Feedback on Training Aimed Towards Health & Weight Loss

Hi guys! This is my first post here on T-nation but I’ve been lurking around for some time… I would like some feedback on my planned training for the next couple of cycles.

First a brief introduction:
Male, 31 years, ~98kg@172cm. Been weight training for 15years or so, last couple of years 5/3/1, Before that I was doing the trendy BB stuff of the early 00’s, like going to failure,5-6 day splits, not doing the basic lifts and all of that crap.

Recent maxes (june 16):
Bench: 5x115kg (pretty solid),
Squat: 5x160kg (grinder)
Press: 5x70kg (after bench and pretty solid, my shoulder bugs me if I go all out on this so I’m progressing slow)
Deadlift: 5x190kg (ugly grinder)
I have also been doing Close grip bench as a main lift with a max of 5x105

During the last two years or so I’ve been feeling more and more beat up, especially in my lower back and hip area, probably due to sitting in a chair all day at work plus sometimes I dont know when to back off in the weight room (grinding out reps etc). My strenght has pretty much stalled in the last year, especially the bench and I feel a bit stuck in my current training. Due to these problems I have decided to do a rehaul of my training for my next couple of cycles and I would also like to be more healthier and lose some fat, mainly becuase there is no Point for me being this heavy. Been around this weight now for a couple of years thinking that I need it for strenght gains, but now that I’m stuck I can just as well lose some fat and then focus on strenght next year.

First of I am going to for the first time trying to do all parts of the program, earlier I’ve been skipping on Everything but the strenght part. So bascially I will add in more jumps/throws, conditioning (prowler and lighter conditioning (bike, walk, maybe swim).I will also focus more on mobility and streching, tried the limber 11 and it killed me so I probably need it.
Becuase of this added work I’m thinking about lowering my TM’s to about 80% (of est. maxes) in squat and dead and maybe 85% on upper body lifts and do 5’s PRO for all main lifts becuase I tend to go too far hunting rep maxes…
I like to go 4 cycles before resetting (usually fits good with my life) and do a 4 day routine but only 3 days/week in a lower/upper “split” , I also deload after each cycle becuase I feel the need for extra recovery both pysically and mentally.

This is what I am curently planning to do:

Day 1:
Squat 5’s PRO (box jumps between sets, 3-5 reps)
Squat FSL: 3x5reps (maybe drop these for the last 2 cycles if I feel that all the “new stuff” with conditioning etc tax my legs)
SLDL: not heavy but more focus on “feel” maybe like 3x10@50% or so
leg curls, abs, hyper ext, calves: light “pump” work 3x10-20, supersetted if possible (overcrowded gym…)
Prowler: not really sure how to program this, right now I just try to haul ass before my lungs kill me. Would be happy for suggestions!

Day 2:
Bench 5’s PRO
Bench SSL 5x5 for first 2 cycles and maybe 3x3-5 for last 2 (5’s PRO + SSL becuase I want to try more volume on semi-heavy weights for bench becuase my recent cycles with going for rep maxes on the top set and then “light weights” (FSL) haven’t worked that well for me)
Chins 3-5 sets on bw (I’m fat so i can only do about 5-8 reps here)
Incline DB bench 3x10 (not to heavy), supersetted with the chins if possible
BB row 3x10 (not to heavy)
biceps, triceps, face pulls, lat rises 3x10-20, supersetted, light pump work

Day 3:
Deadlift 5’s PRO (box jumps between sets, 3-5 reps)
Deadlift FSL 3x5 (might be dropped after 2 cycles for more recovery, as with squats FSL)
Front squats: not heavy but more focus on “feel” maybe like 3x10@50% or so (same as SLDL)
leg curls, abs, hyper ext, calves: light “pump” work 3x10-20, supersetted if possible (overcrowded gym…)
Prowler maybe in a different manner than squat day?

Day 4:
Close grip bench: 5’s PRO (I like to do this as first movement instead of press)
Press: 5’s PRO or SST?, maybe start with one for 2 cycles and then the other for 2
Chins 5sets on bw, supersetted with press
DB bench: 3x10 (not to heavy) supersetted with DB rows
DB rows: 3x10 (same weight as DB bench, so a lot of focus on doing it right instead of humping with lots of weight)
biceps, triceps 3x10 supersetted

On off/conditioning days I will be doing the limber 11 (maybe also will do it on other days but will start with these days and se what happens. Conditioning at least 2days/week by biking (mtb), walking and maybe swimming. Progression on bike will be either distance or (most likely) time on a ~10km track nearby. I will also try to do more biking on more technical trails in the woods, mostly for fun and this wont be timed or anything. Walking is just to get outside and move for and hour or so. Swimming is becuase I feel that I’ve started to suck with age so I will try to work up to 1000m and then keep doing it on a pretty regular basis (might be just once a month, but just so I know I am able to do it).

Food wise I will start off with just trying to make a little more smart choices and try to get healthier habits so to speak (stop eating like a pig and cut back on the bacon etc). I do want to loose weight and might need to start with the boring counting etc later on but first I want to see what happens with smaller changes and the added conditioning. One thought I have is that if I really decide to aim harder for fat loss is that I might cut of more supplemental/assistance or even go down to 3’s PRO for the last 2 cycles, this by the principle of keeping the intensity high but cutting volume. Does this sound OK or just stupid? The last time I dropped weight into decent shape was during the years when i focused more on BB stuff and even to I think the result was pretty good without that much muscle loss my strenght went to shit which I am really scared of. So obviously, any tips on how to tackle the food/diet/weight loss situation is much apreciated!

So what do you think guys? (if you bothered to read my wall of text :))) Does this sound like a reasonable plan or am I just stupid? Any suggestions and feedback is very welcome!

Thanks! /Fartman

A couple things stick out to me in your attempt at confirmation of your program.

  1. Strength has stalled
  2. you feel beat up in lower back and hip
  3. you grind out reps
  4. want to lose fat
  5. want to gain strength

So my recommendations are:

Why are you box jumping between squats? That seems counter productive. First, ask yourself why you are box jumping? Are you doing it for cardio in between sets or are you trying to do explosive work to improve your squat? I assume if you’re pushing your squats, how in the hell can you be explosive on box jumps?

I digress…

I think in the 2nd edition book you should check out the Moving NOV template. It includes stretching, jumping rope, strength and conditioning. It’s simple, addresses your strength and aesthetic goals, and makes you all round awesome.

  1. Your strength has probably stalled because you are doing way to fucking much. Sometimes its what you don’t do that makes all the difference (quote from Jim).

  2. You feel beat up because you are doing way too fucking much. If you’re going to workout like a powerlifting ironman triathlete, you need to be eating 10,000 calories a day, resting 10 hours a night, and have no fucking life. So to answer your question of “does your plan sound reasonable or stupid?” It sounds stupid.

  3. Why are you grinding out reps? Back to #2 - you feel beat up, so do you think grinding out reps is helping? Have you read any of Jim’s books or read anything on these forums? PERFECT FORM EVERY TIME. Stop 1-2 reps shy of failure. Don’t miss reps. A grinded out rep is a missed rep. If you can do 100kg of a lift 3 times and grind out 2 more reps, what have you accomplished? A hurt lower back/hip.

4 &5. Do you want to lose fat? Adjust your diet accordingly. There’s a million ‘diets’ out there that don’t work.

  1. Keep protein around 1 gram per pound of bodyweight, and eat about 15 calories per pound of bodyweight.
  2. So carbs/fat come from the rest of the available calories after protein is calculated.
  3. Weigh yourself once a week on the same day under the same conditions. Every week, if you gain weight, adjust calories down to 14 per pound, if you lose weight, don’t change anything. Keep doing this until you’re happy with weight/aesthetics.
  4. Then go back to a baseline 15 calories per pound.
  5. Make quality food choices - this is a no brainer. When you eat something, ask yourself if that food is in line with your goals. This simple trick is how I decide between a salad with chicken breast or pasta with alfredo sauce.
  6. If you want to gain weight, go up 16 calories per pound and follow the same instructions.

Your daily routines are hardly 5/3/1 at all. It seems like your trying to do bodybuilding while gaining strength and losing fat. PICK 1 GOAL. You can’t eat to lose fat and train like a bodybuilder and expect your strength to not plateau. PICK 1 GOAL.

The NOV template is basically this:

Warm up (foam role, stretch, Jump rope)
Lift Weights (5/3/1. Pick 1 main template, 1 assistance template, 1-2 accessory exercises that shouldn’t ‘matter’ - think 20 pound dumbbell curls,100 total reps of face pulls or bodyweight dips)
Condition (sprint/hills/sled/prowler)

You’re overcomplicating things. Maybe go back to simple for a few cycles and see if that gets you feeling better, stronger, and looking better.

Try this:

Press Day
Jump rope 10 minutes (see the template in 2nd edition ‘Moving North of Vag’)
Agile 8
Medicine ball throws 3 sets of 5-10 reps
Press 5/3/1 + FSL 5x5
Chins 5 sets to failure (superset with FSL)
Curls 5x10
Lateral raises 5x10-20

Deadlift day
Jump rope 10 minutes
Agile 8
Standing long jumps 3x5
Deadlift 5/3/1 + FSL 5x5
Leg press 5x10-20
Abs 5x10-20

Bench day
Jump rope 10 min
Agile 8
Medicine ball slams 3x5-10
Bench 5/3/1 + FSL 5x5
DB Rows 5x10-20
Face Pulls 5x10-20

Squat day
Jump rope 10 minutes
Box jumps 3 sets of 5 reps
Squat 5/3/1 + FSL 5x5
Leg curls 5x10
Abs 5x10-20

Conditioning should be sprints/hill sprints/prowler/sleds after the workouts or on off days. Just get it done.

Read “moving north of VAG” in the 2nd Edition to get more details.

Good luck!

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The example program listed is 180 degrees from what I would ever recommend for someone whose interest lies in fat loss and “total body health”. It appears if volume is taken straight from a BB workout and no emphasis on active recovery and heart health.

Think about what is truly important and adjust from there. Not everything has to be given equal time to ensure balance.

Also, the person above, Marc lays out some pretty basic ideas and suggestions. Our fat loss program is remarkably effective and (at least) maintaining strength and taking off fat provided you do the work, NEVER alter the program and make sure your diet is in check.

In regards to conditioning, that only increases when the body adapts to the programming. Pushing the conditioning AND the lifting AND adjusting diet = horrible idea. Very simply - we adapt before we change.

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