T Nation

Fat Loss for Busier, Older Guys


I have done pretty well with my progress since incorporating SGHPs. Lots of work, not beat to hell. I am an older guy, and my work capacity is not great. That is why I think that ratcheting up the amount of work is most helpful.

Anyone in my age group, 45-50, have any luck putting together a good, brief, effective, fat loss schedule? I am pretty busy. Some days 12-13 hours. Some not as much. Of course I already know that nutrition has to be dialed in, and I am working on being consistent with that.

I had some freer time and hit the layers with some assistance work, and although I felt good, my shoulders were a bit beat up. I had to take a week off and I felt good going back in, not losing much load in the SGHP. I did a some low volume hammer strength should width, neutral grip pulling work, on the higher rep end, for 3 sets, 20 seconds rest or so.

With all that background info and blabbing, I'd like to hear from some people that have had a few good weeks in a fat loss focus, and how they structured their workouts. Results do matter so a few words about the success you had, would be nice, most importantly if you are in the same age group. Hell I could do anything when I was a young buck.

even some info on rest times, etc. I am taking about 20-25 seconds or so between ramp up sets of three, enough time to change plates. During a the cluster, I do only sets of 2. I give myself 1 pass at crappy form. If a second set has no pop, that cluster is done. Not sure how long I wait between clusters. I am for about 2 minutes.

tomorrow I think slight decline press. Not entirely sure how to structure the volume, the rest. Thinking ramp of threes, strip to 80% of that and try to get up to 8 sets of 5, 30 second rests.
As I don't really want to get too fatigued in the lower back, I'm not sure I want to cluster deads at all.

If you're an old fart, focusing on fat loss, what and how are you doing your work?


im 55, rather than go thru a big long book. i have similar issues. dont know how much "fat loss" you need or are looking for but here's a couple links to where i have had discourse with others.
my log. look at the last 3-5 weeks or so.


and another



OK, 51, soon to be 52 here. I've been following a fat loss layer suggested by CT. It was in response to a question about the importance of maintaining strength--and thus LBM--while shedding body fat. It is a modified version of the Strength Focused Layers:

1) Ramp to 1RM

2) 2 cluster sets @90% of 1 RM

3) back down to 70% of 1RM, ramp to a 2 RM

4) 2 cluster sets @90% of 2RM

5) back down to 70% of 1RM, ramp to a 3RM

6) 1 extended set (max reps/15sec.rest/max reps) @80% of 3RM

CT commented that this should be fairly easy to recover from as long as general stress levels were monitored.

So, I'm on week 3 of this set-up. I do think recovery is fairly easy--in terms of musculo-skeletal recovery. However, I LOVE deadlifting (in this case the dead/squat), and can't think of a better way to maintain strength (especially lower body strength) than heavy dead/squats. My issue is that I'm dead/squatting 455lbs. for my 1RM while consuming 6 MAG-10 shakes, Anaconda (haven't ran through my supply yet in order to switch to Plazma) and 1 Fini bar on training days, and 1 solid meal.

I'm not the kind of guy that can make myself purposely back down; so, when I train I train as hard as I can. I'm just not sure that I can recover--in terms of my nervous system--from this kind of load/intensity in the dead/squat every week. So, last week I took a week off from the dead/squats and did front squats instead. The problem is you just can't overload the muscles with front squats like you can with heavy dead/squats. I also don't like switching off main movements that often: I'm afraid I'll lose too much strength in my dead/squat.

What to do? It looks like I'll have to do some experimenting. I'm debating whether to do dead/squats or front squats for my training today.

Hope that helps some,



Oh yeah, results. I've definitely shed some body fat and added some LBM (I just use the mirror test). In fact, while consuming ~2000-2200Kcal/day, I've actually added ~ 3lbs.! The only way this could happen is if I've shed body fat, added muscle, and added glycogen/water. In fact, this is what I'm certain has happened: I've actually increased my glycogen stores from supercompensation from the heavy lifting along with Indigo and plenty of carbs. For each gram of glycogen created and stored in muscle, it draws into the muscle 3 grams of water along with it. this has given my muscles an incredible pump--it actually hurts to keep my arms in a bent position for very long because they become so pumped!



I'm in the same category as you, 40, trying to lean out, work long hours, had success with layers. I can tell you a couple things that I learned:
1) The layer system is primarily a hypertrophy system, which requires a calorie surplus, to benefit. The best you can do while in a deficit is keep as much muscle as you can, and keep your anabolic hormones stimulated.

2) I was not able to recover from the strength cycle workouts at 12kcal/lb diet. I have always had lesser recover capacity, and I do not use advanced BT supps. I could recover from any single strength cycle workout, but the accumulative metabolic demand was too high.

3) Right now, I am doing layers only for 1 lift (pushpress) and using other loading schemes for my other work. My delts and tri's are my priority, so I picked the lift to stim them the most. Just about all my other work is to maintain strength, and to stimulate fat loss.

4) I use a lot of "dynamic effort" work for my other lifts, since that type of lifting improves insulin sensitivity, and I can put some of these types of movements into complexes and circuits to get the metabolic effect. I still do SGHPs, along with full cleans, snatches, box squats, but I don't work nearly as heavy, or for as many sets as would be prescribed in the layer workouts.

5) I'd consider IF. It makes life easier, and as long as your peri-workout nutrition is set, you can live off fewer total calories and still kill it in the gym. It takes a week or two to get past the crabby part, but after that, your body will adapt and should make progress.

6) I tend to be active outdoors on weekends. I need to carbs on those days to match my activity level, the whole process crumbles if I try to stay restricted on those days.

Hope this helps.


Seems like great advice oricist. Coudl I ask what you mean by dynamic exercises and insulin sensitivty? Are you talking about general compound, explosive movements done with moderate weight, not high intensity (no failure or too much weight)? Have you found these to improve body composition or practically "make body" partition calories better? I feel like I've seen some of these effects but curious to hear from someone who's been training lot longer. Thanks.


Explosive/ballistic exercises have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity the most whereas overacentuating the eccentric portion can have the opposite effect.


Talking about old farts....I'm 63. When shedding fat I still essentially follow a standard layer protocol, adjust the diet for the wieght loss (still keep the Plazma peri, and MAG-10 post pulses) The main thing I focus on when ramping to 1, 2, or 3 rm is no grinder reps and also no grinder reps on the clusters.

If I feel I haven't recovered I take a day off.

Also, what really helps me the most is to make sure I get a good night's rest.

This may seem like an over simplification but I try not to get too technical.

Hope that helps.


Sorry, I fortgot one thing (dementia, I guess), Dead Squats - I do have to limit them. Normally, when not trying to lose fat I can/will D/S two times per week. When shedding fat I DS only once and do a more "standard" type leg workout for the 2nd legworkout of the week. Something like legpresses with waves.


Well, I did a little experimenting yesterday for my dead/squat session. I modified the above Layers for fat Loss template and did:

1) ramp to a 1RM
2) 1 cluster set @90% of 1RM
3) back down to 70% of 1RM, ramp to a 2 RM
4) 1 cluster set @90% of 2RM

This abbreviated version took me 55 min. exactly, as opposed to the 1hr. 25 min. the full fat loss layers took. The 1hr. 25 min. was just too exhausting, the 55 min. felt perfect. As I become accustomed to this dead/squat workout I'll slowly add back in elements of the full layer, until I hit my "sweet spot".

BY the way, I added 20Lbs. to my dead/squats yesterday--475Lbs. Not impressive for the youngsters, but at 51 not too bad.



One heavy lift rotating between 5s 3s and 2s, rest about 2 mins. After this 20secs rest for all exercises for rest of workout. If feeling good will throw in 10x10

Finish of/warm down with 8-12 mins cardio, heart rate about 55%