T Nation

Confusion 101

Hey everybody,

I’m new here and I’ve been lurking around and reading posts for a month or so now.

I’m 22, 5-11, weigh 187 naked before breakfast… When I started training last year in November I weighed 182. Honestly I don’t remember my initial body mass index but I remember it was high and I was shocked. I think it was 25% and then went down to 23 or so.

I got a membership with this great private gym in my area. I couldn’t afford a trainer but I had orientation with one who helped me out with creating a training program. Four months into training… went to the gym one day and lo and behold a fed ex box was on the ground and no one was around. I found out later the owner decided he could make more money by selling the property and taking the gym down. Bastard.

I started with warming up on a treadmill to get my heart rate up. He said there’s a lactic acid threshold and I need to train just below that to maximize using fat stores for energy instead of just using up all my glycogen.

I’m confused, don’t I need to have low glycogen so my body can make filling those reserves a priority? Wouldn’t my insulin start to break down fat and turn it into glucose and store it in my muscle as opposed to covering my abs (which I had as a teenager, six pack! wtf happened I don’t know)?

Anyway, then I would warm up my hips on a swiss ball, which looked strange but helped me out in more ways than one.

Then:
Alternative leg lifting on swiss ball (which I sucked at) for stability

Circuit of 3 sets at 8-12 reps of each w/ 60 sec rest:

Iso Incline Press for chest
Reverse step-up for quads
Iso Hi Row for back
Single stiff leg deadlift for hamstrings

For arms:
Curls w/ a roto bar for biceps
Standing overhead tri somethingorother for triceps (that was fun)

lateral raise and shoulder press for shoulders

Core:
Swiss ball crunches
Alt X-man (hard but fun)
Plank (fight the gravity!)

This stuff three days a week and on the alternate two days a week I this: 3mph for five minutes fifteen seconds, run at full speed for thirty seconds, then 3mph again for another five min fifteen seconds. This cardio stuff was actually the hardest for me to do. I felt as if I was lit on fire.

Anyway, I don’t have a gym membership anymore because I’m broke and going to school/work… though my plan is to save up and start going again using all this thinktank info I can just search and read up on. Currently I’m stuck with two free weights that weight ten pounds each and a thirty five pound kettle ball from Russia. That and no real running shoes. :expressionless:

Is there anything anyone can recommend I can keep busy with before I get a gym membership again? Does that heart rate/lactic acid idea make physiological sense to anyone here? I start to feel the pain/burn at over 130 if I remember correctly. Maybe I can buy a heart rate monitor and train at around 120 or so.

The idea being that my abdominal fat deposits will start to be burned for glucose. It’s strange because I have a combination look of skinny and muscular in every part of my body except my abdominal area. Should I invest in a swiss ball so I can do those kind of crunches again? I don’t see why when I can just keep that money toward my gym membership fees and payments.

Diet: Used to be high carb when I was younger but I started eating many processed foods, refined grains, and went to the starbucks temple regularly- got fat.

Now it looks kind of like this… breakfast of high omega 3 pastured egg(s) with maybe a bag microwaved carb source, either something warming and starchy like butternut squash, or some broccoli and cauliflower, something like asparagus or a combo of those types of vegetables. My eggs are either poached or scrambled in small amount of butter and olive oil.

If fried I include a bit of shallot and portobello mushroom and maybe some red or yellow bell peppers and then some peppers raw on the side for more vitC. If I’m tired I also have some grains usually oats with a tablespoon or so of whole milk, a tablespoon of butter, and a handful of blueberries.

I try to pack as much nutrition as I can in the morning since my other meals my be less than optimal the rest of the day. This is also when use saturated fats more liberally, not just for taste and satiety but also to absorb more of the vitamins and minerals from my morning grains and vegetation. I also hear that saturated fats aid in producing testosterone too.

I probably get most of my antioxidants from my multiple cups of morning coffee, which I’m addicted too. I figure this must be bad, even though testosterone is higher in the morning isn’t cortisol also higher in the morning? Maybe this coffee is screwing with my morning routine.

Also I don’t always use non fat whiteners. Sometimes they have fat, sugar, and partially hydrogenated oils. That’s probably the worst thing I do but I don’t use those creamers everyday.

Snacks are usually fats or proteins, occasionally I’ll have a green apple or pear though. 2 days a week it may be walnuts, 4 days a week it’s smoked salmon pieces, and one day a week I may have a pear or apple as a snack.

Lunch is usually a big salad with raw greens, especially spinach, arugula, those peppery redish leafs, either smoked salmon, a big meat ball-like device (I use lamb, pork, some potato and carrot and broil them), poached egg (yeah I like the warm runny yellow stuff with greens, strange I know), some fats by way of a few walnuts (or pistachio nutmeats, pecans, almonds etc), or half an avocado, and depending on how I made it some balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil dressing.

If I don’t use the egg and use meat or fish I may add tomatoes or sweet fruit like some apple or pear slices. I also dig the salad with smoked salmon and berries. Sometimes I top with half tablespoon of goat cheese. I know, not the most kosher salad… Usually the protein part is the biggest part of the bowl with greens and either the sweets or fats as colorful additions.

On some days I may start lunch with a bone broth soup which is supposed to have tons of calcium and other minerals, will toss vegetables in there too or chunks of chicken or turkey and pour the whole thing in a thermos.

Dinner is a plate of thirds. 1/3 meat of any kind I have, mixed vegetables (usually get them frozen in a bag and reheat them with small amounts of oil or steam) toped with some fat, either small amount of butter or some olive oil, and some type of grains usually red quinoa, brown long grain rice, or a toast of sprouted grain bread (which will have something highly caloric on it like butter or a smear of pate- need the retinol for my eyes yo).

If I restrict my other fats I may have a cube of sharp cheddar melting on my veggies or grains.

Usually I have time to work a sweat with my kettle ball (don’t know what I’m doing with it really), and since my free weights are so light I do some high rep stuff with them, followed by crunches- basically just do what I can for now which isn’t much… If train ‘harder’ and feel more tired I’ll make a dinner that’s a bowl of whole grain pasta.

I’ll use about half a cup of pasta and about half a cup of some kind of meat I have around, if I’m lucky I’ll have some low fat grass-fed beef!!! which I’ll cut up equal(or exceeding) to the amount of pasta that’ll get boiled for the meal. I use a low sugar tomato sauce with different herbs then add either a table spoon of olive oil to the bowl or some broken cheeses, usually fresh parmesan.

Before bed I eat about a hundred calories, or less, worth of 4% small curd cottage cheese. Maybe two nights out of seven I’ll have a cup of ice cream and ditch the cottage cheese. I rarely eat beans and legumes but if I do they replace the grains in dinner.

I may go out for drinks 2-3 nights a week for one week a month-two hard drinks max cause I’m broke like a joke.

Oh also, love the dairy but I hear it spikes insulin. Now, if I work out later in the night what can be said about a cup of milk as a recovery drink? Seems almost perfect. The proteins are there, the fat is there to slowly release the goodness of it all, and the sugar is there too.

I can get it raw too for the casein, my parents know a farm they trust that has bacterial reports on all of their raw items available. Surge sounds great but I don’t want all that sugar before bed, maybe the Metabolic Drive Complete. I’m thinking milk because I hardly ever have to work out way late but sometimes I do and well, there’s milk in my fridge. The tryptophan can help put my ass to sleep too, 30%DV for a cup of 2%.

I drink 3-4 16.9fl oz bottles of water a day.

Supplements: one Zinc Caps (200%DV) from Twinlab ever other night.

one Twinlab Krill Essentials Cardio Krill Oil every morning with breakfast, this is almost finished I have less than a weeks worth to go… it has 500mg neptune krill oil, 75mg epa, 45mg dha, 10mg omega 6, 42.5mg omega 9, 750mg esterified astaxanthin, and 200mg phospholipids, and 100%DV of B6, B12, and folic acid.

one 100IU d-alpha tocopherol w/ mixed d-beta, d-delta, and d-gamma’s E-100 softgel with breakfast.

Sometimes I’ll take a 500mg USP ascorbic acid during the day… gram and a half of valerian root extract or 50mg diphenhyramine to sleep. Thinking of getting Biotest Flameout and Metabolic Drive when the krill oil and small tubs of cottage cheese run out, just to give them a try.

As you can see I’m all over the place, if anybody is still reading by now(incredible!) and some contradiction stood out to you I’d like to know. Obviously it sucks not being able to go whenever you want to the gym but I don’t want to stop working out just because of that. I think I eat healthier than most fellow Americans but I know I must be doing something wrong.

Due to school, work, business etc I can’t always eat 78 million small meals though out the day but I try to have those smoked salmon pieces around for a protein source. Am I a mess or getting some things right?

Thanks,
gemini

[quote]thirdgemini wrote:
. Honestly I don’t remember my initial body mass index but I remember it was high and I was shocked. I think it was 25% and then went down to 23 or so.[/quote]

BMI is not measured as a percentage. It’s a useless number for most purposes anyway. If you’re bodybuilding you WANT BMI to be high… just not because of fat… the fact that BMI doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle is what makes it pointless. This number may be a bodyfat percentage rather than BMI. Bodyfat percentage is useful.

You’re overthinking. Way, way overthinking.

You could probably find a way to get access to some weights if you really tried.

If you really can’t get to any weights, just make a routine around bodyweight exercises. Push ups, handstand pushups, pull ups, fatman pullups, 1 legged squats of various sorts. Abs.

ummmm sorry man but there is no way I am reading that word for word, I skimed through it…

You are confused because you are overthinking BIG TIME.

What are your goals? I am pretty sure you never mentioned that.

BMI should not concern you, I am 5’7 according to BMI I should weigh around 140-155lbs to be “healthy” I weigh 200-205 and my BMI is over 30, I am obese according to my BMI, I find that funny.

Your workout routine was/is crap, I don’t see one compound exercise in there. KEEP IT SIMPLE, use mainly big compound exercises and work on either getting more reps or adding more weight every workout!, swiss ball this, single leg that, should not be the focus of your training program! Truthfully I didn’t even know what most of those exercises are, so I imagine they are not the greatest.

You seem to be eating good food, but you are way overthinking all the macros IMO. A little fat there, some extra fruit here will not kill you.

Are you trying to build muslce or lose fat?

If you are really serious you would find a way to get acess to weights.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Train to get stronger

Train with intensity

Focus on the big lifts

Adjust calories more or less to meet your goals.

Oh yea tht lactic acid threseold stuff sounds like some BS to me.

[quote]Kalle wrote:
You are confused because you are overthinking BIG TIME.

What are your goals? I am pretty sure you never mentioned that.

Oh yea tht lactic acid threseold stuff sounds like some BS to me.[/quote]

Thanks for your info,

Goals are to get stronger, loose fat around my stomach, and build endurance.

If I had access to more weights I’d be trying the routine that was posted as Real Fast Fat Loss or something like that, don’t remember the name exactly off the top of my head.

I’ll keep reading and keep a look out for more weights, I think my uncle is ready to sell some of his stuff so I’ll look there first, he has a nice bench press and a punching bag he never uses.

Thanks again for the comments guys.

[quote]thirdgemini wrote:
Kalle wrote:
You are confused because you are overthinking BIG TIME.

What are your goals? I am pretty sure you never mentioned that.

Oh yea tht lactic acid threseold stuff sounds like some BS to me.

Thanks for your info,

Goals are to get stronger, loose fat around my stomach, and build endurance.

If I had access to more weights I’d be trying the routine that was posted as Real Fast Fat Loss or something like that, don’t remember the name exactly off the top of my head.

I’ll keep reading and keep a look out for more weights, I think my uncle is ready to sell some of his stuff so I’ll look there first, he has a nice bench press and a punching bag he never uses.

Thanks again for the comments guys.

[/quote]

If you dont have acess to weights do lots of pullup varations and pushups, get creative! you can make alot of stuff do a search for “poor mans equipment thread”