T Nation

A Return to Training, Advice Necessary


Hey everyone,

I wasn't sure where to post this as I'm not really a beginner to lifting and training.
I suffered a workplace accident 4-5 years ago and stopped competitive power lifting and training altogether, I was at a point where I couldn't walk unassisted let alone train.
Things were very up and down mentally and physically and I went from 112kg 16%BF down to 90kg (guessing 25%BF) in 4 years.

Some breakthroughs occurred in the last year which saw me walking unassisted and soon jogging. That was a massive deal for me and this motivated me to clean the diet up and lose some body fat which I've done (85kg and maybe about 20%BF, I'll get this checked)

I recently completed a 14km City to Surf here in Sydney Australia over the weekend with no real training, no carb loading and practically no sleep over the 3 days prior. Crossing that line pushed me more to get back into regular training and here I am, looking through T-Nation articles and forums for some information.

My goal is to remain at my current 85kg weight, shred more fat and bulk up more over time to about 95kg max. I dusted off some old books, "Starting Strength" by Mark Ripptoe, "Maximum Strength" by Eric Cressey and pulled up some old excel training logs and some of this has helped. My real concern is the dilution of information, there is so much of it floating about that it's put some doubt in my mind as to whether or not I'm over-simplifying my program.

My nutrition, training and stats are all below and I would really appreciate some input from others to whether I'm on the right track or not.

Weight: 85kg (187lbs), unknown BF% (20-25)
Height: 178cm (5 feet 10 inches)
Age: 35
Sex: Male

Meal 1: 1/4 cup oatmeal (water instead of milk) with a handful of frozen blue berries


Meal 2: 1/2 cup white rice, 95g can of Tuna, Drizzle of Sweet Chile sauce.

Meal 3 (Varies Daily): Chicken Breast, Salmon/Tuna Steak, Kangaroo/Lean Red Meat with steamed vegetables and 1/2 cup white rice.

*Throughout the day I'll demolish Bananas and/or Apples where necessary.

Monday - Squat 3x5, Mil Press 3x5, Deadlift 1x5, Chin-ups 3xfailure (+ Warm up)
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - Squat 3x5, Bench Press 3x5, Power Clean 5x3 (+ Warm up sets)
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Squat 3x5, Mil Press 3x5, Deadlift 1x5, Chin-ups 3xfailure (+ Warm up)
Saturday - Complexes and/or Bike
Sunday - Complexes and/or Bike

Complexes (5x6) - Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift, Bentover Row, Power Clean, Front Squat, Military Press, Back Squat, Good Morning.

Bike - 10 x 20secs on, 10secs off

I've gone right back to basics on everything at the moment from the workout to the nutrition. During my competing days I had applied myself to 6-8 meals per day with a 40P/30C/30F split on macro's and used 5/3/1 for about 4 years with good gains. With my priorities different to then and the huge gap from training, I'm looking for some more advice on both my program and diet. I will be using a caloric formula to tweak my intake further.

Thanks all.


Just wanted to quote this and give some fucking applause. Badass recovery, man. Great job.

Now for the feedback:

I was just saying in another recent thread, when fat loss is the main priority, something like Starting Strength is not an efficient training plan. It's obviously best to try maintaining and/or building strength when you cut, in order to preserve muscle, but using a dedicated strength plan when building strength isn't the primary goal is using the wrong tool for the job.

You'd be better off with a training plan that's a bit more flexible, in the sense that moving more weight isn't the number one priority in each workout.

Unless there were some meals that didn't get posted, this is only about half as much protein (if that much) as you should be getting each day. You know that quality protein is what builds and maintains muscle, especially when cutting fat. Also, there's also zero protein in the first meal of the day. Protein should be present every time you eat.

For fat loss, I'd much rather you "demolish" something protein-based throughout the day (like eggs, beef jerky, or a shake) instead of sugar-packed fruit.

It's a huge advantage knowing what your body responds well to, so eventually getting back close to that will most likely yield some good progress.

If you wanted to, you could simply use the 5/3/1 template as the base of a reconditioning/fat loss plan, tweaking the cardio and assistance work to your current capabilities. Complexes and bike intervals are great cardio options, but I think you'd be better served with a training plan different than what you laid out.