T Nation

Fat Guy Wanting to Change


#1

So I'm 38, 245lbs at 5'10". I've got my own power rack and adjustable bench with oly bar and weights. I've been doing stronglifts 5x5 off and on for a couple of years but making no progress due to my own laziness and stupidity. I've started it over 3 or 4 times now (like from the beginning completely with 45lb bar only). The last time I stopped lifting (January this year) was due to an umbilical hernia but it was repaired 6 weeks ago.

Due to this, I've started it over again with the bar only so I don't fuck up my surgery (repaired with mesh if anyone cares) and I've added cardio on off days with sat/sun rest. Previous to stopping lifting I was at 229lbs but I've gained since then. I've been off and on the Anabolic Diet for 8-9 months now and it did work (250-229) even without training.

Have been trying to keep macros at 60-65% fat 35-40% protein and under 30g carbs a day M-F and have more carbs on weekends. I'm the only one in my family eating like this so it's been difficult being consistent. I'm currently aiming for 1800kcal/day to lose fat.

Since I'm starting over from scratch, I'd like to start everything new with the advice of some experienced people who were in my shoes so I can do it right this time.

My goals:
Want to be around longer for my now 2.5 yo daughter
Lose fat
Gain muscle
Get big
Get stronger (would like at least 2x bw squat, 2.5x bw deadlift, and 1.5x bw bench)
Get healthy

I want to change and make it work. I just need some help. Doing it on my own isn't cutting it (no pun intended).

FWIW my biggest lifts (all 5x5) to date are:
Squat 175
Overhead Press 115
Bench 120
Deadlift 220
Pendlay rows 135

Had to stop due to the hernia. Any advice on training eating and sleeping is helpful. Thanks to everyone in advance for your help.

Oh yeah I'm not looking to be a super ripped guy just healthy and big enough to be imposing and intimidating to the boys chasing my daughter when she's a teen.


#2

Hi man and welcome to the forum :slight_smile: I’m new here too and everyone’s really helpful. Like I say I’m new but one thing that stands out is the calories you’re eating at the moment are way too low! If you were in a coma they’d be pumping more calories into you than that to keep you alive mate. I did something simular when I first started dieting, lost a bit at first but it stopped, probably because my metabolism was in the toilet! If you’re lifting weights you need more food in you than you’re getting. Have a look at calorie calculators and aim for 200-300 calories under that, you’ll lose weight and have the energy for your workouts.

I follow IIFYM (google it there’s loads of info on it) and has been easy really and could help with you eating with others in the house. Can’t help with the exercise plan but you sound like you’re on the right track and I’m sure others with much more knowledge than me will chip in and help there. Oh and the thing about your daughter, that’s one of the best reasons for getting in shape I’ve read! lol


#3

I think it would be very helpful to read a lot of Dan John stuff, especially “fat loss happens on mondays” (I know it’s not all Dan John), and “average joe’s guide to old school strength and fat loss” (also mostly not Dan John). Actually, just read all of it.


#4

Thank you both. Calorie calculators say my base metabolic rate is about 2200 and active is 2600. Other than what I described above my life is pretty sedentary–desk job and all. I do, however, track everything via myfitnesspal app.

Everyday (except weekends) I eat 3 eggs with a tablespoon of olive oil and 30 grams of cheese scrambled with three big handfuls of fresh spinach. For lunch it’s 3 big handfuls of mixed greens, 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and either a can of tuna, a chicken breast, or 4-6oz of beef. Dinner fluctuates more but it isn’t always as healthy as I’d like but still within my calorie limit. For a while I was also eating a pound of broccoli between lunch and dinner but stopped for some reason. Also everyday (except weekends for some reason) I have at least 5g of fish oil (10 capsules sometimes it’s more than 5g just depends on whether my usual brand is sold out if not it’s 7.5g) and glucosamine/chondroiton as well as a multivitamin and vitamin c 1000mg).

I’ll do as suggested and Google IIFYM as well as the recommended Dan John stuff. Thanks again for your advice.


#5

[quote]Texicle wrote:
Thank you both. Calorie calculators say my base metabolic rate is about 2200 and active is 2600. Other than what I described above my life is pretty sedentary–desk job and all. I do, however, track everything via myfitnesspal app.

Everyday (except weekends) I eat 3 eggs with a tablespoon of olive oil and 30 grams of cheese scrambled with three big handfuls of fresh spinach. For lunch it’s 3 big handfuls of mixed greens, 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and either a can of tuna, a chicken breast, or 4-6oz of beef. Dinner fluctuates more but it isn’t always as healthy as I’d like but still within my calorie limit. For a while I was also eating a pound of broccoli between lunch and dinner but stopped for some reason. Also everyday (except weekends for some reason) I have at least 5g of fish oil (10 capsules sometimes it’s more than 5g just depends on whether my usual brand is sold out if not it’s 7.5g) and glucosamine/chondroiton as well as a multivitamin and vitamin c 1000mg).

I’ll do as suggested and Google IIFYM as well as the recommended Dan John stuff. Thanks again for your advice. [/quote]

That’s what I’m getting at mate, a base metabolic rate of 2200 is what’s needed to keep you at the same weight if you were laying down all day doing nothing at all. At the moment your 400 under that, even a desk job burns calories, hell even digesting your food burns around 10% of your calories so I’d really up your intake, even if it’s a bit at a time to see what happens.


#6

I can do that. I figured that as my lifts go up I’ll need more food anyway. Right now I’m adding 5lbs each workout to everything but deadlift which is 10lbs per workout. Since I started back over the weights aren’t really taxing at all but my body hasn’t moved like that in months so there’s a bit of stiffness/soreness but nothing terrible. I guess I figure that if I wasn’t lifting any weight I probably should eat as little as I can until the weight gets harder. It’s only been a week that I started at 1800kcal so I could easily up the intake.

Any advice on a workout? I’ve seen 5/3/1, Texas Method, and even heard that Greyskull might not be bad too. As mentioned I’m currently doing stronglifts 5x5 and plant to stick with it for 12 weeks at least (unless there’s something better for me out there).

Thanks again.


#7

[quote]Texicle wrote:
I can do that. I figured that as my lifts go up I’ll need more food anyway. Right now I’m adding 5lbs each workout to everything but deadlift which is 10lbs per workout. Since I started back over the weights aren’t really taxing at all but my body hasn’t moved like that in months so there’s a bit of stiffness/soreness but nothing terrible. I guess I figure that if I wasn’t lifting any weight I probably should eat as little as I can until the weight gets harder. It’s only been a week that I started at 1800kcal so I could easily up the intake.

Any advice on a workout? I’ve seen 5/3/1, Texas Method, and even heard that Greyskull might not be bad too. As mentioned I’m currently doing stronglifts 5x5 and plant to stick with it for 12 weeks at least (unless there’s something better for me out there).

Thanks again. [/quote]

Sounds like you’ve got stuff under control man and on the right track. I’m still figuring out what programme to run myself but have had a go at Greyskull’s principles last week, doing 2 sets of 5 then a set where you as many as I could and it feels really good so going to stick with that. I think at our stage it’s just a case of picking a programme we’ll like, makes sense to us and most importantly stick to! All the major ones are pretty similar so as long as the 3 big lifts are in there it’ll work just fine I think.


#8

Good job in taking the step to make a difference in your life and your family.

If you really want to lose weight, add in conditioning work - walking, running, strongman, swimming, cycling, whatever. You should be able to get away with 3-4 days a week to help burn more calories. If your main goal is to get stronger then adjust conditioning intensity so that it doesn’t affect weight lifting. You can back off more when PRs are around the corner. You aren’t yet at a point in strength training where you’re training hard for 4-5 days a week and can’t afford to do conditioning work (unless you have a physically demanding job). Increasing your general work capacity will help you in the long run for any physical activity or if you decide to take strength training more seriously. You’ll also be able to keep up with your daughter when she runs around.


#9

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
I think it would be very helpful to read a lot of Dan John stuff, especially “fat loss happens on mondays” (I know it’s not all Dan John), and “average joe’s guide to old school strength and fat loss” (also mostly not Dan John). Actually, just read all of it.[/quote]

This. If you’re not going right into powerlifting or bodybuilding,I can’t off the top of my head think of anyone who has a better approach to getting strong and healthy than Dan John. Mentally and physically.


#10

Thanks again everyone.

Lift206, I added the stationary bike to my regimen now so I do 5 mins at about 75% effort to get my joints ready for squats. After my workout I do another 15 minutes alternating between 75% and 100% effort. On my off days (T and Th) I’m adding another 30 mins on the bike (starting tonight) of alternating effort. I’ve got a treadmill too but my wife prefers that so she’s on it while I’m working out/biking. I’m taking sat and sun off completely but should I maybe add more conditioning on those days as well?

It’s funny you mention strongman. Since the 80s I’ve admired strongman competitors and always wanted to be huge like them but never attempted it.bif I could look like a silverback like most of them I’d love it. I’ve got the frame for it I think (wide shoulders, hips, etc) but I think I’m out of time to really do it at 38 and out of shape. A friend of mine who is very solidly built and strong has told me that I’ve got the potential to be really strong and big based on my structure (for my height of course) but again I think those days have long gone by.

MarkKO, thanks for reinforcing the Dan John recommendation. I’m researching right now.

Thanks again everyone.


#11

38 and out of time! I’m screwed then! lol It’s never too late man, might be a little harder than if you were 20 but you have the advantage of being smarter now so you’ll make better use of your time :slight_smile:


#12

[quote]Dave_70 wrote:
38 and out of time! I’m screwed then! lol It’s never too late man, might be a little harder than if you were 20 but you have the advantage of being smarter now so you’ll make better use of your time :)[/quote]

Dan John has a fantastic piece on why life is better for the lifter over 30. I think it’s in Never Let Go, maybe not on this site.


#13

[quote]Dave_70 wrote:
38 and out of time! I’m screwed then! lol It’s never too late man, might be a little harder than if you were 20 but you have the advantage of being smarter now so you’ll make better use of your time :)[/quote]
Thanks Dave, I hope you’re right. :slight_smile:


#14

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Dave_70 wrote:
38 and out of time! I’m screwed then! lol It’s never too late man, might be a little harder than if you were 20 but you have the advantage of being smarter now so you’ll make better use of your time :)[/quote]

Dan John has a fantastic piece on why life is better for the lifter over 30. I think it’s in Never Let Go, maybe not on this site.[/quote]
Starting to recognize a pattern here. Clearly I need to brush up on my Dan John material! Thanks again.


#15

[quote]Texicle wrote:
Thanks again everyone.

Lift206, I added the stationary bike to my regimen now so I do 5 mins at about 75% effort to get my joints ready for squats. After my workout I do another 15 minutes alternating between 75% and 100% effort. On my off days (T and Th) I’m adding another 30 mins on the bike (starting tonight) of alternating effort. I’ve got a treadmill too but my wife prefers that so she’s on it while I’m working out/biking. I’m taking sat and sun off completely but should I maybe add more conditioning on those days as well?

It’s funny you mention strongman. Since the 80s I’ve admired strongman competitors and always wanted to be huge like them but never attempted it.bif I could look like a silverback like most of them I’d love it. I’ve got the frame for it I think (wide shoulders, hips, etc) but I think I’m out of time to really do it at 38 and out of shape. A friend of mine who is very solidly built and strong has told me that I’ve got the potential to be really strong and big based on my structure (for my height of course) but again I think those days have long gone by.

MarkKO, thanks for reinforcing the Dan John recommendation. I’m researching right now.

Thanks again everyone. [/quote]

Personally if my highest priorities were strength and weight loss, I would tend to wing it with conditioning work. Every once in awhile I would push conditioning for fun but in general I would learn how it would affect strength training and make adjustments based on that. I don’t think you need to confine yourself to guidelines of alternating exactly between 75% and 100% - you’ll learn and make adjustments. The point is that performance numbers in conditioning are fun to keep track of but they are still low in priority compared to your main goals of strength and weight loss.

If you want to add conditioning work to burn more calories with minimal impact on recovery then one option is walking. Low intensity work where you are efficient in the movement mechanics shouldn’t effect recovery much.

If you want to look like a strongman then train like one. Don’t limit yourself by saying you can’t do it and don’t set unreasonable expectations like saying you’ll be the world’s strongest man. Just start off slow and improve over time like weight training.

This year my fiancee has found a new hobby in hiking and I do it mainly to support her. I thought it would significantly impact my recovery but I just needed to learn how to adjust my training to accommodate the extra conditioning. Now that my general conditioning has improved, the hikes haven’t affected my weight training progress. I go at a pace that I know won’t be too taxing.


#16

[quote]Texicle wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Dave_70 wrote:
38 and out of time! I’m screwed then! lol It’s never too late man, might be a little harder than if you were 20 but you have the advantage of being smarter now so you’ll make better use of your time :)[/quote]

Dan John has a fantastic piece on why life is better for the lifter over 30. I think it’s in Never Let Go, maybe not on this site.[/quote]
Starting to recognize a pattern here. Clearly I need to brush up on my Dan John material! Thanks again.[/quote]

I think Dan John is the man anyway, but I was halfway through his latest book when I wrote those. Not that it shows, of course.


#17

[quote]lift206 wrote:

Personally if my highest priorities were strength and weight loss, I would tend to wing it with conditioning work. Every once in awhile I would push conditioning for fun but in general I would learn how it would affect strength training and make adjustments based on that. I don’t think you need to confine yourself to guidelines of alternating exactly between 75% and 100% - you’ll learn and make adjustments. The point is that performance numbers in conditioning are fun to keep track of but they are still low in priority compared to your main goals of strength and weight loss.

If you want to add conditioning work to burn more calories with minimal impact on recovery then one option is walking. Low intensity work where you are efficient in the movement mechanics shouldn’t effect recovery much.

If you want to look like a strongman then train like one. Don’t limit yourself by saying you can’t do it and don’t set unreasonable expectations like saying you’ll be the world’s strongest man. Just start off slow and improve over time like weight training.

This year my fiancee has found a new hobby in hiking and I do it mainly to support her. I thought it would significantly impact my recovery but I just needed to learn how to adjust my training to accommodate the extra conditioning. Now that my general conditioning has improved, the hikes haven’t affected my weight training progress. I go at a pace that I know won’t be too taxing.[/quote]

Thanks again lift206. I agree with you on the conditioning stuff. I’m definitely going to incorporate some but it likely won’t be super structured. As for strongman training I’m looking into it. Should I wait until my hernia surgery is completely healed? Doc says 12 months! He knows I lift and recommended I “take it slow”. It might be possible to do though.


#18

[quote]Texicle wrote:
Thanks again lift206. I agree with you on the conditioning stuff. I’m definitely going to incorporate some but it likely won’t be super structured. As for strongman training I’m looking into it. Should I wait until my hernia surgery is completely healed? Doc says 12 months! He knows I lift and recommended I “take it slow”. It might be possible to do though.
[/quote]

You should definitely listen to your doc and take it slow. I’m sure there are things to help the recovery process just like there are things that can hinder it. You can ask your doc how to help speed up the process and if there isn’t then just stay within his guidelines.

I know that if I structure conditioning work, I’m more likely to invest time, effort and intensity into it. I would just leave a time slot for it but not exactly how to do it. I would still document what was done in case I need to look back to see how it affected training.


#19

[quote]lift206 wrote:

[quote]Texicle wrote:
Thanks again lift206. I agree with you on the conditioning stuff. I’m definitely going to incorporate some but it likely won’t be super structured. As for strongman training I’m looking into it. Should I wait until my hernia surgery is completely healed? Doc says 12 months! He knows I lift and recommended I “take it slow”. It might be possible to do though.
[/quote]

You should definitely listen to your doc and take it slow. I’m sure there are things to help the recovery process just like there are things that can hinder it. You can ask your doc how to help speed up the process and if there isn’t then just stay within his guidelines.

I know that if I structure conditioning work, I’m more likely to invest time, effort and intensity into it. I would just leave a time slot for it but not exactly how to do it. I would still document what was done in case I need to look back to see how it affected training.[/quote]

Thanks again. He basically told me to just take it slow and listen to my body. He said I’d know when I try to do too much. That’s why I started my lifts at the beginning weights for stronglifts and I’m adding 5lbs per workout for all but deadlifts (10lbs per workout). So far so good.

That’s how I’m approaching my conditioning as well. I’m leaving an hour open on off days to do what I feel like. If I feel like alternating intensity or doing steady state either way I’ve got the time.