I'm the only one in my family that is fat and have been since I was 12. My fattest being around 23 when I was about 6'3, 340 lbs, and never worked out. I played football in high school, where I first started lifing, but quit until I was about 26 or so, and opted to get in all sorts of trouble.
The moment at 26:
I was sitting at my apartment on sissel ball at my computer. Of course I had the ball because I thought it would be an effort free solution. My back was sore. I have never had a sore back. I realized then that I would have a sore back and worse for the rest of my life. I had several things working for me, however:
1) I was single
2) I lived alone
3) I had been athletic in the past and knew what was required
4) I had no TV, internet, or phone at home > no distrations/excuses.
I decided to start stretching to ease the strain on my body. After a week or two, I decided stretching was pointless if my muscles aren't warm, so I went for a 10 minute warm-up. After a week or two of that, I decided that I might as well extend the warm up another 10 minutes and make it a full on exercise session. Then I figured why eat that fast food meal that would undo all the work I did, and so on.
Initially, my routines consisted of bodyweight squats for cardio, sit ups, and push ups, and would move on to include burpees, bike rides, distance running, running drills, and so on. I drank too much then, and would often end my nights w/ some sort of fast food meal at 2 am.
I quit my job and started traveling the world, where the weightloss continued mainly due to the change in cuisine and the activity required in seeing new places. I made it down to about 275 before moving to the middle of the Pacific where I ahd more time to train.
My equipment consisted of a rusty bench press that adjusted to an incline press, a barbell, bar for pull ups, and a few rusty weights. I would run occasionally... sometimes up to 3 miles on dirt roads and hope that I didn't get attacked by dogs, or do sprints. I hurt my back after not knowing how to deadlift and after that, I settled on a routine and educated myself.
Being big already, I found a routine, "Stronger, Faster, not Bigger" that was mainly geared towards people like baseball players that don't need the bulk. It also worked because it was one of the few routines that didn't require a squat rack. It worked: I did get stronger from newb gains and I slimmed down.
My diet cosisted mostly of vegetarian meals, as vegetables were abundand and awesome, and I ate meat about twice a week. Most of my protein consisted of beans or milk. I was seeking well rounded diet and it worked out
Evwentually, I had to get rid of the bench and ended up with a pipe and two wheel wells welded together that probably weighed around 75 lbs. I changed my routine to focus on complexes, vertical jumps, and running. The weight continued to drop and I ended up as low as 205. I ended up moving and having to give up the weight.
I had no weights. I focused on roadwork, push-ups, and sit-ups. I became a little complacent, slightly busier, got a serious girlfriend, and slacked a bit in my diet (more sugar). I started traveling again, this time in the western world. I indulged in some things I hadn't had access to in a long time and my routine pretty much ended, as I was focused on living life. My weight ended up back at about 230 before moving back to the US.
Back in the US. I gained 10-15 lbs of fat within about two months. Halfway through, I began working out again... focused on burpees and other bodyweight exercieses. When that wasn't enough, I threw in some cardio (punches, kicks, etc.), and the weight gain stopped. When it got warm, I walked or ran 3 miles almost every day for abotu 2 months and lost about 5 lbs. I then went back to school where I had access to my first real gym in years.
With access to a real gym, I began back with an adjusted Stonger, Faster routine, and got stronger, but started realizing how weak my squat was.
In August, 2011 my 1RM were:
I kept up a similar routine with a bit more focus on squats, but still a large focus on deads.
End of 2011 1RM:
165 shoulder press
I began to search for a different routine focused on strength and decided on SS. My upper body was still a little out of balance weak, but it always had been, so I didn't stress it. I also got my diet in order and even gained access to a can of whey. Though, I continued to struggle with portion size. I rarely drank during this time and if I skipped a routine, it was because I was too busy with school. I tried track work a few times and hurt myself once due to hydration issues, I think. I would also complex about once a week. I maintained my weight around 245 from August through May, with some slight gain toward the end.
I haven't maxed out since then, but in May 2012, my working sets were around
Squats 3 x 5, 300 lbs (I made 305 once, but was definately struggling for gains)
Deads 1 x 5, 295
Bench 3 x 5, 185
Overhead Press 5 x 3, 145
Clean, 5 x 3, 195
Since this time, I moved back abroad, where my diet has gone to hell. I have maintained my weight, but am sure I lost muscle. I have since focused on conditioning with body weight exercises daily, mostly from Convict Conditioning.. currently:
Incline press 2 x 30, 1 x 30
Supported Squats 3 x 30
Fatman Pulls (more incline than I would prefer) 1 x 8
crunches 1 x 24, 1 x 25
I also run a couple miles a couple times a week and incorporate at least one big hill run/walk a week, or I do drills on the beach with heavy rocks/coral.
I have since joined a gym to help maintain strength and try to limit myself to twice a week. I am currenlty working with:
Squat, 3 x 5, 270
Bench, 3 x 5 170
Overhead 5 x 3 135
Dead 1 x 5, 225 (really took it easy)
Hate to see my squat take such a hit after all the work I put into it, but that's how it goes. My current routine consists of:
Chins (pulldown machine)
Dead or Clean
Pulls (pulldown machine)
I also am continuing w/ the bodyweight and conditioning.