Where Should I Go with My Workout?

Hi all, new lifter here - I have been working out since June, and have for the most part completely followed the starting strength routine. I am actually most interested in weight loss right now, though I haven’t dropped nearly as much as I want and have increased my strength significantly. My progress is below.

Squat: ~150 to 295
Deadlift: ~150 to 295
Overhead Press: ~85 to 135
Bench: ~140 to 210
Power Clean: ~135 to 180

My weight: 387 to 360

MWF: starting strength routine, 20m cardio (15% incline, 2.0 mph, avg HR ~155)
TTR: HIIT (15% incline, 30m HIIT - 1m on, 1m off) 20-30m cardio, avg HR for both ~163

the incline is mostly so i dont screw up my knees since I weigh so much - it does impact my quads more than I’d like though.

I am starting just now to fail with some of these lifts, and I think I will run into more difficulties over the next month with all lifts.

As for why I’m posting, I want to focus more on weight loss but still continue to gain strength. I am hoping you guys could give me some suggestions on workouts or modifications to this workout so I can decrease my calorie count without significant strength losses (or even getting more strength gains).

You can try a 5x5 rep scheme with your big lift. with an accesorry lift and 1 isolation compound.

example : Squat 5x5 double method progression ( when you can do 5 reps at every set you increase the weight ) 4x8 romanium deadlift and 4x12 legs extension supersets with leg curl !

its an easy setup ! you should do your cardio after workout !

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2nd that notion on the cardio!

Given your noob gains and high Body weight you can probably continue making strength gains even with weight loss.

If u diet/cardio harder keep in mind it’ll down your gains a bit. Diet too hard and you’ll feel like shit, lift like shit, lose motivation and defeat the purpose of the whole thing. Low and steady with a moderate deficit is the way to go. If you are still losing weight no reason to change things it’s only a matter of time and consistency. If you’ve stalled a small change will be enough to get the ball rolling again

Have access to a stationary bike? Low impact and at the right intensity you can go forever/as long as you need. Put on a movie and time flies right by.

Don’t get too caught up in cardio. Unless you train like an Olympic athlete it’s not that significant in terms of calories burnt. Could look at a pizza and waste a cardio session.

Focus on getting stronger. It may be a bit harder without the steady stream of fuel coming in but remember your body has got plenty of that shit stored as fat.

If you stall on lifts follow what the program says to do. Sometimes your gains won’t be linear but will come in spurts. Just put in the work and it’ll come.

While your waiting for your growth spurts perhaps work on perfecting technique. Hell this will improve your lifts without making you stronger. Long term tho it’ll set you up for gains

Thanks for the replies! It’s good to know I can just stick to this and do a deficit without issues, so that is what I’ll do. I actually realized just today (been browsing a ton of lifting sites) that my form on the deadlift is crap. So tonight I decided to change my routine a bit. I am dropping deadlift back down to 185 lbs and will be doing it MWF, along with squats and the arm routines. I just worked out tonight and hit 300 squat, and then did some serious soul searching on the deadlift. For probably the first time when I stretched my hamstrings after the workout I felt tight, so I think I’m finally getting my form down on DL. I also noticed recently that I was getting back soreness after my squats, so I tried modifying those today to be a bit more upright - it was slightly harder but I was still able to hit 300 3x5. I think going slower could actually be really good so I can work on form (though I want that 3 plate squat!).

As far as cardio is concerned, it is surprisingly effective due to my weight. Because of the 15% incline, my heart rate is extremely high. As an example, I did cardio for 1hr yesterday and had an average HR of ~165, which supposedly burns 1200 calories based on my weight. Furthermore, I can hit that HR at a steady speed of 2.3 mph, which is really easy on my knees. Cycling might be great for a change of pace though. I will give it a try and attempt to not kill myself on cardio. And ur definitely right - diet is king and I need to keep on that especially, as I have had too many bad days with food.

I forgot to mention I am 6’5". Does that make it harder to DL with good form?

Careful with reducing weight. The weight on the bar/mechanical tension on your muscles is not just a stimulus for muscle growth. It’s also a stimulus for holding on to muscle mass while in a deficit.

For example if one week you are pulling 300 your body will attempt hold onto muscle to enable you to respond to this stressor, preferentially breaking down fat instead. If the next week you start pulling 150 or 180 or whatever the point is less your body loses the stimulus and is like oh look less work now, I’m not going to hold onto this extra metabolically expensive muscle mass if I don’t need it. Is thus more likely to break it down in a deficit. You have to keep up the intensity/volume to maintain muscle as best you can.

Perhaps do more warm up sets/reps and practice perfect form on them. Hell every rep of every set try for perfection.

Ain’t nobody got time for that lel. Whatever works man. You watch tv shows or something during?

Contrary to wut some people will say you can out cardio poor diet choices but 3 hours of cardio is a lot of time spent and energy taken away from lifting/recovery. Cardio is just the an adjunct. Muscle is the real stuff, literally increases your metabolic rate, burning more energy just sitting your butt in a chair. If cardio is interfering with lifting your doing it wrong so don’t get forced into doing too much by your poor diet.

Technically more work (force x displacement) but Nah. Different maybe but plenty of successful tall pullers in the higher weight classes and strongman.

Do Either of these…


These are tough programs so only run on a small deficit or eat at maintenance even and just focus on eating really clean

@RampantBadger thanks for the links. Both of these workouts look great, though I think I will hold off on them until I get to a lower weight. At one point I did insanity for two months and lost about 30-40 pounds, but in the process my knees hated me (due to me being like 350 at the time), so I am going to hold off on most jumping and sprinting exercises until I get to a lower weight - I was thinking in the 320 range. I will keep these workouts in mind once I get there though.

@khangles I actually haven’t been watching TV shows during my cardio - I really should, as it bores me to tears.

So the reason I am dropping deadlift quite low is I’m not sure I can get proper form at such a high weight, and I have also been having trouble with my grip (at 270+ lbs or so). I was hoping to strengthen my grip more through this process, as well as practice the hook grip, while also focusing on form. Do you think increasing volume would help prevent muscle loss, or should I just try to run deadlift at something like 250 pounds instead? I don’t want to lose muscle, but I’d like my form to be top-notch so I can progress safely and consistently. Maybe I’ll get a video of my deadlift and u guys can critique it. Another thing to note is, with deadlift at 295 I was essentially doing 1-2 reps and then had to stop due to grip slipping. So I’m not able to do 5 reps in a row without having to reset continuously when I’m at a high weight.

You’re probably a good judge of your own form. When you start grinding out slow reps, having your back pulled out of position and such you’re probably working at too high a % of 1RM. Fun to lift heavy but really not optimal.

Deadlift loves sub maximal work. You can maintain perfect form rep after rep ingraining that movement pattern and you can practice being more explosive or moving he bar with more force.

Personally I do a lot of my work between 60-85% 1RM. Lift as heavy as you can while being able to maintain form. Common to hear “In the gym to build strength not demonstrate it” go heavy enough to get a training effect. If 250 feels good for you then use it. Hit some reps and get in some quality volume.

Increasing volume is a good idea but it will tax your recovery more and make you more sore. Give and take tho because volume is a variable that is easily progressed thus acting as a stimulus for gains. Reps per set can also be increased but don’t force it by doing max reps frequently

e.g One week you do 3 sets the next 4 sets. When you get to 5-6 sets which might be too much chuck on 10 pounds and work up again from 3 sets.

As far as grip goes most people’s deadlifting abilities exceed their gripping ability fairly quickly. Do you use mixed grip or under over grip? Why/not? Straps?

If you limit yourself to as much as you can double overhand it really is holding back a lot of potential gains.

I will try what you suggest - maybe do 3 sets, 4 sets, 5 sets on DL then increase by 10 pounds once per week and repeat- I’m fairly certain that won’t be too hard cause of beginner gains. I will see how things go between 225-250 pounds.

Well I was reading quite a bit on gripping for deadlift, and I noticed a trend where most people would recommend double overhand until you can no longer do it, then switching to hook or mixed grip. I then read a bit about how mixed grip can cause muscle imbalances, and most olympic lifters use hook grips, so I decided to try working on a hook grip instead of a mixed grip. However, I have only been doing hook grip for 1-2 weeks, so I’m still working on getting the flexibility and callouses I’d need to not kill my thumbs. I’ve also had trouble with slipping on the hook grip due to sweat, so I was going to try adding some tape in the mix to see if that will solve that issue - I just haven’t done that quite yet.

As far as straps, typically I’ve read that they should be avoided unless absolutely necessary at very high weights, and I honestly agree as I don’t want them to become a crutch where I must use them to deadlift.

So really I am open to doing mixed grip (though I would probably alternate sides every time I deadlift) and I am currently working on hook grip, with double overhand being used until I cannot use it any more.

I use hook myself but have to say it never stops hurting tho above a certain weight it feels the same. Also hook was never meant to go with higher reps so 4+ I tape my thumbs and 8+ I use straps.

I actually consider hook grip to be quite similar to using straps, training effect wise. Highly secure grip tho straps are more so. One thing many forget with hook is that it slows the development of your actual grip strength.

The “hook” formed by your thumb and first two fingers takes most of the load using the bars weight to secure it as opposed to actual grip strength. Overtime grip under develops.

That’s the theory anyway. If my thumbs are beat up and I throw in a few reps with mixed grip I find my grip has not weakened vs I used hook grip.

I’ve used mixed a lot during my early lifting and it does torque the back a bit and imbalance musculature but not by much.

If you are going to hook stick with, warming up with doouble overhand and hook grip (do a set each). There issues when you go higher reps tho and your thumbs will tend to get shredded. Straps will be a good investment.

In the end you have to ask yourself what you are deadlifting for. To train your grip strength or to train most of the muscles in your body with heavy weight for the gains?

Ok sure, forget the sprints/throws then. Main thing is a bit of heavy lifting and then a lot of metabolic work/giant sets etc

As I’m sure you’re aware 360+lbs is medically obese so I would would hit up some all out fatloss plans off Tnation until you’ve lost like 90lbs at least. SS is fine to get in the swing of things for 6-8 weeks but after that not congruent with your goals.
Higher volume full body templates like thse by Chad Waterbury could be a good middle ground for now also

If eating good amount of protein and hitting weights this wont happen till like 8% bodyfat /210lbs