Old Fu!%!r, Once Again a Newb

I just recently started weight training again after a nearly 20 year (!!!) layoff. I am 58 years old, and 18 months ago I suffered a non-STEMI (mild heart attack) Had two coronary catheterization procedures to place 5 stents. At 5’11" I weighed a fat 230 lbs. I modified my diet a little, and started walking regularly, and over the course of a year dropped 20 lbs. This last Christmas, pissed and frustrated with my lack of progress, I decided to get serious. I was on the max dose of Lipitor, taking a beta blocker for high BP, and my lipid profile was only barely acceptable. I started having side effects from the lipitor, took myself off it, cut out bread, pasta, and most other refined carbs. I eat alot of lean animal protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, and use coconut and almond milk instead of dairy which is almost completely eliminated from my diet as well. Lots of pumpkin seeds, walnuts, avocados, chicken breast, fish, and lean red meat about once or twice a week supplemented daily with a good whey isolate powder in a shake/meal. I am right around 150 grams protein.day.

After 3 months being off the lipitor, I had another lipid profile done. Total cholesterol went from 200 mg/dl to 109, with an hdl/ldl split of 61/48, my triglycerides went from 259 to 90. All my markers are basically as good as it can get for a human being. In January, I joined a gym and have been strength training again 4-5 days a week.
I base my program around squats/deadlifts/pressing (dumbbells, as a barbell bench never did jack for me except make my shoulders hurt) and rows. I vary over the course of 3 weeks or so between a higher volume/lower intensity and higher intensity/lower volume and so far it seems to be giving me good results. In 9 weeks I dropped an additional 20+ pounds, from 210 to 187. In the last 6 weeks or so I have gained back about 7 or 8 lbs, but it’s muscle rather than fat. For cardio I mostly do long walks of 2 1/.2 to 4 1/2 miles a day, 5 days a week at a brisk 3.5 mph or so.

In a couple of months, I will be on an extensive road trip for 3-4 months and for the most part I will be away from any gym access. What would be the most efficient way to maintain what I have gained? Thinking of getting a kettlebell to take with me, and learning some routines with that, that I can do basically anywhere. Weight is a consideration as far as gear load to haul around, so if I could get away with having ONE kettlebell that would be great.

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This seems to be the common denominator with any successful diet/eating plan.

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Your story warms my heart. You hit a bad place, were frustrated with the yields of your negligence, and TOOK CHARGE! Insane improvements and progress!

Be creative and search online for equipment-free exercises that you can do anywhere. The kettlebell sounds like a great idea, if practical for your travel purposes.

One-legged/pistol squats? Varying types of push-ups? Maybe emphasize some higher-intensity semi-cardio i.e. a jump/skipping rope? Maybe resistance bands that are very portable? Maybe check out local gyms if applicable and buy day-/week-passes? FREE YOUR MIND, BROTHER!

One caveat to my “negligence” comment above. Please don’t interpret that as a holier-than-thou condescension. I typed it out as a fellow sinner who has a similar story. Again, I love your story and it’s a testament to the power of agency.

There won’t be local gyms available for the most part, I will be in some rather remote areas and only occasionally will be in the proximity of a gym of any sort. Resistance bands sound like a good idea, need to look into that and get a routine worked out. Advantage is light weight, easy to haul around.

I didn’t take offense at your “negligence” comment, the truth is I was turning into an old fat fuk and even worse, feeling old. That’s changed dramatically over the last few months. I feel stronger and more energetic than I have in 20 years and I’m not looking half bad either…