At the age of 53, once again, I needed to lose a lot of weight - 25 kilos to be precise, from the 105 kilos I had again swollen up to.
The last time I was this weight in 2005, I shed 35 kilos to come down to 70 in 8 months. Mostly via a cardio and fruit regime, and the result was that I looked ill. I had energy, but had lost a lot on strength.
This time around, I am determined to keep enough muscle, recognizing that any shedding of as many kilos as 25 will inevitable cause some muscle loss.
This time though, I am lifting weights, running, and swimming. And eating 50-75 grams of whey a day. Progress so far has been decent, 2 months down the line. I have lost 12 kilos, 13 to go.
I fooled around with weights in college, and suffered a now chronic injury to my lower back, via improper deadlfts. I have been very wary of them since.
Surfing the net, I came across the stronglift program, and further research turned up Mark Rippetoe. Based on reviews on Amazon, I got the Starting Strength book on my Kindle, and I was very pleasantly surprised by the very technical, very detailed how to on just the squat. I go to a gym that is typical of the day - machines, a Smith stand, lots of dumbbells and a few barbells. As is usual, it is the machines that see most use. Thankfully, there is a power rack in a corner, and that has allowed me to start squats to what had till now been a dumbbell based largely upper body routine.
My needs from the SS program are very different from most here, I imagine, at least for now. I want it to help me lose the next 13 kilos, to get down to 80. And not end up looking like I am back from illness when I get there, with enough energy to enjoy life.
I added squats to my routine a few weeks ago, 3 sets of 15, and it near enough kiiled me with DOMS the first week. After reading the SS book, I have now moved to the 3x5 for squats. I still struggle with form, to go down low enough once the weight is "heavy", and to keep the knees out on the way up. I have to keep telling myself "hip drive, hip drive" from the time I get near to the bottom, and if I focus enough on the rep, it does give me good form, this mantra!
I look to add the barbell press next week, dropping the db press. I am not sure I will drop the db bench press I do today, for lack of decent spotters to support the barbell version.
And I must say, I am still very nervous about deadlifts!
Bodyweight dips, I can now do sets with reps of 14, but I am struggling with chin ups. Can just about manage reps of 3, that too without quite reaching the bar. I persevere, expecting that body weight drop is the key here.
I round up the session with a push up routine that totals 60 reps currently, with a target of 100.
Cardio consists of one hour of jog/walk, thrice a week, and an hour of swimming, also thrice a week, in the evenings of the morning SS workout days.
So far, so good - except that I seem to be sore/stiff most days. I expect that to work itself out in a month or two.
Any feedback on anything I should be doing different would be very welcome indeed!