T Nation

Training to Help with OCD


#1

am looking at starting a rigid fitness program to help alleviate a particularly bad period of OCD I am going through. In the past I turned to running and this helped. This time I am looking for something slightly more holistic. I want to not just lose weight and get fitter but improve my overall physicality. I want to get stronger, lose fat, become more flexible.

I am not expecting any miracles, I have lost around 65lbs before and know the key to any plan is consistency. That being said I am looking for some second opinions on my planned routine.
I am going to run GSLP as my 3 day a week strength training routine and plan on adding to that 3 treadmill runs a week. Here is how my routine is set up:

Week 1
Monday Bench press 2x5, 1x5+ DB row 2-3 sets Squat 2x5, 1x5+ Yoga
Tuesday 60 minutes treadmill at 1.5% incline Yoga
Wednesday Overhead press 2x5, 1x5+ EZ curl 2-3 sets Deadlift 1x5+ yoga
Thursday 45 minutes treadmill at 1.5% incline Yoga
Friday Bench press 2x5, 1x5+ DB curl 2-3 sets Squat 2x5, 1x5+ Yoga
Saturday 30 minutes treadmill at 1.5% incline Yoga
Sunday Yoga
Week 2
Monday Overhead press 2x5, 1x5+ EZ curl 2-3 sets Squat 2x5, 1x5+ Yoga
Tuesday 30 minutes treadmill at 1.5% incline Yoga
Wednesday Bench press 2x5, 1x5+ DB row 2-3 sets Deadlift 1x5+ Yoga
Thursday 45 minutes treadmill at 1.5% incline Yoga
Friday Overhead press 2x5, 1x5+ EZ curl 2-3 sets Squat 2x5, 1x5+ Yoga
Saturday 60 minutes treadmill at 1.5% incline Yoga
Sunday Yoga

So basically the base GSLP program with DB rows and EZ curls alternated each week so one is done twice and the other once. I will be doing a very basic yoga routine to improve flexibility. One week cardio starts out at 60 minutes and winds down to 30 minutes, the following week it starts at 30 minutes and works up to an hour.

I will be following a 2000 calorie diet with a moderate protein intake (50% carbohydrate - 20%protein - 30%fat) I will be weighing myself every sunday morning and will adjust calories based on how I feel and how the scale weight is moving. I am looking to loose around 1lb a week. I am currently around 200lbs and 30% bodyfat at 5 foot 9. I have lots lots of weight before and have gained around 70lbs over the last 2 years depression eating and what not.
How does the routine look? I am mainly just looking for assurances and to make sure i am not doing anything too dumb.


#2

Doing something is ALWAYS better than doing nothing. There’s your assurance. People here will probably nit-pick lots of things you are doing. If it’s working, and above all, if it’s making you happier and helping with your mental health, stick with it.

I started training to help my depression and anxiety. I did a lot of random shit that many here would deem pointless. However, I made (slow) progress and got to a point mentally and emotionally where I could start doing more research and training “smarter”, so to speak. If your mind ain’t right there’s no way your body will be.


#3

Due to your struggles with OCD, I could foresee it being problematic to nitpick every part of your program. It looks good. Implement.


#4

[quote]shralpinist wrote:
Doing something is ALWAYS better than doing nothing. There’s your assurance. People here will probably nit-pick lots of things you are doing. If it’s working, and above all, if it’s making you happier and helping with your mental health, stick with it.

I started training to help my depression and anxiety. I did a lot of random shit that many here would deem pointless. However, I made (slow) progress and got to a point mentally and emotionally where I could start doing more research and training “smarter”, so to speak. If your mind ain’t right there’s no way your body will be.[/quote]

Thanks dude.


#5

[quote]TrevorLPT wrote:
Due to your struggles with OCD, I could foresee it being problematic to nitpick every part of your program. It looks good. Implement. [/quote]

Thanks. Will do.


#6

It’s looks pretty good. Personally I would swap ez curls for lat pulldowns. Otherwise everything else looks solid. A good yoga instructor can actually be very helpful for a beginner learning how to use their body to stabilize their shoulders, spine and hips so you may have more benefits than just increased flexibility. Good luck!


#7

[quote]lift206 wrote:
It’s looks pretty good. Personally I would swap ez curls for lat pulldowns. Otherwise everything else looks solid. A good yoga instructor can actually be very helpful for a beginner learning how to use their body to stabilize their shoulders, spine and hips so you may have more benefits than just increased flexibility. Good luck![/quote]

I have the dumbbell rows for the back. I wanted something in there for arms yet keep it is minimal as possible. I can always change the DB rows with lat pulldowns sometime and see how I like them.

Thanks for the advice.


#8

[quote]DBADNB1 wrote:

[quote]lift206 wrote:
It’s looks pretty good. Personally I would swap ez curls for lat pulldowns. Otherwise everything else looks solid. A good yoga instructor can actually be very helpful for a beginner learning how to use their body to stabilize their shoulders, spine and hips so you may have more benefits than just increased flexibility. Good luck![/quote]

I have the dumbbell rows for the back. I wanted something in there for arms yet keep it is minimal as possible. I can always change the DB rows with lat pulldowns sometime and see how I like them.

Thanks for the advice.[/quote]

The DB rows will target more your lats, rhomboids, mid and upper traps (depending on torso angle). The wide grip lat pulldowns will target more your teres major, serratus anterior, mid and lower traps. They can both provide decent work for your biceps. As long as you switch between the two types of pulling work over time you should be okay.


#9

I had a talk with my a friend who is in the armed forces and mixes Squatting and olympic lifts in with long distance running.

He has advised me to drop the deadlift day and run the program as a two day program with four days of cardio. I feel like getting advise from someone who is where I want to be fitness wise is a good idea, his advice is free, when he is home he has offered to help me and that has given me a bit more confidence.

I have pre-existing lower back problems and while deadlifting will probably become part of my routine eventually I think I am going to take his routine advice for the first couple of months.

Monday
GSLP
Overhead press 2x5, 1x5
EZ curl 2 sets
DB rows 2 sets
front squat 2x5, 1x5

Tuesday
CARDIO
3 mile run

Wednesday
CARDIO
1.5 mile run

Thursday
Overhead press 2x5, 1x5
EZ curl 2 sets
DB rows 2 sets
Front squat 2x5, 1x5

Friday
CARDIO
1.5 mile run

Saturday
CARDIO
3 mile run

Sunday
Rest


#10

[quote]DBADNB1 wrote:
I want to not just lose weight and get fitter but improve my overall physicality. I want to get stronger, lose fat, become more flexible.[/quote]
These are vague ideas, not goals. Is “stronger” overhead pressing 200 pounds once or squatting 315 for 5 reps? Does “lose fat” mean defined abs or just bringing the belt in three notches? Does “more flexible” mean a full split or a standing toe touch?

Set some specific criteria to shoot for within a finite time period.

I’d do this rather than what your friend suggested because it puts a bit more emphasis on the lifting instead of treating the lifting like maintenance. However, if the guy’s going to be helping you hands-on for the workouts, then I’d follow his lead and do what he says.

On the cardio, I’d probably go (much) higher incline and a bit less time, but if basic running’s worked for you in the past, it should serve you well again.

I don’t see any major benefit to this. A simple way to tackle cardio is to cover more distance in the same time period or cover the same distance in less time.

100g of protein per day for a 200-pound man who’s lifting weights three days a week is a low protein diet. Especially since you’re currently carrying a lot of bodyfat, I’d suggest bumping up the protein and dropping the carbs a bit.

Losing weight is different than losing fat. Losing weight is pretty easy. Losing fat takes a little bit more planning.

Any particular injury? Are you unable to deadlift or just hesitant to because of your back?


#11

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]DBADNB1 wrote:
I want to not just lose weight and get fitter but improve my overall physicality. I want to get stronger, lose fat, become more flexible.[/quote]
These are vague ideas, not goals. Is “stronger” overhead pressing 200 pounds once or squatting 315 for 5 reps? Does “lose fat” mean defined abs or just bringing the belt in three notches? Does “more flexible” mean a full split or a standing toe touch?

Set some specific criteria to shoot for within a finite time period.

I’d do this rather than what your friend suggested because it puts a bit more emphasis on the lifting instead of treating the lifting like maintenance. However, if the guy’s going to be helping you hands-on for the workouts, then I’d follow his lead and do what he says.

On the cardio, I’d probably go (much) higher incline and a bit less time, but if basic running’s worked for you in the past, it should serve you well again.

I don’t see any major benefit to this. A simple way to tackle cardio is to cover more distance in the same time period or cover the same distance in less time.

100g of protein per day for a 200-pound man who’s lifting weights three days a week is a low protein diet. Especially since you’re currently carrying a lot of bodyfat, I’d suggest bumping up the protein and dropping the carbs a bit.

Losing weight is different than losing fat. Losing weight is pretty easy. Losing fat takes a little bit more planning.

Any particular injury? Are you unable to deadlift or just hesitant to because of your back?[/quote]

Hi thanks for taking the time dude.

About the back, it is more just me being hesitant because of previous back pain and when I deadlift, I am often left with an aching dull feeling in the left of my back just where the lower back and the glute meets. This then affects my ability to run the next day. This is even when the weights are light for me.

I had the same pain when I was in a job that was basically sitting 8 hours a day, I got the exact same pain in the exact same place. When I left that job it went and I only get it when I deadlift now. It isn’t excruciating, it does not even last very long, but it makes me nervous and I don’t know whether it is a risk worth taking.

As for the protein thing, this might be purely mental, but when I was eating a high protein diet I felt like it exacerbated my OCD. I went vegetarian for a bit and it seemed to help. I have started having meat again but keeping my overall protein at or around 100g a day and it seemed to help. Might be psychological though.

How would you structure the program ? Running has been the best at helping alleviate my OCD. So whatever way I do it I need to be running a lot more than lifting weights and as recovery can only stretch so far, I imagined keeping the lifting aspect minimal would help. When my friend who recommended the program suggested a two day program it seemed logical. Could you offer your thoughts on how it would be best set up?


#12

[quote]DBADNB1 wrote:
About the back, it is more just me being hesitant because of previous back pain and when I deadlift, I am often left with an aching dull feeling in the left of my back just where the lower back and the glute meets. This then affects my ability to run the next day. This is even when the weights are light for me.[/quote]
I’d stick with the yoga, try to nail down exactly what muscles may be tight, and address it that way. But if it’s not preventing you from lifting, I probably wouldn’t drop the deadlift. Keeping the movement, obviously with solid form, should strength the area (plus all the other goodness that comes from deads).

Fair enough. I did a little quick reading and it looks like certain aminos may exacerbate OCD symptoms, so there may be something to that approach. The unfortunate thing is that it’s not ideal for building muscle or dropping fat.

You don’t need a super-high protein intake for results, but .5g per pound of bodyweight is really pushing it. Definitely monitor your fat loss progress often and try making adjustments as needed (like you’ve said you plan to do anyhow).

If it’s what worked for you in the past, then it kinda doesn’t matter how I’d structure things. I was approaching it in terms of getting stronger and losing fat. If [i]the[/i] number one, above-all-else priority is getting the OCD back under control, then for sure do what you know works. When things open up a bit more and are more manageable, then maybe consider making a few changes to the plan.

Like all the guys in previous posts have said, it’s best not to overthink things. Maybe I said too much in my earlier post. Given the choice between taking online advice that’s 96% good or having a training partner live and in-person pushing you through sessions that are 83% good, I’ll pretty much say to go with the in-person option everytime.


#13

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]DBADNB1 wrote:
About the back, it is more just me being hesitant because of previous back pain and when I deadlift, I am often left with an aching dull feeling in the left of my back just where the lower back and the glute meets. This then affects my ability to run the next day. This is even when the weights are light for me.[/quote]
I’d stick with the yoga, try to nail down exactly what muscles may be tight, and address it that way. But if it’s not preventing you from lifting, I probably wouldn’t drop the deadlift. Keeping the movement, obviously with solid form, should strength the area (plus all the other goodness that comes from deads).

Fair enough. I did a little quick reading and it looks like certain aminos may exacerbate OCD symptoms, so there may be something to that approach. The unfortunate thing is that it’s not ideal for building muscle or dropping fat.

You don’t need a super-high protein intake for results, but .5g per pound of bodyweight is really pushing it. Definitely monitor your fat loss progress often and try making adjustments as needed (like you’ve said you plan to do anyhow).

If it’s what worked for you in the past, then it kinda doesn’t matter how I’d structure things. I was approaching it in terms of getting stronger and losing fat. If [i]the[/i] number one, above-all-else priority is getting the OCD back under control, then for sure do what you know works. When things open up a bit more and are more manageable, then maybe consider making a few changes to the plan.

Like all the guys in previous posts have said, it’s best not to overthink things. Maybe I said too much in my earlier post. Given the choice between taking online advice that’s 96% good or having a training partner live and in-person pushing you through sessions that are 83% good, I’ll pretty much say to go with the in-person option everytime.[/quote]

Thanks for the help. Just got back from the gym. Did the two day GSLP program. Felt good. Running tomorrow. Trying to avoid overthinking things. Going to start a log, if you have the time check it out, could always use a watchful eye from experienced lifters.


#14

I would just run greyskull for 6 weeks then evaluate, certainly get off it if you start to stall. -Linear programs where you’re continously upping the weight can beat you down after a while and this can dampen your mood.

Generally speaking whatever program you do avoid going to failure(ie keep one or two reps in the tank) and never go beyond positive failure with stuff like drop sets, rest pause etc as this can irritate the nervous system.

If you’re at 30% bodyfat I would also look into dropping your carbs quite a bit and replacing them with good fats, might even give you a slight imporved sense of wellbeing also.


#15

Not at all with regard to training but I’ve heard people responding very well to high daily doses of inositol to help with their OCD in the magnitude of 10 grams.

Have you ever played around with high doses of inositol?


#16

[quote]Davinci.v2 wrote:
Not at all with regard to training but I’ve heard people responding very well to high daily doses of inositol to help with their OCD in the magnitude of 10 grams.

Have you ever played around with high doses of inositol?[/quote]

Hey man, just saw this.

I have tried to stay away from meds. They gave me crazy dreams to the point I would fear going to sleep and generally didn’t seem to help.

Trying to deal with this without any meds.


#17

[quote]DBADNB1 wrote:

[quote]Davinci.v2 wrote:
Not at all with regard to training but I’ve heard people responding very well to high daily doses of inositol to help with their OCD in the magnitude of 10 grams.

Have you ever played around with high doses of inositol?[/quote]

Hey man, just saw this.

I have tried to stay away from meds. They gave me crazy dreams to the point I would fear going to sleep and generally didn’t seem to help.

Trying to deal with this without any meds.[/quote]

It’s a good thing inositol isn’t a med then, it’s closely related to the b vitamin family. Most mood, behavioral and psychological issues are typically symptoms of deficiencies, hormone imbalances, toxin accumulation or combinations. I’ve trained my entire life and while training will help, it’s not the end all be all. Again, suggest you google what inositol is and how it can help with ocd.


#18

Powerful distractors like training sounds very useful, especially if they stop you from acting on your compulsions.

Not exactly what you are asking for, but ff you have classic OCD including magical thinking and unwanted thoughts (obsessins) as well as behaviors that reduce the anxiety these obsessions produce (compulsions), I would reccomend response prevention therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. These approaches are documented curative in over 80% of cases. I’m a clin. psych and have experienced great success within as little as 5 sessions using these apporaches.