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Skinny Fat, Out of Whack Training Log


confession I am skinny fat. Like 33% body fat on a 6'4" and 213 lbs. skinny fat /end confession

The reason why I say I am "out of whack", because Mark Rippetoe says in "Starting Strength" that if your Bench Press is much higher than your Dead Lift and Squat (as it was when I started 5/3/1 last year), than "there is something seriously out of whack."

Yup. That's me all right, Rip. I'm sure you got a great Heinlein quote for me.

I am a 48 year old man who was never that strong in the first place, but got progressively weaker over the years, and now is trying to stop or reduce this embarrassing amount of body fat. I started 5/3/1 last November to try to improve my strength. I think that that 5/3/1 has been a great program for a skinny-fat guy like me because it appears I can really only add about 5 lbs every monthly cycle (I really don't see myself on Rippitoe's novice program, for example, which pushes you 5 lbs every 2 days!)

Anyway, my Dead Lift and Squat seem to be fine on 5/3/1...after a year, my 1RM still keep going up. For example, I have gone up 70 lbs for a 1RM in my Dead Lift the year I have been on 5/3/1 (1RM from 130 to 200..yea, I know, I'm incredibly weak). For Bench Press and The Press, I have plateaued at about 195 and 105 lbs, respectively. I did what Jim suggested and lowered my 1RM by 90% in the calculation and restarted the cycle. I went about 3-4 cycles and plateaued at these 1RM's again. And I did this again! I cannot seem to get above 195 and 105 lbs at this time, but this is not a surprise to me since Ive never built muscle easily and I am middle aged, which does not help.

I have let my assistance exercises slack off and so I'll be more aggressive about those. Also, Ill be more aggressive about eating good food and staying away from bad food.

Anyway, here are my 1RM's right now:
Bench Press: 195; The Press: 105; Squat: 130; Dead Lift: 215 lbs.

I'm going to give a daily training log a shot to see if I can break these plateaus. Also keep me honest about the food Im eating. Over and out.


Nice to see you over here.

Not much time right now, but just on your bench you are much stronger than me (also a beginner) so maybe de-stress about this abit.

Catch you later when i have more time.




OK, So I started a new 5/3/1 cycle last Sunday, with Dead Lifts, Today I did the Press and some assistance exercises I like. I have plateaued at the damned 1RM 105 once again, so Im staring at 90% of this:

1*10 @ 45 lbs
1*7 @ 55 lbs
1*5 @ 60 lbs
1*5 @ 70 lbs
1*5 @ 80 lbs
1*3 @ 90 lbs

Weaker on the Press than I wanted, but that's OK

Arm curls:
10 @ 60 lbs, 9 @ 70 lbs, 2 @ 80 lbs--this is not too bad for me. I think Im using good form. One good thing about being 200 lbs is I've got a good solid weight to hold my self still when I do arm curls.

Ive decide to add Dumbell Rows. Not my favorite exercise, but Wendler reccommends that as an assist.
10 @ 35 lbs, 10 @ 40 lbs, 10 @ 45 lbs, 10 @ 50 lbs.

I did ...yes...1 ...unassisted Dip. I know, its lame. I need a machine assist for Chin Ups and Pull Ups. I need it for Dips too, but the damned machine is broken, so I forced myself to try one unassisted! I think Im going to try this twice a week: I like doing dips. Need to do more of them.

Breakfast: 9 egg whites, 1 egg yellow, 1 cup oatmeal with bluberries.
Lunch: green salad with about 1.5 cups of beans
15 oz Gatorade before workout, 2 scoops protein powder after with 2 pieces of fruit.
Dinner: a good chunck of turkey lasagna (I eat this about 50% of my dinners ) with roasted vegetables.

No cookies, candies, cakes, which is good.

Im going off to read 5/3/1 about assistance work.....


Welcome, Srpres! Wow, you're stronger than me on the bench. And I've been training for years. Please tell me, what's your secret?

(Which is another way of saying, Nurse is right . . . take a chill pill.)


We're all out of whack over here in some fashion.

My coach always says "the key to a big bench is a big back." And hence why I'm a shitty bencher. Row, row, row, I say.

Will be fun to follow your progress since I suspect you have lots of gains ahead of you.


I was doing bent over dumbell rows in the past but I overdid it once and pulled a muscle, but recovered fully. Im going to add them back. What I may try is the rowing machine (!) Thanks for the advice.


One fun exercise is lay on the floor on your back. Grab bar. Keep body straight, heels on floor, and pullup. Hold a moment, lower, repeat. It's tough, but exactly reverses the bench movement.

I've got in the habit that after each set of bench, I keep grip on bar and pull up for a moment. Saves times, and seem to be getting a tad stronger.


That's a good idea. Ill give that a try on BP day (I think Friday).


Welcome ! new guy buys the beer .......and some McRibs for Matty! best of luck with your training..


Today was Squat Day I have a love/hate relationship toward squats. I dread going to the Squat rack, but once I'm done with them I'm glad I did them and feel pretty good. Also I'm guessing that they have done more to improve my health over the past year than anything else.

1*10 @ 50 lbs
1*5 @ 60 lbs
1*5 @ 70 lbs
1*5 @ 80 lbs
1*5 @ 90 lbs
1*10 @ 100 lbs (1 RM calculated to be 132--no complaints from me, seeing I couldn't even do one with good form a year ago.) Then,
3*5 @ 70 lbs For good measure!

Then, I tried some lunges for the first time in a while. Ive avoided then because they have hurt my knees in the past, but today they felt pretty good. Did about a 1/4 of a lap in the indoor track. Next time: slow down, better form.

Keeping with the DT's PB assistance template, I did about 30 knee tucks and 30 reverse crunches. Im pretty sore now.

Breakfast: 9 egg whites, 1 egg yellow, 1 cup oatmeal with blueberries.
Lunch: green salad with about 1.5 cups of beans
15 oz Gatorade before workout, 2 scoops protein powder after with 3 pieces of fruit.
Dinner: a good chunck of turkey lasagna (I eat this about 50% of my dinners ) with roasted vegetables

In other words, exactly the same as last night! I don't need a lot of variety in what I eat. But I did have a 1/3 of a cupcake. I did that because I have heard that eating a little bit of sweets, if it is offered, may be a good option so you don't feel deprived, and then suddenly consume 3 cupcakes over the sink with crumbs flying.

That didn't happen.




Mc Ribs... a protein source that is as processed as Joe Weider Whey? Thanks for the well wishes.


Welcome srpres! Love to follow new guys, gains usually come fast and it's always great see a guy pulling PR's.


I dunno. Ive always been kind of a weakling but we will see where the Wendler Master leads me....


Good Luck Bro! Glad to see you here!


Welcome and good to see you here.


"There was beer all over the dance floor..."

Today was the Bench Press. Ive decided to start the cycle at 15% less than before instead 10% that Wendler suggests to give me a few more cycles for the assistance exercises to kick in.

1*5 @ 65 lbs
1*5 @ 80 lbs
1*5 @ 100 lbs
1*5 @ 110 lbs
1*5 @ 125 lbs
1*12 @ 140 lbs (1 RM calculated to be 195--aaagh!!!.) Then,
3*5 @ 125 lbs

Cavalier suggested I look for some device that I might be able to do a reverse push up on but I didnt see any at the moment, but Ill keep looking because it sounds like a good idea.

ksnap suggesting adding rows. I want to the row machine today but I was a bit pressed for time.

Chris87 suggested that I try some dumbell Military presses on my Bench day. I like doing these. In the past I had done them on a bench with no back support but now Im going to try them on a seat with something to rest my back on. I know in theory its better to do them without support, but I can lift more with the back support, and I want to make this change to see if it helps break the bench plateau and make my deltoids stronger.

1*10@ 35
tried the 45 and....uuugh....ughh...couldn't...push...it....up. That's OK, ill get better at this.

Incline Bench Press on 5/3/1
1*5 @ 50 lbs
1*5 @ 60 lbs
1*5 @ 70 lbs
1*5 @ 80 lbs
1*5 @ 90 lbs
1*13 @ 100 lbs (1 RM calculated to be 143--I'm happy with this, it keeps going up since I put it on 5/3/1.

Dip Assist:
1*10@-27 (negative because its an assist machine)

No complaints.

Then had a light jog for 15 minutes, keep the jog low to keep metabolism mostly aerobic.

Breakfast: 9 egg whites, 1 egg yellow, 1 cup oatmeal with blueberries.
Lunch: green salad with about 1.5 cups of beans
15 oz Gatorade before workout, 2 scoops protein powder after with 3 pieces of fruit.
Dinner: a good chunck of turkey lasagna

Yep. The same dinner!

"Just put that MONSTER smile on your rosy cheeks...."


Smith machine. Or: power rack with bar resting on pins. Or: dip bars. Grab from underneath. Because of the height, dip bars are easier than bars set lower.

Heck with it, just lie down on the bench, grab the bar and pull.


Today was Dead Lift day. I made made fast progress at first because I have never done a dead lift in my life until last year when I started lifting. I was pushing it up 10 lbs a cycle. But now I'm finding, that, for me, the weights are getting to be super heavy (today was 8 @ 175 lbs) and I dont want to push it up faster than 5 lbs a cycle. If you go to Rippetoe's site, you will read about some guys who have injured themselves on the dead lift and it limits what they can do now in the gym. I want to go very slowly here and not lift anything unless I can do it with a straight back and otherwise half way decent form.

Dead Lift:
1*5 @ 75 lbs
1*5 @ 95 lbs
1*5 @ 115 lbs
1*5 @ 135 lbs
1*3 @ 155 lbs
1*8 @ 175 lbs (1 RM calculated to be 222--a new record for me. Ill take it)

After that, I like to do a short easy set of squats. Usually Im well warmed up with the dead lift and its my probabaly my worst lift in terms of how much I should be doing:

1*10 @ 45 lbs
1*7 @ 65 lbs
1*5 @ 75 lbs
1*5 @ 85 lbs

Then a 1/4 of a track of lunges, and then 4 minutes on the rowing machine. I wanted to do more but fatigued much faster than expected. Im going to do a little bit of rowing twice a week.

Yesterdays food:

Breakfast: 5 egg whites, 1 and 1/2 Bran Muffins
Lunch: green salad with about 1.5 cups of beans
Dinner: two servings of beans and rice.

Figured out I am taking in about 2900- 3100 calories a day. Its hard for me to imagine eating more than this.

Last night I noticed my chest puffed up a touch due to Fridays workout. I suspect what this is is swelling due to muscle break down, so this is a really good sign that I pushed it enough Friday.