T Nation

Can You Reccomend a New Routine?


I am 37 years old, overweight at 280 lbs. I want to be 250. I have been doing Waterbury workouts 3x a week that focus on total body with rep ranges from 8x3, 4x6, and 4x9. I ache and I am looking for something that some of you enjoy. I need something that I can do at home. I have a flat bench, squat rack with chin bar, and dip stand. I got up to lift at 5 this morning to have a bad workout, not meet my expected reps and geta stiff neck in doing so. My knees and achilles hurt, sometimes my hips. I am willing to look at anything that you guys say you like. I am not going to look at the thousands of routines here. I don't want to live to workout, I just need to get in better shape. I also think I will start doing CT running man interval workouts. I kind of am burned out and am looking for afresh start.


Despite the fact I spend most of my time 5/3/1 bashing, for you it might be good. It's fairly low volume, progresses nice and slowly at the beginning and gives you the leeway to adjust your assistance work volume depending on how you are feeling.

If you are feeling burned out right now, starting CT's running man interval workout might not be the smartest move as those kind of workouts are pretty intense.

I might be completely out of line, but statements such as "I am not going to look at the thousands of routines here. I don't want to live to workout" and "I just need to get in better shape" makes me think you may have commitment issues.

If not I apologise and good luck.


Three numbers 5/3/1. Other wise the natives might hunt you down and eat you.


Well maybe I am depressed, I don't know. I just lost some of the desire I used to have. When I say I don't want to live to workout I mean lifting 3-4 times a week for under an hour and maybe doing something else on off days like HIIT. I also am looking at Crossfit or stuff at warrior athlete for a change. That would be a drastic change, especially for Crossfit.

OK, I looked at Crossfit stuff on here and I may pass. I have enough knowledge to make my own but that 5/3/1 sounds like it will keep me fresh.


I too don't know what you mean by the "I don't want to live to workout" comment, yet you've lived to put yourself into the overweight category.


Exercise is only a quarter of the battle anyways - diet is the big one.

Strive for 5-6 smaller meals a day - this could be 3 actual meals and 2 that are shakes (protein)
For your meals, eat clean, but not extreme. Eat nothing but chicken and veggies for 7 days and you'll throw your own diet out the window, with your weights flying out to the front lawn with it.

In your case, a good rule of thumb would be protein (chicken, lean cut beef, fish) with a cup of rice and a cup of veggies. Now someone's going to bash me for saying that, but you're no underwear model dropping 10lbs of bodyfat for a photo shoot. You need to just drop 30lbs of fat.

Have a cheat DAY once a week. Yeah people talk about cheat meals once a week and that's my situation, but not yours. You need motivation to stay on the diet.

Get a good 8 hours sleep a night, take a good quality multi-vitamin, and fish oil.

As for your workout... I'm not a fan of full-body workouts, nor am I a fan of 5/3/1 for your situation...

I'd suggest working out 4-5 days a week and you're going to do cardio AFTER you work out for 20 mins to start, working yourself up to 30-40 minutes AFTER your workouts. Cardio for you is not running either - it can be a brisk walk on an incline - if you don't have access to a treadmill, head outside for a nice, brisk walk for 20-30 minutes. The workouts themselves - you can honestly pick any program listed here.

When you start to feel like you can do cardio and it's not going to kill you (no major health issues (chest pains, etc.), you can try to incorporate a high-intensity cardio day, one day during the week (e.g. Wednesday)... I suggest you do a form of cardio that will not put undue stress on your joints - the exercise bike is my weapon of choice as these respond almost immediately for you. Ride for 30 seconds at a nice relaxed pace, crank the intensity and go all out or 30 seconds - repeat this 15 times for a total of 15 minutes. You can increase this up to 20 minutes as you get stronger.

Oh and drink a boatload of water all day long and feel free to each as much green veggies throughout the day you want - for example, cut up a pile of celery and put it into a tub that you can take to work with you. Eat 1/3 of it at your first snack, a 1/3 at lunch, and a 1/3 at your last snack.


You've come to the right place. These guys will really help.

I'm 6' was about 300, went down to 240, now I'm back up to 275 same body comp as at 240. I wasted 2 years before finding this site.

Your observations sound like serious recovery issues to me, even the depression and burned out feeling. Please search this site for "recovery" and I think you'll agree.

quick tips:
Sleep hygene is important, and my downfall.
1 gram per pound of lean body mass protien per day, more may be necessary.
Higher volume workouts are going to tax recovery more.
Every progma works, until it doesn't.

I like this article:

There was a study recently that HITT style full body workouts supported your goals well, but again recovery issues are a limiting factor.

Cross fit is grueling and likely to injure someone who's over weight. My chiropractor does it and he is extremely cut, but the work outs he relates are extreme. Far more suitable for someone already in great shape, lean and rather experienced. Obviously not their target market...


Lost 35lbs in three months doing walking/jogging/high rep-low weight circuit style training. Stayed at 1800 cals or so a day. Higher protein and lower carbs. Commit three months or so to that sort of nutrition and training and the weight will come off.

Once you get the weight off, I would suggest the 531 workout as well. It has good balance and will keep you from getting burned out. I currently use 531 and enjoy it since I don't compete right now and am in no hurry to try and break any records but yet continue to get stronger in reps and my 1RM.

Good Luck!


5/3/1. I am the one that kills and eats you if you don't do it.

i did a Waterbury program for a couple months, and that stuff is pretty high volume. If you don't already have that level of fitness, it will beat you down. Crossfit volume is psychotic. Before you go down that road, you need to decide what is more important to you. If you want to be most strong, crossfit is a bad idea. if you want to just be generally more athletic, its probably pretty cool, but the volume is so high that I think it would be difficult to get real strong.

5/3/1 is a better "controlled volume" program. you are constantly having the opportunity to get PRs, which could help with the general downness. its a program where you can diet and still get good increases in strength.

Also, I have become a big believer in paleo dieting and fish oil pills. sounds like you have lots of achey joints/tendons, and the fish oil should help that. flour is as evil as not doing 5/3/1.


^ This and sounds like you need to get back on the wagon. You been slipping into the complancency zone. Only other thing I would recommend is get a physical, check your blood work. Make sure you dont have something organic going on like Hypothryoid etc.