T Nation

Old Lardass


My name is john, and I am a lardass.

I needs me some accountability. I've been lifting since I was in high school. Im a nice, round, 280lbs at 6' tall at 45 years old. I figure I'm carrying 33%= bf, but I don't do pictures or calipers, so it could be even worse.

Ive been reading this site for about a year, now. I powerlifted in high school, and kept my interest in it, but I never changed my workouts, and stopped making progress 20 years ago.

I started my change by doing one of Chad Waterbury's programs, Harbinger Hypertrophy. I didn't take any measurements, but I felt a little stronger. During that program, I started reading every article that Dave Tate has written for T-Nation, and I started reading on the EliteFTS site.

I finally decided to give myself a genuine goal and stop working out and start training. I tested my lifts yesterday. They are:

Squat - 365
Bench - 285
Dead - 315 (and that about killed me)

My goals are to increase my bench to 400, and pull and squat 600. Since I've been working out for a long time without training properly, I'm hoping that gains will come quickly with the Westside program I'm using.

I haven't really set a timeframe for the goal, cuz I really don't know how long this will take. But i'd like to hit it at a meet in Utah, and I want to lift at 240.

Danny, or anyone else in the Peoples Republic of Zion, when is there going to be a powerlifting meet in Utah?

I figured I'd use this forum as a place to hold myself accountable, since I lack training partners for now. Apparently, not very many old fat guys are interested in getting strong.

More after Monday's training,


Welcome aboard. You have some decent numbers going into your training. I'll be keeping an eye on your progress. Best of luck.


Welcome (as a relative new comer, am I allowed to say that?) Hoping that soon you will have reason to change the title of the thread to something more appropriate.


Hello and looking forward to your progress.


welcome, good luck in the pursuit of your goals. keep us posted.


Dave Tate and Chad Waterbury-sounds like your training will be OK. You sound strong all ready.

Good Luck.


Hey John - Welcome aboard the old fart express!

Good luck with your program-- will be interesting to see your progress.


This is all well and good.... but you should be testing your hormones. If those are causing problems, you will not be able to train yourself out of it.


Thyroid problems also lead to weight gain. Perhaps some tests for that might be needed.

If you can get such tests via med insurance... great. LEF is much cheaper than paying for these out of pocket at your doctors office. Join LEF and get the member's pricing. If you know a LEF member, they can order lab work for anyone at all. Members can talk to a doctor with LEF to discuss the implications of the lab results. However, they will not diagnose or suggest specific treatment. They discuss possible treatments. Legally, they cannot practice medicine with you, as you are not a patient.


Welcome John, looking forward to your progress. If they're available, younger training partners can be very motivational.


Hey, guys, thanks for your support. For the guy selling something, I take a little Alpha Male and Flameout, and I do have hypothyroidism, it is monitored, and I am medicated.

I hit the gym at about 6:00am, and I am the only one lifting anything heavy. I think the big boys come in at night (someone was pulling close to 500 yesterday, from the bar the bastards left on the floor). When my numbers hit an acceptable level, I'll stop working out with the 8 year old girls (I am currently their "bitch") and find some boys to lift with.

So, Day 2:
(for any powerlifters reading this, I have questions at the end!)

1) ME Squat
Good mornings
3x 135, 185, 225, 275, 315
1x 345, 365, 385

2) Glute-Ham Raise (no machine, I need to find a substitute or alternative method for this exercise) 0x0x0

3) Reverse Hypers (no machine, dumbell tied between my legs on a preacher curl bench - thanks elitefts videos)

4) Pull Down abs on lat pull down
5 sets at 110 x 12

5) Straight Leg Raises
1 set of 15, 1 set of 9 (I did something wrong on the last set and felt a twinge in my lower back. I'll have to revisit the technique on this one...)

6) Farmers Walk
2x 80lb dumbells for about 50 steps (I do this for grip strength, which is one of several weak points)

That was my first offical Westside workout. My main concern right now is volume on the heavy exercise. How many triples and how many singles should I be getting. Do I need to move in 10 lb moves instead of 20 when I start the singles?

Oh, yeah, I measured my lard yesterday:
chest - a tubby 53 1/4"
Waist - an even tubbier 52"
arms - right- 16 1/2", left a whimpy 16" even

I wouldn't mind the chest measurement if it was a little harder. the waist thing has to GO!

One more thing for you guys that have been here for a while. I always kind of smirked when TC and Shug wrote about curling in the squat rack. Now when I see it (I notice it a lot more now) it pisses me off too.

Train Harder,


For GHR, get two of those 8 year olds to hold your feet down and do natural GHRs, or find a way to hold your feet down. I use a leather dip belt clamped under the base of my power rack.

Keep up the good work!


I'll try that - thanks!

Train Harder


0/22/08 ME Bench

1-board press: 3x 95/135/185/225/245
1x 255/265
Lying barbell triceps extension
75x 10/10/10/10/10/10 ^
130x10/140x10/10 ^
1-arm press:
Farmers Walk: (/# steps)
80x 79/60/30/20 (120 steps to move up)

This was my first time ever doing board presses. I expected to be able to go higher than my regular bench, but I pussed out lower.

If any of you guys are at all familiar with the Westside methods, I have a couple questions:
1) on ME exercises, what kind of volume do you expect to get on the singles?
2) How much do you increase between sets on the singles? I went to 10lb increases and expected to do more sets, but 265 took about 8 seconds to get up.

I saw a guy doing Tabata Thrusters this morning. I asked him if he knew Dan John, and he said yes. He is the only one (besides me) that I have seen doing Tabata work. He said that he got the idea from Danny, and curses his name every day.

I am built up of weak areas, but it looks like my triceps are by far my most weakest point. I�??m not surprised, since bench has always been my worst lift.

All in all, today felt pretty good. Guess I�??ll go ahead and do it again on Friday 8*)

Train Harder


1 set. You generally go for a max single double or triple. ME is not a volume day. DE/RE days are for that. Put volume in the assistance exercises.

10-15% of 1RM. Warm up thoroughly with low weight and go to triples as soon as possible. Start doing singles when triples get difficult. You want to save the straining for the last all-out rep.

Well - Westside or any other effective program is all about attacking your weaknesses. Good to have them identified.

Lift Strong.


Hey Skid, thanks for the direction! That's something I've been kind of concerned about.

Tomorrow - DE Squat, first time around on Box Squats. in a gym with no power rack or lifting partners. Should be comical for the unlucky bystanders.

Train Harder,


10/24/08 DE Squat

Box Squats: (my form sucks terribly, this is the very first time I�??ve tried it)
195x 10x2
Reverse Hypers:
40x 8/8/8 ^
1-Leg Squats, bodyweight (more form issues):
Lx 8/8/8/8
Rx 6/6/4/4
Dumbell Rows:
60x 6/6/6/6 ^
Barbell Shrugs:
80x 15/11/15
Farmers Walks
70x 40/30/50 steps

I feel pretty strong today, but my back hurts. Earlier it was shooting pains down my legs, but its loosened up some. I am pretty sure this had to do with my very bad form on box squats.

I watch the videos almost daily, but I may try to find a coach that can just give me a couple tips on fixing my form. No money for a real coach or a hardcore gym.

My left leg has both torn cartilage in the knee AND a torn calf muscle. I�??ve favored my left leg so much that now my whole body is out of balance. I have been trying to bring my left leg back strengthwise, because it does not match the strength of my right.

So, I�??ve been doing 1-leg squats on my left side only. I�??ve really greased the groove on that leg, so I can�??t do it efficiently with my right leg. There is a lesson in here, kids. Do everything on both sides equally, bad side first!

My traps aren�??t developed due to my lack of pulling, so the shrugs were pretty tough.

All in all, a good workout. It was 6 hours ago, and I feel pretty good!

As a note, I try to avoid carbs as I attempt to drop some blubber. I have found (thanks Coach Shugart) that if I have a bunch of carbs (about 100g) in my post-workout MRP, I recover much better. If you aren�??t doing this, try it!


DE Bench 10/27/08
185x 3/3/3/3/3/3/3/3/3/3
Lying DB Triceps Ext
30x 8/ 35x 8/8/7
DB Side Raise
30x 10/10/10/10 ^
DB Reverse Flies
25x 10/10/8
Farmers Walks
80x 70/45/35 steps

Feel pretty good, but I can�??t decide if my triceps or delts are weakest.

My wife made me turn off my cell phone today cuz she says we can�??t afford it. I have been whipped and I can almost hear the testosterone leaving my body.

Train Harder


ME Squat 10/29/08
Good Mornings:
3x 135/185/225/275/315
1x 345/375/395
Natural Glute-Ham Raises (GHR) (no machine at my crappy gym, used folded yoga mats and tied my feet to the preacher bench with a dip belt) Negatives only
Reverse Hyper on preacher bench with dumbbell tied to my feet with a stretchy band
45x 8/8/8 ^
Pull Down Abs
110x 15/15/15/12/9
Straight leg raises

I�??d thought that with my improvements in good mornings, I would be able to do GHRs. Not so. Could be cuz of all my lard (likely). I�??m happy that my GMs are going up. Other than the occasional Romanian deadlift, I never really did any posterior chain work.

Straight leg raises on a bench are really hurting my lower back. Anyone care to venture a guess as to what I�??m doing wrong?

Train Harder,


Don't feel bad - so far as I know NOBODY has ever started by doing full natural unassisted GHR's right off the bat. They are just wicked hard, especially if you haven't anything to brace your feet against. I still can't do anything but negatives on them and those only halfway down. I have to fall the rest of the way.


skid, for me its more "plummet" than fall.

I'm thinking of trying to duplicate the GHR machine as much as possible by laying a bench on its side with the pad against my legs. There wouldn't be any leverage, but I was thinking it might help me keep my thighs at 90 degrees with the ground. I just felt totally out of control. And here I thought "if I can do almost 400 lbs in a good morning, I can do this" wrong.

The good news is that I'll bet my squat and dead come up nicely once I get strong enough to do the exercise. And that's what its all about. at least for me.

Thanks, and train harder,