Looking For Advice As Beginner Lifter

Hello everyone, I’m looking for advice on getting myself healthy and in better shape. Main question is what would be the best way to get myself on the right path to becoming a better me? I’m 306 lbs at 6ft and 28 years old. I also broken my left clavicle a few years back in a motorcycle accident, it bothers me every now and then during bench presses. I get up at 6am Monday through Friday and work 8hours at my job which is a metal working factory, mostly labor intensive and very hot. Once I get off I come home and I do insanity max 30, then go straight to 5 mile walk/jog. Once that is over I go to my weight room to lift. I try to lift 3 days a week, using 5x5 method. I focus on bench, OHP, deadlift, squats, and rows. After I take cold showers and I fix my meal. Which is mainly whole foods diet, mainly salmon, fruits and veggies. Total of 1700 to 1800 calories of which I consume during a 1 hour window and also get 1 gallon of spring water a day. After my meal I usually do some yoga and stretch. Then lay down to try to obtain 7 to 8 hours of sleep. I’ve been doing this for 7 days so far feeling ok other than the soreness in my thighs chest and stomach. The only supplements I take is magnesium and zinc. Am I pushing myself to hard and doing to much? Not eating enough? If I was to stick to this routine would I gain better endurance and strength? All advice and constructive criticism is welcome.

Hey bud sounds like you are on a good path. Walking + 5x5 + labor job should get you stronger and healthier. Your calories may be a bit low at this point, however. Everyone’s metabolism is different, but at 18-1900 cal that’s not a lot of room to reduce further when weightloss slows. It’s also not a lot to fuel your active day.

I’d recommend eating 3 meals daily with a veggie & some animal protein at each meal. Don’t starve yourself now, it will harm your long term success. If you are new to lifting, eat to recover and let your body get used to the new stressors. Someone more knowledgeable than I will hopefully chime in with more precise calorie reccomendations


Hello and congratulations on the shift to a healthier lifestyle. If I had one piece of advice that I would give anyone just starting out it would be: “slow and steady wins the race”. You have a labor intensive job for 8 hours, you do Insanity, a 5 mile jog, and FINALLY lift some weights? Is this all in the same day? If so, I personally think you are doing WAY too much.

If it were me, I would pick 1 physical activity a day (after your physical job of course) maximum. For instance, you could do insanity 1 day, then the following day you could jog. Don’t burn yourself out because if you do, you’ll revert back to your old ways.

Of course, you must do what you want to do. I hope this advice helps.


I do insanity 5 days a week, then do my lifting Monday Tuesday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday I usually just sleep in and continue with my 5 miles. I do feel that it is intense but I just thought that was because I’m just starting out, I’m just trying to push myself. I’m in no hurry, I just want better health and endurance.

I see that as 15 workouts per week in addition to a high-activity manual labor job all being done on 1700-1800 low-carb calories which is, almost literally, nearly half as much as a 300-pounder should be eating in the first place. No bueno, my man.

Out of curiosity, how long does the 5-mile walk/jog take? I’d rather see you hitting 1-2 miles and pushing, gradually, for a better time every few days (even if it’s two seconds quicker).

You don’t have to bench.

Then choose a better-designed and more sustainable approach. A few days of basic lifting, some cardio most days of the week, and a good eating plan. There are tons of programs to choose from.

At your size, fat can melt off if/when you line everything up properly. Trying to keep headed down the path you’ve started will just burn you out, at best.


I do thank you for the advice, I average from 9 minutes to 10 each mile with steady jog, obviously much higher when I walk. I only benched because the program I was using. What would you suggest on the calorie intake? I can definitely shorten my run to 1 to 2 miles. As far as lifting do you have a program you could put me on or is the 5x5 method ok?

I am your age and height, weigh 140 pounds less than you do, am less active than you, and I eat as many if not more calories than you do. Your calories are crazy low! Have you just started eating like this? You say you’ve been doing this routine for a week, did you drop your calories a ton as well? You can’t sustain this, as Chris (who runs this site and is quite knowledgeable) has said.

Maybe it’s also possible you don’t correctly count calories. If you feel like you’ve been eating this amount of food for a long time, and you’re 306 pounds, you’re eating a lot more than 1700-1800 calories a day. You wouldn’t weigh that much if you did.

I’ve only eaten around that calorie range for going on 3 weeks now, I was around 330lbs when I started eating that way. I count my calories using an app and I weigh my foods.

So you lost 24 pounds in three weeks? That’s incredible! It may also be too fast to be sustainable, but to be honest I don’t know jack shit about losing large amounts of fat, so hopefully someone more knowledgeable can chime in.

I’m sure it was mostly water weight, I also fast 23 hours of the day then around 8pm I eat during my 1 hour window. I was just trying something new to help get myself in better shape, first time coming here to any forum tbh, with that being said I do greatly appreciate all the advise yall have given me. It seems I’m eating way to low in calories lol

Well it’s awesome that you’re getting after it! Keep it up.

@throwawayfitness if I’m not mistaken, you’ve walked this path pretty recently. Any advice for OP?

1 Like

I’m with @Chris_Colucci , I’d rather you shorten the distance and increase the effort. Unless you have all the free time in the world and no commitments, then I feel these long walking sessions are a waste of time and not sustainable. Walking for an hour/hours will eventually get old. If you are planning on changing your approach prior to burnout, then i’m all for going all in.

The aggressive calorie cut is too aggressive. With insanity, you will need fuel to continue your efforts.

How do you feel with your approach right now?

Definitely sore, I’m pretty wore out by the end of the evening. How many calories would you recommend me consume?

I would not consume all my calories in a 1 hr window. All the things you are doing would be great if you were competing on the biggest loser for $500K.

I can’t give you a recommendation on kcal #’s. I don’t know how hard you do insanity. I don’t know how hard you lift weights. I don’t know how many calories you burn walking.

My concern is that you will burn out and quit. I tell anyone that I try to help that this is a lifestyle change for the rest of your life. If you understand and agree and tell me that you are only doing this for the short term and then you have a more realistic plan, then I’d feel better.

1 Like

Well in a way yes I was basically just testing this to see how things went. If anything my main goal is to build up endurance, that’s why I came here for the advice cause I’m completely new to pretty much all this.

Dude, good on you so far. I will agree that I think you need to quickly find something much more sustainable and slowly build up from there.

1 Like

When I was close to 300 with no muscle…… I started with a jog/walk approach. I’d jog until i needed to walk and then walk long enough to catch my breath. That went on for months, along with all the beginner runner issues.

It worked for a while. But we all pretty much agree here that resistance training is the better focus vs a cardio first approach. On biggest loser (i used to live that show), the cardio people dropped weight faster, but the resistance and conditioning people looked better as they dropped weight. The buildup of muscle will fuel the fat burn. You need good food to build muscle. What that number is with the amount of fuel you already have in the form of fat is anyone’s guess.

With all this said, you can continue to do what you do (but eat more) until you need to refocus.


How are you measuring your calories ? OP