T Nation

Where to Begin?

Hi all

I’m 32 years old and have been training on and off for the last few years but have never stuck to a program. I’m overweight at around 135kg, the most I have squatted is 150kg and my max deadlift has been 140kg. I started Stronglifts 5x5 10 weeks ago, performing it for 6 weeks but my motivation has flagged for the last 4. I know that this is something I need to improve but I posted a message to the T Nation FB page and was told that Stronglifts isn’t a good fat loss program. I know I need to clean up my diet, but can anyone recommend a tried and tested program for the long term which will help me to lose fat and change my body shape?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

How do you like to train?

Hi strongmangoals. I like to train by lifting increasingly heavy singles as opposed to working for long periods of time. Would I be better off just working up to new 1RMs every other day?

What helps me is make a schedule and stick to it.
I do the candito 6 weeks program.
I go to the gym at 6 in the morning (planing to at 5 am, to have more time to train.)
The reason im training in the morning is that im to lazy to train when i get home from work.
So find the time in the day when it suites you best to train.
Start with twice a week, when you get more into it, go for 3, and so on.

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Hi denmyos. I’ll have a look at the Candito program. I’ve written spreadsheets and kept a log of the first 6 weeks I was training, and I was making progress, but I let doubt get the better of me when I read what people said about Stronglifts. I know I need to improve my commitment, but I would like to commit to a program that is proven over the long term…or am I being overly romantic in my quest for such a program?

Almost what you asked for.

Motivation won’t always be there and successful people aren’t always motivated. Bettering yourself will always take a degree of discipline. You can watch all those cheap motivational videos on youtube, but if you don’t have the discipline to put in the work, it won’t happen.

Stick with a program. Whether it’s Mr.Wendler’s 531, the one I recommended, Stronglifts, or the countless ones on this very website. Build consistency in the gym, reel in the diet, and then knit pick which program is best for you.

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Hi mccullough. Thank you for your input and advice. It feels too easy to get bogged down in the “paralysis by analysis” mentality, which is where I am now. I’ll read that article in full and see what I can come up with. Thanks again.

Your priority would be to eliminate all junk food.
No need for some over inflated diet scheme to squabble over.

Until that happens, you’ll just be the fat guy who likes to lift 1rm so he doesn’t sweat too much.

No matter what program comes your way, you know it won’t work… Because you know what your biggest obstacle is.

The day you’re truly honest with yourself, is the day you’ll gain momentum.

That paralysis by analysis thing is just a cover up for ‘excuses’… Delaying the time between you and your poor eating habits.

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Hi Jarvan. You’re right, I do need to eliminate the junk food. I did manage to cut it out for the weeks I was training, but the monotony of chicken and veg caught up with me…I do need to learn to prepare my meals in advance. Is it a case of sucking it up and eating non fatty stuff in order to reach your goals?

I don’t blame you. No neee to eat like a bodybuilder trying to get to 6% bodyfat.

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this is great if you like it heavy…


I feel ya dude. The mainstream ideals of healthy eating is not sustainable, nor is it the most healthy in my opinion.
And… It’s bland as fuck.

The grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies 6 times a day is a ridiculous diet.

With that said, it’s real food and it is a lot healthier than how most people eat these days.

I first-hand know how difficult it is for everyday people to spend hours to research a proper diet… Not to mention rearrange their whole life to attain The food, prepare it and stick with it.
And even when you achieve a healthy diet, you’ll always have some kind of pull to revert back to the unhealthy stuff.
I hope you know that so you don’t beat yourself up too much if it happens.

The best advice, in brevity, is to explore other foods.
My personal diet is mostly made up of Korean food. A lot of contemporary Korean foods aren’t healthy, but authentic style Korean food is about as healthy as you can get.
Soups, hearty stews, fermented veggies, spicy, crunchy, diverse, and fuckin delicious. I genuinely feel it’s the best food in the world.

As I’ve mentioned, ridding yourself of the obvious shitty food is the first step… But then what can you eat?

I say anything that is not processed or contains artificial preservatives.

I have no issues eating only healthy food because it’s food that I actually wanna eat. But easy for me to say, I live in Korea where there’s amazing restaurants everywhere.

Spices. Get into spices.
All this talk about super foods the past decade has been in our foods all along.
Turmeric. They bottle this shit in capsules now. My question is why? Use it in cooking because it’s delicious. Coriander, sea salt, paprika, cinnamon, etc
All those long articles about the next new crazy nutrient already exists in foods and spices.
People still juice kale. Why? Wash it, sautee that shit in wallops of grass fed butter and coconut oil. Sprinkle on fresh black pepper and sea salt. Fuckin amazing.

If you need something to occupy your anxiety, check out Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora gedgaudas. It’s a dense read and extremely informative.

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Thanks RampantBadger, and thank you Jarvan. I’ll have a look into that book. I’m gonna whip the crock pot out as well and see what I can come up with. As for a program, I’ve found an ideal blend of weights and conditioning in one of the Greyskull LPs. I know it’s a long road ahead and it’s early days for me, but with the input of good people like yourselves I’ll get to where I’m going. I’ll keep you updated with my progress.

Just be prepared to give yourself a year for anything to make real sense.

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I’m not sure how we got this far into this thread without anyone telling you that a program based on working up to 1RM several times a week is not a good program. At all. It’s truly terrible for building strength or size. It’s not good for anything excepting testing your max and stalling.


Hi flipcollar. Thanks for the heads up on that one! I’m gonna see what I can do on Greyskull. Hopefully I’ll build a good enough foundation of strength with that.

greyskull is solid. Do your best to follow the program as closely as can, don’t deviate based on what you feel like doing.

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No its a lifting program … a lifting program ( quality of which is dubious ). But some form of resistance training should be part of any weight loss program.But not as a primary way of burning calories which some trainers like to do in the fitness industry.

Oh no!

Eat fats! Eat whatever you want, provided that it didn’t have a ton of preservatives dumped on it or were heavily processed. I know Jarvan wrote this already, but I want to re-emphasize this.

Eating healthy doesn’t need to mean eat nothing but chicken breast and broccoli, but it will require some prep on your part and the willingness to cook.

Here’s a link that might help with diet.

I would suggest that you find something that you can eat repeatedly without getting bored.

My dinner, for the most part, used to be a mixture of lean ground beef/ground turkey with a ton of the spices that I enjoy( occasionally spiced up with bacon or some sort of sausage if there’s a sale going on) + some yam/potatoes + steamed broccoli cause it’s easy + store-made kimchi.

I have no qualms about eating out on the weekends, but dinner was pretty much always the above unless I worked very late and didn’t want to cook.

Diet is a habit. So, you need to find some habitual practices that fit with your goals and time commitment. But, once it becomes habit, it needs to stay a habit. Changing your diet for a couple of weeks/months don’t really work.