T Nation

Getting in Shape, A Journey!


Hi all I've only just joined the site but after reading through lots of threads it seems a friendly and helpful place, particularly after being on other BB sites! So I thought I'd start my getting in shape journey by posting some info and photos with the view of using it as a journal. Mostly for myself to track my progress but any advice or encouragement is very welcome :slightly_smiling:

I'm 44 6ft and 198lbs at the moment, I stated dieting a couple of months ago and have lost 20lbs. Also recently started at the gym lifting weights. Being very new to the gym I'm just doing basic stuff to build strength with a view to putting size on over time. I lift 3 times a week, doing squats, bench, oh press, glute raisers (building up to deads!), bent over rows, bicep curls and calf raisers every session. I'm not very strong but I'm able to add a little weight most sessions and got to just over 100lbs on the squat and bench so far.

Diet is OK, I track calories and macros and just upped my intake to 2500 which I think should be around maintenance to see what that does for a few weeks. I've ditched the pizza and curry's I was eating for chicken, fish and protein shakes (I struggle even eating 2500 a day for some reason so they help!), unfortunately I have a real hatred of veg but I'm trying to force a few down! lol Not following a diet as such other than IIFYM. I know I probably should be eating more with wanting to put on size but after losing weight I'm afraid of putting fat back on! I know it'll be a slow process but looking forward to seeing where all this goes!

Anyway, thanks if you've read this far and like I say any advice you have would be greatly appreciated :slightly_smiling:


Welcome Dave. I'm new too (only been lifting 5 months). Lifting 3x per week and focusing on getting stronger in squat, bench, deadlift, ohp and rows is a great place to start. I'm not experienced enough to offer much more advice than that, but I will say this. I've got a bit of excess chub around my belly that ideally I'd like to lose, but trying to get much stronger without feeding your body will get pretty crappy very quickly. My motivation to get big and strong is much greater than any motivation to lose my belly at the moment, so I'm eating like I mean it. Hopefully some of the more experienced guys will be along to offer much more advice soon. Keep at it.


Welcome. Sounds like you're off to as good, sensible start. Eating at maintenance is a good approach. If you're strength is going up while your BW stays roughly the same, you can be confident you're slowly losing fat and gaining muscle.

I'm not a fan of veggies either.


Thank's man. Totally get where your coming from with wanting to get big and strong over losing your belly. I'm wanting to build up too, just know I'll have more motivation if I can see what's going on if that makes sense! lol Going to see how I do on 2500 cals for a bit and go from there.


Cool, glad to hear I'm not the only one! lol I do try but man they are awful! Only way I can get many down me is making vegie soup, thinking of getting one of those soup makers to make life easier! Glad you think I'm doing things right, good to know I'm on the right track :slight_smile:


I am the same height but 10 years older and 10 pounds fatter.

You don't look bad for just starting out.

I know your main goal is muscle but i would walk, hike or something 3 days a week


You sound like you're doing good! May I also recommend using machines at your gym,mix 'em in,you'll find you will have better form with them especially if you have any difficulties with any exercise that involves free weights.Any good gym should have attendants that can show you and give an orientation. Perhaps cable work too,if you want a changeup from time to time.I am a bodybuilder who works as a trainer/attendant and i'm sure there are folk who will like to help you out. Good luck !...and keep on pumpin' !


So I made a few changes this week, mainly because I was over thinking/complicating things! I upped my intake to 2500 for a couple of days then back down to 2300. I've put on 1.5lbs this week but my waist and chest measurements have gone down a bit (this is where I'm carrying fat), along with putting on half and inch or so on calves, thighs and biceps so think I'm gaining muscle :slightly_smiling:

In the gym I've dropped the weight slightly and upped the reps to 8 for everything to start the AllPro program. I'll be adding a rep a week till I get to 12 then upping the weight and dropping reps back to 8 to start again.


Thanks man :slightly_smiling: I do walk a fair bit on my off days along with a bit of ab work, nothing too strenuous as I don't want to effect my workout days.


I'm trying man, thank you :slightly_smiling: I do a few extras if I have the energy after my main workout, cable pull downs, assisted pull ups ect but don't over do itas the main workout is my focus. Not a huge fan of machines at the moment, think I'll make better progress at this point using free weights to strengthen my whole body but I'm sure I'll use machines in the future. I work out in a great old school lifters gym so plenty of people around to help out, staff and other gym goers :slightly_smiling:


Welcome to the not dead yet crew!!


Thanks man :slight_smile:


Think I'm making a bit of progress, only a bit but pleased :slight_smile:


Took the plunge and dead lifted for the first time today! Didn't go mad with weight, just getting a feel for the movement. Even with light weights it I could still feel why everyone rates this as one of the best exercises! I added it because I wanted something to kick my ass a bit later in the workout. I start with squats which really hits me and gets me sweating but after that I move to bench, bent over rows which while still hard don't hit the same as the squat. The routine I'm doing then calls for straight leg dead's but I really don't like the look of them and the gym owner agrees! My backs not the best so replaced them with ham/glute raises up to now but replaced them with the dead lift now and the workout feels much better and more intense. I know I wont be able to carry on squatting and dead lifting the same day for ever but it feels good at the moment. I'll see how it goes for a week or so and reassess.


Deadlifts are awesome man. Definitely one of my favourite lifts. Did you start the All Pro program yet?


Hi man, ya the dead's feel great :slight_smile: I had a play with allpro but decided to go with Greyskull! Doing max reps on the last set on Greyskull feels great and I just like the way it's put together, especially the deloads, plus it has deadlifts in once a week unlike Allpro that doesn't have any. To be honest I've looked at most of the beginner programs and Greyskull just struck a chord with me! They are all basically the same with a couple of tweaks here and there so it was just a case of finding one that I understood and found interesting, as that's what will make me stick at it!


Greyskull LP looks pretty good Dave. You doing any of the 'plug ins' like arms or anything? Can't wait to see your progress on it.


Ya I'm going to add stuff in over the next few weeks and see what feels best on what days. Did squats last today for the first time, usually do them first but they went well added 5lbs from last workout and hit 9 reps on my last set so happy with that. It sets you up well for the next time you do the exercise because you've proven to yourself you can lift more by doing the extra on the last set so looking forward to putting an extra 5lbs on the bar :slightly_smiling: Deadlifts and OHP on wednesday so thinking of doing arm work then. All my lifts are pretty weak but my OHP is really low, I guess it's one o the more difficult lifts so not rushing it and learning the move while it's light!