T Nation

Return to Form

A month shy of 36, I find myself a tad out of shape (8 years removed from seeing my abs. Sad.). Although I have recently competed in sprint triathlons and pump-and-run competitions, my performance is hamstrung by my terrible diet and hectic work schedule, which causes my weight to stay well above where it should be.

Not trying to excuse my lack of dedication as the cause of my situation, but only as a means to explain the difficulties I have faced in maintaining my fitness levels. I would like to get back into raw drug-free powerlifting, but I need to get back down to 165 to compete at my peak (decent state-level competitor). Also have a sprint triathlon coming up in July, so I need to put the time in on the bike and at the pool.

Triathlons and powerlifting training have clearly antagonistic focal points, but given the fact that weight (fat) loss is the key to getting back on target for both, I will focus on that as my primary goal for the next 6-8 weeks or so. Then based on the timing of competitions, I will alter my training accordingly.

To start, diet will be low carb, high protein, high fat with a decent caloric deficit. Beer, wine and ice cream are out. Fish oil and mulitvitamins are my only supplements at this time. Training will be three day split on lifting (push day/pull day/legs day) with running/swimming 4-5 days a week.

Height: 5ft 8in
Starting Weight: 220
Starting Body fat: 38

Goal Weight: 165
Goal Body Fat: 10

Looking forward to the journey. Hoping this journal will help keep me on track.

welcome to the thread. do 5/3/1 for your lifting, or we’ll kill you and eat you.

actually, in this case, i think 5/3/1 would be the only lifting regime that you could do whilst training for a marathon, but both of the non-5/3/1-ers here would argue. but they would have you swimming in a metal multiply bench shirt.

seriously, welcome. post your training and diet, and we will be mostly supportive. unless you don’t adopt 5/3/1 as your religion.

old lardass

[quote]mjnewland wrote:
welcome to the thread. do 5/3/1 for your lifting, or we’ll kill you and eat you.

old lardass[/quote]

MJ, I would swear that you have a macro set to send this to every new log…except the rest of your post is always different.

Welcome aboard and best of luck with the goals.

MJ will kill you and eat you. The rest of us will just film it.


Despite Mr Newlands statements to the contrary there are more than 2 of us on here doing things other than the afore mentioned 5/3/1 lockstep. What jumped out at me from your post is that you’re doing sprint triathalons, don’t know what a pump and run is, at what you consider to be 55# overweight. Your aerobic capacity must be outstanding. Be interesting to follow your training. Welcome.

Sprint triathlon = 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run.


[quote]hel320 wrote:
Despite Mr Newlands statements to the contrary there are more than 2 of us on here doing things other than the afore mentioned 5/3/1 lockstep. What jumped out at me from your post is that you’re doing sprint triathalons, don’t know what a pump and run is, at what you consider to be 55# overweight. Your aerobic capacity must be outstanding. Be interesting to follow your training. Welcome. [/quote]

A pump and run is a 5k race where, in advance of the run, competitors bench press their bodyweight for reps. Each rep equals 30 seconds taken off of your final 5k time. Most races cap your total reps at 30 reps. Under these rules, a net time of under 10 minutes is good. A sub-5 minute net is very good. The winner at the Arnold each year comes in at sub-2 minutes net.

After one week, bodyweight down to 210, body fat down ~2%. Obviously, my diet was on track. Lifted 4 days (push, legs, pull, and push), cardio 5 days (run, run, run, swim, and run). When I get a better sense of my one rep maxs, I will post some baseline lifting numbers. Willing to give the 5/3/1 a shot.

Need to get more than the average 6 hours of sleep each night. Easier said than done.

Two weeks in. Bodyweight down to 203, bodyfat down ~1.5%. Diet still on track. Lifted 5 days (legs, pull, push, legs, pull), cardio 6 days (run, run, run, swim, run, run). Last night I got ~9 hours of sleep.

Estimated current 1RM:
Squat (A2G): 315
Bench (strict pause): 290
Dead: 350

Still a bit off from my recent 1RMs, but hopefully with dedication, I can not only get back to my higher 1RMs, if not exceed them, but also lose the extra 35 pounds I am still carrying around.

Three weeks in. Bodyweight down to 201.5, bodyfat down ~1%. Diet still going strong. Lifted six days (including deloading workouts), cardio six days (swim, run, run, run/swim, run, and run/swim). Approximately 12 miles for the week running. Still need more sleep.

Hopefully weights will go up this week.

How did you lose 17 pounds in two weeks? What is your diet like? I’m very eager to know.

[quote]doogie wrote:
How did you lose 17 pounds in two weeks? What is your diet like? I’m very eager to know.[/quote]

Approximately 1600 calories/day. Extreme low carb (<30g). Eating every 2-3 hours. No food within 4 hours of bed. Coffee (black) before workout. Green tea throughout the day.

I suspect the initial weightloss was due in large part to the fact that I went from eating 4000-5000 calories a day down to 1600 a day. Mostly shedding water weight. Given the 1.5 pounds lost this past week, I expect that weightloss to be more routine.

Four weeks in. Bodyweight down to 201, bodyfat down ~1%. Diet still going strong. Lifted four days, cardio six days (run, run, run, run/swim, run, run). One of the runs was a 5 miler. Approximately 13 miles for the week running. Getting roughly 7 hours sleep/night.

If not for the fact that I was seeing marked improvement in the way my clothes (and more importantly my Inzer belt) are fitting, I would be a tad bit discouraged by only losing half a pound this week. However, because of the 5 mile run, I ended up eating roughly 500 more calories than normal yesterday, so I suspect that I may have been holding on to some of that extra weight when I weighed in last night. Plus my bodyfat loss indicates at least ~2 pound loss of fat, meaning I am still progressing.

Until next week…

Five weeks in. Scale reflects a 5 pound weight gain (206) with an increase in bodyfat of ~2%. Needless to say, the diet was poor this week due to family commitments and business travel. I was weak, but I regained my focus mid-week. Despite my horrible diet, I atill managed to avoid booze. Not overly concerned as my clothes still fit better than they used to and I think I got the urge to splurge out of my system for at least another month or so.

Training was similarly poor, with only two lifting sessions and only one cardio day. On the plus side, I got some good sleep this week, so that may help in the long run. Also, I seem to feel stronger after the days off.

Next week will be better!

Six weeks in. Scale is my friend again as a week of clean low carb eating plus getting my workouts and cardio in has not been an issue. Weight down to 198 and bodyfat back on the decline (~2% I put on last week-I recognize the measurement from my scale is an inexact reading, but it is still a tool I can use). Deloading on 5/3/1 and looking forward to increasing my weights. Clothes fitting much better these days.

Signed up yesterday for a sprint triathlon on July 17, so I will start to add longer cardio sessions in to prepare. One of my goals for the race is not to be in the Clydesdale division (<185).

Time to get a biking/running brick workout in.

Seven weeks in. Weight down to a surprising 193.5. I did a clean carb refeed on Wednesday (oat bran, blackberries, sweet potato, granny smith apples = .75g low glycemic carb/lbs) after having been on target with my low carb diet for the prior two weeks. Body fat also registered at 28.5%. Once again, not an exact measurement, but I like the way the numbers are moving.

Lifting was good as well. Finished the deload off my last 5/3/1 cycle and got in my bench/MP and leg workouts on my third cycle. Feeling strong, but I have not tried to gauge my 1RM max in any exercise. Cardio was even better (~13.5 miles and got some biking in, but no swimming). With my upcoming crazy work schedule and he fact that the pool at which I swim is now on summer hours (meaning it closes one hour earlier), there is no way I will be hitting the pool any time soon.

Next competition is a pump and run in three weeks. Hoping to get my body weight down to 185 and get 25-28 reps on the bench. A sub-26 minute 5K would please me as well.

Until next week…

Welcome brother!

Tried 5/3/1 it was like kissing your sister, no excitment at all.

I went back to the westside template.

Eight weeks in. Weight down to 191. Body fat is roughly the same as far as my 10 year old Tanita scale goes (~29%). Diet was perfect this week. Given that my trial scheduled for next Tuesday went away, I now have time to train and hit the pool in advance of my sprint triathlon in July. Last night, even after going out for dinner with my family to celebrate a birthday, I was able to get a 5 mile run in and still get 7.5 hours sleep.

I expect to finish up my third 5/3/1 cycle early next week and then delay the start of my next cycle until after my pump and run competition in two weeks. So far, 5/3/1 (or at least as I have been using the concepts) has been paying off. I feel stronger than I did at the beginning of my cut, and my numbers have been steadily increasing. Still aiming to weigh ~185 at the competition and hit at least 25 reps.

On April 30, I posted the following estimated 1RMs:
Squat (A2G): 315
Bench (strict pause): 290
Dead: 350

I have not tested the 1RMs since starting the cut, but according to 1RM calculators (inexact to be sure), my estimated 1RMs now would be:
Squat (A2G): 340
Bench (strict pause): 320
Dead: 375

Very happy with +25 pounds on squat, +30 on bench, and +25 on deads. I have hit over 400 in competition on deads in the past, so I think that 375 may be on the low side. My sense is that I underestimated my 1RM on bench as well (hence the marked improvement during a cut), but I would rather underestimate and work towards getting stronger than overestimate and undermine my progress. In essence, underestimating one’s max is what 5/3/1 seems to call for.

I may try to squeeze in a 1RM day (a home version of a full PW meet) at the end of my deload and prior to starting cycle four just to get a better gauge of my abilities. Adding a new deadline to my training schedule, I hope to compete in my first raw powerlfiting competition since 2007 this December. I would be happy with a >1100 lbs total and strive for a 1200 lbs total (~425 squat, ~325 bench, ~450 dead) at 165 raw. Would have to get my legs a lot stronger for that and keep cutting fat, but I am aiming high. Probably have to add creatine to my diet to get to those numbers.

Until next week…

Nine weeks in. Weight at 191.5 (up .5 from last week), body fat down ~1%. Diet was good, with a low glycemic carb refeed on Wednesday. Got to the pool twice this week, and stepped up my running (12 miles total). I feel much faster and have greater endurance in the pool and on the road, such that I don’t complain about my evening cardio sessions (well, not as much anyway).

Deload 5/3/1 plus some rest built in this weekend. The mirror is telling me to ignore the scale as I am starting to see great results. Need to start getting on the bike as well (my least favorite form of exercise by far). Less than a month to my sprint triathlon. I signed up assuming that I would be below the Clydesdale cutoff of 185. That is well within my reach.

Until next week…

Almost 30 lbs in 9 weeks and your maxes are up. You should write a book. Impressive.

Ten weeks in. Weight down to 190.5. Body fat down again (~26%). Diet was good. I tapered off the cardio (only 6.5 miles running, no swimming) and lifting this week (Push day, Leg day, Pull day) in advance of my pump and run competition this weekend.

Hopefully the scale will be kind the day of the race and I will only have to bench 185 (have to weight under 187.5). Still have no idea on how many reps to expect, but I would be pleased with 20, excited at 25, and thrilled with a PR of 28 or more. No idea what to expect on the 5K either, but a sub-26 would be a good effort.

Next week will be an week off from formal training as enjoying the family vacation (the first in almost a year) will be my focus. I will try to eat as clean as possible, and remain alcohol free, but I will not have a kitchen, so I will do the best I can. If I can be 195 or less when I get home, I will be pleased.

When I return, it will be back to business as I will be two weeks out from my sprint triathlon. Need to ramp up my cardio (including swimming and biking (ugh)).

Until next week…