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Help Me Get Back into Weight Training

So I’m 1 year out from lower back surgery and will be attempting to get back into resistance training. Can i get some options and opinions on a 3 day muscle group split program and cardio to do a recomp. im 38 yrs old 230 lbs and about 28 percent body fat so in poor shape considering i use to be 185 and 8 percent. I need to avoid squat, dead-lifts and anything that put extreme compression on the spine at least until i develop and solid core.Maybe some advice on core work too that does strain the lowere back form anyone that has dealt with a l5-s1 herniation.

I had L 4, 5 surgery on my 30th birthday, thanks to some stupid lifting. About a year later I resumed light squatting (no deads until late 40s).

Just go slow and you’ll mend well. Unless your medical professionals advise otherwise I think an alternating pulling day/ pushing day workout routine should work well. I found a lot of walking helps if the pain reappears, but running can be murder.

Can you give me a breakdown of excersizes and sets and reps? Anyone?

I had L5/S1 herniation but did not opt for surgery.

I do everything I used to do before the herniation, but started back slowly and light, feeling it out. I started training again at whatever I could as soon as I could sit up again. I attempted to move in ranges that didn’t cause bad pain (as opposed to noisy pain) and then would try to extend the range.

You can’t go wrong with planks as core work, at least at the beginning. You can start with plank partials (like from knees and elbows) and work your way out to doing hands and feet with hands outstretched.

If you are out of shape, much heavier and fatter, and also weaker “cardio” is going to be Way harder than you remember. Trying to do the stuff you used to do when you were young and slender will be too much.

For cardio I would start out easy, with walking every other day for awhile. 15-20 minutes, whatever your back can take. Later, you can go every day.

For mid section

For lifting, what did you do in the past? Do you know your way around the gym, did you use body part splits in the past?

yes i use to do a 5 day split, back/bicep, chest/tricep, legs , abs/forearms, shoulders/calves, cardio every day, then 2 rest days. Now im trying to start of with just 3 days and wondering how it would look and what to do for leg day as squats and dealifts are a no go. and im sure things have changed as this was 8 years ago.

It sounds like you’re going to have to kinda figure things out as you work out. What you’re capable of, what works, what doesn’t hurt, etc.

I’d make it real simple, and based on what you’ve done in the past.


Go to the gym 3 times a week, and cycle through the 4 workouts so you get plenty of recovery between workouts.

Get your walks in during off days from the gym.

For lifting, pick like 3 exercises you used to like per body. Do four sets each. 10 or 12 reps or so.

Workouts 1-4, leave 3 reps in the tank on each set
Workouts 4-8, leave 2 reps in the tank on each set
Workouts 9-12, leave just 1 rep in the tank on each set.

After three “cycles” or after doing each of the 4 workouts three times, “Deload.” Start the progression over, leaving 3 reps in the tank. Add another exercise.

Leg Day will be super dependant on what works for you. Don’t do stuff that hurts or that rounds of over extends your back. It could be like;
Leg Curls 4 sets of 8 reps
Step Ups 4 sets of 10 reps per leg
Leg Extension 4 x12
Calf stuff

Do core activation and stability stuff before each workout, and as often as you can stand outside the gym.

Thanks for the advice that helps a lot. What is deloading?

Deloads are planned reductions in the weight (intensity), sets and reps (volume) or quantity (frequency?) of your workouts.

The basic idea is to work increasingly hard for 3-4 weeks, then “deload” for a week. You workout less hard, to give yourself a chance to recover and build new muscle tissue.

Its not like a break or a vacation. You still work hard enough to get results. But like minimum hard enough. Then you start busting ass increasingly hard for 3 weeks again.

Just put in my first day chest and triceps. Took it slow and easy but felt good getting back into it. Brand new gym that just opened by my house so everything is news which made it even better. Will be talking measurement and bf% soon and will update my progress. Please keep the good tips coming. After 90 days in plan to do a blast of my trt.

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