I just came to this realization and I need help, stat. I lack the distance at this point to be real objective about what I need to do.
I used to be just skinny. 5’9", between 125 and 135 lbs. I lived on alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes for a long time and looked like a spider monkey. After I quit all that mess, I went through almost 4 years as a very strict vegan.
In 2002, I said “to hell with it” (sick of being weak and farting like a funny car) and started eating meat again, along with training Brazilian jiu-jitsu and lifting weights on something beyond an “assing around” basis for the first time in my life. I quickly put on a decent amount of muscle and not very much fat. Looking good.
Then about 2004, I got pretty fucked up in the head. Stopped training BJJ or doing any kind of cardio. Kept lifting weights, started eating like shit, took handfuls of antidepressants. Got up to a strong-but-fat 215 lbs.
I wasn’t really happy or healthy at 5’9" and 215 lbs. I weaned myself off the antidepressants and cleaned up my diet a little. Once I went off the antidepressants, the weight melted off, along with a lot of muscle. Since January of 2005, I’ve gone from 215 lbs to what seems to be my set point of about 145 lbs. Definitely a change for the better from being fat, but probably not ideal.
I started skating again last summer and, predictably, fell off my board and goobered up my wrists, even though I know better than to catch myself on my wrists. Happens. So, I had to take a few months off lifting.
Now I can no longer escape the fact that even though I weigh 145 lbs and have a 29-30" waist, I look like shit with my shirt off. Shirt on? I look fine. Shirt off? I’ve developed a little potbelly and (shudder) the beginnings of moobs. I also have a slight double chin, even at this weight.
I’ve got to do something about this. This will not stand.
I understand that some of the problem is loose skin, exacerbated by the fact that I’ve catabolized a lot of muscle. But even at 145 lbs, I suspect my bodyfat is uncomfortably high.
Trap bar (aka hex bar, shrug bar)
Olympic bars and dumbbells
Olympic and standard weights
Adequate funds for protein and other supplements to my diet.
I also have a homemade kettlebell, but because my wrists are still a little weak, I’m not comfortable doing ballistic exercises.
- Need relatively short workouts centered around compound exercises, as I’m on call 24 hours a day on most days, and can’t block off more than about an hour at a time, counting warm-up/cool-down. I will make time to work out, but I can’t put in marathon strength training sessions.
- I’m already ridiculously flexible so I’m not particularly worried about preserving or increasing flexibility. Least of my worries.
- I’m not comfortable squatting without a competent spotter, and I work out alone, so I will be substituting trap bar deadlifts for squats.
- I am not after significant hypertrophy. (boo hiss) I would be happy at my current weight, or maybe 5-10 lbs higher, I’m just looking to change my body composition for the better. I realize people don’t just accidentally “get huge,” but I do want to avoid having to go up a size, as I just spent a large amount of money (for me) on new business clothes. I’d rather add muscle very slowly while burning fat, as opposed to adding a lot of muscle and fat and then dieting down. I don’t think I could get huge if I wanted to.
I’m so far off-track now that I’m having trouble filtering out the static and figuring out what I need to be doing. I could use some advice on both routine and diet. I do not like the “skinny fat” look, as I like to preserve the option of running around public places naked should such a maneuver be called for.
Please help … my goals probably aren’t the same as a lot of folks here, as I’m not interested in “bodybuilding.” I like to skate and will probably start BJJ again at some point. But I don’t like looking like a fat pencilneck with my shirt off, either. I’d at least like to look like I’ve touched a weight.
Thanks in advance for your time!