T Nation

Need Advice About Toxic People

Hey all, long time lurker.

About a month ago, I really got fed up with how much weight I’ve gained in the past 3 years. I was never much of a lifter. I grew up doing Judo, I boxed and I did about a year of BJJ at Renzo Gracie’s, until I couldn’t afford it anymore.

In the past three years, I stopped eating right, didn’t exercise or train much and I ballooned up to around 290lbs.

Like I said, about a month ago, I got back into eating the right things and I wanted to make a change. During that time, I got a new partner at work (I do retail loss prevention). He is green behind the ears and I was set up to mentor him because he’s had problems bringing shoplifters back into the store (be it physically or verbally).

Well, the first day with him, he spots a guy who tried to stab him about a month before and the guy ends up shoplifting again. My partner (let’s call him Bob) decides to go outside and asked me to follow up from behind if there are any problems.

Bob, off the bat, screws up the entire apprehension by shouting ‘GET ON THE GROUND, GET ON THE GROUND’. Long story short, the guy attempts to pull the knife, I throw him to the ground, he powers up with me on top of him, and i proceed to throw him two more times before I can get him handcuffed, meanwhile, Bob did nothing to help.

Two things I got from that altercation was, Bob is an idiot and two, I may have had great technique with my throws (well good enough anyway), but my strength was far below what someone my size should be.

Later on, I find out that he garnished the story by adding himself into the fight, stating how he ‘got his blows in’. I don’t mind that, but it was my first clue that this kid was poison.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, I get him motivated, to help me get motivated and we joined a gym. I haven’t stepped foot inside a gym since 2005, so I’m a little bit nervous. I don’t remember how to set up a routine, especially for someone in my condition, I’m reading the T-Nation articles like crazy, overfeeding my brain and it can hardly digest.

But I jumped in with both feet because it’s now or never. The problem with Bob is that he eats horribly, drinks a lot and his goal is to be a BEAST. Ok. I point him to this website, tell him what is required to meet that goal and let’s just do it.

The first day, we did chest and back. My numbers are laughable. Warmed up on the row machine for 5 minutes, then I did 4 x 10 at 75lbs. on the bench, the same on the incline. I did 4 x 10 front pull downs and felt horrible.

I was dazed and felt like throwing up. I don’t know if it was the Surge or just the first day bug. It was to the point that I called it a day there. I felt bad about it, and I told myself I would do better the next day. Later that day, I find out that Bob told another co-worker that I couldn’t lift for shit and that I got too sick to continue. I got angry. My ego was bruised a little and I felt ashamed, but I ended up just letting it roll off my back.

The next day, I did Legs. It was a better day than the last, but I felt I didn’t have a good routine. I did 4 x 10 squat at 75 lbs. and the leg press machine 4 x 10 at 200lbs. I really wanted to do deadlifts, but I was afraid on how my form would be and I had no one to show me, hands on, how to do it. After doing 4 x 10 calf raises, I jumped on a bike and did 5 miles in 15 minutes.

Throughout the week, I’ve been eating almost every meal with Bob. Bob has yet to change to a clean diet. My meals go like this:

Morning: Protein shake + small handful of quaker oats + half a banana mixed in with some benefiber. Multi-vitamin, Rez-V & Alpha Male taken

Snack: Apple, banana, grapes

Lunch: Can of tuna with a teaspoon of mayo and a salad thrown inside the bowl.

Snack: Cottage cheese, fruit, salad etc.

Meal: One chicken breast, cut in half, pan fried in extra virgin olive oil, rubbed with cumin, pepper, onion powder and a little adobo. I also have a serving of green beans, carrots and peas.

Snack: cottage cheese, fruit, or a protein shake


Bob’s meals go like this

Breakfast: none. Maybe a banana

Snack: none

Lunch: Chinese food

Snack: chicken cesar salad

Dinner: Steak, garlic bread, beer


Bob is constantly asking me if I want any of his food and he wants a drinking partner. My food cravings have stopped, but the smell doesn’t turn me off like it used to back in the day. I’m trying to kick that now. But, in the mean time, this is like putting a crack pipe with a rock next to a crackhead.

Fast forward to this week. Yesterday, we were doing shrugs on a machine. I had about 85 lbs. on there and we were on our last set before we were going to hit the bench and Bob swears he pulled a muscle coming off of the last rep.

I didn’t doubt him, so I told him to take it easy. I finished up on the bench and we left. 2 hours later, he was fine. Today comes and I call him at 8am and he tells me that his neck is hurting real bad and he can’t move it and he might have to go to the hospital. I asked him if I could use his shower after I get out of the gym and he said fine.

Legs were up today and I upped my squat to 4x10 of 100lbs. I felt better about that, but once again I was lost on what to do. I did calf raises and the bike again and I had to call it a day because I had to head to work in 30 minutes. Not getting a solid workout in is upsetting me. I get to Bob’s house, which is 2 minutes away and he’s ready for work and he doesn’t seem to have a problem moving his neck. Did he just okie doke out of a workout? I think so. The day followed where he ended up eating fried chicken wings and french fries, while I, not being able to bring food to work, ordered steamed chicken and broccoli with mixed vegetables and no sauce or rice.

What do I do about Bob? I am getting no motivation from him, the guy eats like a slob and he can’t be consistent with training. I swear, every time I look at him, I am reminded by an article I read here a long long time ago about how friends and family can be poison to you. My problem is that this gym is right by his house and we both signed up for a year membership. Do I keep going… any advice on how to get past this?

Also, I know this is asking much, but is there any way someone can help me with a weekly routine? I’m really trying to put something together, but I keep falling short and I never have enough time to look at what would work best for me.

I am 25, 6’1" 272lbs. I do not know my bf%, but it’s gotta be a lot. I have bad gyno, but it’s gone down a bit, along with my stomach. My goals are: to get down to around 210-220, to increase my load to a non-laughable state, and thirdly to really start working my core muscles and explosiveness.

At this point, I have the last one on the back burner, because I just don’t feel comfortable fighting at this weight. I’m embarrassed to spar or roll with anyone. I’m not saying I want to compete, but I am really trying to get my groove back and be able to handle myself when I get into a situation that lasts over 1 minute.

I didn’t think I’d write all of this and I am surpised if anyone managed to read through all of this. I’d really appreciate it if I could get some advice and maybe even insight on a weekly routine that fits my pattern.

Thank you for your time.

Short time lurker, first time poster!

Sounds like you’re working pretty hard. Possibly a bit too hard, workouts are supposed to feel good. At this point, you can probably just take a few weeks doing almost anything that’s actually exercise and doesn’t feel too rough, just to build up your conditioning for harder things. Lifting, running, judo warmup, whatever you enjoy.

I started from about the same point as you, by the way. I’m now down to 250 or so and a lot stronger, more energetic, and healthier (blood lipids, blood pressure etc). I haven’t done everything perfectly–ideally I would have lost more fat–but I’ve found persistence is much more important than speed. I really enjoy my current program, which happens to be straight out of the book Starting Strength. You might like it too–you start with sets of 5, which are less painful than 10s, and as a beginner you will increase your lifts almost every workout, which I find tremendously motivating. And it has 32 pages of deadlift instructions. The book’s pretty cheap–it was easily worth ten times the price for me.

Regarding Bob, it sounds like you just don’t like him, which is fine (and he doesn’t sound particularly likeable). Feel free to stop working out with him and/or otherwise limit interactions. But if I may be so bold, I detect a a fair bit of energy coming from you in disapproving of his unhealthly eating and lack of diligence with the workouts. That’s understandable, but you might feel better if you can let it go. He just isn’t at all in the same place as you in wanting to improve himself, but that’s just where he is right now. You’re not, and his choices don’t have to affect you.

I guess I really connected with your post, it reminds me a lot of me, so I had to sign up just to reply. So, best wishes, and let us know how you’re doing.

-Fuck Bob, he’s clearly a tool

-Yes keep going to the gym

-It also sounds like your not eating enough. At 272lbs you should cutting on a minimum of 2000 calories which I suspect your nowhere near at the moment

  • For advice on how to create a routine checkout the stickies at the top of this forum

Good luck

Try to find a better training partner. They’re worth their weight in gold. A poor training partner like Bob will just drag you down, both physically and mentally.

Keep at it man. You sound like you’re on the right track and you’ve definitely come to the right place.

There are some “Bobs” here too, but very few and they become real obvious after a while. Just avoid them.

Good luck.


Bob just had a kid. He can’t make it to the gym anymore because of lack of sleep. I’ve been out of a training partner for about 2 weeks now. Dropped down to 5 x 5 and the weight has been going up each week. I’m pretty happy about that.

My diet is shaky though. It’s not that I’m eating bad, but I just can’t get the meals I want. I just broke up with my girlfriend and times are tuff. I’ve been stressed and along with not food shopping much, I’ve only been eating about 3x a day. I’ve dropped down to 260lbs. but I know my progress would be so much better with the right meals. Hopefully in the coming month I get this problem fixed.

Ultimately I have no training partner. I can’t get anyone I know to commit, so I guess I’m going to have to buy an Ipod. The music in the gym blows hardcore.

I found video of that altercation where Bob dropped the ball. You can’t really see much, except maybe the first throw, but the shot of me at the end (in the black) gives me motivation to keep dropping the weight.

[quote]Larfox wrote:
Bob just had a kid. He can’t make it to the gym anymore because of lack of sleep. I’ve been out of a training partner for about 2 weeks now. Dropped down to 5 x 5 and the weight has been going up each week. I’m pretty happy about that.

My diet is shaky though. It’s not that I’m eating bad, but I just can’t get the meals I want. I just broke up with my girlfriend and times are tuff. I’ve been stressed and along with not food shopping much, I’ve only been eating about 3x a day. I’ve dropped down to 260lbs. but I know my progress would be so much better with the right meals. Hopefully in the coming month I get this problem fixed.

Ultimately I have no training partner. I can’t get anyone I know to commit, so I guess I’m going to have to buy an Ipod. The music in the gym blows hardcore.

I found video of that altercation where Bob dropped the ball. You can’t really see much, except maybe the first throw, but the shot of me at the end (in the black) gives me motivation to keep dropping the weight.[/quote]

If you need to get 2-3 more meals a day, go to gnc and get a MRP, or order Metabolic Drive from this website. Deadlifting isn’t as hard as it looks, give it a go, and report back. Finding a place where you can practiceyour martial art/boxing whatever you do will help you lose weight fast, and keep you prepped for your job.

I feel your disappointment. I still invite people to train with me, but I know I’m on my own. A great training partner is like a great friend: if you find ONE in you lifetime, you’re lucky as hell.

The good news: to realize your goals, you only have to rely on yourself.

I have plenty of Metabolic Drive. The problem is that I don’t take it with me. I have one in the morning, one after a workout and on workout days, I have one before I go to sleep. Like I said, I’m just being inconsistent when it comes to eating and it’s something that should change this month coming.

I still haven’t gotten myself to do deadlifts. I have a fear of doing them wrong and fucking myself over. That is another thing I would like to fix this coming month. I just need to drop whatever is holding me back from asking the trainers in the gym.

Focusing on these issues, as well as progressing is really going to help me, especially because of my personal life situation.

Edit: I don’t see the video on my last post, so I’ll just link one I upped: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_6mha_aENM

Deadlift isn’t really too hard to get the hang of, I’d suggest just watching several video clips of people doing it and try and develop a solid mental picture of what the motion should look like. Once you have that down start with a low weight and do some mirror work until it feels like you’re doing it right. Also there are several great articles breaking down the deadlift on this site, CT just did one and Cressey did a multiparter something like a year ago or so. The key is to take it slow and get your body to understand the motion before you start adding the weight.

As far as the training partner issue I feel that unless you have a halfway decent person to workout with I’d skip people entirely. I generally have my best workouts solo because I just crank up my ipod and put myself into a zone (people probably think I’m weird because I pace back and forth between sets but it works for me).

Deadlifting now and I feel pretty great. I’m down to 245lbs and my strength is up, but I have been having a few too many cheats and still not eating enough. I’m determined to fix that.
I can notice the difference in these videos. First one is from earlier this year, probably around 280lbs. Last two are from last month, at around 250lbs. Quality is horrible, but this is all I have, I don’t take pictures.



that might be the most unique way to post progress comparisons.

Today I actually made friends in the gym. I was deadlifting and two guys approached me after my warmup sets and told me that my form was bad. They said my squat form was done well, but I am not doing good on deads. They walked me through it and I did my real sets with good form. Pretty happy, considering I’ve seen these guys most of the times I am there.

Yeah, I figured it was pretty weird. I took pics the other day, but I do not have any of when I started to drop the weight. I’m going to go down to 220 and see where I stand as far as how much more I want to lose. If I do not get rid of my chest fat in the next 25lbs, I will go down to 200.

Randomly looking through Craigslist one day, I found an ad for someone in need of a training partner in the gym I go to. I thought what the hell, we had similar stats, goals, and workout hours, and made arrangements for the next day. She never showed up. I got a text message with an apology and plans for the next day. I never answered back. I don’t miss my workouts, period.

In my mind, there is no excuse short of losing a limb. Unless someone is so dedicated and so driven that I have a hard time keeping up with them, I wouldn’t even consider a workout partner.

I have always taken a CD player or ipod to the gym with me. I cannot workout as well without music. In the last couple of years, I’ve become very fond of listening to drumb and bass while working out. I look foward to working out to new trakcs, mixes, albums, etc. They also won’t tell you they haven’t gotten enough sleep and can’t come with you to the gym.

In my school gym, 3 guys workout together. They love pressing. And possibly deadlifting too. Because one guy deadlifts the weight off the other guy’s chest. The third guy cheers, or claps, or jumps. Which would be completely okay, mind you, if it were in atrocity. But its not. In between sets, they do “bones”.

As a beginner, I think it’d be more beneficial to make your own program. As a previous poster said, when you first start, just about anything will get you gains. Most people make programs based on their strengths and likes. When you are ready to change that, try someone else’s program. It’ll force you to do things you are not accustomed to, and that you may have never made yourself do on your own.

More protein, less Bob.

The people you see at the gym all the time are usually happy to help out, so long as you don’t cut into their training time too much.

Drop that bag of crap you call a workout partner man.

You can’t save everyone.

Punch Bob in the face and buy an IPod.

About to head to the gym now, but I just thought I would clarify that I no longer train with Bob. Bob has gone about 4 times total since this thread started, and I go about 3 times per week. I also bought an Ipod Nano a few weeks back and loving it. Apple let me inscribe something on the back, so I wrote " -Invictus - Veni, Vidi, Vici" Invictus is latin for Unconquered. There is a poem that always inspired me ever since I was young.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of Circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of Chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I don’t have a partner, once in a great while I might ask for a spot, but usually I can rig the power rack and safety bars to where I can hit big weight with minimal danger, try it. Yeah I say fuck it “Just like in life, in the gym all you can really count on is you”

Yeah from warmup to the end of my session, I have my metal blazing through my headphones, nobody bothers me.

I’m wondering if a good total body routine is order for you, I mean, that’s the goal right expedite as many calories as possible a session. Maybe starting strength from Mark Rippetoe and then onto something from Chad Waterbury.

I don’t think nothing can beat an intense full body workout for fat loss. Then again I’m on the other side of the spectrum and I’m trying to gain what would I know ha.

Well good luck to you Larfox and if there is one thing we all have in common here when hitting the iron is goals and achieving them is the best feeeling, so keep at it, you owe it to “yourself” and fuck anybody else who thinks otherwise. Yeah Spike gets me revved up real good, wish today wasn’t an off day cause I’m amped.

I started Rippletoe’s Starting Strength on Monday, and I came home from doing Workout B. It’s the first time I’ve done squats twice in one week, which felt great. I managed to get two plates down on the last set, a PR for me. I also did Power Cleans for the first time and I love them.

I’ve been going solo for almost half a year now, and I’ve had gains I don’t think I would of gotten if i had stayed with the guy i was training with. he isn’t toxic per say, just lazy. good call on the ipod, just don’t drop a 45 pound plate on it like i did the other day.