T Nation

I got my goodies yesterday!

Props to Chris Shugart, T-mag and Biotest for the cool swag my FedEx guy dropped off yesterday. I won the de-lurk contest and got HOT-ROX, a really nice water bottle, and a bitchin’ black HOT-ROX T-shirt. Those guys at Biotest must have some cojones; they’re taking a big chance with their product name by letting me wear that T-shirt on this body ;-).

Here’s my situation:

6’5", 210 pounds, 12% bodyfat by the Tanita (yes, I know it’s inaccurate, but it’s consistently inaccurate, so it’ll serve as a baseline). That’s down from a high of 300+ in March 2000, when I was the Pillsbury Dough Boy. I’ve been in endurance sports like running and triathlon for the past 4 years, lifting a sport-specific program once or twice a week for the past 2 years. Weekly aerobic volume is 8-12 hours.

But, assuming I passed yesterday’s psych test and interview, I’ll be entering the DeKalb County, Georgia, Police Academy in mid-April, and it’s time to get strong, fast and big, in that order. I plan on using HOT-ROX to lose these last 10 pounds of stubborn fat before I get there. That’s about 1 pound of fat per week.

I follow most of the rules in the “The Big Hot Ten” insert that came with the HOT-ROX already, but my carb intake is too high. Depending on the training phase, I eat 3000-3500 calories a day, with 60% carbs, 20% protein and 20% fat. I plan on cutting back the carbs to 1g/lb bw, getting my ratios to 33/33/33 or thereabouts. My daily goal is going to be 2500 calories. I’ll follow the directions on the bottle of HOT-ROX for doses and times. I’m keeping my cheat day for sanity’s sake, but will drop it if I don’t progress.

Get strong: Warmup is 10-20 minutes of aerobic exercise, followed by a stacked superset (my term, I don’t know what it’s actually called) of PT exercises. This week, it’s 5X20 pushups, 5X20 situps, 3X3 pullups, all in a superset format with minimal rest. I’ll add sets and reps each week, with a goal of doing 100 continuous pushups, 12 deadhang pullups and 100 situps by the time academy starts. I’m also exploring some boxing or fight training at one of the local gyms, and incorporating some of Coach Davies’ recommendations and Furey’s Combat Training when I hit my goals.

Get fast: I’ll maintain run frequency (4 or 5 times a week), but will reduce the volume to add some intensity. My hour+ runs will become 30-40 minute interval or tempo sessions with warmup and cooldown, and maintenance runs will be at a moderately hard intensity. I’ll mix in hard swimming or biking for crosstraining when I get tired of running.

Get big: This will be hard to do with my aerobic volume and reduced calories, but is the least important of my goals. I’d like to add some mass to my traps and delts so that I’m not such a pencil-necked geek. I’m hoping that because I’ve never done much work on them that I can get those muscle groups to respond even with my reduced calorie intake.

Comments, concerns and criticisms welcomed! Thanks again to T-mag and Biotest for the goodies, and for having a tremendous resource. I’ve gleaned loads of good info from your forums and articles. Awesome site!


Great job on the 90 pound weight loss and making it into the academy!

As for your plan, are you going to do any free weight training? I may have missed that, sorry. The high rep PT stuff sounds good for conditioning and for academy prep, but you’re not going to get big or really strong on body weight work alone. Also, can you cut your aerobic volume and replace that time with weight training?

I think you may need to focus your goals and attack them one at a time. The Hot-Rox is great. Just remember it can help you build muscle as well as lose fat, so rely on more than just the scale to judge your weight loss. You may also consider posting some photos here. Sometimes that makes it really easy to offer advice on what you shiuld be focusing on.

Congrats on winning,even more so on losing 90 lbs.Thats pretty damn good.Most of the larger police associations here have powerlifting teams,after completing the academy, you may want to see if the same is true in your area.Keep it up.At 6’5’’ with smart weight traing you will be one big

Exactly why davo won this week, solid straight to the point advice you should really consider.

By the way great job on your progress so far.

Thanks davo2.

Oops, I forgot to post my free weights. I’ve changed to a three day split for weights (pull, push, legs), using The Beginner’s Blast-Off Program as a guide, or 3 sets of 10-12 reps, with about 90 seconds rest. I’m lifting each body part once a week, and try to get two compound exercises for each part (e.g. push-ups and dips for chest, pull-ups and one-armed rows for lats, etc.). I do the PT exercises I posted earlier for every session. I’m planning on doing that routine for a month, then changing something to spur progress, probably more sets, more weight, more rest and less reps. Does that seem reasonable? I am recovering well between workouts, i.e. no prolonged soreness or fatigue.

I’m leery of cutting back too much on my running, because I’ll be doing lots of it in the academy. Do you think it might be more effective to do a month of weights focus (run just a little for maintenance), then ramp the running back up before the academy to prepare? And if I did that, would I add more exercises, go to a four-day split, work each muscle group more during the week, do my PT exercises on different days than weights, etc.? In short, what would be your recommended changes to my weight routine if I took that route?

I’m going to fiddle around with the digital camera in a bit, and let the T-men see what a skinny wuss looks like ;-).

Thanks again,

Way to go, Rich!!! Congrats on the weight loss. It’s so nice when your dedication, focus and hard/smart work pay off.

I come up with almost the same caloric intake you did, but with slightly different ratios that I would recommend that are more conducive to weight loss and more protective of LBM.

Protein should be 1.5g x LBM. You’re looking at 272g of protein per day or 45g of protein per meal if you eat 6 meals. Actually, I’d like to see 40g of protein per meal (6 meals) and one middle of the night protein shake (30g).

Fat for health and for performance (and for weight loss) should be .4g x LBM. That works out to 74g of fat per day. Be sure that you’re getting 6g of EPA/DHA in the form of fish oil. That’s a high performance fat, one of the few you can feel and see a difference.

I like your carb numbers.

If you followed the recommendations above, it alters your macronutrient ratios and adds about 94 calories, but I think it will be more complementary to your goals.

Re the warmup prior to working out, it would be better if you limited it to 5 minutes. 5 minutes will get your heart going and the blood to the muscles, but it won’t use up the glycogen needed for your workouts.

Optimize PWO nutrition. Read John Berardi’s article, “Solving the Post Workout Puzzle,” I & II.

To optimize recovery, performance and weight loss, I would recommend that you divide carbs into two different groups in your mind. Green veggie carbs and starchy/sweet carbs. As a general rule, take in your green veggies (high in fiber, high in satiety). Take in your starchy carbs (and Surge) in conjunctin with your longer runs, weight or strength training. Ideally, they would be taken in AFTER said sessions.

Looks like an all around good plan, Rich. You’re right that you’re not likely to put on size while cutting and running at your current volume, however, as you strip fat, you will be better able to see the muscle you have. And besides, Goal #1 right now is making sure you get through the academeny. You can put on size after that.

I like Tampa’s advice. You definately have to up your planned protein intake if you want to maintain and build muscle. However, at 6’5,210 and 12%bf that puts you at about 185lbs lean mass. At 6’5 that is not very much muscle. If you focus on building your muscle, your bf% will naturally come down because of the added lean weight and the thermogenic properties of extra muscle and you will not lose any strength, which often(not always) happens with weight loss. If you try losing that last 10lbs, it will not be all fat. Even if you do it properly, you might still end up losing a couple pounds of muscle. You cannot afford that muscle loss. For your goals, you would get more benefit from working at adding muscle mass as opposed to losing the fat. I have developed programs for the Metro Toronto Police Force and the RCMP(Mounties) in Southern Ontario and have seen much better results for on the job performance based on these protocols.