T Nation

Back After Long Absence

Hey everyone,

I’ve been visiting the site for a few years and was a somewhat frequent poster on the forums in 2003-early 2004, but since moving to Colorado in March, have fallen off the wagon.

My workouts were inconsistent and for every good week, I’d have 2-3 bad weeks where I wouldn’t get to the gym. I thought I’d never be one of those people to use work as an excuse, but there I was, blaming my job. Sure, my schedule is hectic (I work a lot of split shifts and many 10-12 hour days as a newspaper reporter), but I could’ve found the time to workout, I just chose not to.

After looking at myself in the mirror the other day, I realized that I had let myself get terribly out of shape. My arms, chest and legs have shrunk, and for the first time in my life, I have a bit of a belly. Now, I was never “huge” or “ripped,” but I was around 10-12% bodyfat and had decent size.

I can’t believe how fast I’ve faded. Now I’m ready to do something about it. I saw CW’s Total Body Training program and immediately that struck me as something I could do. It’s perfect for me, as it only requires 3 days of lifting, which I can manage with my work schedule.

I plan on starting this program in 1-2 weeks, as I’m going to spend this week and next week just working on getting back into the habit of going to the gym and re-testing myself on all of my lifts so I’ll know what weights to start with when I begin TBT in January.

I’ll keep everyone up-to-date on my progress and let you know how it goes.

I’m excited to get back into the groove and ready to stop feeling bad about myself and my image.


Good luck to you! I too have started back training (several months ago) after a three year layoff!

Let us know how it goes. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.


Good to see you back. You’ll love CW’s stuff. I’ve been using his programs exclusively for the past several months and am happy with my progress.

Finished my first workout without any problems Mon. night. I’m noticeably weaker in my “big” lifts (bench, squat etc.), but found that for back (seated rows) and biceps (curls) that I can handle close to the same weight as before.

I pushed myself, but not too hard and total workout time was 40 minutes. I did 2-3 sets of 1 exercise for each bodypart. Reps were in the 6-8 range.

Today I’ll be doing some cardio as I really need to build up my endurance as well. I was slightly out of breath last night, and like I said, it wasn’t an intense workout.

Starting weight: 195.
Height: 6 1 1/2
Body fat: ? (Haven’t checked yet).

I’m not concerned with losing weight, as I’ve weighed this much before and was fine. The difference is that back then (a year or 18 months ago) I was in shape and most of that weight was muscle. The weight I’ve gained in the last 3-4 months is fat (I weighed 185-187 over the summer).

My primary goal is to increase my muscle mass and lose some bodyfat. I’d like to get back to the 10-12% I was at before.

Glad to be back, Nate. I’m looking forward to CW’s programs. It looks like people are experiencing good results with TBT on the forum, so that’s encouraging.

Day 2 went smoothly. I performed 25 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine. I checked in at just under 3 miles and somwhere around 250-275 calories, but I’m not quite sure. Kept a steady pace throughout and didn’t feel exhausted after, so that’s a good sign. I did some stretching and about 5-10 of abs after cardio.

Tomorrow I’ll be performing the second workout in CW’s TBT program and will lift the same way I did on Day 1 so I can get a gage of weight to start with next week.

Good to see you are back training! I had a similar experience to you in the past two years when my weight training was pretty much non-existent. But I started up again in July, did a basic strength program for about 8 weeks to get back up to speed and then I did the TBT program and progressed very rapidly. So keep going, I’m proff that you can definitely make a lot of progress on that program after a long layoff from exercising.


Great deal. Now dont focus on the lapse but on the comeback that is all that matters now and avoid whatever it was that led to you taking the break.

You will have lost a physical presence but have taken steps forward in the mental aspect if you approach this right.

Good work and good luck


Thanks for the words of encouragement guys. I’ll let you know how Day 3 goes later today.

I have also made a return to the gym after about a year of on and off lifting. I am doing CW’s TBT and I am in week three now. I have to say that I absolutely love this program and the results that I am getting are coming much faster than what I expected. I am looking forward to seeing how well I have progressed after the eight weeks!
I also do 2-3 HIIT routines on the exercise bike using Tabata’s method of 20 sec on 10 rest, it suckes the gas out of me fast! I also run about 12-18 miles per week.

Just finished my Day 3 workout. I was a little sore from Monday’s workout, but besides that, I felt fine. On the DB Incline Bench, I was surprisingly using close to the same weight I was before (only a 10lb difference).

I performed 2 sets of 6-8 reps on each exercise; again as a gauge of where my strength is at and to determine what weight to use for each exercise when I start the program next week.

I’m going to take tomorrow off and return to the gym on Friday to do the third and final workout of the week.

Snoop, great news on your progress. Everyone seems to be responding well to TBT. I’m looking forward to the next 8 weeks and beyond.

I have taken a year off of training myself. I did the EXCACT same thing, looked in the mirror and was just pissed at what I had done to myself. Blaming my job was the answer I came up with as well. I just started the same work out last week as well. Keep it up, bro…it feels good to be back, even if though its only been a week, doesn’t it?

[quote]JRogg711 wrote:
I have taken a year off of training myself. I did the EXCACT same thing, looked in the mirror and was just pissed at what I had done to myself. Blaming my job was the answer I came up with as well. I just started the same work out last week as well. Keep it up, bro…it feels good to be back, even if though its only been a week, doesn’t it? [/quote]

Damn straight JRogg711. Like I said in my original post, I was never “huge” but had a good physique and by being lazy and blaming my job for not working out, I’m now unhappy with the way I look (to the untrained eye I still look healthy, but someone who knows better would see I’ve gotten soft) and decided to do something about it before it got worse.

Let me know how TBT works out for you and good luck.

Just finished my Day 5 workout. I was a little sore from Wednesday’s workout, but it didn’t affect my training today. Muscle endurance is still low, as I am strong on the first set but fade on the second and third set. I now have all of my weights set for each exercise when I begin Week 1 of CW’s TBT next Monday (Jan. 3).

The real test for me will be staying consistent with getting to the gym. I was able to get in the gym and workout 4 days this week because I was pretty much on vacation (only worked 1/2 days Mon-Thurs.), so when my schedule returns to normal next week, I’ve got to stay committed to working out and not put off going to the gym. I know I can do it, it’s just a matter of staying strong mentally and then seeing the results physically as I continue to train.

Happy New Year everyone.

My weight hasnt changed any yet, but I’m already getting noticed by other people. I’m asked, " Your looking bigger…what are you on?" LOL, I’m using , Grow!, Surge, TRIBEX, Red Kat and ZMA. No Juice dude. He didnt believe me. Today at work, a lil hottie came up to me, grabbed my bicep and said, “Flex!”. and remark how fast she noticed i was growing. It makes you wonder why I didnt do this sooner!

Well, today was the start of TBT. I had a great workout. I love the total body training and the time aspect is great. Anytime I can get in and out of the gym in under an hour is great for my schedule, as it allows me the flexibility to train in the morning, afternoon or evening, depending on what hours I’m working that day.

I felt good on the bench press and was able to get to 5 reps without a struggle on the third set, so I’ll be able to increase the weight next time. Cable rows were good for the first two sets, and I did manage to get 5 reps on the third set, but it would’ve been tough to complete a sixth rep, so I’ll likely only add a small amount of weight next time. Squats were good, less weight than what I’m used to, but my form was good (slightly below parallel) and I can definitely increase next week. Same for sumo and hammer curls. Calves are my weakpoint and the standing raises were tough. I think hitting calves 3x week is going to help them grow. Nothing else worked before, so this can’t hurt.

Here’s my numbers from today, and remember, that most of the numbers are way down from what I was using a year ago. But you’ve got to start somewhere and I now feel like I’m in a good groove and will be able to keep this up.

Week 1, Day 1
Sets: 3
Reps: 5

Flat BB Bench Press: 175
Seated Cable Rows: 170
High Bar Back Squats: 185
Sumo Deadlifts: 165
DB Hammer Curls: 35
Standing Calf Raises: 200

Tomorrow I’m going to do 25-30 min. of cardio and then it’s on to Wednesday’s workout.

Djwlfpack, nice to see you back at T-Nation! TBT’s a great program to get back into lifting. I had to take off 6 months, and I also started back with this program with great success.

I was proud of myself the last two days. A winter storm came through CO the other day and dropped a good 6 inches on us, and also left us with freezing cold temps (it’s 0 right now). That would’ve been a good excuse to stay home and not go to the gym; but I didn’t let the weather affect me and made it to the gym Tues. for cardio (30 minutes) and Wed. for Day 3 of TBT.

It was a hard and intense workout, and I felt great afterwards. My strength is slowly starting to come back, as is my endurance, which are both good signs.

Here’s my numbers from today:
Sets: 3
Reps: 8

Incline DB Bench: 70
DB Upright Rows: 55
Front Squat: 135
Good Mornings: 105
BB Curls: 60
Dips: 25

I’ll be taking Thurs. off, but will be back in the gym Fri. to finish off Week 1. I’ll post weight stats and if I have time, some measurements as well.

Wow, the past few days really flew by! I had a couple of assignments for work that tied up all of my time on the computer, so I’ve got some catching up to do. I wasn’t able to take any measurements last week, which sucks, but I can already tell by looking in the mirror and just the way I feel, that I’m making progress.

Monday’s workout was hard for two reasons, one was I increased weight on all my exercises, and two was that the gym was extremely crowded (I go at 5 p.m.), so it made super-setting a challenge, but I managed to do it. Here’s my stats from today’s workout, which lasted 45 minutes:

Week 2, Day 1
Sets: 3
Reps: 5
A1) Barbell Bench Press: 180
A2) Seated Cable Rows: 180
B1) Squat: 185
B2) Sumo Deadlifts: 165
C1) Hammer Curls: 40
C2) Standing Calf Raises: 300

Tomorrow is cardio then I’m back at it for Week 2, Day 3.

Here’s an update:

Week 2, Day 3
Sets: 3
Reps: 8

A1) DB Incline Bench Press (75)
A2) DB Upright Rows (60)
B1) Front Squat (145)
B2) Good Mornings (110)
C1) BB Curls (65)
C2) Dips (35)

Week 2, Day 5
Sets: 2
Reps: 15

A1) Decline BB Bench Press (165)
A2) Pull ups
B1) Step Ups (115)
B2) Deadlifts (135)
C1) Lying BB Tricep Ext. (60)
C2) Seated Calf Raies (180)