T Nation

Need help for a challenge

Hi t-folksters. Here’s my story, my dad is about 5’9-5’10 300lbs…he’s got a good frame did alot of labor work throughout his life and such. Then he got a deskjob and around that time hurt his knee, thats when he bacame big. Well he challenged me because i’m always on hik to get in shape. He wants to lose 80-100 pounds by november for when he’s goin on a trip. I was wondering what kind of plan you guys would use. I’m figuring that i’ll start him off first 4 weeks just cleaning up his diet and more of a conditioning , muscle endurance type program, then something more traditional and add a thermogenic, tehn if the doctor allows it the thermogenic and T2. also i’m only having him do aerobic work 2x a week because he’s so large it might have a negative effect on his joints.He said i’ll get a very very nice reward if I help him accomplish this so i play along and say ok. i mean a college student could use all the money he can get his hands on but my dad is only 44 and i’d like to see him around for 44 more yrs more than having any $. If you guys could hit me back with some constructive crit. tips and suggestions i’d be appreciative. thanks

Diet is probably the biggest factor in your endevour. It’s probably safe to put him on a four day a week lifting program. You might also want him to do just a little more cardio. Maybe 3 or 4 times a week. Only try to keep it low impact (ie. no running). Definitly try to focus on the diet though. You may want to have him try the T-dawg diet, or a slightly modified version of it. There coudl be a hell of a lot more to this, but just start with the basics. Remind him that if he doesn’t stick to the diet he won’t accomplish anything. I have found that people get all excited, but when it’s time to do the thing they get all lazy. Good luck to you both!

I thought I’d share a similar situation that I’ve been assisting with and maybe you can get something out of it. My older brother (I’m 19, he’s 22), is mildly mentally challenged and had been obese his whole life. He didn’t know what to eat and never exercised due to his situation. I’ve been training for about four years now (football for the last 7), but before I changed my lifestyle I was in the same physical situation as he was, so I knew how to approach his circumstance. Up until this last summer, I’d give him shit for what he was eating but it was always negative and never led to any constructive realization on his part. That is until he came to me and asked me for my help (now you have to realize how moving this was as him and I, due to his handicap, never really have had any bonding). I was moved and more than happy to help, knowing that he’d be dedicated.


In late August he was up to about 290lbs at 5’11 with very atrophied muscle bellies. So, the first two things I did, was have him start on the treadmill for 30min a day, at a rate that he could accomplish at this time, and cut out the most damaging food source he was consuming (it was fast food in general and burger king whoppers specifically). By the end of September, you could begin to tell that his body composition was changing and he had more energy (he still weighed about 280lbs but the transformation had begun). At this time, I raised his treadmill activity to 45min and cut out another aspect of his diet; snacks (chips, pop, candy, etc.). I also had him visit the doctor to check whether his heart was in good enough shape for thermogenics. The doctor said that he could physically, but “weight watchers” would be a better route (I literally laughed in his face). So I got him started on a thermogenic and within 3 weeks he was into the low 260’s. As the months have gone by and he’s finished his thermogenics, I’ve tweaked his eating and implemented combinations of food that are more appropriate - protein and carbs, or protein and fat. Although, he’s off the thermos they seemed to have kicked started his metabolism.
Since August, he’s gone from the 290lbs to 224lbs aqs of yesterday (a number he hasn’t seen since grade 7), and is still dropping at a consistant rate. My goal is to see him in the single digit 200’s - a number that in the beginning seemed unthinkable. Sorry this was so long!

Mike: Before your dad (at age 44, 300 lbs, and sedentary) does ANYTHING, have him see a Cardiologist and ESPECIALLY get an exercise/stress EKG, BP measurements, baseline lipid panel and a through “working over” by his doc. He is in a high risk group; “how he feels” is a poor indicator of cardiac health.

If all checks out, 1)FORGET ANY SUPPLEMENTS FOR NOW! (except maybe a good multi-vitamin and 2)START EVERYTHING; DIET AND EXERCISE; SLOW! If not, you’ll set your dad up for failure. Let me explain.

Because your dad has been overweight and sedentary for some time, just by merely altering his diet and getting him to walk a little more, your dad will not feel as though he has the greatest energy, he will be hungry and have cravings, and fat cells will be “screaming” for cals. To start using thyriod analogs, thermogenics, androgen analogs and the like AT THIS POINT is pre-mature. LET HIS BODY ADJUST SLOWLY: Have him do what we call in medicine “increasing his activities if daily living”; park at the far end of the parking lot at work and when he goes to the store; take the groceries from the store, to the car and into the house; take the stairs; cut the lawn AND the neighbors; walk to the other end of the office when he needs to talk to somebody; take a walk after dinner. BELIEVE ME; these things will be more than enough exercise to start.

Diet should also be begun slowly. Maybe just cut out all “junk” the first week, total amounts the second week, and SLOWLY introduce a diet that you both agree on.

By the end of say a month, your dad’s body will be “primed” for a more stringent program of aerobics, diet and resistance training.

Hope this helps!

Thanks guys for your replies…Mufasa , thanks for the concern. He has already had the ekg’s and the lipid panel. . He has been ok’ed to embark n a lifting program. I’m hoping mentally he’ll stick with it. It will be tough on me too guys, I have to not only worry about getting my training staright but my dad’s too. oh well i’m hoping for the best. Bodyguard great story btw…congrats to you and your bro. thanks again Mike