T Nation

Full Reset Needed!


Advice on my proposed ‘reset’ needed please…

Current stats
Age 30
Height 6’2"
Weight 95kg
Training: 14 years (running, strength training, triathlon, martial arts, job related fitness)
Neck: 16.5"
Chest: 42"
Waist: 34"
Thighs: 23"
Upper Arms: 15.3"
Calves: 16"

Previously considered myself to be in pretty good shape; 1RM squat 235kg, DL 240kg, Bench 145kg whilst also being capable of running a half marathon in under 1hr 35min. I was about 94kg and BF below 12%.

In Autumn 2016 I pulled (quite badly) the adductors in my right leg whilst paintballing (yes… taking it too seriously) and this meant a stop to squats and a stop to running for a considerable amount of time. I was back to some acceptable strength base again by early Summer 2017.

In the midst of this, I started shift working in December 2016 including a mixture of nights, lates and days, which has had some impact on my training, along with having a new baby back in February 2018. I have been able to train 2-3 times per week in the gym and have been able to do calisthenics at home, however since around November 2017 I have experienced a few issues:

  1. Lack of strength; 1RM squat has dropped from 180kg (Nov 17) to around 140kg, bench from 145kg (Nov 17) to 110kg, OHP from 100kg (Nov 17) to 70kg and DL from 180kg to 120kg. I feel that these decreases are more than just de-training. I’ve taken time off training before and not experienced this level of decrease.

  2. Lack of CV fitness; I used to run a 1.5mile in around 9min to 9min30sec whilst also being capable of the 1RMs above, and at the same body weight. I am now struggling to do 11 minutes. I am getting tired doing the most basic of circuits.

  3. Lack of muscular endurance; As above, I am finding that my muscles are fatiguing a lot more quickly than before.

  4. Lack of intensity in the gym. Previous to this winter I was a massive fan of intensity, favouring a hard 45-50min session to a drawn out session and was using super sets, drop sets, giant sets and circuits on all of my accessory work. I completed Smolov and Smolov Jr and enjoyed this intensity.

My body mass has stayed around 95kg and I have kept much of my muscle. I have had acne on my arms and back, and a flaky scalp.

SO - feeling pretty pants and I am needing to perform a ‘reset’ on myself and am planning on doing the following:

  1. Tracking food intake - Aiming for omelette for breakfast, mince and oats for snack, rice and fish for lunch, meat and two veg for dinner. A flapjack during the day for a snack if needed, along with apple and a banana. Aiming to be in calorific surplus.

  2. Tracking water intake. Aiming to drink my 3.75L container full of water every day.

  3. Reduce coffee intake. 2-3 cups per day maximum (sometimes I am having 5-6 per day at the moment).

  4. 5/3/1 Big But Boring as my training program, starting off again with 90% of 1RM as training max, with week 1 being Squat and OHP, week 2 being Bench and Deadlift.

  5. Supplemental training being a circuit of pull ups, press ups and sit ups (8,32,42 x 3) once or twice per week.

  6. CV work being HIIT 1-2 per week and LSD (20-30min) 1-2 per week.

  7. Supps being whey protein (40g) and creatine monohydrate (5g) every day that I train. I will take a multivitamin daily.

  8. GOMAD - perhaps see how this one goes.

The goals are to regain my all-time 1RMs by the end of the year and to get my weight up to 100kg. I will also reduce 1.5mile run time to <9min 30sec by end end of September 2018.

What are people’s thoughts on this? Anything else I should consider?


I’m in for this log. Welcome tWio the log section… unless you have had another log.
It’s a very supportive Forum and guys and girls are very friendly.

That was a heck of a loss in strength over a very short time.

Which brings me to 1 or 2 quetions:

Have you been training for strength these 4 months? total lay off? other?

If you have been training for strength and through these 4 months you have been losing strength slowly, then you might consider seeing the doc, you might have an infection or some illness that’s draining your system.

Otherwise well as your lifts shows, you know your way around a gym. So a deload week and back in the saddle :slight_smile:

Good luck with the comeback


Yes, quite a loss! I tried a cycle of 5/3/1 during this time and was able to do 1 rep on my 1+ days at 90% of my 90%… However, I was totally drained after this.

I normally do a circuit which I refer to as the Navy Seal circuit, which is 50% max reps of pull ups, press ups and sit ups, for three rounds, resting only so my training partner could work. I would normally do 3 rounds on week one, 3.25 rounds on week two, 3.5 rounds on week 3, 3.75 rounds on week four, until I can complete 4 full rounds, then I would re-test my numbers. This would be after a 5/3/1 session. Following my 1+ days I was basically baggage and had to go home!


Have hit 3400kcal each day so far.

Gym yesterday:

Back Squat 5x50, 5x62.5, 3x75, 5x82.5, 5x95, 5x107.5

Sumo DL 10x70)x5

HLR x10
Superset with 50kg Prowler x75m
X5 rounds

Calf Raise 12x50kg)x5


Age and sleep. Welcome to being a father in his 30s.

As I’ve aged it’s been harder to regain lost strength. It just seems to take longer.

I’ve never been good at cardio (nor have I tried too hard) so it takes me forever to improve a running time like the 1.5 Mike run. I’m so slow that by the time I start to see improvement I hit another life hurdle and lose my progress lol!

Aside from an abnormality like @mortdk suggested I think you’re just worn out compared to the previous version of yourself. There’s only so much gas in the tank and having a newborn and working nights or a rotating schedule can kill your training. Sleep is the most underrated aspect of training. Just watch your little one grow. He/she will sleep most of the time because that’s what it takes to grow. It’s the same for adults. That’s why Jim Wendler suggests naps in his 5/3/1 books.

Last night my son (20+ months old) woke me up 3 times from 9-1, again at 3, and one final time where my wife finally took him downstairs to rock him. We’re all tired today. I don’t expect to set any PRs at the gym today. I’ll be doing OHP so it’ll be obvious if it affects me. I seem to have very little margin of error with OHP.

I’ll stick around your log. I’m 33, have two kids, and work in law enforcement. It seems like our life demands might be similar.


JMaier31 yes I totally agree with your comments on sleep. I am getting a fair amount, as our new arrival is relatively quiet (her brother was a lot worse - never seemed to sleep!) but still, waking up interrupts the quality of sleep, as you rightly say.

I am hoping that by ‘normalising’ things such as calorie intake, caffeine intake, cold showers etc, I will mitigate as much as possible.

I am also in law enforcement, on a rotating shift pattern (albeit not working nights in my current role - lucky me!). If you are keeping tabs on me, it would be cool to trade some tips as and when… :slight_smile:


Last night’s session was three rounds of:

Pull Ups x 8
Press Ups x 32
Sit Ups x 42

Then treadmill sprints 20s on 20s off x 6

Started wearing my new Garmin 235 which is tracking steps, HR, VO2 max and sleep.

Steps - 7100
HR Rest - 60bpm (high! used to be in high 40s)
HR Max - 180bpm (on sprints)
Sleep - 2hrs 40min deep, 2hrs 50min light (the best night I have had in a few weeks! Hopefully a sign of things to come!)


Steps 20155
Hr rest 62bpm
Hr high 165bpm
Cals burned 5203
Cals consumed 5003
Sleep light 3h39m
Sleep heavy 2h48m

Training (2145hrs)
KB Goblet Squats 3x12 @32kg
DB Row 3x10 @15kg
DB RDF 3x12 @4kg
Cable Lat Raise 3x10 @4kg
Crunches 3x10


Steps 7872
Hr rest 65bpm
Hr high 165bpm
Cals burned 5000
Cals consumed 3355
Sleep light 4h11m
Sleep heavy 3h34m

Training (0900hrs)
OHP 5x20, 5x35, 3x40, 5x42.5, 5x50, 5x57.5
Bench Press 5x10 @40kg
Pull Ups 5x10 (2 full sets, then bands and pull down)
Prowler 6x50m @50kg + sled



Steps 15634
HR rest 55bpm
HR max 144bpm
Sleep Light 5h 3m
Sleep Deep 2h 25m
Weight 213.3lbs



Steps 8701
HR rest 60bpm
HR max 150bpm
Sleep light 2h 32m
Sleep deep 3h 27m



Steps 8586
Sleep light 2h 52m
Sleep deep 2h 59m
HR rest 60bpm
HR max 151bpm



Steps 5113
Sleep light 2h 42m
Sleep deep 3h 14m
HR rest 59bpm
HR max 123bpm

DL 50x5, 62.5x5, 75x3, 82x5, 95x5, 107x5
Squat 50x10)x5
Prowler 50mx50kg)x4
Roll Outs 3x10