T Nation

Starting Over, Fat, Out of Shape and Feeling Old


Not an excuse just a fact, 2009 I had shoulder surgery god what a long recovery. finally got back to work and back to the gym, and got into a car wreck. I cracked my sternum back out of the gym.
Problem is I got lazy during the injuries ate like crap and quit caring. Somehow got it in my head that I would never be able to lift again. I didn't even try in 2010 and now i'm starting to look like something I never wanted to be. Fat.

Jan of 2011 I stepped back into the gym, I lost 20 pounds in 30 days. Problem is this I have had a back fusion in 2002, shoulder surgery 2009, bursitis in the other shoulder. arthritis in my knees back and shoulder now. So since January I lift a week or two and take a week or two off because of my shoulders mostly. I AM SICK OF THIS. Just got turned on to MSM with glucosamine and I gotta say I think its making a differnce. Just watched the mobility videos and I'm going to start doing that as well.

I am sitting at 280 currently, around 21% I'm 6'2 My goal for now is to get back to 247 lbs. With new goals to come. Mostly that someday I want to be a healthy active 70 year old, and I know I got to get on that road NOW!

I have been pouring over info on this site and intend to use what I learn.
This is what a work out week usually looks like for me

Day one chest and shoulders
Day two Bi and Tri
Day three back and abs
day 4 off
day 5 legs
day 6 and 7 off

I am also doing 30 to 40 min of speed walking on the treadmill after each workout, but nothing on my days off, which I intend to change this week. I am eating clean at regular times.

I am looking at 37 years old this August, I really want my health back. A side note as well I have quit chewing for 3 weeks now, and never want to go back to that either.
If God forbid I am injured again, I will eat clean during the injury, no more laziness there.
This past week was relatively pain free and I'm feeling good, I am going by the Mantra "never too late"
Advice is appreciated.


That is a picture taken today, that I intend to be just a bad memory of the way I look


Well you've come to the right place. Welcome.


Welcome. I started a similar journey months ago; it's well worth the pain, sweat and tears.


I was out of the gym for about 5 years and wasn't even trying to eat clean (kids, career, family) -- no real good excuse -- it just happened. Life gets in the way of living. One of the hardest things for me was getting over the idea that I was going to be the fat, old guy in the gym. I think what changed for me was the idea that I was going to be a fat old guy who lacked the strength and endurance to do cool stuff with my kid (snow ski, surf, water ski, hike, camp, swim, whatever). That's why I go to the gym and eat clean now -- I don't give a damn what anyone else thinks.

When I started, I could NOT do one chin up, one dip, bench 135 lbs for reps (3 sets), or squat 135 lbs for reps (3 sets). I've made good progress since -- I'm 42. All I can say is that it is still possible to "come back" at this age. I don't have 6-pack abs, but I'm certainly not carrying around my keg anymore. I squatted 275 for reps Friday, and plan to add weight next week. Its a good feeling. Its not the kind of weight a lot of people around here do, but given where I've been, I couldn't be prouder.

Good luck, I'll be watching.


Thanks for the welcome all. I do have a problem I could use some advice on. Bench Press. I just cannot seem to do it without killing my shoulders, regardless of the weight amount. Tried every grip from wide to narrow elbows out elbows in. I just saw a video of a reverse grip was thinking about trying that this week. But in the mean time I only use dumbbells for chest, as the pain it causes my shoulders is way way less.

Any thoughts?


Welcome to the Master's Division of the T-Nation family. Need advice? We got that. Want help? We got that. Need to bend an ear, we do that too. You are now part of the 'We are too old for stupidity' forum. BTW, you might want to consider doing 5/3/1 or MJ might kill and eat you! Again...Welcome.


Is there any weight you can bench without pain? Wide grip puts more strain on the shoulders. Elbows out is always a bad idea. I had shoulder surgery almost a year ago. I'm back to benching and back to my regular grip, but I had to start with basically a tricep press with a 20-lb. bar.

Marauder Meat (on this forum) does HYOOGE reverse grip bench presses with great success.


Welcome aboard bro, I hope you attain all your goals.


Welcome, Monroe! This is the place for old geezers who don't take no for an answer. Sounds like you've really been through the grind. I've got scoliosis but fortunately never needed spinal fusion. You look like you've got some muscle under that fat - lifting might not be as hard as you think.

What do the docs say about the shoulder? Are you getting any rehab or PT for it?

Congrats on your goals, we'll be here rooting for you!


Well you don't look that fat to me. You just look like a big, strong guy, like a lot of the guys in here look. And 21% bodyfat at 280 isn't too bad at all.

As far as the benching goes, unless you've plans to compete you could just stick to the DBs if they don't hurt your shoulders, they're just as good IMO and in many ways better.

At our age it's all about feeling strong, healthy and pain free. Looking forward to following.



I quit seeing the doc about the shoulder, as I just keep getting offered cortisone for the bursitis one, and the run around for the "fixed" one. There is really no weight I can bench without pain it's weird, but hardly and pain on the DB's So as you said Farmer guess I'll have to stick to that. I am going to give the reverse grip a try tonight though when I hit the gym. It must have been Marauder's video I saw....friggen impressive!
Thanks again for the welcome all, I'll post my workout tomorrow. Feel free to critique I can take it :slight_smile:


Have you tried dumbbells, neutral grip?


Welcome, are you doing mobility work for the shoulder?


Have not tried it. seems worth a shot though.

Sunday felt rundown, lethargic did a little back

Cable rows
50 1x20
65 1x15
80 1x10
95 1x10 and kept going up to 215 1x8 each weight after 95 lbs felt like crap didn't finish the other two lifts I intended to do went and did 30 min of cardio

Monday feeling great!!

135 1x10
155 1x8
175 1x8
195 1x6
205 1x6
225 1x6

Seated leg presses
340 1x10
360 2x10

Calf raises
95 3x15

20 min of cardio

Legs were like dragging around rocks all night at work last night
Eating has stayed good, and still off the chew.


I found a few videos on these forums somewhere, stretching with a broomstick started doing those this week. I always use the bands and warm up my shoulders with those.

I'm loving the broomstick thing though.


If its any consolation i am starting in at 53 and learning it all from basics. Just over a year ago i was very overweight and seriously unfit, couldnt do a single press up or pull up, couldn't run without back pain . I have had years worth of back injuries and back pain all related to my job ,consequently when my trainer started me on deadlifts and squats i thought 'no way' this is really not going to happen, however it is happenning albeit nice and slowly and so far i have less back pain than i have had in years.

So well done for getting back in there.


As far as your shoulder, give this a read...


It could be that after a while off your shoulders are out of whack. Anyway, this worked for me...after many, many years of shoulder pain from benching.


Get a sled


Thanks for the Article deapee will give this a serious go!