T Nation

Feel Like I'm Breaking Down


#1

Since the first of Sept I have been on a fat loss mission. I have dropped from 347lb to 304lb and according to the InBody machine at my gym the majority of it is fat (like 40lb of the total weight loss). I have been Carb cycling my diet to coinside with my lifting days and have been following 5/3/1 with 20 mins on the stair mill before every workout. Non lifting days are active recovery except Sundays which I just take a day off completely. I am 37 years old, current lifts pre weight loss were 515 Deadlift, 460 Squat, 295 Bench, and 175 Standing Millitary Press.

I feel like I breaking down: Tendinitis in left elbow (medial), was just told by Dr. that I have arthritis in both of my knees, both shoulders are better but have been being cranky with me. From your all's experience do I need to reduce training max and stay the course with 5/3/1 ( I have really enjoyed it and seen very good results to this point) or do I need to switch up my routine and program around my current injuries?


#2

Almost forgot I am 6’2" and wide shoulders.


#3

First off, congratulations on some very commendable progress. That’s a lot of weight to drop.

Regarding the injuries, I don’t have much input for you. Others in O35 have a lot more experience working through and around injuries and ailments both major and minor.

I am a bit confused by this statement.

[quote]JCMPG wrote:
…current lifts pre weight loss were 515 Deadlift, 460 Squat, 295 Bench, and 175 Standing Millitary Press.[/quote]

Are those “current” current lifts or what you could do before you started your fat loss mission a few months ago? I ask for two reasons.

  1. If you’ve managed to keep those numbers while dropping 40 pounds, I’d call that a VERY good indication that you are doing something VERY right.

  2. If not, you need to decide just how important it is to preserve the strength you have when considering your next steps.


#4

Those lifts are pre-weight loss. I would like to retain as much strength as possible but at this point lowering my weight and retaining as much muscle mass as possible is the goal. The lift that seems to be suffering the most right now is my squat. Everything else seems to be holding up alright.


#5

Are you doing the deload weeks as prescribed in 531? If you are, and you’re still getting dinged up, it may have some to do with your weight loss. I personally am much more susceptible to aches and injuries when trying to lose weight. The more liberal I am with diet, the better I feel overall. So, it comes down to priorities. If your MAIN focus is still fat loss, you may end up backing down the lifting in some parameter (intensity, density, or some other). If strength is your MAIN concern, up the calories a bit. I think you can still lose, but not as fast.


#6

[quote]JCMPG wrote:
Those lifts are pre-weight loss. I would like to retain as much strength as possible but at this point lowering my weight and retaining as much muscle mass as possible is the goal. The lift that seems to be suffering the most right now is my squat. Everything else seems to be holding up alright.[/quote]

Well, if you decide to stick with 5/3/1, I would definitely recommend lowering your TM if you are experiencing a drop-off in strength as you shed fat, especially if you are having joint issues. I can’t see how 5/3/1 with an out-of-date TM would be a good idea.

You may want to consider other programs if you really want to attack it with everything you have. This one has caught my eye before, and I may give it a go next summer.

FWIW, I am in the same boat as you (6’00", 291 yesterday, minus the injuries/ailments), running 5/3/1 and prioritizing strength. My current lifting numbers are a little bit higher than your pre-fat loss lifting numbers. I’m not a dieting ace by any means, but I’ve managed to slowly shed a lot of fat while getting stronger over the last year and a half. Starting point was around 330, with zero lifting experience.

SLOWLY is the word here. Unless you are a very good dieter and lifter, you have to be able to live with that if you want to shed fat and keep or build strength. It is a long ass road, no doubt about it.

Do whatever keeps you engaged and moving in a good direction. Don’t ever quit.


#7

I have been doing the Deload weeks as prescribed, before I started the weight loss I was a little dinged up and I think I have just exacerbated the existing issues by trying to stay at the same intensity thru the weight loss. I find it really hard to step off of the accelerate so to speak, I am trying to be smart about this but I have a tendency to forget that sometimes less is more. Based on what you guys are saying I think I will readjust TM and proceed.


#8

[quote]twojarslave wrote:

[quote]JCMPG wrote:
Those lifts are pre-weight loss. I would like to retain as much strength as possible but at this point lowering my weight and retaining as much muscle mass as possible is the goal. The lift that seems to be suffering the most right now is my squat. Everything else seems to be holding up alright.[/quote]

Well, if you decide to stick with 5/3/1, I would definitely recommend lowering your TM if you are experiencing a drop-off in strength as you shed fat, especially if you are having joint issues. I can’t see how 5/3/1 with an out-of-date TM would be a good idea.

You may want to consider other programs if you really want to attack it with everything you have. This one has caught my eye before, and I may give it a go next summer.

FWIW, I am in the same boat as you (6’00", 291 yesterday, minus the injuries/ailments), running 5/3/1 and prioritizing strength. My current lifting numbers are a little bit higher than your pre-fat loss lifting numbers. I’m not a dieting ace by any means, but I’ve managed to slowly shed a lot of fat while getting stronger over the last year and a half. Starting point was around 330, with zero lifting experience.

SLOWLY is the word here. Unless you are a very good dieter and lifter, you have to be able to live with that if you want to shed fat and keep or build strength. It is a long ass road, no doubt about it.

Do whatever keeps you engaged and moving in a good direction. Don’t ever quit.

[/quote

I have looked at that program before and disliked the lack of volume. Lack of volume maybe what I need though.


#9

Tough call, but with the arthritis, dropping over all weight will help the knees.

How long have you been doing the 5/3/1?


#10

I have been using 5/3/1 for about 2 years. Prior to that I was doing some whole body stuff. In Dec of 2009 I weighed 420 dropped down to 265 thru lots of cardio with some lifting. I am trying to get off the damn yo-yo. My big problem last time was lack of diet control, this time around I have put more focus on my diet.


#11

Congrats on your accomplishments to date. I would first and foremost keep losing body fat. As stated, losing weight will help you in the long run. In regards to 5/3/1 dial your training max way back. Slay one dragon at a time. In your case it’s the excess fat. Your still young enough to get to, and beyond your pre weight loss max. youre more than half way up the mountain, don’t look back and don’t allow yourself to slide backwards…you’ve accomplished too much already to look back.

Good luck.


#12

Thats a helluva big swing in BW. Sounds to me like you need to work on finding sustainable habits in the gym and in the kitchen. Things you do every week and every day because they are things you have made a part of your life, not because they get you around the next corner.

Derek542`s first post in my workout log was a reminder that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Those are very true words. I think you are wise to reconsider your approach at this juncture. Listen to those joints when they speak!

Keep working, good sir!


#13

Thank you for the encouragement.


#14

Just my opinion so take it as such. I cycle my heavy lifting to 4 months, then 4 months of “circuit training” (I work out in a Cross fit box and so I will just do some of their workouts, but mostly I write my own) and then I do 4 months of cardio centric work. I’m 5’10" and 41 years old. My heaviest was 305 and then dropped to 175 and then built back up to 260 lifting heavy. I came to terms that I am never going to compete doing PL, mostly due to 3 disk herniation’s in my back, meniscal tears in knees, shoulder arthritis and surgery on my right wrist. I came to the conclusion I would rather look good naked and live to a rip old age.

I love to lift and have done it since I was 13 years old. But I am in my heart just a gym rat. I have never felt better at 205 and I still lift heavy from time to time, but I no longer strive on that “total”, my body just cant take it. It may be an excuse to some, but if your back is so jacked up you cant put on your boots, that shit gets old after the years.

Anyway good luck and all I can say is get your diet (macros) under control and grind it out.


#15

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Just my opinion so take it as such. I cycle my heavy lifting to 4 months, then 4 months of “circuit training” (I work out in a Cross fit box and so I will just do some of their workouts, but mostly I write my own) and then I do 4 months of cardio centric work. I’m 5’10" and 41 years old. My heaviest was 305 and then dropped to 175 and then built back up to 260 lifting heavy. I came to terms that I am never going to compete doing PL, mostly due to 3 disk herniation’s in my back, meniscal tears in knees, shoulder arthritis and surgery on my right wrist. I came to the conclusion I would rather look good naked and live to a rip old age.

I love to lift and have done it since I was 13 years old. But I am in my heart just a gym rat. I have never felt better at 205 and I still lift heavy from time to time, but I no longer strive on that “total”, my body just cant take it. It may be an excuse to some, but if your back is so jacked up you cant put on your boots, that shit gets old after the years.
[/quote]
Nicely put. It’s kind of the same realization I am coming to although I am struggling with it since I love competing so much.


#16

Well done on the fat loss mission.

I don’t have the experience or the expertise to comment on working with injuries.


#17

[quote]kpsnap wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Just my opinion so take it as such. I cycle my heavy lifting to 4 months, then 4 months of “circuit training” (I work out in a Cross fit box and so I will just do some of their workouts, but mostly I write my own) and then I do 4 months of cardio centric work. I’m 5’10" and 41 years old. My heaviest was 305 and then dropped to 175 and then built back up to 260 lifting heavy. I came to terms that I am never going to compete doing PL, mostly due to 3 disk herniation’s in my back, meniscal tears in knees, shoulder arthritis and surgery on my right wrist. I came to the conclusion I would rather look good naked and live to a rip old age.

I love to lift and have done it since I was 13 years old. But I am in my heart just a gym rat. I have never felt better at 205 and I still lift heavy from time to time, but I no longer strive on that “total”, my body just cant take it. It may be an excuse to some, but if your back is so jacked up you cant put on your boots, that shit gets old after the years.
[/quote]
Nicely put. It’s kind of the same realization I am coming to although I am struggling with it since I love competing so much.[/quote]
I am kind of an all or nothing type personality so my lovely wife has been working on me for years to learn moderation. I am getting better. That being said, I couldnt do PL comps, cause that would “take over” all my thoughts and attention. Now being a business owner I just do not have the time and I will not half ass anything.


#18

OP, Great work! 531 is probably one of the more old/fat guy friendly programs out there, it is really customizable so I’d stick with it.

Some thoughts–Knee and elbow sleeves are/should be you best friends. They help stabilize joints, but also keep them warm and hopefully happy. A once in a while “not doing shit de-load” can be a good a thing, especially if you are dieting down aggressively. Also, dropping that much weight is going to mess with your leverages, so it might makes sense to really evaluate you technique. A funny development in you bar path can irritate joints, so it might


#19

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]kpsnap wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Just my opinion so take it as such. I cycle my heavy lifting to 4 months, then 4 months of “circuit training” (I work out in a Cross fit box and so I will just do some of their workouts, but mostly I write my own) and then I do 4 months of cardio centric work. I’m 5’10" and 41 years old. My heaviest was 305 and then dropped to 175 and then built back up to 260 lifting heavy. I came to terms that I am never going to compete doing PL, mostly due to 3 disk herniation’s in my back, meniscal tears in knees, shoulder arthritis and surgery on my right wrist. I came to the conclusion I would rather look good naked and live to a rip old age.

I love to lift and have done it since I was 13 years old. But I am in my heart just a gym rat. I have never felt better at 205 and I still lift heavy from time to time, but I no longer strive on that “total”, my body just cant take it. It may be an excuse to some, but if your back is so jacked up you cant put on your boots, that shit gets old after the years.
[/quote]
Nicely put. It’s kind of the same realization I am coming to although I am struggling with it since I love competing so much.[/quote]
I am kind of an all or nothing type personality so my lovely wife has been working on me for years to learn moderation. I am getting better. That being said, I couldnt do PL comps, cause that would “take over” all my thoughts and attention. Now being a business owner I just do not have the time and I will not half ass anything. [/quote]
I tend to be an “all or nothing” type as well. And competitive PLing is just so damn addictive.


#20

Derek I am leaning heavily towards your state of mind and focus. I am never going to lift competitively, so looking good naked and being healthy is far more important at this stage of my life.