T Nation

Help!! Need Help!!

I have worked out most of my life. Im 32 now. last year I had an acident that left me in the hospital for 2 months, and months of rehab. I nearly lost my ar in the accident, and after a year of rehab, I am fully functional again. Heres the problem over the last 15 months, I havnt been able to do much at all. my body fat has soared to over 25%. My strength has vanished. Over the course of this year I went from a solid 195lbs with 11% bf to 250 lbs with >25%. My bench went from 355 to maybe 135. Bottom line… I dont even know where to start. I am fully capable of getting back into the gym now, and start training hard. But with such dramatic weight gain, and muscle atrophy, where do I begin. Thank you to anyone who can offer diet, cardio, supplement advise. I need it.

“I dont even know where to start.”

start reading T-mag!

take a look at the t-dawg diet 2.0, running man, and a strength training based program such as maximal weights, or ripped rugged and dense.

Beginner Blast Off Program and maybe the T-Dawg 2.0.

I’m not doctor but since you say you have “returned to normal” this might seem like someone else just starting to work out, or start working out again.

As far as exercise, I think initially you might have to hit the machines for a while. If you had that strength you mentioned before your accident, you have “muscle memory” in your favor. This is really good news as it isn’t going to take very much time to restore a good part of your strength given your injuries aren’t going to hamper you. When you build muscle, everything needed to feed the muscle is built as well; that doesn’t go away.

If this was me, I think I would adopt a normal training split, 1-2 body parts per workout, 2 days on 1 day off. Hit the machines with weight you can do anywhere from 6-8 reps with a 2 second concentric, 3 second eccentric movement.

Your bodyfat is another story. While you restore your lost muscle, this is going to help a lot. Also, realize that if you are eating correctly, someone who is overweight will start to change overnight if you are doing things right. That doesn’t mean you’ll notice a huge difference right away; usually a big difference is noticed by someone else but it will happen.

I have had great luck with a T-Dawg 2.0 diet. If you search T-Mag for T-Dawg 2.0 you will get a link to it. Basically its a pretty high-protein, targetted ketogenic diet (TKD). Probably not “ketogenic” in the sense that is relies on ketosis, but rather because you will generally consume protein and fat with carbs being targetted around weight training. The numbers for that diet can be run from the article about where you should start.

With this dietary approach comes a heavy emphasis on post-workout nutrition. The best thing to do is take in very high-glycemic carbs with a very digestable protein source. This is going to be maltodextrin or dextrose with a hydrolyzed whey protein powder. This shake should be taken immediately after training and consumed over a period of 15-30 minutes. The idea here is to get something that is digested almost immediately and to not overload your digestive process by dumping it all in your stomach at once. If you do it right, you’ll feel a “Surge” (plug for Biotest here). Your next post-workout meal should be real food, clean protein and clean carbs; NO FAT! Aside from this carb intake your carbs should be minimal (if not none which in practice is probably impossible) and your fat should be moderate with healthy fats like flax oil or fish oil.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Thank you all for your help.
Lucid… could you reccomend a specific post workout shake? Any other supplements?

your bench was 355 before the accident? obviously you were doing something right in the past, so i would look back on what you used to do. other than that, don’t stray far from compound movements.

since hes technically a beginner again, could he get away with working a bodypart 3 or so times a week, until the ‘newbie’ gains diminish?

one more thing, its been said that german volume training (or german body comp) is geared more for individuals with lots of fat to lose (greater than 15%) so i would search for this

Biotest Surge is a product that is mixed correctly for post-workout nutrition. You can make your own with the “raw materials”. Surge is pre-mixed for you in the correct ratio. Generally you want 3-1 maltodextrin/dextrose to protein. Its good to thin it out a bit; this will cause you to consume it a little slower, will give you more water, and will allow for it to be digested correctly.

Intuition might say that something like Coca Cola would be a good recovery drink, or a good drink for continuous exercise. The reason it is not is it is too calorie dense. When you want to get glucose into your system for prolonged exercise, or if you want to recover, you don’t want to overload your digestive system. This is why Gatorade is somewhat diluted. This is also why the timing of the consumption is important. Hey, if you aren’t getting carbs normally, enjoy them when you do! Especially this really nice sweet drink you get to have right after your workout. :slight_smile:

The numbers might be different for you but an example here; if I’m out of Surge, I get powdered Gatorade and a quality hydrolyzed whey protein powder (16g per scoop in this instance) and the ratio is 2 scoops of Gatorade for 3 scoops of the protein powder. I put this into the blender with a powder vitamin/mineral/amino supplement and spin it up. The scoop sizes for each product are different; keep in mind this is enough Gatorade powder for 1/2 gallon of normal Gatorade. :slight_smile: This drink mix is made with dextrose and sucrose. I generally have the blender filled with water so there is quite a bit of liquid there. Then I sit back and enjoy it.

Good luck.

Hey, there, Dudeman. You’ve been there once, and you can get back to where you were and better. No need to beat up on yourself.

There are three different areas from which you can hit this, and they all need a little bit of your attention:

  • Diet (first on the list because I think it’s the most important)
  • Cardio (on a regular basis, but only as much as is needed to get the job done)
  • Weight Bearing Exercise (there are tons of programs here on T-Mag from which to choose)

T-Dawg 2.0 is an excellent choice. You can find it using the search engine on the left hand side of the screen and changing the default to T-Mag(azine) so that it searches the archived articles. It’s an excellent diet, my favorite. It’s gotten any number of people great results without their feeling too terribly deprived. After reading the article, if you need help running the numbers, let me know.

Cardio, start slow and lay a foundation since you haven’t been working out for a while. Start at 10 minutes and add a minute every day until you can do 45 minutes at low to moderate intensity (65-75% of your MHR).

The trick in all three things I mentioned is to be kind to yourself and set yourself up for success. It’s not about punishing yourself because you got out of shape.

From there you need to pick a program. Look at them all and pick something that pushes your buttons. Whatever you do, don’t try competing with your old numbers. Find a weight that is challenging, even if it’s 25% of what you used to be able to do. It’s about challenging your muscles JUST ENOUGH to give them a stimulus for growth. Once again, it’s not about hitting it as hard as you possibly can to get back to where you were or punishing yourself. Honestly, when you’re cutting 3 or 4 days a week in the gym are all you need to preserve and protect LBM. And make sure you’re not in the gym more than an hour, whatever workout you’re doing. Anymore is counterproductive.

I would like to see you read John Berardi’s article on “Solving the Post Workout Puzzle,” I & II. PWO nutrition is critical to recovery and maximizing gains. Surge (the product he discusses) is in my Top 5 Most Important Supps.

For a protein shake, you’d love Low Carb Grow. It’s about the best tasting shake I’ve ever chugged down. It’s good quality, too.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!!!

Biotest Surge is the best Postworkout Shake on the market.

I have had the best results with a training split of AM cardio and PM weight training.

You’re starting over again, so don’t over do it.

Also, check out Shiggy’s thread for discipline help.