Need Inspiration!!

 I,m 28 years old, 6' and weigh 212 lbs.  My body weight is around 25% (unexeptable).  When I was between the ages of 18-23 I was in great shape, I fluctuated between 205lbs (the best i felt) to 230lbs with a flat stomach (I felt it was a little too heavy, started to bother my joints and stuff).  Then through not so smart lifting I injured myself (neck and lower back). I could do nothing but cardio for several months and than when I was able to start with weights again I couldn't go heavy for a couple of years.  

From age 23 on I have really fluctuated in weight. I still have my injuries but can manage them now, they still go out every now and than which causes me to stop my workouts for a week or two (usally when I’m really getting into it).

My lowest point was 2 years ago, I wasn't working out and I was eating like shit!  My wife (girlfriend at the time) bought me 2 pairs of jeans for christmas and I couldn't even get them up my thighs!  Over the next 3 months I went from 240lbs to 195lbs and wear those damn jeans all the time!  I kept in decent shape (I will not let happen to me again) and started training heavy again to get my strenth up.  

Now when I say heavy I’m talking benching 225 (not that heavy). My goal was to bech 225 for 10 and thats where I’m at now. I put some muscle weight on but some more bad weight also. This web site has really inspired me!! I’m not a bodybuilder or powerlifter, I just want to get back into really great shape and beable to perform well in different sports again!

 Ny main goal now is to drastically lower my body fat% and build endurance.  I can bench 225 for 10 but can't do it for multiple sets like I used to.  I love the work of every proffesional on this site but recently have been reading alot of Dr. John Berardi and Christian Thibaudeau.  I'm going to get the Precision Nutrition Kit (was wondering if any of you have this and have had the results that I think I will get with it).  I also like the sound of the HSS-100 program (do any of you think that this program is good for what I want).  I also like the sound of the Chad W Summer Project.  

I,m just looking for some advice, I'm ready to make a change in my life and this site helped me mentally!  Also I keep reading all this negative stuff about the smith machine.  I never used it in the past but I just recently got back into squatting and because of my back problem I can't really go heavy cause it bothers my back too much.  I tried it on the smith machine and i can go heavier without it bothering my back and I get a great burn in my legs.  I was wandering if in my case the machine isn't all that bad?
 I'll put up some pictures and measurements in the future.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Sorry for the spelling!

If you want good leg moves that will help your injuries go away i suggest unilateral work for both legs and arms. Be sure to get lots of mobility work in to make sure your injuries don’t stopyou again.

You want inspiration? read:

“T-Nation saved my life”


If the smith machine is what you can handle because of your situation then use it. Don’t get bogged down with paralysis by analysis just use what you are able to and get that heart rate up.

Try supersets with minimal rest and push yourself hard. You will know if the intensity is right if your sweating buckets and your heart and lungs feel like they will explode.

If you are just warming up getting on the bench knocking out ten reps of 225 and waiting four minutes to do it again two or three times that isn’t going to mule kick the metabolism and slice the fat off.

Intensity is key and I like CW’s stuff read up on it.


You seem te have a history of injury. Don’t “manage” your injuries. Don’t train through them. Don’t train around them.

There are plenty of articles on this site about avoiding injuries.

Take care of your injuries first before you return to lifting heavy. In the mean time, lift lighter.

Google for “goblet squat”.

You have all the inspiration you need, sounds like you’ve looked within and made a decision.

Don’t get too “fancy” when starting up, look into a full body workout with a lot of compound lifts. After you start to feel comfortable and learn your managable weights for lifts, move to a “more complicated” workout.

As far as squating and smith machines go…I personally never use a smith machine for anything, but I guess they have merits. The biggest draw back is it restricts the body’s natural movement and takes away the stabilization factor. You say you can’t squat HEAVY because of a back injury/pain. My opinion is if there isn’t a big danger to your health you should go ahead and do light squating and work on form and technique. Same goes for deadlifting. What you may find is that as you progress and get stronger, those problems go away. Case in point: early in my lifting “career” I didn’t squat because my knees were sore a lot of the time. I figured squatting would just make it worse, you know…“it’s hard on the knees”. Two weeks later my knees felt great. I also used to have some chronic lower back pain up to even a couple years ago. Since I started doing powerlifting, doing more squatting, deadlifting, hamstring work, and heavy ab work the problem is gone. I also do not squat with a belt, I have really dedicated myself to a strong core.

Anyway, sorry for the lengthy reply. I hope it helps, and good luck.