T Nation

Constructive Criticism?

I have been working out for a long time, and I have made mistakes and my weight has yoyoed, i have gone from 134lbs to 203lbs down to 170 and now im 200. here is a picture of how I look now, pretty chunky, Any positive advice for me?

I think you need to do both strength training and cardio, followed by keeping a record of the foods you eat. The latter worked great for me. I was about 225lb and 5’9" with not much muscle. Disgusting looking. I religiously recorded the food I ate and the calories.

Set a 2000 calorie limit and followed it for about a year. By the end of it I was 183 and sexy (I have a high bone density, confirmed by xray, and broadish frame, so this weight at my height was perfect). There were many false starts. The first week was literally painful. I didn’t record calories when I went out to drink with friends, which was about once a week.

I don’t regret this as restricting yourself too much will lead to discouragement. I didn’t have any diet rules other than stay away from sugary foods/drinks. The more rules you make the more complicated things get and therefore the harder it is to follow.

Admittedly, the 2000 cal/day was very hard for me to maintain with my build. I did slowly gain weight, but also gained plenty of muscle too since then (2 years ago). Squat max went up over 100lbs, but body weight went up about 40lbs. I need to follow these principles and and drop about 20 lbs of fat personally.

Find a few calorie calculators. Be HONEST with the data you input. Shooting for losing a pound a week is pretty easy. I’d recommend a little more though. Going over two will be painful.

Good luck.

Constructive criticism: you need to lose weight, first and foremost. Do not think of doing something like a ‘quick cut’ followed by a bulk. Expect to spend the next 6 months (at least) on losing fat and never return to your old eating habits. Yes, you need food to gain muscle but some people clearly take that idea overboard; you would be an example. So do the following: lift weights to maintain and maybe slowly increase muscle tissue; do moderate amounts of interval training; go for a walk every day; eat less food. The last one is actually the most important one by far.

(you said constructive, not nice)

Well, you’ve obviously lost weight before. Unless it was a starvation diet, do whatever you did last time.

While you’re doing that, start lifting weights with a proven program. Pick one and stick with it. Doesn’t matter which one. Seriously, it doesn’t.

After that, it’s all self control man. Once you lose the weight, keep lifting and GRADUALLY increase the calories.

troll

[quote]ryanharvey wrote:
i have gone from 134lbs to 203lbs down to 170 and now im 200?[/quote]
Was that weight gain on purpose? As in, were you trying to “bulk” and just ended up in this current state via a terrible plan or did you gain weight by “accident”?

I have to say, I hope it’s the latter. It looks like you’ve never exercised before. Your profile says you’ve been training for two years, but I don’t believe that for a second. Sorry, but no way.

The plus side is, if you get some kind of nutrition and training plan in place, it’s a fixable condition. Lift 3-5 days per week, do some kind of cardio 3-5 days per week, dial in your nutrition (most likely cutting back on total carbs and total calories), and you should get on track.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]ryanharvey wrote:
i have gone from 134lbs to 203lbs down to 170 and now im 200?[/quote]
Was that weight gain on purpose? As in, were you trying to “bulk” and just ended up in this current state via a terrible plan or did you gain weight by “accident”?

I have to say, I hope it’s the latter. It looks like you’ve never exercised before. Your profile says you’ve been training for two years, but I don’t believe that for a second. Sorry, but no way.

The plus side is, if you get some kind of nutrition and training plan in place, it’s a fixable condition. Lift 3-5 days per week, do some kind of cardio 3-5 days per week, dial in your nutrition (most likely cutting back on total carbs and total calories), and you should get on track.[/quote].
I just lost control and ate too much I’m still exercising just less recently, I thought I could gain weight fast and it just all turned to fat.

I did a Cartman-style beefcake gain like that a few years ago, not quite as dramatic as yours though. Still haven’t quite recovered back to the leanness that I’d like yet, but lifting weights helps me maintain a lot easier than starvation. Plus just getting bigger while maintaining my waist size always makes people ask me if I lost weight. I thought about doing velocity but a couple friends of mine tried it and gained everything back really quickly. Slow and steady wins the race, I guess.

Walk more, I would say. I put on far too much weight when I did starting strength- largely because I couldn’t be arsed reading the dietary bits- and I lost it again when I started walking. I think it has to be a fair amount of walking though. I am constantly amazed by what city people consider to be a ‘long walk’. Go for an hour and they think they’re Ranulph Fiennes.

I see your obliques are starting to come in. Just stick with high reps low weight for the cuts.

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
I see your obliques are starting to come in. Just stick with high reps low weight for the cuts. [/quote]
Yeah my obliques have always been pretty dominant


i’ve put on more weight, i havent had the time to workout, my hours are crazy, and now im 10lbs, bigger, im worrying i’ll never be able to lose weight =/

Why don’t you have time to workout? What is it that you do for a living? Are you responsible for another person, like a child or a disabled adult? What is taking up your time that prevents you from working out?

I’m in the middle of my fat loss journey (at 280lbs now, 320+ to start) and prioritizing my workouts was a vital step for me. I left my independent consulting business and the lifestyle that involved (long hours, lots of travel, hotels, eating out, etc.), took a salary position 2 miles from my home and made it very, very clear to my current employer that my workouts were a priority before I even accepted the job.

Any expectation that I stay late every single night was put out of their minds and it has not been a problem since. Reaching that understanding was very important for me. Changing my work situation to one that was conducive to my desired lifestyle (and taking a pay cut in the process) was also a major step that needed to take place.

Outside of work, the people with whom I am close understand this as well. They had to adjust to my new lifestyle. Cooking elaborate dinners every night was no longer a possibility, much to my girlfriend’s dismay. When her son needs help with homework he makes sure to check in before I go work out so I don’t spend too long at the gym or relax in the sauna and hot tub for an extra hour after lifting.

Simply stated, the list of things that take precedence over your workouts must be very small, especially as you are trying to establish a new behavior pattern of being a person who gets regular exercise. Feeling a little sick? Suck it up and lift. Favorite show is on tonight? Suck it up and lift. Girlfriend wants more attention? Suck it up and lift. Friends want to hang out and get some beers? Suck it up and lift.

You get the idea. Reorganize your life around your workouts and make sure everything else falls into place around it.

Best of luck.

I’m hearing excellent things about the Blue Sky Diet.