T Nation

Journey From 400 Lbs.

Okay, I’m down to 325 now, from 380 (was 400…was about 380 when I started training this time around).

I’m going to start posting about every 4th training session on here.

Today, my partner and I did walking lunges (bodyweight, which is significant), split squats, step-ups, and deadlifts. The lunges and split squats were hard as crap because I’m so unathletic. It was VERY hard to keep my balance. It was effective, though. The workout was only 11 hours ago and my quads are already sore.

I hit a PR in the deadlift today!!! 275! I could only do 205 when I started at the end of July. So, basically, here’s how I’ve progressed since August 1st:

Bodyweight: 380----------------325
Deadlift: 205----------------275
Bench press: 135----------------180 (I know, I know this is appalling)
Squat: yeah, right--------215 (please keep in my mind my bw of 325 right now)

So, I’m pretty pleased with my progress thus far. Here are my concerns:

  1. I tend to go for days or even weeks without losing weight, then will drop 6-7 pounds in two days. I don’t understand this, but the plateaus DO get frustrating.

  2. My shoulders and core SUCK! When I military press with a 7ft Olympic bar, my max is only about 90lbs. I tend to lean back, and REALLY feel it stressing my abs and low back. My right shoulder is extremely weak. I can press a 24kg kettlebell overhead with my left arm, but can’t even press a 20kg bell with my right (and I’m RIGHT handed!).

Plus, it’s in the mid-range that my bench press gets stuck, pointing out again that my shoulders are my weak point.

  1. After reading a t-muscle article about mobility being limited by weakness rather than flexibility, I feel that that is the problem with my squat. It’s hard to go low without leaning forward…and I feel the squat in my low-back WAY more than in my legs.

I’ve tried to learn what I feel best on and have come up with a diet plan for the new year:


1.5lbs green “free” veggies (broccoli, spinach, asparagus, carrots, lettuce, etc.)
1lb grass-fed beef, fish, or fowl
2 Omega 3 Eggs
1 tbsp fish oil
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
50g whey/casein

This should come to about 1200 calories. On workout days I will add peri-workout nutrition like a Surge Workout Fuel, Spike Shooter, and Surge Recovery.

Two cheat meals will be allowed per week, but my cheat meals have REALLY changed this time around. I never eat crap. No fries, no donuts, EVER. Cheat meals are either very large versions of my regular diet (22oz prime rib! yea baby!!!) or a lighter carb meal (Subway turkey breast sandwich).

I’m hoping to hit 315 by Christmas, 260 by my birthday (May 19), and 200 by Thanksgiving 2010.

From there, the goal is to simply be 180lbs and under 10% bodyfat. My goals by Thanksgiving 2010 for my lifts are: Bench Press 225, Squat 315, Deadlift 405.


Hey man great work on loosing as much weight as you have thus far, just keep at it. Have any more info like what workout your doing, lifting history, or any other stats you might see other people posting etc. Looks like all your lifts are moving up steadily which is great, as long as you put in the effort you will get there.

[quote]irv2424 wrote:
Hey man great work on loosing as much weight as you have thus far, just keep at it. Have any more info like what workout your doing, lifting history, or any other stats you might see other people posting etc. Looks like all your lifts are moving up steadily which is great, as long as you put in the effort you will get there.[/quote]

Thanks for the kind words! I was always the fattest kid in school (thanks mom and dad!). I’m sorry…I’m responsible for the man I am at 36, but when you’re 50lbs overweight in the third grade, that’s the parent’s fault. 4 other times in my life I’ve lost over 90lbs. In 1996, during the heyday of Muscle Media 2000, I lost a total of 111 pounds, and was in striking distance of abs, but got sucked into the musician lifestyle which killed my new good habits. Later I ballooned all the way up to 400lbs. If I walked into a Subway, every yelled, “Jared, what happened???”

I’m ‘proficient’ in most weightlifting exercises, not including the olympic lifts. Being this fat (still), it’s hard to generate the power to do REAL cleans/snatches, although KB snatches are something I do pretty frequently.

One mistake I’ve made THIS time around is not sticking to a program long enough. I’ll try 5-3-1, EDT, 5X5, but always feel like I’m letting something slip if I stay on ONE. For example, I’m scared to stay on EDT (although I know it’s GREAT for body-comp) because I don’t want to give up handling max weights. I’m afraid I’ll lose strength. That’s why I’ve committed to using 3 programs (EDT, 5X5, and 531) in 2010 and cycling them every month.

What does everyone think I should do about direct arm training? My arms don’t seem to grow very much from the compound movements (bench, military, DB row, pulldowns) I’m doing…but I don’t want to waste workout time on stuff that won’t activate a lot of muscle mass. But, maybe an hour a week of direct arm work is the perfect RX.

Yeah!!! Down another 2-3 lbs today! I stepped on the scale one time and it read 321, then the next time it read about 323…either way, I’m down at least 2 more lbs.

The cool thing was, I really ate yesterday! I’m basically on a VLCKD. Yesterday, my wife and I went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel, I had a 10oz sirloin steak and about 5 eggs(!). About 1.5 hours later was my upper body workout (spike shooter before!), and an hour after that I at a whole Cornish game hen (w/out the skin). A couple hours later I had a greens salad with a bottle of isopure zero carb protein, then some tuna salad that night.

My legs and glutes are SO sore from Saturday morning’s workout. My partner and I have been squatting together for months, but the weirdness of doing bulgarian split squats and walking lunges have absolutely tortured my legs. And we’re talking mostly bodyweight here, with some 30-40lb dumbbells on the split squats.

Chest is actually sore this morning! We did a higher rep workout yesterday. Backed off on the weight, moved to dumbbells, and focused on serious muscle contraction. A real bodybuilding style workout instead of the strength style stuff we normally do.

It looks like I’m going to make it to 315 by Christmas!

I am STILL sore from the weekend’s workouts! My legs are back 90% from Saturday’s change from Back Squats to walking lunges and Split Squats…I never realized that there was such a radical difference on things that APPEAR to be similar exercises!

Out of nowhere I gained 5lbs today. I had less than 1700kcal yesterday. Fat people can retain water like crazy. It’s insane. Oh, well, I know it’s just water, no biggie. For those of us who have large amounts of weight to lose, bodyfat % is next to meaningless when you’re looking at having to lose 200lbs. I have no intention of putting on 200lbs of muscle (maybe 40!) so that scale is a bigger deal than to someone wanting to go from 200lbs at 15% to 190 at 6%.

My chest is only back about 60% from Sunday when I did DB Bench press with higher reps vs. the barbell benching 5-3-1 I’ve been doing. My upper back didn’t nearly as sore as my chest did. I don’t know if that’s because I didn’t work as hard on the DB rows or some other reason.

I had planned to lift today, but I’m still too sore. I think tomorrow I’ll do KB complexes, using the info in the latest complex article posted the other day.

  1. Double KB Clean X 6
  2. Double KB Snatch X 6
  3. Double KB Front Squat X 12
  4. Stiff Leg Deadlift X 12
  5. Double KB Military Press X 6

I’ll do three complexes with about 2 minutes rest between. Then, hopefully I’ll be ready for heavy lifting again on Friday.