T Nation

Old Guy Trying to Get Lean for T-ransformation2019



I hear you. I ate poorly a few days this week, even though I kept my calories where they should be, and my progress suffered for it. I also think I’m in a weird head space between wanting to lose the weight and being afraid of muscle catabolism, especially after reading your wife’s ‘smaller shoulders’ comment. So, if I see my calories are going to be under 2K, I eat something to bump them up. Then there’s the cajun spicy peanuts binge from earlier this week…

3/2/19 morning weigh-in 192.2#

2/24 - 191.4#
2/25 - 191.2#
2/26 - 191.0#
2/27 - 191.2#
2/28 - 191.6#
3/1 - 191.8#
3/2 - 192.2#

Average = 191.5#, down 0.8# from last week from 192.3#. Definitely not as good as last week, and I hit the exact same weight today as I did last Saturday. Still, progress is progress, and I knew there would be weeks where I wouldn’t hit as well. I also think today’s spike was from the Sushi I ate yesterday. Between the miso soup and the soy sauce I blew my sodium budget by 1000 mg again. I definitely look leaner in the mirror, and I’m gradually adjusting my mindset so that I don’t just feel like I look smaller. I’m going to keep living my life, and sometimes that will involve less optimal food choices. Yesterday, taking my daughter to eat sushi was more important than worrying about the challenge. She’s and adult, but she’s been stressed and worried, and needed her daddy.


Hey Steve, I’m about 192 right now too, on my way to a hopefully all-time lean 180. Care for a little friendly, hold each other accountable competition? Sounds like we have identical goals.

Keep up the good work!


You’re on, man! You’re longer and leaner than I am, so we’re going to look significantly different at 180#, but we’ll both look awesome.


Ohh a fight, I’m bringing popcorn and soda.




We aren’t stepping on stage in a bikini so we can afford to delay our progress a bit. This is also the mindset I’ll have once I’m happy with my physique. I’ll never be much below 12% body fat because that’s no fun. I think I can still eat pizza and drink some beer at 12%, and I’ll look pretty good by American standards.

I’m not sure how close you are to having a six pack, but I’ve done a couple of shirtless workouts at home recently and it’s motivated me. They’re always in the evening after work and my abs look way better in the mirror during training than they do first thing in the morning (which is usually my measuring stick). I’m getting close to my goal and I can tell that the last 5-10 lbs is going to make a big difference - and I’m going to look pretty good, even if I do have small shoulders.


You’re absolutely right. I’m a ways away from a 6-pack, but I’ve got solid definition around my ribs, upper abs and obliques. I get up and do some stretches and calisthenic exercises right out of bed, and I can see the definition in the mirror there, and in my arms and shoulders, when I’m stretching, even without a pump. But yeah, there’s a huge gap between ‘look good with a shirt off’ and ‘get up on stage and get judged next to a bunch of other shirtless guys’. TBH I don’t know if I’d have the guts to do that, so definite props to @jackolee for allowing us to live vicariously through him.

The one thing I’m hoping I don’t lose, though, is the ‘look like a beast with my shirt on’ mode I had going when I was doing all the strongman training. I was definitely carrying some fat at 205-210#, but my traps, shoulders and arms were definitely showing solid. I’m having to force myself to accept that a certain amount of that is inevitable, but it’s a tough pill to swallow, it was a nice ego boost.

3/2/19 5/3/1 full body giant sets cycle 2 day 5 press primary/squat secondary

Warmup: barbell complex x3 with chin-ups 1/1/1

Main giant set:

working sets:

Chin-ups 2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

Working sets:

Accessory giant set:

1 arm DB press:

Krok rows:

Zercher squats:

Conditioning run: warm-up 1 lap. 3x400m with 2:00 rest between intervals. Splits - :37 (warm-up lap), 2:00, 1:55, 1:48. Faster than last weekend again. The 1:48 interval was close to all-out for me. Of course, all-out after a hard gym session, so I’m sure I could improve on that in a conditioning-only workout when I’m fresh.

I felt really strong throughout the training today, including the running intervals. I had my breakfast shake and an orange about an hour before the gym, so I was well-fueled, and I’ve been off since Wednesday, so well-rested as well. 3x170# was heavy but not terrible. I could have done 3x175#, but 180 would have been a question mark. 3 sets of 3 squats at 265# was fairly easy.


It’s alright for you. I can’t fit either of those in my macro’s!!!


This is mentally the hardest thing and something a discussed with a friend of mine this week. He has dropped a lot of fat and is now pretty lean (good visible six pack). He loves the way it looks but hates how he looks in a short. Because his face has also lost fat he has started getting those you look skinny comments !! That’s just about the biggest insult you can give someone who lift weights and wants to look good.
I too am worried as I lose weight I will look skinny. But luckily as my training is mostly based around continuing to get stronger I am more worried about strength. As long as I don’t go backwards it terms of relative strength then I’ll cope with looking a little skinny.


I don’t believe that any of us are losing muscle. We’re still training hard so the muscle is still doing it’s thing. If your traps/shoulders shrink then the mass that was making you look jacked was fat.

This is my world right now.

I plan on spending quite a bit of time shirtless this summer. I’ll also be wearing tank tops and anything else I can find to show off my newly acquired lean physique. There’s no hiding who the beast is at a pool party.


Well, mine was a two-step process of slacking for the last 2 1/2 months of 2018, so I lost some muscle and gained some fat. Now, I’m getting rid of the fat but not regaining the muscle like I would if I was eating at a surplus.

And if you’re ever up this direction over the summer, let me know and I’ll take you out for some skiing or wakeboarding and we can flaunt our 6-packs for the ladies and drink some beer…

I’m with you, although right now I’m just looking to rebuild some of the strength I lost the last part of last year, and maintain that while I cut. Then, I’ll try to gain strength without becoming a fat slob, and maybe clean bulk back some muscle if I cut far enough. I was never going for aesthetics when I was working on the strongman stuff, but that power look sort if got into my head a little.

3/2/19 food for today:

Breakfast: Shake = 1 cup whole milk, 1 large egg, 1 scoop quick oats, 1 1/2 scoop protein powder. 1 navel orange.

Post-training snack: 3 boiled eggs. 30g plantain chips.

Skipped lunch.

Dinner: Went out to Paisano’s Italian restaurant in Topeka with the wife. Small garden salad. 1/2 order of rizotto balls (basically like mini cheese sticks, only awesome). 1 bread stick. Portabello fillet (8 oz fillet mignon on a portabello mushroom about as big as the fillet, with sauteed onions). Steamed mixed vegetables. 2 rum drinks.

Bedtime: 1 scoop protein powder with creatine.

Totals for today 2844 calories, 211g protein, 185g carbs, 91g fats. Totally blew budget for today, but according the the app I’m still 267 calories under after correcting for calories burned in the gym today. I still overdid it, and it was the drinks that I probably should have skipped. My carbs are higher than the app shows because the closest thing I could find to the drinks was a rum and pinapple drink that had 200 calories, but it didn’t show any macronutrients, just the calories, in the app. I went ahead and used that because it showed 200 calories per drink, which I think is probably close between the rum and juice in it. If I’m going to overdo it, I at least want to be honest with myself about how much I overdid it.

Still worth it. No excuses, but this is one of the wife’s and my favorite restaurants. It’s where we had our wedding night dinner, and we got the same things we did on our wedding night. She got the fillet gorgonzola which is also delicious, but probably another 25g of fat with the gorgonzola sauce that’s slathered all over it.


Sounds like a nice night.


Man sometimes you gotta live! Sounds like you and the wife had a great time. I doubt it’s gonna jump you off the track. Hope your having a good weekend steve!


Yep, got to have those moments, and honestly looks like you did OK with your choices. You could have gone with a massive pasta dish and dessert. Good middle ground favoring the right side.

And big time workout above. That’ll eviscerate some fat. Track work / running has always taken me to another level lean. But damn, you did it AFTER a workout haha.

How long did the entire workout take?


It was definitely a good night out, and I know it’s not going to totally derail me. Honesty, the only choices that were really not healthy were the rizotto balls and the drinks, the rest was pretty healthy. I could have gone with the default side with the steak, which was fettuccini alfredo.

Since I am only training 3x/week I’m consistently hitting a solid weight training workout with a conditioning session at the end of it, and it’s been working well from what I can tell. 3 days of whole body training hits everything frequently enough, I have plenty of recovery time, and the giant sets plus conditioning sessions have my conditioning better than it’s been in a while. My resting heart rate is sitting at 54 bpm right now, and my blood pressure is consistently better than it was trending when I was doing strength training alone.

My entire weight training session is running from 40 minutes to an hour depending on the day and which gym I’m at. Yesterday was right at an hour because at the rec center gym I don’t have the option of having 2 barbells set up in racks for the press/squat giant set, so there’s more swapping around, and joker sets also add another 5 minutes to the whole workout. Then the running adds another 20 minutes or so, or if I’m at work and doing the elliptical I just set it for 20 minutes and go. I may ramp up the conditioning some more with some dedicated conditioning days if I decide to run some 5K’s this spring.

3/3/19 morning weigh-in 191.6# Scale is moving back in the right direction. We’re pretty much snowed in today, so it’s a good opportunity to eat healthy, no going out to restaurants and bingeing.


3/3/19 food for today

Breakfast: Shake = 1 cup whole milk, 1 large egg, 1 scoop quick oats, 1 1/2 scoop protein powder.

Lunch: 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, mixed with 1 oz. mixed nuts and 2 oz. fresh blueberries. 2 soft boiled eggs.

Dinner: 4 oz. ground beef taco meat cooked in skillet with 1/2 onion and a bunch of cherry tomatoes. 4 oz. tuna salad on 6 Ritz crackers.

Bedtime: 1 scoop protein powder with creatine.

Totals for today 2048 calories, 163g protein, 120g carbs, 92g fat. 142 calories short of my budget. It was a laze around the house day, didn’t get much of anything done. Not a terrible way to spend a weekend day, after being busy all day Friday and Saturday.

3 day week this week, I’m taking Thursday off since I’m going to a Metallica concert in Kansas City with some friends Wednesday night. Looking forward to that, it’s been a while since I’ve been to a large venue concert, most of what I’ve been to the last few years has been at clubs or small theaters.


3/4/19 morning weigh-in 191.0#


Is this the lowest so far 191 ?


Super jealous right here! I’ve always wanted to see Metallica. Send and saw GNR a few years ago and was very underwhelmed. It was at ATT stadium where the cowboys play and the sound was terrible. Echoed round the place. Still was super fun even if the beers were like $8 each


I had tickets to see Metallica and GNR together in the early 90’s, during the Black album/Use Your Illusion album period, but I ended up having to deploy and missed the show. The ex went without me, and she started out a GNR fan, not so much Metallica, came out liking Metallica better, said the GNR show was one long Axl Rose fashion show, he went off stage and changed clothes like a dozen times through the show. I think he had let fame go to his head about that time…

I saw Metallica one other time, at a ‘Monsters of Rock’ stadium show with a bunch of other bands in Florida in the late 80’s while I was doing my navy nuke schooling. They were good, but weren’t a headliner at that time, one of the early acts. Dokken and Van Hagar were the headliners IIRC.