T Nation

Losing 50lbs, How Is My Routine?


#1

Hi guys I am posting for the first time looking for some advice. I am currently focusing on losing weight after gaining 80+lbs over the last few years from injury and inactivity and general not looking after myself.

I got gout last month for the first time and it was a real shock and completely filled me with the drive to sort myself out. I have been dieting while i have this current flareup, which hopefully will go soon, and have been focusing on dieting and mobility and doing things like assisted chin-ups etc which I can do without using my feet.

I have gone from around 208lbs to 190 in a few weeks and have visibly lost fat. My aim is to reach 155lbs which is my ideal and previous lean weight for my frame. Once I am at my weight and body fat goal I am planning on starting my first real lifting routine.

I want a very minimalist routine focused on strength and specifically getting a good level of strength on the big five power exercises:

Squat
Bench
Deadlift
Press
Chin-up

My program would also have to accomodate my other main goal which is to be all round useful and athletic. How would this do as a kind of all purpose general routine?

A
Squat 3x5
Bench 3x5
Weighted chin-up 3x5
Abdominal work/Hanging leg raises (optional)

B
Deadlift 1x5
Press 3x5
Weighted chin-up 3x5
Lower back work/Hyper-extensions (optional)

I have read kindle versions of starting strength, 5/3/1 and looked online at stronglifts and none of them appeal to me for a few reasons, I thought this would be better for the following reasons:

I would still use linear progression but raise the weight once a week (including for chin-ups), cut squat frequency of SL and SS while reducing the volume i would have on 5/3/1. This would allow moderate cardio without feeling destroyed.

I am in no rush to get strong, I am looking for a lifestyle change, slower progression, low volume and not squatting three times a week, while doing some cardio and eating healthy seems a great option.
My big brother is in the Military and does a similar program and told me about the site. Hoping to start a log and just wanted some other folks opinions.


#2

Mate, that looks plenty fine to me. The good thing is that it looks like you’ve done some research and have definite and pretty realistic expectations.

Just out of interest, though: you say right now you are doing assisted chin ups, so why did you put down weighted chin ups in the program? I used to be useless at pull ups and found it much better to start with bodyweight work with a hold at the top until I could do 5 sets of 4. Then I started mixing regular pull-ups without a hold and weighted pull ups - that really helped. It took about four months for me to be able to get 5x5 bodyweight pull-ups at about 195lbs this way.

Ordinarily I’d recommend using Starting Strength or 5/3/1 but since you’ve looked at them and don’t like them and come up with a decently viable alternative I’d say you’re good to go. Just keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to make tweaks as you go (changing the rep or set range for some lifts, etc) to keep getting results.


#3

If fat loss is your goal, and your diet is in check, and you are getting you the results you want with the fat loss, I don’t see anything wrong with your lifting plan. You are focused on the right lifts. Use the time while cutting to get the movements down, i.e., really practice the lifts. When you hit your fat-loss goals then you can then re-evaluate your lifting plan.


#4

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
Mate, that looks plenty fine to me. The good thing is that it looks like you’ve done some research and have definite and pretty realistic expectations. [/quote]

I concur. One minor change I would suggest would be to alternate between weighted and bodyweight chin ups every session. So 3x5 weighted in workout A, 3x max reps in workout B. OBviously, this only applies once you can do them weighted.


#5

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

Just out of interest, though: you say right now you are doing assisted chin ups, so why did you put down weighted chin ups in the program? I used to be useless at pull ups and found it much better to start with bodyweight work with a hold at the top until I could do 5 sets of 4. Then I started mixing regular pull-ups without a hold and weighted pull ups - that really helped. It took about four months for me to be able to get 5x5 bodyweight pull-ups at about 195lbs this way.

[/quote]

Hey MarkKO thanks for the positive feedback.

To answer your question about the pull-ups I am trying to get to 2-25 bodyweight pull-ups and I am using assistance bands to add more reps in.
So some days I will do unassisted pull-ups for a few sets then wait two days and do all assisted ones. Then next time I do them go back to unassisted and see how many I can do.

I find it offers me faster progress. I couldn’t even do a negative last month without falling straight down, now i can do a few very clean deadhang pull-ups/chin-ups. The weight loss is probably the reason though if I am honest. Losing the blubber is doing wonders for my pressups too.


#6

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
If fat loss is your goal, and your diet is in check, and you are getting you the results you want with the fat loss, I don’t see anything wrong with your lifting plan. You are focused on the right lifts. Use the time while cutting to get the movements down, i.e., really practice the lifts. When you hit your fat-loss goals then you can then re-evaluate your lifting plan. [/quote]

Yeah I am really hammering mobility right now. I have a copy of the supple leopard and the improvement in my squat is nothing short of drastic. Love that book.
For diet I am a firm believer in sensible long term progress. I am counting my calories using a 20% calorie deficit and am following a low carb macronutrient ratio. This way I don’t crave cheat days or feel restricted because if I really want to I can fit something tasty into my calories with no ill effects.

I think I should be ready to go once I have reached my fat loss goals in a few months. Only worries I have are about starting to consume more calories once I start a strength training routine. Don’t wanna see the fat come back and cling to me like a Rhesus monkey.


#7

[quote]YamatoDamashii92 wrote:
Only worries I have are about starting to consume more calories once I start a strength training routine. [/quote]

If you are worried keep it at maintenance for a month to let your body set a baseline. Then slowly add in more carbs post-workout and just keep an eye on things. If you don’t go crazy you won’t just turn back into a fatty overnight. Also, training will be much more enjoyable with a slight surplus and some extra carbs to help recovery.


#8

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:

[quote]YamatoDamashii92 wrote:
Only worries I have are about starting to consume more calories once I start a strength training routine. [/quote]

If you are worried keep it at maintenance for a month to let your body set a baseline. Then slowly add in more carbs post-workout and just keep an eye on things. If you don’t go crazy you won’t just turn back into a fatty overnight. Also, training will be much more enjoyable with a slight surplus and some extra carbs to help recovery.
[/quote]

I understand it is an irrational fear. Once I hit 155lbs I am going to knock my calories up to maintenance and once I start my lifting routine I am going to 100kcal surplus.
My brother recommends going with small but longer bulks to minimise fat gain yet still make progress so I will probably take his advice as he seems to get great results.

I just hope i don’t have too much loose skin, I already have enough stretch marks :slight_smile:


#9

[quote]YamatoDamashii92 wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

Just out of interest, though: you say right now you are doing assisted chin ups, so why did you put down weighted chin ups in the program? I used to be useless at pull ups and found it much better to start with bodyweight work with a hold at the top until I could do 5 sets of 4. Then I started mixing regular pull-ups without a hold and weighted pull ups - that really helped. It took about four months for me to be able to get 5x5 bodyweight pull-ups at about 195lbs this way.

[/quote]

Hey MarkKO thanks for the positive feedback.

To answer your question about the pull-ups I am trying to get to 2-25 bodyweight pull-ups and I am using assistance bands to add more reps in.
So some days I will do unassisted pull-ups for a few sets then wait two days and do all assisted ones. Then next time I do them go back to unassisted and see how many I can do.

I find it offers me faster progress. I couldn’t even do a negative last month without falling straight down, now i can do a few very clean deadhang pull-ups/chin-ups. The weight loss is probably the reason though if I am honest. Losing the blubber is doing wonders for my pressups too.
[/quote]

Makes sense. Again, you’ve obviously thought through why you’re doing it. I didn’t bother with bands as I read they assist the bottom rather than the top, and the top was where I had/have issues. Your band approach is a bit like how I use weighted pull-ups in that I use the weighted pull ups to make my bodyweight ones easier.


#10

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

[quote]YamatoDamashii92 wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:

Just out of interest, though: you say right now you are doing assisted chin ups, so why did you put down weighted chin ups in the program? I used to be useless at pull ups and found it much better to start with bodyweight work with a hold at the top until I could do 5 sets of 4. Then I started mixing regular pull-ups without a hold and weighted pull ups - that really helped. It took about four months for me to be able to get 5x5 bodyweight pull-ups at about 195lbs this way.

[/quote]

Hey MarkKO thanks for the positive feedback.

To answer your question about the pull-ups I am trying to get to 2-25 bodyweight pull-ups and I am using assistance bands to add more reps in.
So some days I will do unassisted pull-ups for a few sets then wait two days and do all assisted ones. Then next time I do them go back to unassisted and see how many I can do.

I find it offers me faster progress. I couldn’t even do a negative last month without falling straight down, now i can do a few very clean deadhang pull-ups/chin-ups. The weight loss is probably the reason though if I am honest. Losing the blubber is doing wonders for my pressups too.
[/quote]

Makes sense. Again, you’ve obviously thought through why you’re doing it. I didn’t bother with bands as I read they assist the bottom rather than the top, and the top was where I had/have issues. Your band approach is a bit like how I use weighted pull-ups in that I use the weighted pull ups to make my bodyweight ones easier. [/quote]

When I was lean and in shape a few years ago I would do the same. I would strap a couple 20lb plates to my dip belt and just do sets of 2 over and over until failure. Then when I introduced bodyweight pull-ups into my training my numbers would rise significantly.

For my routine when I start it I am buying a bunch of micro plates so I can do linear progression with small poundages. Adding 1kg a week to chin-ups seem pretty sustainable. Take that small amount built up over a year and you have 48kg (105lbs).