T Nation

Just Tell Me What You Think


k fellas, from 96-2001, I did some really intense powerlifting. Before that, I was military and got my exercise from, well, military exercises.
Come 2001, an in line-of-duty injury put me on total disability. I had been a pretty solid 260 lbs (6’2") until then, but between then and about 14 months ago, I didn’t exercise for squat, and peaked at 387lbs. However, I got really disgusted with how I looked (as I should have), and over the past 14 months have lost down to 260.

I have a morphine pump for pain, but it’s only 0.899mg/day. I take psych meds cuz of PTSD & depression. Oh, and I’m diabetic, but not insulin dependent - I take one pill for that twice a day.

Now, I decided last week that it was time to lose more fat and regain muscle. My 25 y/o son had moved back in with us, so he and i started working out Monday. Friggin’ feels great. Thing is, since I always lifted (and ate) heavy before, I’m not real clear on how to drop fat and gain muscle simultaneously. I know my way around the gym, but would like to get some suggestions on the actual training exercises ya all would recommend.

At this point, we are doing a circuit training routine of 3 circuits, three times a week (well it will be 3 this Friday). The movements we are doing are as follow:

*Flat Bench
*Incline Bench
*either bent over barbell rows, wide grip pulldowns, or dumbbell rows
*shoulder press & forward dbell raises (& will be adding the side raises)
*dbell shrugs
*curls of whatever variety I feel like, sometimes two different
*triceps extensions, presses, kickbacks
*leg extensions
*Ham curls
*weighted ab crunches

As for diet:

Meal one - glass of grape juice
Pre-workout -> Peanut butter & Gatorade
Post-workout -> Peanut butter & Gatorade
Fourth meal - salad with egg whites and cheese

I will be increasing caloric intake, adding plenty of protein, etc., et al, ad infinitum

Will also be adding BCAA’s

Oh, I also use 30mg of testosterone gel a day (except this week I’m using more like 90-120)

I’m considering this week just a “break in” phase to get used to exercising again. However, next week I will punch the diet up, and most likely go to a 2-on/1-off/2 more on sort of split routine.

I realize it isn’t very bright to train like we are now for any longer period of time, and I know for certain how to line out the diet next week. I’m just wondering what anyone may think about me doing this initial week of near dog-day/very low calorie intake “conditioning?” Do ya figger my plans for after this week are ok? I’m 46 y/o, and like I said, it had been around 15 years since I’d lifted at all. I’m just trying to totally fry my muscles right now to gain SOME strength, and as for the diet, as I said, I know it’s totally unrealistic for any longer period of time, and I know how to line it out.

That’s bout all I can think of for now…ya all give me whatever input or suggestions you like and I’d appreciate it very much.

Thanks & ya all take care,


Thank you for your service man and I hate to hear about all of your issues you’ve had.

I would seriously look at your diet here, especially given your diabetes. I don’t know a lot about the condition, but just off the bat it looks like you need more quality whole food. Toss the grape juice and the gatorade out and eat some nice complex carbohydrates for your first meal like oats or something. I would say go something like this:

Meal One- Eggs, Oats
Meal Two- Meat, Vegetable, Carb (rice, potatoes, etc.)
Meal Three- Meat Vegetable Carb,
Meal Four- Meat Vegetable, Carb

Now, if I am missing the importance of the juice because of your diabetes forgive me… But that it a lot of added sugar through the day just from drinks. My meal plan provided might seem crazy, but I don’t think you could go wrong with it-- adjust the quantities of everything to fit your caloric goal for the day.

Remember, you have to feed your body. Training is telling your body what to do with the food you put into it. So eating well is really crucial for a strong healthy body.

As for the training, I think as long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing and making progress, go for it. Do what you can given your injuries. I think it is important to have clear cut goals to achieve. This could be physique or performance related of course-- but I think clear goals help develop good habits and discipline to form a plan of attack instead of aimlessly doing things because you think they help.

I’m sure some more good advice will be given as well. Best of luck.


I suggest you circumvent your program around health, not muscle gain.

When you get healthy, the fat drops. When you get healthy, muscles will be active.

Don’t fry your muscles. Apologize to them for the fifteen years of neglect.

If you aren’t insulin dependant, I’d suggest you work with a professional to ween you off that medication and sugar drinks. That’s includes grape, or any other fruit juice.

You don’t need a pre workout meal. And your post workout meal should be something like a sizzling piece of flesh with a gallon size of colorful plants.


These will lean you out fast and put on a bit of muscle…

Yeah ditch the gatorade and look into Plazma/Surge workout fuel/karbolyn product depending on budget


Although it wasn’t actually this post that caused me to handle things like this, centering everything on general health is what worked! There was a point around three years ago when I was at 387lbs, and using a total of 13 prescription meds/day for a variety of issues.

I stopped eating for any reason other than survival,which was key. Added as much walking as I could, then a weight lifting program about the same time as your response would’ve come through, and now, I am at 225lbs, in the gym daily, and looking decent for a 47 y/o dude. Also no longer take ANY oral medications. I have a morphine pump implanted in my abdomen, but it only dispenses 1/10 of the dose required when I was Mr. Fat Man.

It has taken a LOT of “gutting” things out, but dammit, I had been a sorry ass for wayy too long. I took control of every aspect of my life, & 162lbs later feel like I’m 21 again. Crazy cool stuff right there!

Now it is time to get religious about the weight lifting, add supplementation to the diet, and tune this body-engine up for maximum horsepower.

Point is, doing what you suggested, although I did it on my own independent of the suggestion, is what worked.

So your advice is definitely sound, and if there’s anyone else who comes along in such a situation, I concur that focusing on general health first is THE way to go.



Yep if over 35 just showing up puts you waay ahead of the pack. Fantastic progress!


You lost 162 lbs in less than a year? You lost the average teenager who posts in the beginners section!

Well done!


No sir, lost 162 in 3 years
Thanks for the kudos!