Help the fat guy please.

Phill has basically nailed it. Some other advice, if you’re not doing it already:

Eat at least 6-7 times a day, with protein in every meal.

Your right-before-bed meal is very important. My advice for what this should consist of: cottage cheese, some Grow!, fish oil capsules and Vitamin E. No carbs, although if you really want to add in a few fibrous berries (like blueberries or something) for taste go ahead. No other carbs, though.


I can’t believe you’re telling this guy to ditch the high-rep sets in favor of sets of 5 “to maintain muscle mass.” He’s not 12%, he’s obese! Preserving muscle mass is not a big concern.

Maybe 2 sets of 5 for one major muscle group at the beginning of each workout, but that’s it. Even the gurus who focus on strength–like King, Poliquin and Ikei–recommend the 15 rep range and alternating sets for fat loss. Maybe doing EDT training for a month, then 15 rep training for a month is the best compromise.

fishgutz, not to make things complex for you but you got the wrong batch of posters giving you advice on this one. Their fat levels are much lower and they’re thinking about their own priorities, not yours.

End of week Stats and averages follows.

Body fat test on Health
Waist 57"
Hips 52.5"
forearm 12.5"
Wrist 7.25"

42.3% bodyfat 128lbs fat 176 lbs LBM

Food Averages for last week

Grams/cal/% cal

Fat 139g 1248K 45%
Sat 41 371 14
Poly 17 157 6%
Mono 37 330 12
Carbs 170 545 20
Fiber 34
Protien 225 901 33%
sodium was 5186( do i need to lower this)?

I know I need more Protein and less carbs, will try to dial it in completely this week

Do I need to try to lower my fat intake, or just even the 3 out?

What is the general opinion of going on a ketogenic(sp?) diet to jumpstart my weight loss? And Then swithcing to a t-dawg in about 1 month? Or should I run it longer?

Thanks for all the help.

I am still reading up on workouts, I am leaning towards EDT. More Questions on that later.

Barn-e I read in previous threads on you how is your progress coming?

Even the gurus who focus on strength–like King, Poliquin and Ikei–recommend the 15 rep range and alternating sets for fat loss.

Please show the article(s)/link(s) where King and Poliquin recommend 15-rep sets for fat loss. 'Cause I’ve never seen that.

But again: it’s going to be diet more than exercise that makes the difference here.

Do a set of dumbell bench presses for 8 reps.

Lunge 20 steps holding dumbells (ten each leg) moving forward with each step.

Max chin-ups (palms facing you), if you have to, use one of those gravity machines that cuts a percentage of your weight… add weight to your body if you can do ten chins.

Stiff legged deadlift the weight you bench pressed for eight reps (raise the weight if you find you have more than 2 more reps in you).

Shoulder press the weight you lunged with as many times as you can.

Go from one movement to the next as fast as safely possible, get a sip of water and do it again. Aim for five cycles.

First day (monday?)should be an intense effort, the next should be a day of moderate to light cardio and stretching. The third day (wednesday?) you should do the cycle using half of the max weight you achieved in each movement the first day. Then cardio and stretching the next and another hard effort thereafter(friday?).

First thing in the morning is ideal, but anytime is better than no time…

Make it tough and if the gym is crowded just shout “excuse me” as you lunge around the gym.

Find a good diet and description of said movements on this site and get started.

Do some ab work a couple days a week at the end of your workouts.

My personal best:
115lb dumbell presses for 7 reps

Walking lunges for 20 steps with 70lb dumbells

23 chins

115lb dumbells stiff leg deadlift for 7 reps

I don’t believe anyone should be able to bench more than they can lift off of the ground, I do my deadlifts stiff legged because I want to maintain a wonderfully round and desirable butt, but you can lift the weight off of the ground in any style you wish.


Lower the carbs, and switch those kcals to your protein intake and try and get more polys, and lower the sat…

As far as the sodium I dont see a problem with it.

Choose a program that you will enjoy and stick with. As Char has stated the majority of your progress is going to come from your diet.

Good luck,


I see you have been at it since Jan 1. What were your stats then as opposed to now? How difficult are these 15 rep sets? How difficult is your elliptical work for you? Have you added weight to the bar every workout? If not, why not?
Tell us about your weight gain. Weight about 5 years ago, 4,3,2.5 years,2…
Don’t get married to a routine. Find one you like and do it. High intensity intervals may be out for you at 315, but how about swimming? walking at work? Stairs to take instead of elevator. Always doing the same low intesity exercise, elliptical? Stationary bike available to you? whatever routine you are doing, do more the next time. More intense (gulp, hiccough) cardio/aerobic work. That is, even if the time remains the same, and you are doing intervals, hills, make the max effort time more intense, perhaps even cranking up the intensity of the lower part. Food intake is a huge part. Absolute caloric deficit is the only means of reducing fat weight.

Make it happen.

I haven’t even read all the othe posts. Dude, youv’e got a lot of reading to do. What I can say is:

  1. Screw everyone else, once you sort out your diet and excersise you WILL see results, provided you don’t have a thyroid problem or soemtheing.
  2. Thermogenics may help you lose fat, but if you don’t change your diet and lifestyle, it’ll just come back. There’s lots of good references in the posts above. Read them, practice them.

I wish you every success.

Char-dawg, I can’t reference them now other than Bowlfull of Jelly, but I’ve read Q&As by each of them which make the point. King says high rep, compound movement sets raise metabolic rate and are useful for fat loss. Look at a cutting phase in any one of his programs. Chad Ikei says whole-body workout with high reps 3 times per week. I recall a whole article called something like “Get Off Your Fat” on Paul Check’s site which talks about Poliquin’s high-rep alternating set method for fat loss.

If you are brand new to weight training, start with higher rep work. Since weight training will be a new stimulus to your body most anything will cause a result. The higher rep ranges in the begining will help to strengthen your ligaments and tendons and get your body prepared for the heavier lifting down the road. It will also give you a chance to perfect your form with lighter loads. Your joints will need some time to get used to this kind of added activity, remember they are getting a good amount of stress if you are carrying a lot of extra weight. This would also be a good time for you to see an EXPERIENCED trainer to evaluate your body for any major imbalances along with any areas that really need to be stretched. Correcting problems now will allow you to work out consistantly down the line. I didn’t look over your nutrition log to much, but start with the basics if all the number crunching is too much for you. Frequent meals, protein with each meal, cut out sugar/junk food, eat fruits and veggies, ect. Read T-Mag, ask questions, and make this a lifestyle change…don’t give up if it gets tough.

When I started on Jan 1, I weighted in at 308. We have snow and ice on the ground so I don’t know if the gym will be open again tomorrow. But doing some dumbell exercises in the house. I do have access to a pool, I love to swim, that is how I was planning on doing HIIT. I have been overweight all my life, when I was about 14, I was extreamly obese, mom put me on the cambrige diet plan, MRP in Morning, Mrp for lunch, and a heavy Fried Supper(laugh). I am afraid that my metabolism is messed up because of it. Anyway, I did lose alot of weight and slimmed down some. I was on the swim team, until I was 18. When in HS Football, had to have both shoulders repaired, wasn’t as active,and started putting on weight since then. 10 years later, after the kids are a little older, and the marriage is on auto pilot,job is where I can actully take a day off(self employed), I am ready to meet my goals.

On My current workout, I train to where at set 3 I usually only get 10-12 reps, I do go up in weight, but not every workout.
I know that diet is the most important to me at this point, just trying to get it dialed in.
Keep the suggestions coming, am learning alot.


Have you people lost your minds???

Building basic levels of strength is always a concern with people new or returning to weight training, and 10-15 reps is bullshit. The more strength you have, the more weight you move. The more weight you move, the more calories you can burn. Sure, I think that stuff like “Bowl Full of Jelly” has it’s place, but if he sticks with that stuff (Meltdown, etc.) he’s never going to build up basic levels of strength. He’s going to lose what strength he has. And strength, in my mind, comes first.

Sure. Circuits and higher reps ARE useful. But they’re only good if you have built up a basic level of strength. Once you’ve done that, everything else starts to happen. Before you have any strength, you’ve got nothing.

Kinetic energy is one half the mass times the square of the velocity. (Kinetic energy can be set to “calories”.) Ergo, more mass, more velocity=more calories burned. More strength means more mass moved. Olympic lifts mean more velocity.

But it all starts with strength.

I vote for a 2-4 weeks of 5x5, then 2-4 weeks of “Bowlful of Jelly”, then back to 5x5 (or another strength-based protocol), back to Meltdown, etc. This way, he gets benefits of both without getting stale.

Dude weighs 300 lbs. And who does “Max” sets? Leave some in the bank if you want to get stronger.

I think the exercise selection could be better.

If you’re going to do some circuits of this stuff, why not Olympic lifts and big stuff like squatting? (More weight moved, faster = more calories burned). I don’t mean to be mean, but my advice is still right–big compounds have big calorie needs, and rebuilding the muscle from big compounds also have big calorie needs. If he’s going to do circuit training, it should be built around the exercises that are going to provide the biggest calorie burn, both during AND after the workout. This means:

  1. Full or power versions of the Oly lifts

  2. The powerlifts

  3. Intense, multijoint lifts like clean ‘n’ press, burpees, “The Bear”, kettlebell lifts etc. etc.

The advice remains the same whether you’re trying to get strong or lose fat: money exercises are where it’s at. Of course, the focus will be slightly different, and so you build it (rest periods, intensity, etc.) a little different, but that’s the idea. No matter what phases you’re in, you build around the basics.

This is commonly thrown about, but I don’t know that it’s true. Where did you read this? Where are the references to this? I made NO progress until I started lifting HEAVY, 5 reps and less. All of a sudden, size, myogenic/neurogenic tone, strength… it was like a gift from God. The Powerlifting God. Combine with solid diet, HIIT to burn extra calories, and perhaps some cycles into some of the circuits you guys describe…

Dan “Grumpy-Pants” McVicker

Ligaments and tendons take longer than muscles to strengthen due to their lack of blood flow, this is why during a rehab program higher rep ranges are used. This guy is not rehabing, but throwing loads on him in excess of 85% of his 1RM without some conditioning is not the best way to go. I agree with you that compound movements are best, i was not suggesting that he do calf raises and lateral raises. Major compound movements like, presses, rows, ect. are fine but with a lighter load to begin with and then over a few mesocycles progress to the higher intensities. If he has never lifted weights before do you think his form is perfect? Ever see a newbie try to do an over head DB military or just a DB Bench Press? not a pretty site and a site that would be made worse by giving them a load they could only handle 5 times, higher rep work lets them practice and perfect their form. Plus if he is over 300lbs, can he even squat his body weight?? You want to add a bar plus weight to his squat??? When you barbell squat you are squating 75% of your body weight plus the weight on the bar. I find it hard to believe that this guy who is deconditioned can squat 300+lbs. He’ll have knee pain in a couple of weeks from that. Although the leg press is not the most optimal way to train, if you have someone who is deconditioned and 300lbs you don’t have an optimal training situation either. When i get someone who is in that condition i try to build them up to the point where they can comfortably handle their bodyweight on the leg press. Although there isn’t a direct carry over between the weight they leg press and their squat, it gives a good starting point as to when i can start to have them try to use their body weight. Again, this is only for obese individuals and at this time im also working on strengthening their core. I’ve worked with a wide range of individuals from high level athletes to obese men and women and a slower, safer approach works best with the severly deconditioned/obese people. Im all for heavy strength training, and use it on all my clients, men and women, who are brought to a conditioning level that is appropriate to have them do that type of training. But with someone like this who has been sedatary, there is no need to rush it.

Anyone opposed to his doing an EDT routine? He is at a pace that is OK, but less than optimal. My thinking is moving a lot of weight, compound exercises done in EDT fashion, HIIT or similar with swimming. If local fatigue will hit him too early with EDT with 2 exercises, than 3. bench, row, squat, on one day, 30 minutes, day two deadlift, pulldown, military…I lean to EDT because it is self regulating and systematic.