T Nation

Helping My Dad

I’m helping my dad who is 50 years to write a decent program that is fat loss specific. His goal is to burn fat but still maintain a decent amount of muscle.

I’ve put together a program for him and I would be really thankful if you guys could comment on it. I am also aware that this can’t be done without a good diet.

It has some elements taken from War room strategies by Thib and TBT by CW.

Day ? 5x5
A2.Romanian Deadlift
B1.Bench Press
B2.Bent over row
C1.Military Press
C2.Lat Pulldowns

Day 2 ? 4x10
A2.Front Squat
B1.Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
B2.Seated Cable Row
C1.Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Day 3 ? (3x Circuit X)

Circuit A (12-15 reps per set)
A1. Bench Press
A2. Squats
A3. Dumbbell Rows
A4. Good Mornings
A5. Leg Raises

Circuit B (15-20 reps per set)
B1. Military Press
B2. Lunges
B3. Lat Pulldowns
B4. Romanian Deadlift
B5. Crunches

Circuit C - Optional (15-20 reps per set)
C1. Barbell Curl
C2. Standing Leg Raises
C3. Close-grip Bench Press
C4. Sit-ups
C5. Dumbbell Lat Raises

does he workout currently? does he have much recent workout experience? can he squat to depth, does he have any bad joints? is he going to be able to do bent over rows after squats and romanians, or is he going to throw out his back?

if he hasnt worked out in 15 years or something, i wouldnt throw him into the deep end just yet.

I believe this program will hurt your dad because if he was advanced enough to do this program he would be advanced enough to design his own program.

Some areas of concern:

Doing more than 6-8 reps of front squats can cause upper back fatigue forcing a big break in form.

Doing front squats after deadlifts is rarely a good idea - the upper back will be TRASHED and it’s unlikely it will be able to hold the scapula is place for the front squats and the remainder of the workout.

5 X 5 is advanced and requires a lot of structural balance and connective tissue strength; I’m not sure that your dad has this at this point in time.

The order of exercises seems unusual (although I’m reluctant to say it’s wrong).

You’ve thrown the kitchen sink at him with reference to the choices of movements. Consider few movements with different rep schemes to give him a chance to learn the movements perfectly. Doing 21 movements correctly is a lot tougher than doing 10 movements correctly. The motor learning that is required for someone to get proficient that what you have outlined is above what most people are capable of. If he’s a beginner, treat him like a beginner and phase in the tougher work.

Starting Strength + daily walks of at least 20min/day.
Gradually increase the walking speed and add hills.
Help him clean up his diet.

you might receive more appropriate responses in the 35 and Over Forum

the last thing you want is to injure your dad because of poor programming

The thing is, I would based on what I’ve heard from him, classify him as pretty experienced. Not in a know-good-programming way but I know he has a hard working ethic together with a solid understanding of exercises and their various variations together with execution of good form.

I showed him both the starting strength program and the one mentioned above, and he personally felt pretty good with my program. I did make him aware of the intensity but what the heck it’s his choice. I have the starting strength program waiting for him if he chooses to quit…

Anyhowz, just as a general question, is the program any good? For younger people? The order might look funny but its actually a push/pull/push/pull program structurally and together with good compound movements I don’t see how its anything other than pretty good?

Thanks for the replies!

Personally a starting strength or 3 day split would be my preference. I also would not super set dead lift and squat, your intensity will be fried …

That is a shitload of volume for a 50 year old non-trained person. That made me cringe a little bit just thinking about it.

[quote]Asoss wrote:
The thing is, I would based on what I’ve heard from him, classify him as pretty experienced. Not in a know-good-programming way but I know he has a hard working ethic together with a solid understanding of exercises and their various variations together with execution of good form.[/quote]
Has he ever lifted weights at least three days per week, for more than eight weeks in a row? If so, when? If not, this program is absolutely too advanced to begin with.

Does he have any physical issues to deal with? Joint problems, back/hip/knee/shoulder problems? Blood pressure issues? Asthma? These are all things that would disqualify him from going full throttle in your proposed routine.

Truthfully, I’d expect part of that is family pride. This is a major problem when training family and/or friends. They trust what you say, almost no matter what.

It’s a bit kitchen-sink-ish. A little TBT, a little fat burning circuits, and a pinch of garlic powder, and you end up going in all directions, ineffective in each one.

One point of the program I disagree with: each week has three squat variations and three deadlift variations and bent over rows and good mornings and sit-ups[/i]… you’re working his lower back much more aggressively than I would. At least without an overall lower volume introduction, or, if he has been lifting recently, a re-introduction.

Another point: Even though days one and two are both full-body, you’re using different exercises and different set/rep schemes on each day. Progress would be more consistent if you adjusted just one of those variables.

And that circuit day is insane, just too much to do all in one day. I’d rather split each of those circuits into their own day, and do more sets of each per workout. But I’d run that as a completely separate cycle, without the other full-body days you have listed.

I would not do SS. Horrible idea for a 50-year-old getting back into lifting, even if he’s active.

I’d try NROL - lots of unilateral and corrective exercises.

Thanks for the response Chris, I’ll definitely look into what you just wrote and I agree that family pride can affect negatively. Thanks!