T Nation

Needing a Kick In The Right Direction

I’ve been lurking here for a long time, gathering training and nutrition information. I finally decided to post because, well, I need some feedback.

I’ll apologize up front, this will be a long post.

I’m 6’4" 45 years old. I won’t mention my weight yet.

In my early 20’s I tried running and vegetarianism (mostly in an attempt to save money) and got down to below 170. I starved myself to keep weight off so that I could run faster.

After a pretty serious stress fracture and the adivce of an orthpedist, I gave up running and started weight training–trying to impress a girl was also involved here. I didn’t get the girl, but I became obsessed with putting on muscle. I didn’t do it right, the gains came slowly, and I ended up on meds due to my obsessions and anxiety.

I got my weight on alright–I hit 220. I kept training, 4-5 days a week, high volume, 3500 calories a day, approximately 15% fat, maybe 20% protein, the remainder protein. I don’t know my bodyfat percentage from that time, but it was probably in the 15%-18% range.

In my mid-30’s I stopped working out–I couldn’t take the obsessing over food, and a new med took me to the opposite extreme–apathy. My weight went up slightly, as did my waist size: 36 to 38 to 40.

I took up training again last April when I couldn’t stand it any longer. My weight was 245 and my bodyfat level was 26%. The last time I stepped on a scales–in November, I was 240.

My workout at first was a 3 way bodypart split split over 3 days per week, then an upper/lower split, then in december I switched to a CW style full body. I’ve got a ways to go on my strength, but sample weights are as follows:

Squat, 10x3 - 240
Hammer Strength dips - 270
Sumo deadlifts, 6x4 - 245
Bent over rows - 175
Hammer Strength supported rows - 270
Reverse grip chins 6x3
Reverse grip pulldowns, 10x3 - 190
Bench press, 10 x 3 - 190 (discontinued due to shoulder pain)

My pants waist is down to 38" (I keep wearing 40 so I have room for my legs), and my waist size at the navel is down 1.5" from last April. I’ve put on size most notably in my chest, shoulders and upper back. I’m seeing some definition along and below my obliques.

I’m guessing I’m at 20-21% bodyfat at this point. My wife says I look better than most 45 year old men, but when I look in the mirror I don’t necessisarily buy that.

The scary thing though is I stepped on the scales the other day, and my weight was 248! I know there’s new muscle there, but I think I’m at a point where some fat loss would be good. I’ve been doing no cardio, so I’m looking into working in at least 2=3 sessions of that a week, in addition to the weights.

I guess diet is my big stumbling block at this point. I’ve been keeping to a 5 meals per day schedule during the week, with 3-4 on weekends. I don’t keep a rigid calorie count–because I don’t want to start up those old obsessions and have to go back on meds–but my estimate is 2800-3000 most days.

A typical day in the past has looked like this:

2 ounce lowfat breakfast ham slice
2 eggs
2 slices whole weight toast with peant butter and jelly
16 oz skim milk

1 cup uncooked old-fashioned oatmeal
fruit (blueberries or bananas)
1.5 scoops mixed whey and casein protein powder

5 oz. chicken breast or can of tuna
1.5 cups beans or beans and rice
1 ounce slice of cheese
1 cup raw veggies
1 piece of fruit

1.5 ounce mixed nuts
1 cup cottage cheese or 1 can tuna

6-8 ounces beef or chicken
1 - 1.5 cups cooked veggies (with a little butter or olive oil)
baked potato, 1 cup rice or other starch
16 oz. skim milk

If still hungry at bedtime, a bowl of bran flakes with skim milk and raisins

Supplements: 1 GNC multivitamin, 2000MG fish oil, 1300mg tribulis

This last week I dropped the peanut butter from the morning toast, and I’ve dropped the cheese from lunch and cut the rice to 1 cup. I’ve eliminated my 2-3 times per week purchase of peanut M&M’s

I haven’t noticed any change in my energy level, but I seem to be worried about my food intake all of a sudden. I think I’ve been on the right track with my exercise and what I’ve been eating, but the worrying is driving me to distraction.

Having said all this (again I apologize for the length) I’d like some feedback from the other 45 year olds out there. Do you have to deal with worries over food and such? If so, how do you manage? I could also use some suggestions on what I’m doing workout wise.


Since I happen to be the same age as you, I’ll take a stab at answering some of your questions regarding food.

First, for a guy your size 2800 -3000 cals / day is not alot. If you’ve done some yo-yo dieting in the past, perhaps your metabolism is fucked up. If you are losing a nominal amount of weight, now… say 1 or 2 LBs per week, then I’d say you’re on the right track. If you’re not losing anything, eating what you are now, then you could ‘kickstart’ some weightloss by switching your diet up a bit. I have been doing the T-Dawg diet with some good results. I haven’t followed it ‘verbatim’, it’s pretty liberal, anyhow.

Adding cardio should help, and ditching the M&M’s is also a good start.

I developed a pretty sizable ‘spare tire’ from many years of slothfulness, and I am finding it’s not something you can just ‘diet’ off, without losing too much muscle. At ‘our’ age, I think you need to accept that if you have some extra dunlap, it’s not just going to disappear if you lose ‘x’ number of LBs. A long term plan to build muscle while losing fat is the way to go, I believe.

I don’t think you’re too far off the mark already. Just try not to sweat the small stuff, and stay in it for the long haul.

|/ 3Toes

“The scary thing though is I stepped on the scales the other day, and my weight was 248! I know there’s new muscle there,”

that says a lot there. Throw away the scale or at the very least don’t get on it for a while. It can be very demotivating or sabotaging.

Like you eluded too, the scale doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle, or even water.

Better yet, use your clothes as a judge of progress for now, how you look in the mirror and focus on making the positive health changes first.

I agree through away the scale. I am 6 feet 1 inch and weigh 225 I am happy with my weight. Muscle is supposedly 7times heavier than fat. So you lose 7 cubic inches of fat and gain one cubic inch of fat and you are the same

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
I agree through away the scale. I am 6 feet 1 inch and weigh 225 I am happy with my weight. Muscle is supposedly 7times heavier than fat. So you lose 7 cubic inches of fat and gain one cubic inch of fat and you are the same[/quote]

I think you mean muscle is more dense than fat. A pound of muscle weighs as much as a pound of fat. ahahaha I’m just breaking balls.

Thanks, I appreciate all the comments.

So far I’ve been happy with the results I’ve been seeing in the mirror, especially upper body, but I just had to let that jump onto the scales throw me off and make me think I was going the wrong way. You’d think a middle-aged bald guy wouldn’t be bothered by such stuff.

I just need to suck it up and go lift (and do a little cardio). I’m also going to check into the T-Dawg diet.