T Nation

Help!


#1

I've been lurking on this site for some time, but this is my first post.

I turned 30 this year. Ten years ago, I got out of the Army (82nd Airborne!), weighed 175 pounds (all muscle) could run ten miles in just over an hour, and could do push ups and situps till the cows came home. I have never lifted weights before (I have a gym membership, but the lifting I have done on the rare occasion that I went was rudimentary and probably ineffective).

Fast forward to now. I worked my ass off after I got out of the service, and fell out of fitness and activity in general. I worked for years at a brokerage house (very high stress). Recently I've been working as a consultant, and it is much better on the nerves. I was addicted to stress and had to break out. Now after a year working in a more normal job, I am starting to be conscious of my surroundings again. All I focused on for the last ten years was making green.

In my years at the bank I took up chain smoking, subsisted on a diet of coffee, cigarettes, red bull, fast food, donuts, screaming, yelling, drinking, and not sleeping. Basically my body was decaying, but I didn't pay it any mind. I could always prop myself up with some substance and keep the brain working, and that was all I needed to get by.

I look in the mirror today. I'm 30, the hair's thinning, but still there. I weight 220 pounds. I have ED occasionally (and I can't go two or three times in a row anymore - recovery time is way long). I get winded going up two flights of stairs (although for sanity I do occasionally run, and somehow can still knock out a few miles at around a 9 minutes pace - pathetic compared to before, but I miss it sometimes and just go). I get a cut, and it takes like a week to heal (it used to take a day or two for that). My testosterone is in the crapper. Unless I go a few days without sex, I simply don't even think of it. I still smoke, but a bit less than before, and I don't drink, yell, or scream (well not everyday) anymore.

Worst of all lately is even my brain is getting a bit hazy in the afternoon. I used to be able to bang out a report for work in no time, 30-40 pages, no problem. Now I'm getting all fogged and having trouble concentrating.

My diet is better lately (my wife's a vegan, so when I'm home I eat well, and she's cool if I cook up a steak or something for myself), but still shit when I'm travelling for business.

I pretty much forgot what living was. I was happy when I was a soldier, and now I'm usually just .... I don't know, satisfied...complacent maybe. The only I pleasure I have is in my work. Everything else isn't bad, but kind of grey.

I want the vigor back. I am way to young to feel like I'm 60 years old. I am going to quit smoking, clean up my diet, start running a few times a week, and I really want to take it to the next level and do some bodybuilding. I know the basics of technique and safety and such (we occasionally hit the gym in the Army, but it was usually calisthetics). I've seen numerous workouts on here, supplements, etcetera, and I was wondering if you all had any decent recommendations as to a starting program. I'd also like to try some of the supplements...only problem is that they all sound good to me!!

I'm fat, low testosterone, sleepy during the day, whatever...pretty much pick your ailment, I could take everything Biotest makes (not that I'm planning on it) I was checking out "Spike" to perk up a bit at work, maybe "HOT-ROX" to kick start the fat burning, and "TRIBEX" to maybe give the sex drive a bit of a boost. Is it safe to combine them? Is the TRIBEX better than the Alpha Male?

So the root of the problem. I am a disaster. I am going to fix it, because I want to enjoy my life again.

WHERE TO START? Diet first? Weights? Running? Supplements? Quit Smoking (OK, I will probably start with quitting smoking, I don't want to keel over)....

I'm familiar with the writers here after reading a few articles, if anyone could point me in the right general direction, I'd appreciate it. Also, for anyone who was a wreck like me, and pulled out of it:

Did you start off by cleaning up everything at once, or did you take a stepped approach and fix one thing at a time?

Thanks for any thoughts on the subject. Perhaps I'll get the nerve to take out the digicam when the wife is sleeping and take a before of myself so I can do a cool comparison six months from now.


#2

im in the same boat you are mostly however im 22 and im 300 pounds at 6'3

ive never smoked thou but i spent 21 years of my life on my ass just eating

so far im 12 weeks in to my program and having AMAZING results

my advice is change everything at once, but dont expect to be perfect

like with diet eliminate all fast food for starts that will help alot, ive never drank coffee but all that caffiene and sugar is poison for your body and smoking for sure

basically it boils down to determination if you are determined to do it, NOTHING on this world will stop you and thats how i feel right now, this is my 3rd attempt at loosing weight in my life and the only one to work

start eating better, hit the weights, do some cardio, but dont over do it, you do not need to be able to run 10 miles a day every day, if that is your goal however you wont ever have huge mass oh and since you have never lifted GET A TRAINER i know most of them arent anything special but they can teach you for the most part good form, show you a bunch of exersizes, and the best part MOTIVATION and accountability

im going for my 12 week fit test this weekend but in 8 weeks i had dropped 6% body fat and lost 6.5 inches to my waist and gained 18 lbs of lean body weight

dont give up! but also dont beat yourself up over small failures, its just a speed bump thats all dont let it stop you!


#3

Also, religion helped me. If it wasnt for jesus, I would be either dead or in prison for life. For real, no bullshit. This realy made me get throught the hard time when I thought "Man, I just cant deal with living in this light version of Hadees"(the old "first" level of hell, before god did away with it becauce it was to close to what earth was like). I dont know if your a christian or not? But personaly it made me counteract what was coming my way before I even saw it and made the difference between life or death.
Also, something to look forward to after death, someone to talk to(Jesus& god),...ect.

Hope this helps,

Dragon


#4

Q- the first step is realizing that you have a problem. Good to go, let's take it from there.

It is important to remember that you are 30, not the golden 20 year old soldier. I hate to say it, but we are both past our prime (I'm 28, some days also going on 60). But, that doesn't mean we can't make improvements to our health and lifestyle, we just have to be smarter about it. Gone are the days of going all out every day, sleeping and eating like crap, and rising the next day to go all out again.

Remember it doesn't happen overnight. At 20, it still took several months to get into Airborne shape. At 30, well, be patient and consistent, and you'll get there. Remember it took ten years to get out of shape, so a month is not going to fix it.

I have read hear, Spike, HOT-ROX and Carbolin 19 don't mix well, or any combination of those three. Any one of those will mix with other Biotest sups, so you should be good to go. I'd advice you to get diet in order and work on your basic sups like a multivit, EFAs, ZMA and protien before you go to the next level.

Take the first three months of weight training to ease back into it. Identify weak spots (I am thinking injury prone weakness more than strength) and prehab those. Rather than worry about maxes and gains, focus on adapting to an increased work load and general fitness.


#5

And if you check out the "Over 35 Lifter" forum, you'll find proof. Remember that many of these guys started late in life and have made significant progress. I'm half again your age and didn't start exercise until I was older than you are, and I've changed my body radically.

You're on the site that's going to be your best aid to a transformation. Welcome.


#6

In some people, going cold-turkey off caffeine causes constipation. You might want to cut back gradually and cautiously.


#7

Gentlemen, thank you very much for the good advice. I'm glad that there's a few others here that started off in rough shape. I'm totally psyched. I just got back from a business trip this afternoon, so I can eat well for the next few days. I also picked up some basic supplements (multi-vitamin, fish oil, protein powder, and I decided to try the HOT-ROX).

I quit smoking as of about an hour ago when I got off the road. I'm sure by tommorrow afternoon I'll be ready to go postal, so I'm planning on hitting the gym when I start to really feel the nicotine withdrawl.

I don't think I can live without caffeine, but I will drink green tea instead of coffee (I love green tea almost as much as coffee).

To cap it off I entered the JP Morgan corporate challenge (3.5 mile race in Central Park on June 22nd). Now if I don't get in shape, I'll embarass my company, and THAT is not an option. The game is on, I'll put up another post when I start making progress.

Thanks again,

Airborne!


#8

Good luck


#9

Q,
I got your PM and want to acknowledge it. No problem, I am glad if I can help. Please, let me know if I can do anything else.
How are your knees? I'm wheels myself, but it seems like every airborne guy I talk to has knee problems. I guess if you are running now, they aren't bad, but I figured I'd ask. If it is an issue, consider giving a Glucosamine supplement a try for six weeks. I take it regularly, and I swear by the stuff.

I don't think without it I would be able to run and squat in the same week. I take it, my dad takes it, we give it to the dog, and I have had troops come back to me a month after I suggested it to them to thank me.


#10

good luck qronos ! hope to hear about your run in june.


#11

Fortunately the knees are in good shape, occasionally I get sciatic nerve pain from jumping a Singars radio and a full kit on top of that (50+ pounds of rucksack plus 66 pounds of chute and reserve really puts some wear and tear on the lower back!).

Anyway, I actually went to a doctor for that years ago, and he gave me a set of stretches to do, and when it occasionally flares up, I just do the routine for a few days and I'm set.

I'm doing a bunch of stretching; I remember from my heaving running days how important it was. It's funny, after I do a set in the gym (I went Friday and today) I stretch during the rest period; I really don't see anyone else doing that. Is it necessary for lifting? Is it beneficial at all? I would assume so, but as I stated, most of my previous fitness experience is with endurance workouts only.