T Nation

Need Help Working w/ a Newbie


Hey all, like I said I need some help. I picked up a new "training" partner recently. It's a guy from work. Very dedicated and driven, so intensity is not the problem.

He has recently lost quite a bit of weight. And still has quite a bit more to go. He is hoovering right around 4 bills. At his highest point he said he was 504.

So my problem is, finding good exercises that we can do with his limited mobility and excessive weight. We worked back the other day and it became evident that things like bent-over BB rows just won't work.

His health has improved greatly over the past year, and I would love to help a "brotha" out. I know there will be a lot of whole body work out guys, and other routine info. I would be happy to hear it. But at this point I figure that I can just have him tag along with me till he starts getting more familiar with the weight room and what good movements are. I figure that him slowing me down will be worth it in the long run. It's not like I compete or anything. Lifting is more a hobby for me.

The wife says I just picked myself up a "project". While I can see that, I would rather look at it as a spreading the gospel.

Any advice would be useful.


What is his weight at the moment?

Squatting is going to be an issue especially if he can't hit depth as there is going to be a massive strain on his knees.

With rows try doing one arm rows with a barbell with weight at either end.

Your friend is not a "project" because he is not an object.

I would maybe enquire in the coaches locker room as I think they would have a really good idea about training unfit people with the mobility issues you are talking about.

PS What is his diet like?


You need to find out how well he can move his own weight around, first, before having him lift anything. In fact, his own body weight will be the best workout he can do at this point I'd wager.

Fat man pushups (progress from near vertical downwards till horizontal)
Fat man pullups (same deal)
Deep knee bends (or as deep as he can go and get deeper over time)
Walking on an inclined treadmill(glutes and hams and much more difficult than you might think, esp. for overweight folks, but easy on the joints)
45 degree hyper-ex (hams and low back)
Seated db presses and then standing later as reps improve
planks on knees and elbows for time - progress to elbows and feet, then hands above head and feet.

Wouldn't be bad as a circuit. Start low reps and sets and build up as his conditioning improves.

He should always be trying to increase the range of movement where possible, making the exercise harder, faster,longer or heavier where appropriate. And logging his results each session will enable to see his progression over time, which is encouraging and positive feedback.

When he gets through 5 circuits of 15 reps on each, it may be time to do some weightlifting.

Just an idea.


I't actully better then mine. He's lost 100lbs in the past 8 months. We did alot of talking about diet.

I convinced him to start taking ZMA to hopefully get test levels rising.


Excellent Idea.

We're back on tomorrow. So I will suggest this.

He might be a little resistant. As he has just recently got a subscription to Muscle and Fatness. I think he wants to be a body builder.

But what ever, I'll just keep him moving, and see what happens.