T Nation

Workout Transitioning


Hey guys a little background. I've been training (efficiently) for about a year now. I started off as a real skinny bastard. 6'2 160lbs and now I'm 6'2 220lbs, with a fair bit of body fat. For the past 3-4 months I've been using the Bill Starr 5x5 plan and I've gained quite a bit of strength with it. However, the size gains aren't that great. I've put about 100lbs on my deadlift (never deadlifted before this) 50lbs on my squat, and 40ish lbs on my bench.

As far as cardio or any of that goes, right now I just eat big, sleep big, and do exactly what the program says to do. As I said before though, I'm not gaining the size that I thought I would, even though my strength continues to go up each week. I'm not sure if this is just due to my genetics and natural body type, or maybe I'm just plain not eating enough; either way though this isn't my question.

So on to the actual question part. I'm getting close to the big lift (squat,row,dl,bench) strength levels that I set my 6 month goals at. Once I reach these goals, I plan to transition from pure strength workouts to a more functional/power/endurance type workouts. In 2 years, I'm going to be joining the Army with an option 40 contract, which is basically an Army Ranger contract. What I'm asking you guys is, what type of stuff and what volume can I start using to transition my workouts to where I can get into the kind of shape I'm going to need to be in for the Rangers. The first few things that comes to mind are pullups, pushups, farmer walks, and exercises similar to that, but to be honest I have no idea what variant and what quantity to do these in and how to keep my maximum strength levels the same/about the same while doing these and the "big lifts". Also, it should be noted I'm looking to be as lean as possible, but that's not an imperative of the program I'm looking to be on. Meaning: Rapid fat loss is NOT the goal, while progressive fat loss is.

Any advice you can give me is very much appreciated thanks.


Awesome work on the weight gain, but what exactly does this mean? What's your waist measurement? Any recent pics?

How's your power clean and overhead press?

Fair enough. But it's your nutrition. Gaining too much fat and not enough muscle during a bulk is an unfortunately common situation.

What are those goals?

Really, the next step depends a bit on exactly where you end up now and where your strength levels actually are. If you're not yet at certain basic strength levels, it might be best to stick to a plan that's been working and consider tweaking it with some added conditioning and/or accessory work.

Check out this recent article for some ideas about training for multiple "functional" attributes:

Either consider setting up a program along those lines or just think about incorporating some of the ideas.

At 6'2" and 220 pounds with "a fair bit of bodyfat", you could definitely use more lean muscle. That's going to come with a well-designed plan and consistent nutrition.

Remember, too, that two years is a pretty long time away as far as fat loss is concerned. If you focus on cleaning up your nutrition and training balls-out, it really shouldn't be much of an issue at all when it comes time to sign up.


My goals were in 6 months to hit: Bench and squat at least 315, Deadlift at least 405, overhead press 225, row 250. My BF is somewhere between 13 and 14%. I've actually been checking out Alphas blog over at 5100block.com and been doing the Warrior Athlete 'Workout of the Day' over there. Its definitely the hardest shit I've ever done and really makes you work hard which is exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks a lot for your detailed response though man. I appreciate you taking the time.


Those are solid marks, with some extra emphasis on the bench. No harm in that, I guess. :wink:

If that's an accurate read, it's not bad at all. Given the timeframe you're working with, you should be able to stay in solid "fighting shape" just with the accidental fat loss that comes from regular training and tightened up nutrition without needing a dedicated fat loss plan.

I hear 'ya. All due respect to Alpha, I have the same reservations with Warrior Athlete that I do with Crossfit WODs (overestimating many lifters capabilities/needing too much scaling of the WOD, and not always accounting for consistent progression or progressive overload), but it's definitely hard work that addresses multiple attributes, so if you stick with it, it should keep you on the track you're shooting for.