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Thread: Starting over

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    Cool Starting over

    First, I apologize up front for the length of this first post.

    I am a 51 year old male that stands 6' tall. Recently I found myself recovering from major neck surgery, weighing 204 lbs with a spare tire, chronic high blood pressure, no energy, low libido etc. I hated where I found myself, and could not imagine spending the rest of my life just getting worse. So I decided to start changing things.

    It's been a process ... Heck. It's still a process. I never played sports, so I had no background or experience in the gym. So, I'm very thankful for youtube. Along with common sense and judgement, it's about all Ive had.

    Over the last several months, I've gradually cut out about 80% of my sugar intake. I eat more veggies, a lot of eggs, lean red meat, chicken, rice. However, I now eat a lot less pasta, white potatoes and bread. I drink more water, almost no soda and a lot of black coffee.

    My workout plan has evolved through necessity and life and physical limitations to a simple 5X5 of squats, deadlift and benchpress 3 times a week. I do 5 sets of 5 reps each on M-W-F. I have no knee, back or hip trouble, and this works.

    My weights are sad, I know. I'm up to 115lb on bench, 75lb on squats and 185lb on deadlift with a hex bar. These are not 1RM, but my 5X5 weights. I don't know why the numbers are so spread out, but that is where I have found myself, so that's what I'm working with. The weights are not impressive, but they are growing. What is more important, I leave the gym rung out and muscle-sore but feeling good, not debilitated with joint problems.

    My goal is practical health. I dont run around naked, and I'm not competing with anyone for strength. So neither body building nor powerlifting is what I'm focused on. I want to be ably to comfortably change a tire on my 1-ton dually again or carry a 70lb backpack up the mountain elk hunting in Colorado for a week or play football in the yard with my grandson. Everyone needs a goal to work toward, and mine is 5X5 at 200lb for each of the big 3. When I reach that, I'll tackle something else. I want to be all-over tough. Not "swole" and not pretty.

    I drink Phase-8 after a really hard workout, and then usually eat an 6-8oz steak, a steamed sweet potatoe and some broccoli. I intermittent fast 5 days a week for 16 hours, and take 1 Double Tap capsul once a day. It's been about 4 weeks back in the gym, and I've seen no recognizable "gains", but I havent been working for them specifically. I feel better than I have in years. Im still at 195 lbs, but the spare tire is smaller than it was though it's still there. My thighs are sore from the squats two days ago, but not unmanagable. I still look forward to getting off of work and getting back in the gym (usually).

    So, for a grampaw /newbie who has had to sort through the hell that is the internet alone and worked this out, is there anything I'm completely missing? The hardest thing about this journey is that I have done it all alone, wondering what I missed, or what Im screwing up, while working withing the confines of health, job, wife and kids, schedules, finances. This is the first fitness forum I have joined, and I hope I'm not going to get kicked out right off the bat.

  2. #2
    Just joined M&S ManFactory's Avatar
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    Hi olddad!

    First of all, congratulations of taking this step. As a strength and fitness coach I always enjoy seeing people pick up the iron and start improving themselves. You've already won the most important part of the battle by starting.

    Your goal of practical strength is a good one, and it sounds like you're taking a lot of the right steps to get there. Based on the description of your workouts, I have a few suggestions.

    1) I recommend restructuring your workouts so you're not doing bench, squats, and deadlifts each 3 times per week. It will become gradually harder to keep improving in these movements if you continue doing them so often. Also, your performance in the first lift of the day will always be best since you're at your most fresh. The next two lifts won't be as good as they could be as fatigue sets in. That's why I suggest doing each main lift only once per week, and adding a couple assistance movements afterwords to strengthen other areas of your body.

    2) Consider adding overhead press to your weekly routine. This movement is a better indication of overall upper body strength than bench press, and should not be skipped by anyone looking to gain strength and vitality. If you can manage 4 workouts per week instead of 3, it would allow you to do one of the 4 mains lifts (the 3 you're currently doing plus overhead press) once per week, plus some important assistance exercises.

    3) Your diet sounds pretty good, but to be 100% optimal it needs to be tailored to you and your goals. This doesn't necessarily mean counting calories (very frustrating), but it does mean doing some educated meal planning rather than just going with healthy sounding general principles.

    It sounds like you've gone as far you can on your own with the internet. Are you interested in getting more help? I've just launched an online health and strength coaching service specifically for guys over 50. It involves tailor made workouts, face-to-face form coaching via video chat, detailed nutrition planning, and ongoing video feedback on all your workouts. Is something you think you could benefit from?

  3. #3
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    I just read your thread. Great post. Welcome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManFactory View Post
    Hi olddad!

    First of all, congratulations of taking this step. As a strength and fitness coach I always enjoy seeing people pick up the iron and start improving themselves. You've already won the most important part of the battle by starting.

    Your goal of practical strength is a good one, and it sounds like you're taking a lot of the right steps to get there. Based on the description of your workouts, I have a few suggestions.

    1) I recommend restructuring your workouts so you're not doing bench, squats, and deadlifts each 3 times per week. It will become gradually harder to keep improving in these movements if you continue doing them so often. Also, your performance in the first lift of the day will always be best since you're at your most fresh. The next two lifts won't be as good as they could be as fatigue sets in. That's why I suggest doing each main lift only once per week, and adding a couple assistance movements afterwords to strengthen other areas of your body.

    2) Consider adding overhead press to your weekly routine. This movement is a better indication of overall upper body strength than bench press, and should not be skipped by anyone looking to gain strength and vitality. If you can manage 4 workouts per week instead of 3, it would allow you to do one of the 4 mains lifts (the 3 you're currently doing plus overhead press) once per week, plus some important assistance exercises.

    3) Your diet sounds pretty good, but to be 100% optimal it needs to be tailored to you and your goals. This doesn't necessarily mean counting calories (very frustrating), but it does mean doing some educated meal planning rather than just going with healthy sounding general principles.

    It sounds like you've gone as far you can on your own with the internet. Are you interested in getting more help? I've just launched an online health and strength coaching service specifically for guys over 50. It involves tailor made workouts, face-to-face form coaching via video chat, detailed nutrition planning, and ongoing video feedback on all your workouts. Is something you think you could benefit from?
    Thank you for your encouragement and advice. However, I'm not looking for, and cannot afford, a paid trainer at this time. I appreciate the offer.

 

 

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