I’m J.D. out of the Gresham, OR area and have been at this weight lifting thing now for almost a year. It was something I had always wanted to do, but never had the guts to actually do it. Stepping into a gym and lifting a light weight was something I was not willing to do. Having been a grunt in the Army with two tours to Iraq pushing the physical limit time and time again it was easy for me to accept turning into a fat weakling. I couldn’t stomach the idea of embarrassing myself in front of others, because, hell! I had “been there, and done that”.
Over a decade later, fat and weak, I broke my clavicle in a rather ridiculous incident, and I am not sure exactly how I came to the conclusion but it was clear: I needed to get stronger, and less fat. Something in my brain demanded that I get my ass into the gym and get strong.
I started out in perhaps the worst place (Or best, depending on perspective) at Planet Fitness. It was cheap and on my way to work. I started out on a five day training split, and despite not doing any barbell work was massively sore every day for the first two months. It was difficult to stick with initially, but I never missed a day. At the end of the first three months I began to notice that I was close to maxing out the gym’s dumbbells (They only went up to 60lbs). I then decided that I wanted the challenge of getting to body weight on the barbell, switched gyms, and have been in love with this new place ever since.
Since this switch I’ve incorporated Mr. Waterbury’s Total Body Training, along with other training aspects he’s written about on here as well as in his book. Six exercises, four compound, two isolation, four days a week. I keep rest periods short, no more than a minute, two minutes for barbell squats. My main method of progression is to add weight to the bar if I can get to my total number of reps in an exercise in less than 4 sets (5 rep max). If I can get to two straight sets of 12 for barbell squat I add weight as well. As my calories are a bit under maintenance I keep the volume low, around 25-35 reps per exercise. I have a job which is mentally demanding, and at times, emotionally draining, and this is the ideal volume for me without losing my mind and transforming into a total monster under stress. Every once in a while I’ll throw in a late night after work quick workout comprising of whatever it is I feel like doing in the gym (Usually squats). Nothing gets rid of stress quite like heavy squatting for reps. Every three months I take a week off.
At 33, 5’10, 260lbs at 30% body fat I have a ways to go. My diet is a work in progress, though it’s headed in the right direction. I eat about 2300-2500 calories a day, with about 150-200g of protein, about 75-100g of carbs, and less than 50g of fat. So far I’ve lost about a half a pound a week on average, though I tend to gain some of it back after a day of drinking and hanging out with friends once a week.
Overall I am glad I got into all this weight lifting stuff. This is something I should have been doing during the entirety of my 20’s, but I’m very happy to be here now. I have a tremendous respect for all those who contribute here and to T-Nation. I also assume that those who come up with the formulas for Biotest supplements are goddamn wizards. Absolutely the best stuff I’ve tried.