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My Info. / Advice Flames Welcome


Hello all, heres my story.
Well I'm semi newcomer to the lifting,and been reading T-Nation for about a half a year.

I am 25yrs old
6ft even, 310lbs
about 120lbs of fat on me.

In the begining of 2002 I was 280lbs, Which was when I began workingout dieting and trying to eat healthy. In first 4months i lost 60 lbs, then lost another 20 in the next 3-4 months. I usually had a hr weight lifting session followed by 40 min of cardio. wIt was very time consuming but it worked, but I dont think i gained hardly any muscle.

I droped my workouts down to 3 times a week for to just keep in shape so i didnt gain it all back. I started hurting in my front shoulder, and left knee after a while and just ignored it. After about a year and a half after I began this program and several months of hurting I went to Physical Therapy. I had a muscle unbalance with my infra spinator*(spelling), and my IP band on my left leg was pulling on my knee along with my glutious medius*(spelling again). While i was in PT for 4 months they suspended my workouts and cardio. In this time I became lazy, fell out of my goal to stay fit.
Now fast forward to today, fat and out of shape.
New day, new goals.
I would like to get back into shape, and gain strength and muscle, get down to somewhere around 200ish with 10% bodyfat.
I was thinking T-Ddawg diet, but i need to make sure i strenghten my core, because i have developed quite a slouch, and my back is sore alot. I was looking towards low impact cardio's till i lose alot of weight.
I am gonna order some Surge, Low-Carb Grow!, and HOT-ROX.

1. whats a good program or exercises to ease back into it.
2. whats some alternative exercises for pull ups, and dips becausewith my weight i cant do a sufficient of either, if any.

Well i would appreciate any sugestions, or comments, and i will fill in any unanswere questions ya have for me. thanks ahead of time


First of all, let me say congratulations for making the decision to change. You've come to the right place. There is tons of information here at T-Nation to help you rebuild your body and get into shape. I also congratulate you for posting your goals. You're much more likely to acheive them when you write them down. Also the fact that you posted them in a public forum adds to your accountability. Yep, that means we're going to expect you to follow up with results. Anyway, on to your questions:

I would suggest looking at Vroom's "Are You a Beginner?" thread


That should give you some good ideas to start with. After you've read through that, feel free to ask questions about any specifics.

You can use lat pulldowns until you are strong and/or light enough to do bodyweight pull ups. Just like regular pull ups, when doing pulldowns vary your grip. Use wide grips, narrow grips, palms facing up, palms facing down, etc.

If you can't perform dips, try doing bench dips. You can probably search for an exercise description. They are listed as one of the warm-ups in Ian King's 12 Weeks to Super Strength Part III article which can be found here:


Exercise description:
...place two benches about one meter apart and parallel. Sit on one and place the feet up on the other. Slide your bottom off of the bench but keep the hands on, with the fingers pointing toward the feet and curled over the side of bench.

Using your triceps, lower the hips down as far as comfortable, then raise yourself up, stopping just shy of elbow lockout.

Also, there are a variety of pressing motions that you can do, rack lockouts, close-grip presses, floor presses, board presses, etc.

Hope this helps and keep us posted on your progress!



I think you would be an excellent candidate for the Velocity Diet. I think you will be much happier, more mobile, and better prepared to train if you drop some of the fat first.


I am definetly going to disagree with this one... Eating healthy should come before jumping onto the V-Diet. If your not eating clean 95% of the time while your not on the V-Diet, even if you make it all the way through, chances are your going to go straight back to eating unhealthy. Give it 6 months with proper training and diet, then think about doing something drastic. Just my 2 cents.



I can see your thinking, BUT it can also swing the other way. He could use V-Diet to lose all the bad habit. After a few bweeks on it eating clean, ala. T-Dawg would be a JOY!!!!

Either way.

Good luck glad top have you hear. read that beginners thread. Pick a program and diet you will stick to change your life and keepm us informed.

Come on beck with direct questions or to help out with the knowledge you gain.



I'm coming down from over 300 myself. The best way for me to consistently get my ass moving was to join a martial arts class. Find something where everyone's ripped, so you know what the work ethic is, and something functional like Muay Thai or boxing, instead of Tae Bo or cardio kickboxing. That way, you'll be able to work out without doing something girlie. Of course, having one or two girls in the class who make you look like a pussy is always good motivation. When I got back into fighting I dropped 40 pounds right off the bat (first 5 weeks).

After a couple of weeks of different kinds of pushups, situps and bridges (do a search on here for bodyweight exercises), I got motivated to hit the weights, just so I could maximize that sore feeling in the minimum amount of time. Now I'm starting the HIIT (again do a search on T-Nation) to help my endurance.

The key for me is paying up front for a membership, so I feel like I'm getting gypped if I skip the gym. Also key is going to a class where people know you and can give you positive reenforcement for busting ass, or bust your ass for bitching out. It's like a team sport, only nobody loses a game cuz of my slow fat ass.

As far as learning was to eat and what to do specifically to strenghten up, read up on the site. You've already got some good responses here. But since you're basically starting from the point where I was 3 months ago, if you're like me, the hard part is motivation. Don't bite off more than you can chew (haha I'm so funny) by trying the velocity diet just yet. If you had that much self control over your eating, you wouldn't be a fat bastard! Just read up on your nutrition and use common sense. Find healthy stuff that tastes good. For me, the miracle food is chicken caesar salad: tastes good, has protein and with all that lettuce, it really fills me up. I usually have one a day and a bunch of protein shakes, fish oil and flax seeds.

Anyway, I didn't mean to type this much, but it's good to try to give advice, because you analyze your own habits... Good luck bro, keep us posted.


The V-diet is drastic, but it is also very easy to do. I don't know if you make all of your own meals following specific macronutrient breakdowns, but I do, and let me tell you it is a pain in the ass. Worth it, but a pain in the ass. This guy mentioned he has 120lbs of pure fat on his frame. With some moderate cardio and a good V-diet stint, he could drop 30% of that. You mention that if he's not eating clean 95% of the time, after the V-diet, he'll revert to eating shitty stuff. But actually, judging from Shugart's own documented experiences and the experience of others, exactly the opposite is true: they started craving healthy solid foods RATHER THAN junk food crap.

At the very least, it's not frustrating, and it puts him on a fast track to losing weight that obviously needs to come off.


Well at least we agree on one thing, its a huge pain in the ass (yes I do, do it)... planning meals, buying the correct foods, and cooking takes up at least 10 hours of my week. This guy is obviously not used to that. Its so easy to go up the street and get a double stack at Wendy's vs. spending an hour at the grocery store, and at the very least, one hour a day cooking.

Planning to eat healthy and getting the job done are two very different things, it takes a lot of dicipline. Healthy food tastes great to anyone, I dont think thats the problem (at least it wasn't for me) when it came to switching over completely. Its the simplicity that fast food and restaraunts offer.

I find it truley amazing the kind of excuses people come up with for not eating right and missing the gym. The fact is, when you want something, you make the time. (I'm getting off topic here...) Back to what I was saying. Eating right is a ton more then craving certain foods, its having the dicipline to take the steps necessary to eat clean and healthy. In my eyes thats 99% of it.



What we're talking about are two separate obstacles:

  1. The fat-mass itself.
  2. The psychology that led to the fat mass.

If you just go on the V-diet, you do a lot against #1, but not as much against #2. T-dawg would help #2 more than #1. I think that he could do well with either approach, or even a blended approach (liquid weeks, solid weekends) or something like that.

What's more important than if he starts with the T-dawg or with Velocity is that he makes the decision to make it happen. If he wants to badly enough, either one will work for him.

What I do when I'm trying to make a change is I write down all the reasons that I'm making that change. I write down all the things I'm going to get out of it, and I also write down all the things that staying the same way is going to cost me. When losing weight, this is stuff like "Diabetes" "heart disease" and "never getting laid again, ever". I find that writing down the negatives of staying how I am is more important than the positives. (This is backed up by studies, but who gives a crap. Humans tend to avoid pain more than they seek pleasure. So make how you are, now, before the change feel painful. Otherwise inertia will screw you.)

Then I look at the list whenever my resolve starts to waver. This can be supplemented with visits to the heart attack ward or field trips to see the clinically, morbidly obese. I find that trips to the local McDonalds can be quite useful, too. Psychologically, you'll have some ammo to use against yourself.

But just to throw in my 2 cents about the would he eat clean/wouldn't he eat clean after getting off the V-diet:

Shugs was already eating clean when he started the V-diet. He'd lost and kept off a lot of weight for an extended amount of time. This helped him eat clean when getting off of the diet.

Both of my parents did a liquid fast back in the eighties/early nineties, and they packed the pounds back on after they got off. So it's hard to say what would happen, but my guess is that, unless you already know how to eat clean, going on the V-diet isn't going to teach you how to stay lean.

Dan "mind tricks" McVicker


Thank you everyone so far on the helpful information, im gonna try writting down all my goals, and positives of losing the fat and why i want to, and try to keep them handy.

I think i am leaning more towards the V-Diet, to get my self kick started, then i will follow up with the T-Dawg after i get back into eating solids for a while.
any toughts on this, or any other sugestions after the V-Diet?


Establish healthy eating habits. Make an eating program for a week with the right macronutritient breakdown and make sure it tastes good. Eat a the same time every day, every 2-3 hours. If you can hammer that into your brain for 3-4 weeks, the cooking and eating will become second nature, which is an excellent base for whatever goal you have. Plan in a cheat meal at least once every week. If you try to lose 120 lbs of fat without a cheat meal here and there you are going to lose your mind.

Are you sure you need to do the V-Diet? With 120 lbs of fat to lose you should see results fast if you have covered all your bases. Trust me, I know.