T Nation

Another Newbie


#1


Hello all,

I have read and lurked quite a long time on this forum and finally got
down to
a) joining
b) starting to post
c) setting goals for myself
d) finally getting my ass out of bed and doing it !!!

I am a 40 year old German, lawyer by profession, living and working in
China (Shanghai) about to become a first time father (2 more months :slightly_smiling:
and generally quite an optimistic guy. Looking back 15 months, that
optimism got a blow when I saw the scale hit 92kg (202pds) (I am 6 ft
with a slight build - not too much muscle I must admit - see photos - they look pretty bad).

I have been in and out of fitness studios in Germany over the last 4 to
5 years but never took it serious (enough) and did not follow the basic
guidelines like a nutrition plan or working out really hard. I guess I
appeased myself with telling myseld 'I do sports' ... well looks like I
didn't do enough and more likely with not enough passion and discipline.

That changed with the scale hitting 200pds ...

I actually try to achieve 2 goals: Fat loss and muscle gain (typical,
isn't it - and no I don't think this is the mid life crisis - yet :-)).
So after reading lots of articles here I decided to seperate the two and
start off by getting rid of some of the fat (Cardio, eating better).
That worked quite well I think.

I started out doing 3 months of mainly
Cardio only to get my body into gear again and got down to around
170pds. I am hoping to finish that phase with the Velocity diet (for
beginners) in the next 4-6 weeks, depending on the fact that my
supplements are held by Chinese customs at the moment ... arrrrghhhhh

After the diet the plan would be to enjoy some quality time with my wife
and son (taking holiday for approx 6 weeks) and after getting back to
work start a clean muscle buildup phase.

At age 40 I will probably not reach any results too soon and certainly
not some of the amazing transformations some guys (and gals) achieved
here (great work and great inspiration btw!!!)

But I am determined to do
this and change my quality of life - for my family but of course mainly
for myself - I guess at that age there should be no more excuses (if
there ever were any :-))

My current workout looks like this. I switch plans every workout and have 1 day of rest in between workouts.
On off-days I normally do 30 minutes Cardio (stationay racing bike in
front of my computer). For all exercises I normally do 3-4 warm up sets
with 6-8 reps

Plan 1 - duration approx 60 minutes
Squats - 3x 8-10 reps
Bench press - 3x 8-10 reps
Barbell row standing, upper body at 45 degree angle - 3x 8-10 reps
Triceps push down - 3x 8-10 reps (no warm up sets)
Calf raise - 3x 8-10 reps (no warm up sets)
Crunches or other belly muscle exercise

Plan 2 - duration approx 50 minutes
Deadlift (legs straight) - 3x 8-10 reps
Lat pull down - 3x 8-10 reps
Shoulder press - 3x 8-10 reps
Standing biceps curl - 3x 8-10 reps
Crunches or other belly muscle exercise

My current nutrition is somewhat - well - not optimal (especially for
building muscle, I need to change quite a lot I guess ... :-))

Breakfast - get up around 7:15: Milk (300ml) with oatmeal (50-75 gr) and
20gr of Whey powder, fish oil
Snack 1 - 10:30: Apple / Banana or handfull of peanuts
Lunch - 12:30: Factory canteen - some noodles, veggies, little meat
Snack 2 - 15:30: Apple or Banana
Dinner - 20:00: Egg, veggies, meat

On workout days (workout approx from 18:30 to 19:30): 1 Banana before
workout, after workout Whey shake with water (25gr of Whey and 30gr of
dextrose)

During the day I normally drink green tea or water, in the morning a
large glass of fruit juice (all in all between 2-3 liters per day).
Supplements: Whey protein, fish oil, vitamins

Sweets - sometimes (once a week) a little candy and some crackers
Fast food - maybe once a month (KFC is big here in Shanghai but there is
also a Cold Stone, Dunkin Doughnuts and Hooters :-))
Alcohol - twice a month a few beers with friends ... :-))

So that's about it (long intro, I am sorry). I am looking forward to
feedback in this forum and to the Velocity Diet.

And after that some disiciplined working out over the next ... well
years hopefully :-)). I'll see where it leads. I guess I will post some
pictures to get really started ...

Martin


#2

second photo ... not too good either :-))

Martin


#3

Hi! Nice to see you have a plan; follow it and make changes if needed.

I'll try not to be rude; ehhmm... in case you didn't notice, you have a bad posture: head forward, rounded upper back, intro-rotated humeri...

Here's a few articles you may want to check; fix your posture before getting into serious weight lifting (you're a beginner, you can do both at the same time).

http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/deconstructing_computer_guy

http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/deconstructing_computer_guy_the_other_23_hours

http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/row_right_get_more_bang_for_your_back

http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/top_priority_for_lower_traps

http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/neanderthal_no_more_part_v (it's a five parts article, read them all).

As for you age, it's never too late (go check the Over 35 forum and see what those guys are doing :slight_smile:


#4

Hi Fabiop,

thanks for the info ... and no offense taken at all. I am here for the help and support. All the comments which go into personal and stuff I ignore but comments like these help me to get ahead ... so thanks for taking the time and effort

Martin


#5

Personally I think gaining mass is going to be more important than the v-diet.

Is that training schedule current or proposed? How are your current lifts?

Anyways, I think you will be better served to just hit the gym HEAVY and not worry about body composition. Some cardio in the mix with heavy lifting will keep the fat at bay.


#6

Sorry OP I didn't read your whole thread; wall-o-text.

But if you are considering the V-Diet at 6' and 200lbs; do not do it. You'll end up tall, skinny and still not have a good "build". Most people that do the V-Diet (and are successful in my mind) have a bunch of muscle that they want to show off. You don't (sorry). So work on that first.

Good luck!


#7

B Rock, I think he is actually 170 now and 6' if I read the OP correctly.

B Rock, I have to agree 100%. I looked through the v-diet forum and saw that unless you had a significant amount of muscle mass the diet didn't look very successful. Yes some weight was lost, but there still wasn't a whole lot of definition. As a post long term muscle building I think that the v-diet would be beneficial, but as just getting into weight lifting I think that time is better spent getting STRONG.


#8

Hi all,

thanks for the feedback ... indeed I am now at about 170pds and what you said has been on my mind too. Muscles or diet first?

My conclusion was that I finally wanted to get rid of that fat in the middle, I've been growing that for quite a long time (years actually :-)) and am sick of it. But I see your points.

So I guess I will (re-)read lots of articles and then decide what to do.

Btw: the training plan is the one I follow currently and have for about 9 months now.

Posting my lifts is probably even more embarrasing as posting the photo :-)) but what the hell. I guess everybody started with low volumen sometimes :-)). So here they are:

Squats - 90 pds
Bench press - 80 pds
Barbell row standing - 85 pds
Triceps push down - 75 pds
Calf raise - 110 pds
Deadlift (legs straight) - 100 pds
Lat pull down - 85 pds
Shoulder press - 45 pds
Standing biceps curl - 85 pds

So it is back to the reading board to see which training programm would give me the best benefits ... I am open to any suggestions though :-))

All the best from China

Martin


#9

I would definitely work on getting bigger and stronger. I think for guys who are skinny-fat, you'll find that once you've built up an appreciable amount of muscle mass, it is actually easier to stay lean.


#10

Actually, OP, your WOs look good, just use the tips from "Recostructing computer guy, part I" about lat machine, crunches, etc...

You posted your lifts: it doesn't matter if they're "light", as long as you lift heavier now than nine month ago.

As a matter of "personal taste", I'd do bent-leg deadlifts instead of straight-leg ones, or do the latter after squat and deadlift (1-2 set of high reps, 12-15), as a finishing touch on posterior chain.

Strive to add five lbs every time you train; when you can't get 8-10 reps anymore, go to 3x5-6 and keep adding weight. We want you to add 30 lbs a month in almost all your big lifts! Now, go lifting :slightly_smiling:


#11

Hi all,

Thanks for the feedback ...

and especially fabiop: yessir, will do sir !!! :-)) - adding weight sir!!! (please take it as it is meant, with humor but a serious undertone)

Martin


#12

LOL! Good attitude, man!


#13

Wie Gehts! (4 years of German and all I can remember is how to say "hi")

Biggest thing for you right now is progression. Just keep moving the weight on the bar, keep getting stronger.

Yeah, your lifts are low, but whatever. Just keep moving the weight on the bar. You are squatting 90lbs. this week, shoot for 95 or 100 next week. Linear progression will be pretty easy for now, every week I would expect to be a new P.R. on every lift. A LOT of it is just your body learning to actually use what it has.

Goals help too. I always like short term achievable goals. Maybe your short term goal is to hit 135 on Bench/Squat/DL. I can remember back when I started and "graduating" to using plates for the first time, even if just for a single. It is a good milestone and a good ego boost.

Just hit the weights hard for a while and I bet you will actually lose a bit of the fat.

Worst thing to do is lose fat first. You need more muscle. You could lose 30-40 lbs. and get down in a good BF%, but will look the same or worse (at least dressed) than you do now. I have seen it happen. My wife's boss lost a ton of weight, he was skinny fat, now he is just skinny. He looks like you could snap him like a twig.


#14

Wie Gehts! (4 years of German and all I can remember is how to say "hi")

indeed and grammatically correct too ... so not bad :-))

Biggest thing for you right now is progression. Just keep moving the weight on the bar, keep
getting stronger.

I hope so ... with the training plan I was doing I did not imrove much but I guess that was also due to my nutrition which would not support muscle growth. So these are the 2 'construction sites' I need to work on.

Linear progression will be pretty easy for now, every week I would expect to be a new P.R. on
every lift. A LOT of it is just your body learning to actually use what it has.

And that is not the worst motivation I can think of :-))

Worst thing to do is lose fat first. You need more muscle. You could lose 30-40 lbs. and get
down in a good BF%, but will look the same or worse (at least dressed) than you do now. I
have seen it happen. My wife's boss lost a ton of weight, he was skinny fat, now he is just
skinny. He looks like you could snap him like a twig.

Ok ... seems that is a pretty universal recommendation then ... I'll try it this way and see where it leads.

Thanks for the support !!!

Martin


#15

Breakfast - get up around 7:15: Milk (300ml) with oatmeal (50-75 gr) and
20gr of Whey powder, fish oil
Snack 1 - 10:30: Apple / Banana or handfull of peanuts
Lunch - 12:30: Factory canteen - some noodles, veggies, little meat
Snack 2 - 15:30: Apple or Banana
Dinner - 20:00: Egg, veggies, meat

Where's the protein? You're not getting any substantial amount in between breakfast and dinner. Thats like most of the day! You won't make much progress unless the diet is sorted. You also need more calories. Breakfast looks fine, so does dinner.

If you've read any of the nutrition articles on this site, you will know you're going to need a minimum of 170g of protein per day. Shakes, eggs, tuna, beef, chicken, whatever, just eat it and get into a habit. Also get in your fats - oils, nuts..peanut butter. Read up on the diet articles, that's my suggestion.