T Nation

Big Guy, No Idea Where to Start


Hello everyone,
First, I would like to give a little information on myself. I am about 6’0 and I weigh about 280 lbs. I do carry quite a bit of body fat. I also carry a decent amount of muscle. I’m looking to cut my body fat down, while maintaining my muscle and strength. I’d like to cut my body fat, while gaining muscle and strength, however I know that while eating at a deficit to cut fat and weight, it may not be plausible. I’ve been lifting consistently for the entirety of 2016 after a 2 year hiatus.

I’ve jumped from program to program and have not taken my diet seriously. I have recently dialed in my diet, but I’m still trying to find a program to help me reach my goals. I have recently discovered 5/3/1 and am very find fond of it. I figured if I started using the 5/3/1 program while adding some 5k training(like couch to 5k) on the 3 days off from lifting a week, I may be able to accomplish my goal of leaning up, while maintaining most of my muscle and strength. If course, I’ll be focusing greatly on my nutrition. It’s been 11 months with really only a slight increase in strength. I have got to change the way I am doing things.

I am open to any advice and suggestions. All help is greatly appreciated.
Thank you ahead of time!


First of all, what is a slight increase in strength? Do you have a log? Sometimes I feel like I am not making gains then I look back and realize I am in a much better position than I was a year ago (10% or more gains in strength across the board).

I weigh in the upper 280’s (6’5") and find running miserable, painful and unnecessary.

What does your nutrition actually look like? I am not going to be super helpful in this regard (see: 280s) but its hard to analyze how you can improve without knowing what you currently do.


Unfortunately, when I started back, I did not keep a log. I do know with DB bench, for example, I went from 90lbsx6-8 reps to 115 lbsx8 reps. I increased from 335 1RM to 355 1RM on squats and 255 1RM on bench to 275 1RM. My barbell row also increased from 275x3 to 295x3.

As far as nutrition, which I have recently implemented(as in 4 days ago), i calculated my BMR and found my daily caloric needs to maintain using the harris-benedict equation. This was roughly 3500 calories. I decided to eat at a little over a 500 calorie deficit at 700 calories. Why? I felt as if 500 was not enough for my fat loss goals, yet 1000 may have been too much while trying to maintain my strength and current muscle mass. I met in the middle. This put me at 2800 calories for the day. I decided on a 1g per lb of bw for protein, this puts me at 40%protein for my daily intake. My carbs are at 280g per day,40% as well. I am eating about 20% of my daily amount pre workout and another 20% post workout. My last meal of the day has no added carbs other than vegetables. I may end the evening with a protein shake if I have almost reached my daily requirement but am not quite there. The last 20% of my macros is the fat. Which is approximately 62g.

I hope this information can help. I wish I could be more helpful on the strength gains, but those are the earliest numbers I can remember using and my current numbers.

Thank you for the quick reply as well.


This will shred fat the fastest while building strength…

If want to stay on 5/3/1 try a full body template and push the conditioning work…

280grams of carbs is high, I would drop them down and replace with more good fats and greens