T Nation

Introducing Myself


#1

...and asking for some advice.

I've been lurking for a couple of weeks, and generally have been impressed and/or inspired by much of what I've seen.

So, anyway, maybe this newbie could get some help?

I'm a 30 year old fat bastard that let himself get WAY out of shape after I managed to break both feet within a 4 week span. I ended up on a couch for 6 months, and unfortunately, up until recently, I didn't ever get up.

Of course, it doesn't help that as a jazz musician, slowly killing oneself seems to be the modus operandi. Smoking, drinking too much, and eating too many hamburgers either before or after gigs has turned me into a big ball of goo.

And now it's time to turn that around.

The smoking has been curbed, and save for the occasional black and tan, so has the drinking. Now I'm just dealing with two shitty knees that I have to take into account when I work out.

My questions are these:

1) How does the beginner start a decent program without being able to do squats(for the time being)?

2) What is too much cardio, and WHY is that a bad thing?

3) I've been reading all sorts of stuff about diets, from no carb to low carb to liquid to all raw foods. Can tasty food be incorporated into a weight loss program that isn't gimmicky and fad like?

I'm looking forward to seeing what y'all might have to say, and I'm looking forward to some spirited conversation.

Thanks!

--Paul


#2

Hey welcome to the site.
Glad to here you are making an effort at changing taking control of your life.

Cool on the smoking thing Im 6 months and 18 days in myself after a 20 year habit. No regrets hang in their. Great choice with the occasional black and tan though I usually just opt for the Black. I will add the tan on occasion.

OK
1) Well you just have to start. It is doing NO good sitting thinking about it etc. That gets you know where. Pick an awesome program and do what you can. Substitute the squats out and add them back in once you can.

2)Depends. I find I can do weighted walks etc. short jogs bike ride the Occasional short Jog 15 mins. You just have to find what works for you and your goals. GPP stuff is great as well farmers walks. tire flipping, sled drags. You would probably aid from doing a search and reading the "cardio roundtable I & II"

3)Sure I just ate an apple and that was damn tastey IMO. Going to have salmon and veggies later, Probably an omelete here in a bit. Maybe a bunch of Strawberris and Grow! as well sometime today. Depends on what you find tastey but yes good food taste good. You can really have any damn thing you want in moderation even a Krispy creme, pizza etc, Just have One not a dozen or a whole pie every day. if 90% of your diet is Good food then have a treat every now and again a few times a week.

I say get to working out. Read the "seven Habits" article by JB for some basic Diet guidlines then build from there.

Come on back with any and all questions as you make slow but steady additions that can be life long changes,

Hope that helps,
Phill


#3

I play jazz too - I have a lot of respect for those who get to that professional level tho... anyhow.

Phill is the man - his posts are all good (wish he'd answer mine :frowning: lol.)

For 3) try jb's e-book gourmet nutrition, http://www.johnberardi.com/products/index.htm . I have it, and if u want to put the effort into cooking it has some really tasty stuff in there that i prefer now to that junk most people eat.


#4

Good to see you're taking charge of your life!

Here's my $.02 on the subjects:

1.) While squats are great there are obviously alternatives. Deadlifts are a great lower body lift and are not as hard on the knees in my opinion. You can also try good mornings and romanian deadlifts. Well I am by no means an expert on this subject, a lot of times bad knees are caused by an imbalance between the quads and hamstrings.

Get your posterior chain up to speed with exercises that work your hamstrings, glutes and lower back and do some rehab work on that knee. You might want to check out Mike Robertson or Eric Cressey's locker room- they give great rehab advice and great advice on how to work around injuries.

2.) I've learned a couple of things about nutrition. First of all, it's not as hard as most people think. For a beginner I would go by a few rules:

A.) Eat something green every meal.
B.) Try to eat most of your carbs right after you workout.
C.) Try to drink water instead of other beverages.

3.) As far as cardio goes, most authors recommend that or other energy-system work for fat loss. A good way to do that is to work the extremes. 2 or 3 times a week do HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) such as short sprints with rest periods in between them. The other days you can do an hour or two of very low intensity cardio (just walking at a slow pace).

The cardio is a great way to help increase blood flow and recover from your more intense sessions and burn some fat without taxing your muscles.

Sounds like you are off to a great start, keep it up!