T Nation

Training for Competition After 5 Years Off


#1

I want to start Powerlifting training again after 5 years off. My ex was my trainer and I never paid attention to what I was doing (stupid I know) I just did what I was told. I want to get back to training with a goal of competing but I'm not sure where to start as far as how much weight up train with and what to do for assistance work.

Can anyone steer me in the direction I need to follow or, what books and or articles I can read to gain knowledge. I would like help with diet also as I'm sitting at 150lbs and im 4'11 but want toconoete at 125lb weight class (125 is a healthier weight for me at my height) If it's helpful I'll leave my pr's below. Thank you for any and all help

2010
Weight: 130
Squat: 190
Dead: 266
Bench 105


#2

You can start with a simple linear program like Starting Strength to get back to old strength levels. When you get to maximal weights record yourself and post it here for feedback. It looks like you had decent strength back then so you have an idea of how much work to put in.

For diet the usual advice is meat, fruits, veggies, nuts and not too much processed foods. Weigh yourself each week and adjust portion size accordingly. Losing 0.5-1.0 lbs per week is good to shoot for. Cardio won’t hurt at this point since you aren’t pushing strength work hard yet.


#3

[quote]lift206 wrote:
You can start with a simple linear program like Starting Strength to get back to old strength levels. When you get to maximal weights record yourself and post it here for feedback. It looks like you had decent strength back then so you have an idea of how much work to put in.

For diet the usual advice is meat, fruits, veggies, nuts and not too much processed foods. Weigh yourself each week and adjust portion size accordingly. Losing 0.5-1.0 lbs per week is good to shoot for. Cardio won’t hurt at this point since you aren’t pushing strength work hard yet.[/quote]
Good advice here, although I’d add in that depending on what you’ve been eating recently you shouldn’t panic if you lose more than a lb in the first week. This is because if you’ve been eating a lot of carbs and not drinking much water, it may just be from your body getting rid of excess water. If you keep losing much more than that after that point then you’ll want to up your calories a bit tho.


#4

Thanks for the advice. Where can I find info on starting strength? Will it give me an idea of what weight to start with or should I just throw weight around to see how it feels (if starting strength is based on percentage of 1rm).


#5

[quote]lift206 wrote:
You can start with a simple linear program like Starting Strength to get back to old strength levels. When you get to maximal weights record yourself and post it here for feedback. It looks like you had decent strength back then so you have an idea of how much work to put in.

For diet the usual advice is meat, fruits, veggies, nuts and not too much processed foods. Weigh yourself each week and adjust portion size accordingly. Losing 0.5-1.0 lbs per week is good to shoot for. Cardio won’t hurt at this point since you aren’t pushing strength work hard yet.[/quote]

Is starting strength a book or is there a thread here? Also how do I know how much weight to begin with (assuming starting strength works on percentage of 1rm). I’ve heard of the 5/3/1- what are your thoughts vs. Starting strength?


#6

[quote]tylerkeen42 wrote:

[quote]lift206 wrote:
You can start with a simple linear program like Starting Strength to get back to old strength levels. When you get to maximal weights record yourself and post it here for feedback. It looks like you had decent strength back then so you have an idea of how much work to put in.

For diet the usual advice is meat, fruits, veggies, nuts and not too much processed foods. Weigh yourself each week and adjust portion size accordingly. Losing 0.5-1.0 lbs per week is good to shoot for. Cardio won’t hurt at this point since you aren’t pushing strength work hard yet.[/quote]
Good advice here, although I’d add in that depending on what you’ve been eating recently you shouldn’t panic if you lose more than a lb in the first week. This is because if you’ve been eating a lot of carbs and not drinking much water, it may just be from your body getting rid of excess water. If you keep losing much more than that after that point then you’ll want to up your calories a bit tho.[/quote]

Thank you much for the advice!


#7

Starting Strength is an extremely simple beginner’s program written by Mark Rippetoe. You need not even really set your 1 RM’s before beginning the program because it progresses very quickly - adding weight every workout until you stall - so you might start with weights that seem ridiculously light (even the empty bar if you’re just getting back into lifting after a long time away) and follow the progression of weights that he outlines, you’ll be approaching your old maxes in a month or two.

I don’t think this is really the recommended LONG TERM approach for you - just a very simple program to get you back in the gym and into the groove (it is called STARTING strength, after all).

Google “Mark Rippetoe Starting Strength” and you should find a few pages that outline exactly how it works.

Two additional notes:

  1. SS is usually run with someone eating to GAIN weight; you’ll be trying to lose weight. I don’t think this is a major issue for you because you’ve lifted before and this program is really just getting you back into the groove. The calorie surplus is a bigger factor for skinny people that have never lifted before and/or are underweight.

  2. while your weight loss success will be determined more by what you’re eating than by your exercise program, you may want to add some cardio on top of SS (which is a low volume program). If you do this, I recommend either a) going for a walk every morning or b) doing it after your workouts - either sprints, kettlebell swings, sled pushes if your gym has the right stuff, or you could do inclined walks on a TM at your gym.

Point is, a little cardio is good - but for weight loss, the “middle zone” of jogging is not an efficient means of doing it (too easy to have major fat burning effects, too hard for your body to effectively recover when it’s doing that plus lifting). Keep it REAL easy (walking) or REAL hard (sprinting, kettlebell swings, sled pushes, battling ropes).

Please continue to post questions here and start a training log. The forum has some snarky folks but also many that are very helpful to beginners.


#8

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:
Starting Strength is an extremely simple beginner’s program written by Mark Rippetoe. You need not even really set your 1 RM’s before beginning the program because it progresses very quickly - adding weight every workout until you stall - so you might start with weights that seem ridiculously light (even the empty bar if you’re just getting back into lifting after a long time away) and follow the progression of weights that he outlines, you’ll be approaching your old maxes in a month or two.

I don’t think this is really the recommended LONG TERM approach for you - just a very simple program to get you back in the gym and into the groove (it is called STARTING strength, after all).

Google “Mark Rippetoe Starting Strength” and you should find a few pages that outline exactly how it works.

Two additional notes:

  1. SS is usually run with someone eating to GAIN weight; you’ll be trying to lose weight. I don’t think this is a major issue for you because you’ve lifted before and this program is really just getting you back into the groove. The calorie surplus is a bigger factor for skinny people that have never lifted before and/or are underweight.

  2. while your weight loss success will be determined more by what you’re eating than by your exercise program, you may want to add some cardio on top of SS (which is a low volume program). If you do this, I recommend either a) going for a walk every morning or b) doing it after your workouts - either sprints, kettlebell swings, sled pushes if your gym has the right stuff, or you could do inclined walks on a TM at your gym.

Point is, a little cardio is good - but for weight loss, the “middle zone” of jogging is not an efficient means of doing it (too easy to have major fat burning effects, too hard for your body to effectively recover when it’s doing that plus lifting). Keep it REAL easy (walking) or REAL hard (sprinting, kettlebell swings, sled pushes, battling ropes).

Please continue to post questions here and start a training log. The forum has some snarky folks but also many that are very helpful to beginners.[/quote]
Thank you so much! I will post training log and progress.


#9

Sure, good luck.

You may find SS a bit boring - it’s extremely simple - but that’s the point. As I said…it’s called STARTING strength. Give it a month to get yourself back into the groove of going to the gym and hitting the big compound lifts. Then (while you are still running the SS program and moving closer to your old maxes) perhaps starting reading up on some “next step” programs like Texas Method, Madcow, and 5/3/1 - all of which are good programs that can be run by lifters with some modicum of experience, and are highly modifiable and scalable depending on what equipment you have available, how many days you prefer to train, etc.