T Nation

Fat, Old, Beginner: To Supplement or Just Go For It?

I will turn 42 this year.
I am neither strong nor fit.
In fact, the other day I got a cramp while trying to wipe my butt.
So, yeah … red flag.

This week I am investing in improving my overall quality of life. I have a power rack and bench coming, and I am on the prowl for used bar & plates. I picked up the latest edition of Starting Strength. I am looking for qualified locals who can help me learn to lift without hurting myself.

I am working on my diet - phasing out pretty much every drink besides water, adding vegetables instead of pasta and filler at most meals. My job requires me to sit behind a steering wheel for 8+ hours per day, so I am looking for other ways to work on cardio and flexibility during my off time.

So I still suck, but I feel like I’m at least pointing in the right direction now. The area where I feel most uncertain is about supplements. I don’t know if it is worth the money for me to add protein or creatine or … anything really.

Goals for me include losing fat, getting stronger, and generally being more healthy. I don’t have any specific goals with regard to PR weights or physique at this time, I just want to not suck.

Thanks for any advice, T-Nation. Keep being awesome!

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Starting strength will work okay for your first several months while you re-learn the lifts. But don’t get caught up in the dogma of “only compound movements” and all that nonsense.

Supplements are pointless if you can’t train, eat and sleep consistently over a long time period. Log your food (control your intake), sleep as much as possible. Try not to miss workouts or half ass them. Then worry about supplements.


I wouldn’t worry about the creatine yet, but protein tends to make you feel full longer = less likely to snack. Just no need to go over board with it.


Thank you guys. I found an olympic weight set today for $150. The bar is probably crap (weider I think) but I hopefully won’t need a good bar for a while yet.

I will look into starting a food log and maybe find a cheap source of good protein.


My fitness pal app. It’s convenient for logging food. You’ll come to hate it some days since it will tell you exactly what you’re doing.

Cheap protein= eggs, tuna, pollock, chicken thighs etc.

You got this. Good luck

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Dont overthink it and get busy…

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I’m old like you. I was 275 and fat last May. Now I’m 235ish and getting stronger. You got this…check out my log.

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Start lifting regularly, get you diet dialed in. Once you’ve done those, worry about supplements. My only supplement is coffee.

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That’s because you are immortal Harry!

It’s always good to hear when another person is looking to change their lifestyle for the better. It’s good to see that you didn’t refer to going on a diet or doing an 8 week fitness plan to get into shape. It is a lifestyle change and like any change, it won’t be easy, but if you stick to it, it will be rewarding.

Couple of tips

  • Walking is severely underatted. If you have the time, going for a 20minute brisk walk every morning or afternoon (or when you get the time) will help your body recover from lifting and help your mind to to relax. I’m talking walking outdoors, not a treadmill.

  • If you have never really barbell squatted before, your muscles are going to hurt after doing it for awhile. This is called DOMS. It’s perfectly normal. Eat well and sleep well to reduce it. Walking and bodyweight squats can flush the area with blood and also help.

  • You asked about supplements. Creatine IMO is not necessary at the moment. Protein powder is handy if you arnt meeting your protein intake but it’s easy to buy shit protein. Fish oil capsules can be beneficial if your joints start feeling beat up.

  • Don’t get caught up with the numbers on the bar. Yes, the goal is to keep lifting heavier, but the secret is to lift weights with a bit of speed and explosiveness. Taking 15seconds to grind out your last rep is just inviting injury and is doing you no good.

  • Consider starting a log here. You can ask for advice and people can help a lot easier as they have more info to go on. At the very least, have a look at a few of the logs on here.

  • Enjoy the journey. Most of us here love this lifestyle and for good reason. It’s fulfilling and it pays off! It’s not easy but if it was, than everyone would be fit and sexy!


you need no supplements, lot of them are useless.

Stick with real food, white eggs, chicken breast, tuna for protein, low glycemic carbs like oatlmeal (not cooked), black beans, braun rice, good fats : omega 3 rich oils (colsa), salmon…
Protein powders are convenient when you cannot take a real meal, but most of them contain heavy metals and are not healthy. My doctor told me they is also heavy doses of vitamins with can lead to other health issues.