I'm Flabby and Tired of it.

Hey all,
I’m 23, smoke a pack a day, eat like shit, and never workout. I feel like I’m 40. I have no energy and feel tired and depressed half the time.

I’m ready to change my life.

I just purchased a copy of Starting Strength off of Amazon and its due to arrive in a few days. I don’t have the funds for a gym membership so I’m looking to purchase some weights to use at home. I checked Dicks Sporting Goods and they have a 180lb olympic weight set for 130 bucks so I thought this might be a good first purchase. I could swing this but would have no funds for a bench right off the bat.

Could I substitute floor presses for bench press in the Starting Strength program and still expect similar results? I figure doing anything at this point is going to give me results. Anyone know of any cheaper deals on a weight set, maybe a place I could get a good deal on a full 300 set?(besides Craig’s List…there is nothing listed on there in my area) I figure I’ll also pick up a jump rope.

And how about cleaning up my terrible diet? I see lots of info on here but its a bit overwhelming as to where I start. If you guys could point me in the direction of some good info to start with I’d appreciate it.

My avatar pick is me as of today. I’m tired of ignoring the fact that I’m out of shape and lazy. It’s liberating to finally let it stare me right in the face.

Thanks for any advice you guys have. You’ll be seeing me around a lot in the months to come.

***Nevermind on the diet part, guess I should have read the stickied posts first.

Congrats on making the all-important first step; recognizing the need for change.

As far as training and diet, def read the stickies.

I would suggest picking up a pair of push up handles (which allow you to go deeper) and a chinning bar for the doorway. Both are fairly inexpensive and will nicely complement your BB set. With all of that you should be able to get in some pretty decent workouts until you can afford a bench and power rack.

Until then, put the loaded bar on some cinder blocks for floor presses.

Welcome aboard.

First off you’ll want to locate that Olympic barbell set on Dick’s website and link it here. Some members might be able to help you with figuring out its quality. You could always buy more weights for it if it is good quality.

Good to see you read the stickies. Don’t worry about weight loss your skinny-fat. Start training, eat big and clean. If you have to go ahead and substitute bench press with floor press for now.

I’d also suggest you stop smoking, and give up alcohol(if you drink).

Start cleaning up your diet tomorrow. If you log all your food for a couple days and post it here many members will give you great advice on how to improve it.

Also, starting strength is a great program.

Good luck, and feel free to ask anything.

You really don’t have the money for a gym?

You’re a smoker. Quit smokin’ and go to a gym.

Start to reduce how much you smoke until you can stop for good. Or, stop any other way you can. That will save you a lot of money, and it will help your body out. Diet is a major factor if you want to get in shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect (especially for a beginner), but it should be as best you can make it for the best/quickest results. It can get really confusing, but posting your diet and asking for peoples advice would be a great way to start. That’s how I did it, and my diet is now good (not great, but a lot better then it was). Don’t overwhelm yourself with information.

Aragorn Wrote this a while back for someone else, and I’ve been saving it for such an occasion because I’m lazy, but want to be helpful.

Aragorn Wrote:
Welcome. I’d suggest reading the stickied threads at the top of this Beginner’s Forum. Then read the articles that are linked in those stickied threads. Read, read, read. Knowledge is power when it comes to transforming yourself.

Also, you should be warned that this site is sort of a ‘playground’ or locker room for alpha males and alpha females. So there tends to be a lot of tough love that goes to everyone, especially the newbies/beginners. Some times it goes beyond tough love. But at any rate I would grow a thick skin and be ready to take advice, even when it is offered in kind of a ‘back hand’ fashion. It’s a rite of passage for a lot of people–I went through it when I joined this site many years ago as well. The people who are coachable will stay and transform themselves, the ego driven people or the people seeking ‘half measures’ and quick fixes will leave to lick their wounds.

That being said, it really is a very helpful place. Vets know their stuff, contributors stay around to answer questions in their forum area, it really is the best place on the net for changing your life. We just don’t coddle anyone for any reason. :slight_smile: You have been warned.

Rules to changing your life and physique:

  1. There are no shortcuts. Consistency and perseverance are almighty.

  2. There are no shortcuts. Consistency and perseverance are almighty.

  3. There are no shortcuts. Consistency and perseverance are almighty.

  4. Use the search function before posting questions–generally it will save you time and some criticisms. If you read something you don’t understand in an article, ask a question about it! Generally if people know that you’ve been doing some background reading they don’t give you a hard time. We’ve been having a rash of lazy posters who don’t use the search function lately.

  5. Read first, ask later. This goes with the above rule, just to make your life easier. We have 10 years of articles on here in the archives. Also, you are GUARANTEED to get confused by reading things–this is fine, this is normal. The nice thing about this site is the info. By far the best and most thorough on the web. The bad thing about this site is “Analysis Paralysis” for newbs. ASK Questions on stuff you read!

  6. Along with the above point–doing >> reading. Pick a program and a nutrition plan, and STICK TO IT. You can read while you work. Besides, even if your plan isn’t the best thing, you’ll make progress as long as you put effort into things. And some progress, even if it is slow or less than optimal, is always ALWAYS better than no progress.

  7. This is a bodybuilding site. We have lots of guys interested in strongman or powerlifting or martial arts or athletics more than bodybuilding (I would be among those people). It’s perfectly OK if your goals aren’t to bench 500 lbs, or get to 250 lbs of lean muscle. That’s fine, we accept all serious comers.

And many of us started out “just getting in shape” but somewhere along the lines we converted to the “dark side”. But this site is about getting big and strong, so please respect those who choose the competitive bodybuilding lifestyle, including steroids. (We’ve been having a rash of the “I don’t want to get too big” and bodybuilding bashing posters lately too)

  1. Don’t get impatient–total transformation takes years. Not a couple months. Lots of progress can be made when you start, sure, but build the foundation strong and deep.

  2. Simple = Progress. Don’t overthink things. Well, do that, but not while sitting on your arse. Doing anything is superior to doing nothing, even if you are confused in your mind.

  3. Forget everything you “thought” you knew about lifting, diet and nutrition–everything the infomercials tell you, every thing the popular media tells you. Trust me on this. High protein intake will not destroy your kidneys, steroids will not kill you, training your lower back is in fact GOOD for you, all fat is not bad, all carbs are not bad…blah blah blah.

  4. this site is about the pursuit of excellence. Period. It doesn’t matter how long the journey is, only that you pursue it whole heartedly and unrelentingly.

  5. This road is not easy. This road is not short. This road is beset on all sides by saboteurs who want to see you fail. This road is painful. This road is also enlightening in every sense of the word.

  6. Changing your physique is the Single. Hardest. Thing. you will ever do, unless you count beating brain cancer or similar. Changing your physique required wholesale LIFESTYLE changes. Not a ‘diet’ but a lifestyle. For the rest of your life. Forever. Change the way you think about food, the way you act, the way you plan your day, the way you walk into the grocery store. There’s no other way to do it. I did it this way, and you can too.


point 13 is the only one that matters, you are doing this forever

Thanks for all the great advice.

The weight set is not listed on Dick’s web site. They only have it in store.

And thats great advice FightinIrish, I need to just go ahead and quit and I’d have a couple hundred extra bucks a month.

I think I have the info I need to get started. I’ll post again if I have some more questions or after I’ve made some progress.

Thanks again.

What they said.

But really, make no mistake it will take effort = hard work.
But the benefits will last you a life time.

Keep posting and keep working at it and if you do nothing else work the BIG muscles = quads, chest, abs, back.

Stay with it long enough and you would have made a useful “habit”.

Hey bluenotebook. I experienced something similar in my mid twenties. I was 215lbs of lard (at 6’1). I really had no muscle (I ballooned from 160 to 216 on a fast food diet in about 4 years. I didin’t smoke, but my diet was real shit. I finally took control of my diet and lost 40 pounds (down to 175).

The best article that helped me was:

7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutrition Prorgrams by Dr. John Berardi.

You can find the article here:


If you follow these diet principles, and start with Starting Strength - you are well on your way.

I’d say 180lbs is plenty to start, you can always buy a second set of weights when you need them. You will be limited maybe fairly quickly when it comes to the deadlift - perhaps in less than a month (?).

But don’t overthink it, just work.

Hope this helps.

get rid of the smokes dude…


not when this carton is gone

not when this pack is gone

not when you cash in your Marlboro points

not when the ashtray is full

not when your girlfriend decides to quit

not when you have less stress to deal with

not when your mother-in-law moves out

not next fuckin’ Monday

not fucking TOMORROW


Dude, I used to be right there with you.

First steps… give up the butts and the shitty food ASAP. Do it now, throw it all out!!!

Learn to read food labels; learn to manage your daily caloric requirements; learn to listen to your body.

Don’t worry about jumping into a fitness or weight training program right away. Battling smoking and eating like shit is a MAJOR first step. Easing into an exercise routine can start with walking every day, and take it from there.

DIET and heart health are WAY more important.

[quote]marlboroman wrote:
get rid of the smokes dude…


not when this carton is gone
not when this pack is gone
not when you cash in your Marlboro points
not when the ashtray is full
not when your girlfriend decides to quit
not when you have less stress to deal with
not when your mother-in-law moves out
not next fuckin’ Monday
not fucking TOMORROW
N O W[/quote]

That’s a pretty tall order, coming from you.

I mean, you didn’t, did you?