OK, I think it's time I started some sort of training log to record my progress, or lack thereof, and I guess T-Nation is more interesting than a notebook - at least I might get some comments or feedback and learn something from the group.
Not sure if anyone will actually read this, but I'll lay out a little background for the record. I'm 40 years old, have three kids, and until last year, hadn't been in a gym or lifted weights in at least 15 years. I suffered a ruptured disc in my lower back (L5) and went through an extensive physical therapy program at an area hospital.
The therapy seems to have worked well, so long as I continue to take care of it - so I joined a gym about a year ago, initially just to do the exercises for my back, but my interest level quickly rose, until I started working out the whole body on a regular basis. Now I've gotten to the point where I've decided it's time to use a more organized program to move forward.
As I said, I have three kids and a very hectic schedule, so getting to the gym 3x per week is the most I can handle, and even that is sometimes a challenge. For now, I'm using a modified Chad Waterbury approach - full-body workout, 3 times per week, focused on compound exercises.
One upper-body push, one upper-body pull, and one leg exercise per workout, 5 sets of 5-6 reps at a constant weight. Depending on my available time and energy level, sometimes I'll add in 3 sets of eight on a different plane for the upper body exercises - for example, if the push exercise is bench press, I'll do three sets of eight on the HS shoulder press.
You may also notice that my squat and deadlift numbers look puny relative to the bench numbers. Due to the history of back problems, I have a problem with spinal compression from too heavy weights - my legs can handle it, but my back can't. For now, I'm trying to focus on good form, and true ATG depth on the squats, but longer term this is going to be a problem.
I'm 5'10", 214 lbs, 13% bf, 35" waist. Frankly, I'm not sure I believe the bodyfat number - it's from my electronic scale - but I've enjoyed watching it come down over the past year. I'll have to get a decent set of calipers.