T Nation

Direction Needed/Critiques Welcome

New to the forums…long time reader and lurker to the site.

I am 40…need to cut the fat. Desperately need to cut the fat.

Background: Recently divorced. Looking to make life improvement, here is what just started doing:


Mondays- Chest, 3 Exercises, 10 Reps…Back, 2 Exercises, 10 Reps…Shoulders, 3 Exercises, 10 Reps

Tuesday- 15 minutes of cardio on eliptical

Wednesday- 15 minutes cardio on eliptical

Thursday- 15 minutes cardio on eliptical

Friday- Triceps, 3 Exercises, 10 Reps…Biceps, 3 Exercises, 10 Reps


Every 2-3 hours

6 Egg whites, 2 yokes…instant oatmeal, large, 4 shot, non fat sugar free latte

lowfat cottage cheese with yogurt

can of tuna, apple

2 turkey burger patties, steamed broccoli

50 gram protein shake with bananna

50 gram protein shake


Superpump, Lipo 6, EFA, BCAA before cardio and a Multi Vitamin.

Any thoughts? I want to lean out…BADLY. I see ‘do cardio…don’t do cardio’…I currently weight 222.

I would love any well meaning thoughts…don’t be afraid to bust my chops…I really want to accomplish my goals.

I find it very hard to believe you are a long time lurker and reader on this site when you put together a training programe and eating plan which are contra everything on this site?

Read the diets for the chubby guys in the Physique Clinic because your diet sucks.

Find Chad Waterbury’s TBT program and use it because you are wasting your time with the two “training sessions” posted above.

Thanks Jamfly…that is what I’m looking for…

I have lurked off and on for a long time…but its been awhile since I’ve been here.

Any direction is appreciated.


Have a read through the stickies in the “beginner forum” There is a ton of good info there.

If you are new to lifting, stick with a simple program, basic lifts such as squats, pullups, deadlifts, bench. Doing some light cardio is okay but don’t go nuts with it.

Start keeping a food log. A simple piece of paper and pen works or you can get more elaborate.

Welcome to posting. Sorry about about the divorce, but at least you’ve made the decision to change for the better, and not bury your head in food and drink. That being said, Dude, you gotta change your program! Do as iluminatae and JamFly suggest. Read the ‘7 Habits’ article (just do a search for it), also read ‘The Waterbury Method’ for an excellent workout.
Good luck!

Thanks you guys…I really appreciate it.

I’m on my way to look for those articles now…I am not new to lifting…but I know I’m nowhere near my potential…its time to get serious.

I am going to find those articles now…

Hey I have seen far worse training plans, yours does need allot of work. The key to it is to first figure out what it is you want to accomplish and then go from there. If losing weight is your first goal, tailor your training and eating toward that. Gaining strength? Different goal different training and eating plan…But first sit down think about it, and write it out. This helps because it solidifies your plan and once you see it on paper you can visualize it happening. The great news is you are off the couch and in the gym! A bad in the gym beats a great day on the couch, every time!

Welcome here!

[quote]Colin Wilson wrote:
A bad day in the gym beats a great day on the couch, every time![/quote]

Um… Kinda depends what’s being DONE on the couch… LOL

Desperado44, what’s your height and weight?
You state you want to cut the fat, but as noted above, “what are your goals?” Like Colin said, there are worse plans out there (like mine was, before). Write down your goals, keep a food journal, log your w/o’s so you can see progress (or lack of), and read. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the different plans and methods, and keep us updated. As you’ve already had the chance to see, it’s a great group of guys here.
Good luck!

Welcome to T-Nation Desperado,
I’m sorry to hear about your divorce. It’s good you are doing something positive. I’ve just had a death in the family and I’m basically starting all over.

Your diet seems to be a “healthy” diet featuring a lot of clean carbs. It would probably be a great diet for someone with a different metabolism, body type, goals, etc, but if you are like most people it’s harder to burn fat while eating a lot of carbs because that’s what you’d be using as fuel. Look for articles by John Berardi, he advises to eat protein at each meal, but keep the carbs seperate from the fats. Generally carbs in the morning, fats in the evening. A great idea might be to follow the Physique clinic and see how Chris Shugart and Christian Thibideau are guiding those guys daily through an intense fat loss program.

As for the training, basic and heavy is good. Generally the more different muscles you can hit with an excersise the better. Do something that truly taxes you like deadlifts, squats, olympic lifts, running short sprints, etc. I’d can the arm movements, unless you have a date that night or are hitting the beach and want a temporary pump. I’ve gotten more bicep growth from powerlifting than I ever got from curls. I’d start everything off by doing a search for an old article by Charles Poliquin called “achieving structural balance.” Most newbies want to do a ton of bench and ignore their back but really you need more back work than you do chest, think about it, you spend all day doing things with your hands in front of you but rarely do anything rowing related in day to day life. Chad Waterbury articles are great.

Definitely incorporate more leg work, but if you are healthy enough do squats, deadlifts, stay away from machines. I think the elliptical is ok to start but incorporate more interval, sprinting type workouts. For now you can probably lose weight just by eating clean and moving around a lot but eventually you’ll need to tighten the diet and ramp up the training.

One more thing to think about is active recovery methods. As you start to put more stress on the body you’ll need things like massage, chiropractic, ART, the foam roller, and so on to stay healthy. You might also look into the videos for magnificent mobility and inside out.

There are a lot of knowledgeable folks that post here and the articles are great. I think the single most important factor is consistency (I say this coming out of a 3 month layoff) and to an extent it’s a numbers game. The guy who hits the gym 4 days a week and only cheated 1 meal all week is going to get better results than the guy who ate out 3-4 times and only hit the gym twice.

One other thing, at your age and coming out of a major life stressor you m ight want to read up on HRT/TRT. Good luck.

I’ll toss in a few cents because I don’t see anyone mentioning what I consider the most basic concepts.

Your body composition is the result of your lifestyle. It isn’t due to diet alone or training alone or stress alone. It’s due to all of it. So, if you want to change your body composition forever, you need to change your lifestyle forever. This can’t be something you do just to lose a few pounds.

The second thing that I believe is essential is keeping a food log and figuring your calories and your grams of protein/fats/carbs every day. After a few months you’ll be able to do this sort of thing automatically, but in the beginning, you will learn a lot from this exercise. You gotta do what you gotta do. If you’re not losing fat on the amount of cals a day you’re taking in, then you have to go lower. As you drop fat, your daily needs drop so you have to stay on top of this. Being in calorie deficit will also make your metabolism want to slow down so you have to adjust for and fight against that.

Training while in calorie deficit - When you’re above 10% body fat, your training while dieting down should mostly be about preserving muscle. I like higher rep training and I always train every other day. Save the cardio for off days. My cardio is always High Intensity Interval Training which keeps your metabolism from dropping. Once you’re lean and have your nutrition totally dialed in, then you can start adjusting for muscle gain.

I also highly recommend you read Nutrient Timing by Ivy and Portman to make sure you consume your calories when they will do the most good. To achieve an elite level of leanness, carb and protein cycling also are valuable tools to know and use.

Here’s the real thing you have to understand. Being lean and muscular is not easy. The dedication and discipline required is literally impossible for most people. It’s an extraordinary accomplishment and it takes extraordinary effort to achieve it.

Since renewing my fitness goals a few weeks ago and joining the site, I’ve found out some elements that were lacking for me:

My diet sucks. I’ve been logging for a couple weeks now and its been a major eye-opener - what I thought was a really good diet was far too high in fat, OK on protein, and actually seriously lacking decent carbs. Logging is a must. I have yet to “fix” my diet completely, but I’m still getting myself used to my changed gym-work first…

TBT rocks. I have literally been doing the same 3 day routine for a year until taking on TBT, and while I knew that I should change up, I never did. I’m responding really well to the huge variety of exercises, and in a few cases paying the price for the muscle groups I’ve neglected. But the thing about the TBT is the frequency - I’ve never stuck to a “timed” lifting routine, and it does, in fact make a difference. At least for me. Based on some input from the guys here (like higher reps, using dumbbells in place of big bars in some cases where I might kill myself) I’ve found a lot of flexibility in the routine.

As has been stated, making a dramatic change means taking a look at all aspects of your day-to-day. The biggest issue for me is sleep. I just can’t seem to force myself to get more of it. (he says, as he posts at 11:45)

If you take a look at some of the stuff that’s been suggested you’ll hopefully find what you need like I have. And there generally seems to be some really decent guys here…

Note that there’s a thread here with spreadsheets for all of Waterbury’s routines. I wouldn’t call them perfect, but they’re a good start…