way to updates weekly status. Is it best to reply to this thread, or is it best to start a blog from the hub?

[quote]iyaayas wrote:
Thanks Soldog. Hope to represent Colorado well!

What’s the best way to updates weekly status. Is it best to reply to this thread, or is it best to start a blog from the hub?[/quote]

I’d just use this thread to post your stuff, training, observations whatever. We freely comment back and forth on all manner of subjects in this forum.

Welcome to old fart land.

one thing I pimp to every one- is foam rolling - mobility work.
Its a must- particularly if you are a desk jock- you might want to integrate a few minutes
of mobility work each training session glute activation, and hip mobility will ease some low back pain.

sniff around you’ll find lots of inspiration and e-support here

Calculations for the week:
NROL Fat Loss 1:

Monday: Workout A
Alternating Sets
Exercise Set1 Set2 Set3 rest volume
--------  ------ ------ ---- ---- -------
squat 115x15 115x15 115x15 75 sec 5175
cable-seated row 120x15 120x15 120x15 75 sec 5400

Alternating Sets
supine hip extension BWx15 BWx15 BWx15 75 sec 0
db push press 35x15 35x15 35x15 75 sec 1575

Alternating Sets
walking lunge BWx15 BWx15 BWx15 75 sec 0
swiss-ball crunch 15 15 15 75 sec 0

Total Volume: 12150
Notes:
I’m so damn weak. I can’t believe I’ve allowed myself to decay like this.
Squats don’t feel right. I’m feeling it hard in my lower back, and I"m certain that I’m not at or breaking parallel. I pushed through, and I was a sweaty mess at the end, but it was great to get day 1 done and out of the way. I might try front squats on the next squat day to see if I can get lower in the squat

Tuesday: Cardio-day
Ran 2.5 miles around the lake

Notes:
Wow! I’m so sore! I had to stop several times during the run because my heart rate is above my max (182). Normally, I can do this in my sleep with my rate not getting above 160. The leg training from Monday really impacted my ability to run today.

Wednesday: Workout B
Alternating Sets
Exercise Set1 Set2 Set3 rest volume


deadlift 115x15 115x15 115x12 75 sec 4830
db incline press 35x15 35x15 40x15 75 sec 1650

Alternating Sets
bulgarian split squat BWx15 BWx15 BWx15 75 sec 0
lat-pulldown mixed grip 120x15 120x15 120x9 75 sec 4680

Alternating Sets
romainian deadlift * BWx15 BWx15 BWx15 75 sec 0
swiss-ball lateral roll 15 15 15 75 sec 0

  • (each leg)
    Total Volume: 11160
    Notes:
    My legs were sore before entered the gym. I’m warming up on all weight days with extended foam-roller, glute-activation, and hip/glute mobility exercises. The warm-up helped me out. The dead-lifts were very tough. Once again, I’m the only one doing strenuous leg workouts. I’m weak, but I’m here. I ran out of gas on the 3rd set of deadlifts. I’m not doing touch and go; I’m resetting on each deadlift, and I’m feeling it in the glutes better that way. The side of my legs are on fire, and I’m sort of wobbling out of the gym.

Thursday:
Cardio-day
Ran 2.5 miles around the lake
Notes:
Still very sore. Had to stop several times again. Did it in 23:30 minutes. Not bad, but I’m capable of doing this in 19:30 on my best day. I feel my leg soreness on every stride, and my heart rate is soaring.

Friday: Workout A
Alternating Sets
Exercise Set1 Set2 Set3 rest volume


squat 115x7 115x11 115x15 75 sec 3795
cable-seated row 120x15 120x15 120x8 75 sec 4560

Alternating Sets
supine hip extension BWx15 BWx15 BWx15 75 sec 0
db push press 35x15 35x15 35x15 75 sec 1575

Alternating Sets
walking lunge 25x15 25x15 25x15 75 sec 1125
swiss-ball crunch 15 15 15 75 sec 0

Total Volume: 11055
Notes:
The soreness in my legs got to me today. I was actually weaker in my squats than on the first day, but that’s not unexpected in the first week. One positive is that I replaced the back squats with front squats, and I was able to get below parallel, and felt a real stretch in my hamstrings rather than in my lower back. Not sure if I should stick with front squats, or try to work back squats on the next squat workout.

I almost skipped this workout due to soreness, but I sucked it up, and went in. I’m glad I did. I felt rejuvinated by the workout, and I had a good first week. Two days off - YES!

Hi everyone.

It was a good first week, and I’m excited for week two. Most of the soreness is gone after the weekend. I gained 2 lbs this week; I’m assuming because I replaced 3 days of running with 3 weight training days. I also drank more water this week, and it could be I’m actually fully hydrated for a change; therefore, a slight weight-gain. I’m not too concerned with that now, but I’ll certainly watch it during the next week. If I continue to gain, then I’ll have to add some cardio post-weight training. I’d hate to gain weight on a fat loss program. :>)

Some questions for you veterans:

  1. Is it okay to replace back squats with front squats? My lower back just lights on fire during back squats. It feels like I’m leaning forward a bunch, and I’m not getting anywhere near parallel. I suppose I could lower the weight, but I’m already using only 115 lbs. I’m getting below parallel with front squats, and I’m much more upright. The lower back just feels so much better with front squats.

  2. I calculated zero volume for body-weight exercises (hip extension, lunges, etc). How do you calculate load for these? I’m assuming no weight = no load = no volume. If so, then fair enough.

  3. Should I post diet on here? I don’t want to overwhelm everyone with a War and Peace size forum posting, but I wouldn’t mind getting the feedback. I haven’t seen much of the others post diet.

Weekly Summary for week of 12 Oct 2009

Monday 12 Oct 2009: NROL-Fat Loss1 Workout B
Alternating Sets, 75 seconds rest between sets
deadlift 135x15 135x15 135x15
db incline press 40x15 40x15 40x12

Alternating Sets, 75 seconds between sets
bulgarian split squat (per leg) 10x15 10x15 10x15
lat-pulldown mixed grip 120x15 120x14 120x7

Alternating Sets, 75 seconds between sets
romainian deadlift 95x15 95x15 95x15
swiss-ball lateral roll 15 15 15

Notes:
I added 20lbs to the deadlift from last time at the same
rep count; since I finished all reps, then I’ll add again
next time.

Tuesday 13 Oct 2009:
Cardio
Ran 2.5 miles around the lake

Notes:
Much easier than the first week. I’m sore from the weight training, but
i’m not completely wiped out. Finished in 21:30.

Wednesday 14 Oct 2009: NROL-Fat Loss1 Workout A
Alternating Sets, 60 seconds between sets
squat 135x12 135x12 135x12
cable-seated row 130x12 130x12 130x8

Alternating Sets, 60 seconds rest between sets
supine hip extension BWx15 BWx15 BWx15
db push press 40x12 40x12 40x12

Alternating Sets, 60 seconds rest between sets
walking lunge 30x12 30x12 30x12
swiss-ball crunch 12 12 12

Notes:
Reps are down from 15 to 12, but rest dropped from 75 to 60 sec.
I added 20lbs to the squat, and switched back to the back squat.
I felt like I was getting deeper in the hole, but I would need
to have someone watch to know for sure. The crunches are too
easy; so, I started doing them with my hands held out from my
chest. I may add a medicine ball or switch from crunches to
roll-outs.

Thursday, 15 Oct 2009:
Cardio
Ran 2.5 miles around the lake
Notes:
Much harder today than on Tuesday. Still completed
in 21:30 minutes, but my heart rate was soaring in the 180’s.

Friday 16 Oct 2009: NROL-Fat Loss1 Workout B
Alternating Sets, 60 seconds rest between sets
deadlift 155x12 155x12 15x12
db incline press 40x12 40x12 40x12

Alternating Sets, 75 seconds between sets
bulgarian split squat (per leg) 15x12 15x12 15x12
lat-pulldown mixed grip 120x15 120x14 120x7

Alternating Sets, 75 seconds between sets
romainian deadlift 115x12 115x12 115x12
swiss-ball lateral roll 12 12 12

Notes:
Reps are down from 15 to 12, but rest dropped from 75 to 60 sec
Added 20 pounds to both deadlift and romainian deadlift. The
bulgarian splits squats are a test in mental toughness. They
hurt like crazy, but I know making me stronger - if not physically,
then definitely mentally. Overall, it was a good week.

Weekly Summary for week of 19 Oct 2009

Monday 19 Oct 2009: NROL-Fat Loss1 Workout A
Alternating Sets, 60 seconds between sets
squat 135x12 135x12 135x12
cable-seated row 130x12 130x12 130x8

Alternating Sets, 60 seconds rest between sets
supine hip extension BWx12 BWx12 BWx12
db push press 45x12 45x12 45x12

Alternating Sets, 60 seconds rest between sets
walking lunge 30x12 30x12 30x12
swiss-ball crunch 12 12 12

Notes:
A good day. I got all of the reps on the squat so I’ll have
to add to that next time I squat. I’m back squatting, and I’m
getting pretty low compared to any other squat in my life. The
loads are embarassingly low, but I’m the only one in the gym doing
basic lifts - so what do I have to be embarrassed about? Added
weight to the push presses.

Tuesday 20 Oct 2009:
Cardio
Ran 2.5 miles around the lake

Notes:
Finished in 21:30 - my typical time. I’m liking this distance. I’m
getting the cardio benefits, but it’s not so long as to kill my joints

Wednesday 21 Oct 2009: NROL-Fat Loss1 Workout B

Alternating Sets, 60 seconds rest between sets
deadlift 165x12 165x12 165x12
db incline press 45x12 45x12 45x12

Alternating Sets, 60 seconds between sets
bulgarian split squat (per leg) 20x12 20x12 20x12
lat-pulldown mixed grip 130x12 130x12 130x8

Alternating Sets, 60 seconds between sets
romainian deadlift 115x15 115x15 115x15
swiss-ball lateral roll 12 12 12

Notes:
Added weight again to the deadlift, split squats, pulldowns, and
romainian deadlift. Worked very hard today, and I feel it now
(2 hours later). The bulgarian split squats are punishment. They
should make terrorist prisoners in quantanamo do them. But they do
work. They work the whole leg from the quadriceps to the glutes, and
they are a great conditioner too. It’s kind of a love-hate relation-
ship with the BSS.

Thursday, 22 Oct 2009:
Cardio
Ran 2.5 miles around the lake
Notes:
Just wasn’t into it today. I’m sore, tired, and so I backed off some.
I ran a little, walked a little, and never got my heart rate above
160. Gonna be days like this. I’m up late tonight for a meeting and
have another tomorrow at 4 a.m. - gotta love working for a global
company

Friday 23 Oct 2009: NROL-Fat Loss1 Workout A
Alternating Sets, 45 seconds between sets
squat 135x10 135x10 155x10
cable-seated row 130x10 130x10 130x10

Alternating Sets, 45 seconds rest between sets
supine hip extension BWx10 BWx10 BWx10
db push press 45x10 45x10 45x10

Alternating Sets, 45 seconds rest between sets
walking lunge 40x12 40x12 40x12
swiss-ball crunch 10 15 15

Notes:
Reps are down from 12 to 10, but rest dropped from 60 to 45 sec
Added weight to the last set of squats, and to the push presses
and lunges. The 45 second rest periods make sure I’m winded the
entire time, but I feel great when I finish this. The legs are
trashed, and I feel really good. I didn’t feel like coming into the
gym because I slept only 4 hours last night, but did it anyway.
Surprise! I was rewarded with a good workout. I feel better, and
haven’t missed a workout yet.

Squatted in my workout, then shoveled snow for 40 minutes. Shoveling snow provides a whole new sensation to the glutes after doing squats…I don’t recommend it.

I’ll be frank (I’m usually harry, dadum) you lost me from the get go on the calculations but that’s okay. Lots of different workouts and styles in here. You’ve got a plan and you’re workin with it. I’ll follow along and the light will eventually come on. Welcome aboard.

[quote]hel320 wrote:
I’ll be frank (I’m usually harry, dadum) you lost me from the get go on the calculations but that’s okay. Lots of different workouts and styles in here. You’ve got a plan and you’re workin with it. I’ll follow along and the light will eventually come on. Welcome aboard.[/quote]

Call 'em like you see 'em. I appreciate that.

Are you talking about the load/volume? I did that on the first post, then realized it’s probably stupid to calculate it for fat loss. Once I get to strength routines, then maybe the volume and load should be tracked. I quit them after the first post.

Any suggestions for a different way to post? I’m game to do something different if it makes it easier to understand.

Weekly Summary for week of 23 Oct 2009

Monday 23 Oct 2009: NROL-Fat Loss1 Workout B
Alternating Sets, 45 seconds rest between sets
deadlift 185x10 185x10 185x10
db incline press 50x10 50x10 50x10

Alternating Sets, 45 seconds between sets
bulgarian split squat (per leg) 30x10 30x10 30x10
lat-pulldown mixed grip 140x10 140x10 140x8

Alternating Sets, 45 seconds between sets
romanian deadlift 115x10 115x10 115x10
swiss-ball lateral roll 10 10 10

Notes:
Added 20 more lbs to the deadlift. I’m really feeling the soreness
in my butt and hammies so I know I’m working the posterior chain
correctly. The mobility work, and posterior chain warm-ups are
helping with that. The bss’s are the real killer thought. I’m
walking out of the gym with rubber legs every time I do them. The 45
second rests are a bitch, but I felt great afterwards.

Tuesday 24 Oct 2009:
Cardio
Raining like crazy outside…skipping the cardio today.

Notes:

Wednesday 25 Oct 2009: NROL-Fat Loss1 Workout A
Alternating Sets, 45 seconds between sets
squat 155x10 155x10 155x10
cable-seated row 140x10 140x10 140x5

Alternating Sets, 45 seconds rest between sets
supine hip extension 10 10 10
db push press 50x10 50x10 50x10

Alternating Sets, 45 seconds rest between sets
walking lunge 40x10 40x10 40x10
swiss-ball crunch 20 20 20

Notes:
This was the heaviest I’ve done on squats since starting the program.
The weight isn’t that heavy on the first 5-6 reps, but I’m coming out
of the hole very slowly on the last couple of reps on each set. I’m
going to parallel though, and this program is the first time I’ve ever
done that. I’ll have to work up slowly to getting heavier and I’m
sure I look like the weakest dude in the gym, but I’m getting stronger.
Hopefully, I’m moving massive weights in a few years, but for now I’ll
have to be happy with slow progress

Shoveled snow for 40 minutes after the workout - that sucked! I should
have done that before going to the gym.

Thursday, 26 Oct 2009:
Cardio
Snow everywhere. Shoveled some more, and I’ll consider that my cardio.
Notes:
Much harder today than on Tuesday. Still completed
in 21:30 minutes, but my heart rate was soaring in the 180’s.

Friday 27 Oct 2009: NROL-Fat Loss1 Workout B
Alternating Sets, 45 seconds rest between sets
deadlift 185x10 185x10 185x10
db incline press 55x10 55x10 55x10

Alternating Sets, 45 seconds between sets
bulgarian split squat (per leg) 30x10 30x10 30x10
lat-pulldown mixed grip 140x10 140x10 140x8

Alternating Sets, 45 seconds between sets
romanian deadlift 145x10 145x10 145x10
swiss-ball lateral roll 10 10 10

Notes:
Kept the same weight on the conventional deads, but added 30 lbs to
the romanian version. This workout taxed the shit out of me. I’m
definitely feeling this and the previous workout on the posterior
chain. The bss’s are taxing my front quads heavily. Alwyn Cosgrove
designed this to work the legs pretty hard I’m done with NROL’s first
program - fat-loss 1. I get an unload week, and then off to fat-loss 2.

Finished NROL fat-loss 1 program. It’s been a good month. I get a week off from the weights, and then pick back up again with NROL fat-loss 2.

Unfortunately, my weight stayed the same. I’m going to take a more serious approach to the diet by starting macro-cycling as described by Dr. Clay Hyght. During the unload week I’ll stick with low days for the whole week with a calorie count at 2000 for each day. I’ll eat 2600 calories on weight training days when I start NROL fat-loss 2 and keep the 2000 calories on the non-training/cardio days. I’ll have 3 high days, and 4 low days per week. I’m also getting my body fat measured next Saturday with my wife. She suffers from Endometriosis, and she’s hoping a reduction in body fat will lower her estrogen count. Lowering body fat for both of us would be a good thing.

I start NROL fat-loss 2 on the 9th of November. It’s still mostly alternating sets, high-rep, low-rest, but the exercises change some. Following that are 2 hypertrophy phases, and then strength training phases.

No weights this week. It was an off week, but I did do some cardio. I did the Clay Hyght low-day macro diet all week, and I’m losing weight - without lifting! That’s crazy.

I had my body fat measured on Saturday using hydro-static weighing. I’m a quite plump 21.8%. I’d like maintain body fat around 12-15% so I have a long way to go.

I’ll eat more high-day calories (more carbs) on my 3 lifting days this week, and stick with the low-carb days the other 4. The calarie break-down is about 2600 on lifting days (M,W,F), and 1800 on non-lifting days (T,TH,Sa,Su).

I start NROL Fat-Loss II this week, and I’m going to start posting each day I train since this seems to be the way most folks are doing it.

I am curious to see how the diet goes. I am carrying about 26% fat and would be happy to get anywhere in the teens if I could do it without losing strength.

welcome friend…you turned to some great material there to get you started…wise move…now stick with it or we are coming after you!

NROL-Fat Loss2 Workout A
Alternating Sets, 60 seconds rest between sets
front squat 135x12 155x12 185x12
widegrip cable seated-row 140x10 130x10 120x7

Alternating Sets, 60 seconds between sets
swissball supine hip extension w/leg curl 12, 12, 12
barbell push-press 95x12 105x12 105x12

Alternating Sets, 60 seconds between sets
barbell lunge 95x12 105x12 105x12
russian twist (upper body) 12 12 12

Notes:
The week of rest must’ve helped. I felt very strong on the
squats. Added 30lbs to my front squat compared to my back squat
from fat-loss program1. It’s so much easier for me to get parallel
with the front squat. I also really feel this in my midsection.

Had to go down in weight in the seated row! I was doing 140lbs
with the close grip version of this in fat-loss 1, but the
widegrip version is much more difficult - and I really feel it in
the lats - I like this exercise.

I did as many of the hip extensions with leg-curls as I could with
single leg, then finished with double leg. Here’s the breakdown:
Set1: 11 left/7 right, 5 double
Set2: 6 left/6 right, 6 double
set3: 20 double

This exercise is awesome for the hammies. Why single-leg? Because
the double leg version of this just isn’t challenging enough.

Lunges felt good and balanced, I’ll add a little more to those, squats,
and the push-presses on Friday.

Overall, the 60 second rests wore my ass out. I was a sweaty mess
when I was done. I added some rollouts to the end for some more core
work, then headed home for some chili, and Broncos football.