T Nation

Advice for Starting Over


#1

After about 10 years away from the gym it's desperately time to get back in the swing of things.

Formerly in my college years I played a couple of years of Football, but since then I haven't actively worked out.
My job out of college for first 8 years was a physically intense laboring job, so really, I didn't miss the working out part because everyday was like going to the gym.

However, about 3 years ago now I left that job and for the last 2 years Ive been doing strictly office work.

Due to the sedentary lifestyle along with a few other health issues my body has drastically deteriorated over the last few years and at this point I feel like I'm in desperate need of a positive change. I've lost a lot of weight (about 25 pounds) and most, if not all of that was muscle. (I've never been "fat") And, not only have I lost a large amount of muscle, but my posture and mobility have gone south as well.

In my younger years I had postural/mobility and symmetry issues and I was introduced to the works of people like Eric Cressey.

I think the best thing would be to start a program along the lines of a Neanderthal No More, or Maximum Strength by Cressey. However, I know I've seen him on this website at one point make comments on how he wouldn't even recommend NNM to someone because it's outdated, and similar answer to the MS program...and at one point I believe he was working on a new program but hasn't come out with one yet.

What I'm hoping for in starting this thread, is some advice and direction in finding a program that is right for me. I don't think it's wise to go into the gym and start throwing weight around just for the sake of getting stronger/bigger if my mobility and posture are shit. Basically I'm looking for new versions of the ones mentioned above.

I'm looking to systematically change my body from the top down, or inside out however you want to look at it. But the major point is I'm looking to transform my body into what an able bodied man should be, not some office jockey/couch potato that it is now.

Thanks in advance for any and all information.


#2

What specific imbalances or issues are you dealing with?


#3

What was your level of strength/ development before the layoff?


#4

What an incredibly exciting time in your life

You’re currently just precious putty, waiting to be molded however you see fit.
I’m biased so I would say the best plan of action would be to hire a real live coach… that way you fill the foundation with alloy steel rather than really strong mud.

Another ave you can take is pick up a sport… Specifically BJJ. I urge you to take a trial class, they offer them at every school.
And don’t see the trial class as a way to get into your pockets. Of course that is one way how they find new customers, but to me it’s a good way to spread the word. It’s addictive, and it involves every facet of kinesiology and your mind. And you’ll learn how to defend yourself.

Last resort, I guess, is to frequent this forum and hear from various trains of thought.

Whichever way, it would be best if you worked out whatever mobility problems you incurred in the past. But that can also be attended while training.


#5

My suggestion is buying Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility DVD and start doing the drills he demonstrates and also start running some version of 5-3-1. A desk job will kill you if you let it. I know from experience.


#6

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
My suggestion is buying Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility DVD and start doing the drills he demonstrates and also start running some version of 5-3-1. A desk job will kill you if you let it. I know from experience. [/quote]

steve maxwell, bjj, it all comes back full circle


#7

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
What specific imbalances or issues are you dealing with?[/quote]

Rounding of the shoulder, weak core, scrawny limbs. Right side is stronger and more flexible then left. But I’m left handed.

Ill post pics when I get home


#8

[quote]dt79 wrote:
What was your level of strength/ development before the layoff?[/quote]

Not sure how to quantify it tbh.

I could bench like 245
dead over 3
squat over 350
and clean over 225

But that was a decade ago, since I’ve stopped working manual labor my legs have shrunk to sticks. It’s seriously depressing/worrying how small I’ve gotten.


#9

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
What an incredibly exciting time in your life

You’re currently just precious putty, waiting to be molded however you see fit.
I’m biased so I would say the best plan of action would be to hire a real live coach… that way you fill the foundation with alloy steel rather than really strong mud.

Another ave you can take is pick up a sport… Specifically BJJ. I urge you to take a trial class, they offer them at every school.
And don’t see the trial class as a way to get into your pockets. Of course that is one way how they find new customers, but to me it’s a good way to spread the word. It’s addictive, and it involves every facet of kinesiology and your mind. And you’ll learn how to defend yourself.

Last resort, I guess, is to frequent this forum and hear from various trains of thought.

Whichever way, it would be best if you worked out whatever mobility problems you incurred in the past. But that can also be attended while training. [/quote]

I don’t have the money to hire a coach, or else I def would.
I assume you mean Brazilian Ju Jitzu?

Thanks for the advice


#10

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
My suggestion is buying Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility DVD and start doing the drills he demonstrates and also start running some version of 5-3-1. A desk job will kill you if you let it. I know from experience. [/quote]

Thank you for the suggestion I will look into steve mawells work


#11

Does anyone have any advice on new and improved versions of maximum strength or Neanderthal No More?

I only ask because those are the only “programs” that I know of that have a set amount of time all dedicated to fixing imbalances. As apposed to things like just specific mobility/warm up/cool down work


#12

Here’s a really simple mobility routine I did a couple months ago to get straightened out.

Session A
Leg Raises off a Bench
superset with
45 Degree Back Raise
3-5 sets of 10-15 reps

with a dumbbell
1 Arm Half Kneeling Overhead Press
followed by
1 Arm Half Kneeling Shrug
followed by
1 Leg Standing Calf Raise
3-5 circuits, 8-12 reps each

in the smith maachine/leg machine
Single Leg Lunge
followed by
Single Leg Curl
followed by
Single Leg Extension
3-5 circuits, 8-12 reps on lunge, 12-15 reps on leg curl/extension

finish with 3 trips of Farmer’s Walk, dumbbells in each hand.

Session B
Clam Shell or Glute Bridge
superset with
Pulldown Abs
3-5 sets of 12-15 reps

On smith machine
Inverted Rows(Fat Man Pullups)
superset with
Pushups on barbell
3-5 sets of 12-15 reps, try to pause at the top and bottom of each rep

Leg Press
followed by
Calf Press in Leg Press machine
followed by
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts
3-5 sets of 15-25 reps leg press/calf press

Finish with 1 hand farmer’s walks, 2 trips on each side.

I went A/off/B/off/A/off/B… then after awhile A/B/off/A/B/off. Started with 3 sets of low reps, and added sets and/or reps every workout. It was pretty boring, but the half kneeling stuff and the farmer’s walks and 1 handed farmer’s walk leveled out my hips and abs. The pushups and inverted rows with pauses helped upper back and posture.

During warmups I did lots of
Clam Shells
Glute Bridges
Seated Psoas Holds
Peterson Step Ups
Standing leg raises to front side and back
Getting down into deep squat position and holding

Also


#13

I also went to the gym during slow hours, so no one would see me doing this stuff. After 3 weeks I was standing a little taller, walking a little straighter, and ANXIOUS to lift some real weights.


#14

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
My suggestion is buying Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility DVD and start doing the drills he demonstrates and also start running some version of 5-3-1. A desk job will kill you if you let it. I know from experience. [/quote]

steve maxwell, bjj, it all comes back full circle[/quote]

That guy is one mobile SOB. His DVD is freaking awesome.


#15

[quote]Phoenix44e wrote:
I don’t think it’s wise to go into the gym and start throwing weight around just for the sake of getting stronger/bigger if my mobility and posture are shit.[/quote]
I’d agree with that. However, getting into the gym ASAP, following any decent plan, using perfect technique, and doing mobility fillers between sets would be a good start.


As for posture, I believe the saying that posture is a skill. And it’s one that can/should be practiced throughout the day rather than “just” in the gym. So that itself almost a separate issue.

Plenty of people seemed happy with their results from following those as-is, even if there “should” be a newer version. If you have legit postural/structural issues that you think those programs would address, I’d just follow the plan.

Anything yet? Seeing your starting point might give some better input about your current situation. What’s your current height and weight?

EDIT: The reason I had specified coaching from Dean Somerset in your $1,000 thread is because he has a ton of great info on injury-related training and dealing with unfunctional/dysfunctional bodies. If your issues really are that major, he’d be a solid go-to.


#16

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
My suggestion is buying Steve Maxwell’s Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility DVD and start doing the drills he demonstrates and also start running some version of 5-3-1. A desk job will kill you if you let it. I know from experience. [/quote]

steve maxwell, bjj, it all comes back full circle[/quote]

That guy is one mobile SOB. His DVD is freaking awesome. [/quote]

That guy is also, what, 60 years old? One could only hope to amass so much awesomeness in a lifetime. I also love that his son, although not quite the fitness guru as his dad, seems to follow at least in his training methods. Full ROM calisthenics, kb’s and the works