T Nation

Looking for Feedback on Overall Diet/Lifting Plan

Hey all, long time forum stalker, first posting; I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible.

I have a very rigid work schedule and I am trying to adapt the Wendler 5/3/1 program and the CT Pulse Feast diet with a focus on slimming down while getting stronger. I am seeking advice and/or critiques of my plan. Thanks in advance for any insights you can offer.


  • 40+ yo male, 6 ft, 240lb, 27% bf, coming off spinal injury at work. Had surgery about a year and a half ago. Strength has been coming back decently. My endurance sucks and needs to get better.

My job can be physically demanding in short, but critical spurts. When that occurs I need strength, flexibility and endurance.

I grew up playing sports and hated the gym. It wasn’t until a divorce about five years ago that I discovered a passion for the gym. Now I can’t get enough.

Wendler 5/3/1 numbers currently, these are just the theoretical 1RM from a 5/3/1 app based on my lifts thus far: Military press 204, Deads 341, Bench 282, Squats 310.

Pullups before my injury I could crank out close to 20 genuine chin above the bar reps. Post-injury I am at six…the weight gain of about 30lb didn’t help and there was some minor nerve damage to arm from injury–but that is supposed to heal up over time.

Goals: My body weight is my last concern. Slimming down to a good maintainable body fat would be killer, like 15%. Strength of course is important but I am not looking to compete or being overly “swole”. Here is the body type I think is ideal…not that I would ever be so cut. If I had to pick a phrase to describe what my goal is: functionally fit for life and work:

Diet and drinking with friends. This is the biggest foe to my slimming down.

My work schedule is a tough one that gives me next to no time for the gym during work week if I want any chance of real sleep and some time with significant other. I work 4 days on and 4 days off, 12 hour shifts with a half hour commute in morning and about an hour plus in the evening. Before my injury I would workout after work but it left me with only enough time to do core lifts at gym and I would only get about 5.5-6 hours of sleep. New way gets me some cardio and about 7+ hours of sleep and quality time with SO.

On work days that are week days, because of traffic, I do cardio at work for about 30 minutes. So that is about 2-4 days of cardio out of 8 days.

On my four days off I hit the gym and do my modified Wendler 5/3/1. One day is Overhead Press+Deadlifts and accessory exercises. Rest day. Next gym day is for Squats+Bench and accessory exercises.

And since I am in ZERO rush to advance up the strength ladder, I stretch out the 5/3/1 program weeks to go for three weeks each cycle. So instead of the 1,2,3,4th week deload. My 1,2,3 weeks are approximately 9 weeks. No deload time. Then I start a new cycle.

I am a week+ into CT’s Pulse Feast. And I like it. It works especially well on work days since my schedule doesn’t always allow for eating. Off days are a bit more challenging especially with significant other. But she is supportive. Although not into fitness herself, bummer.

This was far longer of a post than I wanted…if you read this far, thanks! Any and all feedback is appreciated. Us “older” guys gotta help each other out. No longer young bucks but we can still kick some ass at the gym!