Becoming Canis dirus
27 June 2021
TLDR: Learned a lot in first half of 2021, looking forward to finishing off the last half with new programming and a new mindset.
Today I’m starting Prep and Fat Loss Training from 5/3/1 Forever, which will carry me for the next 6 weeks. I’m also planning to pursue 5/3/1 programming for the remainder of 2021, at least. Not 100% sure what will follow the 6-week prep work, but it’ll be 5/3/1 something-or-other.
I’m really excited to get going, because I’ve definitely lost some strength in my squat (and probably in some of my other lifts, too) over the past several months.
I’m also excited because I’m shifting my focus from physique-centered to strength- and conditioning-centered, with the expectation that if I actually get strong and conditioned, I will also look strong and conditioned.
I apologize to any members I failed to mention specifically. The whole community here has helped me to see that I’m not a Lonely Pup, and I don’t have to be a Lone Wolf. So thank you, members of the T-Nation Forums!
My near-term strength goals are 1/2/3/4 on press/bench/squat/dead.
Not sure how long that’ll take, not sure it really matters. But…
I hit 135 on press back in November 2019, and I’m not too far off right now.
I hit 265 on bench in March 2020, and I could get that again now if I was pretty fresh. I’ve been doing multiple sets of 6 reps with 2 plates (plus/minus a little) for the past 10 weeks at least, so really I can start progressing toward 3 plates here already.
I hit 300 on squat in mid-February 2020, but missed 315 six weeks later (late-April 2020). I’m no where near those numbers now—SI joint and sciatic nerve injuries late last November forced me to stop training the squat until sometime in March or April, and I’ve been doing front squats since then. Lots of room for progress here.
I hit 355 on deadlift in late-February 2020, but haven’t been working near those numbers lately. It’s also been awhile since I’ve trained the conventional deadlift, as BDWP - PI had me focused on RDLs. Hoping this one moves quickly, too.
My long-term strength goals are 2/3/4/5+ on press/bench/squat/dead.
No real timeline for this long-term goal, just going to focus on 1/2/3/4 for now.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still have physique goals, too.
I’d like to drop this spare tire for good.
As a happily married, (nearly) 43 year-old father of two, I’m not sure why my physique matters so much to me, but it does.
I suppose I’m trying to make up for lost time: from 18-38, I spent my time focused wholly on academic/intellectual pursuits while totally neglecting my body and developing terrible nutrition/sleep habits.
I think maybe a honed physique is, to me, an indicator of success in these previously neglected areas, much like my body of academic work indicates success professionally.
And let’s face it: I do like to succeed.
On the other hand, maybe it’s just a mid-life crisis…
Either way, I’d like to see all 6 of my abs and get rid of these love handles permanently.
That said, I’ve come to learn a chiseled physique is not worth the mental anguish I inflicted on myself and my family with disordered eating. (Just to reiterate, I did not fall so far as to have an actual eating disorder; but my habits and attitudes were disordered and mentally unhealthy.)
But together with what I did learn while meticulously tracking every gram of food that went into my body, in my short time on these forums, I think I’ve gained some sane, sustainable strategies for progressing these physique goals without killing my family’s happiness.
I’ll be running the Prep program with 4 days of lifting, 3 days of easy conditioning, and (at least) 2 hard conditioning workouts with the sled. I’m starting with the following TMs:
Press - 110 lbs
Squat - 225 lbs
Bench - 230 lbs
Dead - 265 lbs
There’s lots of opportunity for progress with these numbers, which is key.
Despite JW’s recommendations re: conditioning, I’m doing the sled work because it’s just too valuable to leave out. And I may even add another day of hard conditioning a la @ChongLordUno (burpees, etc.), depending on recovery.
I am in no way smarter than JW, but I’d like to see if I’m capable of more: I will introduce the extra conditioning work slowly over the first several weeks and see how I feel.
I’m super pumped to see how I respond to this programming. Too many folks have demonstrated that 5/3/1 just plain works, so I’m expecting big things over the months ahead!
A Lone Wolf, or Just a Lonely Pup?
29 April 2021
Long-time reader, first-time poster. I tend to be an introvert, so putting my log up here is actually kind of a big deal…
I’m looking to learn and find some community, and to do that I need to step outside my comfort zone.
I’m a 42 year-old married father-of-two (daughter, age 10; son, age 8) with a flexible but sedentary day job.
I train alone in my garage, which I’ve been doing seriously for 3-4 years (and with a modicum of intelligence for about a year or two).
If I’m being honest, I’m driven by vanity first and health/wellness second, though the latter is becoming increasingly important as I age—my family history conspires against me in that regard.
My current focus is sustained fat loss running Coach Thibaudeau’s Best Damn for Natties, adapted to my equipment.
Height: 5’ 7"
Weight: 170.1 lbs
Waist: 34.00 inches
Body fat: 15.3%***
Current goal: reach (and then maintain) 164 lbs at less than 12.0% body fat by mid-June 2021
I am also concerned about maintaining muscle and strength while under caloric restriction.
I’m down from 185.2/36.50/18.8% since 03 Jan 2021, and from 208.0/41.25/21.8% since 05 Jan 2020.
My best so far in 2021 was 166.3/33.25/14.6% in late-Mar, with an overall best of 164.2/33.00/13.5% in late-Sep 2020.
Fat loss sucks: I’ve obviously had quite a few missteps and setbacks over the last 16 months or so, but during that time I think I’ve finally found out how to get my body to respond positively and to reduce negative impacts on my psyche while dieting.
What I lack most, I think, is patience.
My wife and kids tolerate my habits, strange as those habits are.
Actually, that’s not fair: they are incredibly supportive. But they’re not exactly full-time cheerleaders: I can be hard to live with sometimes, particularly on days when food (sugar?) cravings run rampant—and sometimes my attitude on those days brings all of us down.
With regard to nutrition: When I’m on, I’m on. Like rigidly so. But when I’m not, I binge. I’ve developed some really bad habits in this regard—I have lost any ability I may have once possessed to eat intuitively.
However, I can only fix so many things at once, so I’m just trying to keep the cravings at bay—and improve my demeanor while resisting them when they hit—in the short run.
More as interest dictates, but this post is long enough—time to get on with the log already.
*** - I use one of those handheld body fat monitors for this metric. Yes, I know they’re awful. But I’ve been using it long enough to correlate its measurements with other metrics—particularly how I look in weekly progress photos—and I don’t really care too much about the actual number: the monitor is just one of many tools I use to track progress.