28Jan06 Edit: Thought I'd post a mini update at the top of this. High body weight at holidays was 283. I hit 272 yesterday so the cardio and diet are going well. Knees felt first pain in a while on Wednesday, still a little tender today. Hopefully it was the standing squats I had been doing on off days, those have been removed from the program for now. Deadlift is flying up 10 pounds a week. 305 for set felt the same as 225 had the first time I did it. Of my training partners I'm the only one able to use an overhead grip for all three sets (figure I'm getting some extra hand strength out of it). Diet note: Wife decided she needed to drop weight so we started eating better. Been buying tons at Trader Joes, their stir fry bags take 15 minutes to cook, are good for me and even taste good. So this will work, it's not that I hate dieting I just hate being bothered or inconvienced for it. ----------------------------- I'm 33, stand 6'3" and weighed in this evening at 279lbs. I have a very long torso which hides a lot of the weight, people usually guess me for 250lbs. I work in network security and am finishing my masters in network security in April. This is a fairly sedentary job which mixed with my studying and working on projects for classes leads to muscle atrophy and a case of the "done-laps" in that my gut done-laps over my belt. Goals: Primary - Get upper body to a reasonable level of strength. Secondary - Once knees have healed enough begin training process for MMA classes. Tertiary - Lose my gut and achieve a general better level of fitness. Caveat: I hurt my knees in the spring doing squats and thought I'd let them heal. The knees didn't heal and I finally made my way to a knee specialist who said I have buildup behind the knees (hence why they will pop loudly) and weak cartilage (hence why they hurt). So before I can work my legs hard I have to do a couple of months of rehab exercises. I've been told not to do any squats, lunges, or wall sits. I've mostly listened to that advice though I will be doing wide-stance un-weighted squats just to keep the muscles awake. I'm not looking to fight in competitions or to show up being pounded on a KOTC DVD (Ever notice how many big guys show up and get slapped around?). I just love watching MMA fights and want to get into good enough shape to start training so that I can better understand and appreciate the sport (the training is also impossible till April when I finish off my master's degree, so the training will be my reward). The current plan is to train submission grappling and BJJ. Depending on how patient my wife will be I may be able to squeeze in Mau Thai. I've been lifting twice a week for a few years and have gotten past the weak stages on most exercises. But now I want to crank it up and get to putting real weight up.