T Nation

A New Beginning: Dropping Fat


I am an ex-Division I college offensive lineman (1990-95). I want to get into lean tight shape. I have had a lineman's body all my life and now I want/need a linebacker's body for health reasons and self confidence reasons.

I have been taking blood pressure medicine for 8 years now and cannot take fat burners because of the hypertension. I do have some small cholesterol build ups in 2 of my arteries and would like to reverse the beginnings of Atherosclerosis.

I am looking to be a ripped 240 lbs. without taking anything that will increase my blood pressure. I am currently doing HIIT cardio on an eliptical machine 3-4 times a week for 20-30 minutes. I am lifting (mostly machines and Hammer Strength due to time constraints) 3 times a week. All upper body. I currently weigh 298 lbs. I am looking for advice and help with accountability.


Don't neglect your lower body. Squats and deadlifts get your heart pumping and contribute to raising metabolism aiding in fat loss.

Machines are not as efficient as free weights so time constraints are no excuse for using inefficient techniques.

HIIT is good. You should also add in 3 or 4 long walks, preferably with a family member. This will reduce stress and aid in several of your health goals. Do these as a separate workout. If you don't have time, take a look at what is taking up your time and cut something out.

You need to lose weight and get your health in order. Whether that makes you a ripped 240 or a less than ripped 250 or 220 is less important than getting your health in order. You really need to prioritize your goals because you seem to have them a little skewed.



Thanks for the input, Stu. My blood pressure is mostly inherited (but not totally, i.e. some stress and some lack of discipline.) It is currently under control and has been with the medication.

My overall cholesterol is slightly high, but the most concerning number was my HDL. It was low at last check. I am now taking 4000 mg (Dr. recommened) of fish oil daily. I do watch the cholesterol intake these days. I just wish I would have been smarter in my "Dumb Jock" days. Now it is time to reverse it. I know the more weight I lose the better off I am for my health in every aspect, but it would benefit me 10 fold to do this AND build good lean muscle mass.

I will add deadlifts and squats to my routine. You are correct, they do work big muscle groups.

Thanks for the advice.