T Nation

Noobie: Injuries/Fatherhood Advice?

OK, I have read all of the Beginner threads, the Phoenix Theory and the T-Dawg Diet, bookmarked them, digested them and taken on their principles.

I faithfully swear to lower carbs, remove High Fructose Garbage Syrup and lift weights correctly and patiently. I will not rush/complain/bitch/moan or blame anyone else.

That’s my pledge.

I am also going to begin a training/dieting log.

But I have a few questions which are specific to me:

I am coming back from a long term injury (more details below), I stand 6 foot tall and weight 216 Lbs. Almost all of my excess weight is stored around the midsection. My vices up until last week were Coca Cola and Haribo. I don’t drink alchohol.

Here are my points

  1. The Lack of cardio

I work in a profession which requires an above average amount of cardiovascular ability, specifically running, often best effort for 2 miles in under 11 minutes.

How do I reconcile this with the training principles from these workout programs? Cardio is strictly limited. I don’t want to overtrain but I do want to work the heart a fair bit.

  1. Lower Right Tibia

In the last 15 months I have fractured my lower right tibia three times from (it seems) overtraining and Thai Boxing. My wife found a link between excessive Coca Cola consumption and weakened bones. Considering I was drinking 2-3 litres of the stuff almost daily since I was 12 maybe that has something to do with my ‘crepe paper legs’. But still…I want to avoid injury and strengthen my lower limbs as much as possible. Any suggestions?

  1. Muscle imbalances.

Having conducted the Beginners program for a week I have found myself in an odd situation.
I can comfortably Bench Press 70KG for 3 sets of 12 reps and I mean comfortably - my 36th rep is fine with no undue effort…BUT…if I increase to 80kg I actually struggle to hit even 10 reps on the first set. Is there something wrong with me or my technique??

  1. Becoming a dad

This is a no brainer but my wife is due to give birth in 3 weeks and it’s our first. This is the primary reason for turning my terrible dietary habits around and working out. I want to set a good example and live a fuller life unlike my own parents.

Where do you squeeze in time for fatherhood, work, training and marriage?

So those are the big 4 from this newbie.

  1. How do I maintain a strong cardio base?
  2. How do I strengthen/protect my tibia?
  3. What’s up with my Bench Press?
  4. How do you find the time?

Please be kind, it’s my first post and I am taking in everything this site has to offer.


  1. Do high intensity interval training. It’s nice and short and gives you a hell of a cardio workout. Have a look into that

  2. If it’s a bone fracture you really can’t train that from injury. Drinking more milk and MAYBE a calcium supplement. Just really nurse the fracture.

  3. Have you been working with 70kg for a while? Have you been increasing the weight? However, a jump from 154lbs to 176lbs your bound to see a difference in the amount of weight you can do for reps. Again this depends on how YOU train. To some people that jump is weight won’t be noticeable.

  4. As I am not married or do not have kids I can’t really help you here.

HIIT? Thankyou that helps quite bit. Exactly what I am looking for.

Is milk allowed on a low carb diet? I could not belive the amount of sugar in it when I read the label a few days ago. I just thought milk was good for you. Have switched to skimmed and apparently that has more calcium than semi or non skimmed.

Thanks for the advice.

if you are doing low carbs, I’m assuming you are focused on burning fat. If so, forget about trying to lift super heavy. Go at about 65%1RM and lift explosively for reps. 3x10 sould do on all lifts. HIIT and cardio should be your new best friend. Look into complexes to get a bang for your time. I’m a father and I work out when my girls are sleeping.

Since you have a newborn, forget about having a steady schedule till your child is at least a year old. Do what you can, when you can. Check out rosstraining.com/blog/ for ideas of quick at home stuff to do if you are short on time. You can do it. Stick with it.

  1. HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training … this works, but so can steady state cardio. My fav is the elliptical. Easy on the joints, also feels good at the end of a stressful workout. How intense? I keep my beats per minute around 150-160 (85% of max). This is a pretty good pace.

  2. I’m no doctor, but stop drinking pop or drastically reduce your intake. The occasional is fine, but that is SOO much! Seek professional medical advice …

  3. This is typical for new trainees. Your ‘max’ is not too far away from your working weights. Steady progression is the key. Whether it be adding reps, sets, or weight, keep progressing. The bench is also heavily dependent on great form, strong shoulders, strong triceps.

  4. Married with three children. I train 3-4 days a week, sometimes less though, after they go to bed. Sometimes I have to combine training days to get all my work in for the week. I stopped watching tv. I am my own evening entertainment. Much more productive as well. You just have to make or find time. Your priorities change when you get married. Again with children.

After working on my oldest son for a while, then leaving him alone, he asked if he could go to the gym with me. He gets up at 4:30 of his own volition and works out with me. This is my LAZY boy… so there are ways and I believe that ‘BY EXAMPLE’ is the best way possible.