T Nation

Programming for Returning Lifter?


#1

Been out of the game for too long and I've been back at it for about a month...

A few years ago, at 185, I was a 300 lb bencher, 400 lb squatter and a 500 lb deadlifter... I've been out of it for about 2.5 years, though, so I'm significantly weaker... But still not terrible...

I recently finished reading Dinosaur Training and want to encorporate a lot of that type of work into my training...

Grip work with fat gripz
Heavy compounds (squat, bench, dead, cleans, press and bb row)

I'm looking for some kind of programming...

I considered:
5/3/1 with each of those lifts being a focus
Texas Method
Madcow
GST

And more...

But I find I get stronger with heavy weights on a routine basis... Squatting 3x a week worries me because of recovery reasons, so TM and Madcow are concerning for me.

Just looking from some feedback from some badasses here on where to go from here...

Current 1RM:
Bench: 250
Squat: 305
Dead: 365
Military: 140
BB Row: 175

I think I'll get a lot of strength back fairly quickly, but again, looking for feedback


#2

I can relate a bit: I had an emergency colon removal last year in July and only got back to lifting after several follow-on surgeries this February. Went from 195 with a ~475 squat, ~300 bench, ~475 dead to a bit less than 150 and barely able to lift a thing. I trained more on a bodybuilding type of split that involved a lot of volume and a 4-day split (chest shoulders (secondary) / back arms (secondary) / shoulders arms (even split, more tris) / legs).

Your programming won’t affect your coming back so long as you’re doing some type of reasonable, sensible program (which it seems you are). The hard part at least for me was not being over-aggressive and accepting my limitations at the point in time where I was lifting. So where I could handle a certain amount of volume or intensity then, I had to accept that I wasn’t ready for that physically even if I was mentally.

So it’s really just a matter of checking your psychological/intuitive desire to be as intense as you were before and letting it bow to the physical limitations you will have until your body adjusts to the demands you want to put on it. Be patient.


#3

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
I can relate a bit: I had an emergency colon removal last year in July and only got back to lifting after several follow-on surgeries this February. Went from 195 with a ~475 squat, ~300 bench, ~475 dead to a bit less than 150 and barely able to lift a thing. I trained more on a bodybuilding type of split that involved a lot of volume and a 4-day split (chest shoulders (secondary) / back arms (secondary) / shoulders arms (even split, more tris) / legs).

Your programming won’t affect your coming back so long as you’re doing some type of reasonable, sensible program (which it seems you are). The hard part at least for me was not being over-aggressive and accepting my limitations at the point in time where I was lifting. So where I could handle a certain amount of volume or intensity then, I had to accept that I wasn’t ready for that physically even if I was mentally.

So it’s really just a matter of checking your psychological/intuitive desire to be as intense as you were before and letting it bow to the physical limitations you will have until your body adjusts to the demands you want to put on it. Be patient.[/quote]

Holy shit that is intense! I went through a similar thing with Lyme disease but how are you doing these days?


#4

What works for me is using 5/3/1 and sticking with the progression of 5#/10# per cycle, even if my strength goes up faster than that, and doing joker sets on the 3’s week to get my heavier lifting in. I used to do jokers on 1’s week as well before I took a layoff, but I seem to get more out of sets of 3 than I do from heavy singles. This gives you plenty of volume at lower weights on the 5+ week and 1+ week (I’m still hitting 8-10 reps on the last set on the 1+ week after 8 cycles) to build a strong base, but you hit some heavy weights at lower rep ranges to build top-end strength and see where you’re really at strength-wise.

Of course, your methods may vary… I’ve never been as strong as you were before you laid off, so this approach may be too slow for you, but at 50 years old I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and still getting stronger every cycle.

The key is to set your training max conservatively, so you don’t overdo it early while you build your base.


#5

#6

[quote]cstratton2 wrote:

Holy shit that is intense! I went through a similar thing with Lyme disease but how are you doing these days?
[/quote]

Thanks for asking. Doing ok: On the bad side, the surgeries and such slowed me down substantially, and it ended up severely compromising my job status (work in a job with “always on call” type of hours, and it’s compromised my ability to stay on–pretty much a sinking ship at this point). I find that I’ve for whatever reason started taking a lot more rest days and “I just don’t want to train” days, diet a lot looser with some days where I just honestly eat a bunch of junk, usually as a part of a day or two every few weeks when I’m just in a funk. Typically still get sick every three weeks or so, bloody stools and very loose stools are semi-regular, sleep is still a bit of a mess: have to sleep on a recliner to keep myself semi-upright, typically wake up several times a night needing to go to the bathroom.

On the good side, I’m back in the saddle–squatted 375 for 5x5 yesterday, so things are coming back. Physique-wise, I’m severely scarred so will probably not be able to compete on a fair footing, but the serious loosening of the diet has actually probably been a net plus for me, insofar as I spent years and years eating very very strictly and probably didn’t get sufficient calories to really grow. I’m still substantially weaker than I was but am probably “bigger” looking overall. And I was really going at a sprint as far as training, work and life was concerned before the medical event–it sort of forced me to take a step back, and now the prospect of losing the job I have now in the coming months isn’t too scary, insofar as I have a plan to move forward on a different, more satisfying and more balanced career path.

So, we take the good with the bad.

Anyway, sorry for the tangent OP.