T Nation

My Plans and Goals


Here is my diet/workout plan I have been doing for a few weeks and have seen some good changes in how I feel, and some small changes in how I look. I was hoping some pros around here would take a look at this and give some advice/commentary. I feel like I have accomplished some pretty cool things this year (graduating with my Masters Degree, quitting smoking), but the dream I have had since I was the chubby kid in high school was to be able to feel comfortable without my shirt on.

This was what I came up with to accomplish this goal. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please don�??t flame me, I know I am a beginner and out of shape. Thanks.

Age: 27
Height: 6�??4�??
Weight: 248
Body Fat (calipers): 34%
Water Intake: 1.5 gallon per day
Sleep: 7-8 hours per night
Experience Level: Beginner
Goals: cut to 10% Body Fat in 28 weeks (if possible)

Diet (Average Day)
Consume either a meal or shake every 2.5 hours
Total Calories Consumed: 1700-1800
Protein: 250g (min)
Carbs: 50-60g
Fat: 50-60g
2 scoops Surge after workouts + 1 tbsp Creatine
Animal Pak (1 Pack)
4 caps HOT-ROX
4 caps TRIBEX
3 caps REZ-V
10 caps Fish Oil

Workout Plan
5 minute warm-up (stationary bike)
Straight-Leg Deadlifts - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Good Mornings - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Squats - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Leg Press - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Hamstring Curls - 10x3
Leg Extensions - 10x3
Seated Calf Raises - 10x3
Abs (varies)
20 minute HIIT (exercise bike, 2 min warm-up then 30sec splits)
Static Stretching

30 minute HIIT (exercise bike, 2 min warm-up then 30sec splits)
Static Stretching

5 minute warm-up (stationary bike)
Dumbbell Bench Press - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Dumbbell Incline Press - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Machine Fly - 10x3 (80% 1RM)
Lat Pull-down (in front) - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Seated Cable Rows - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Abs (varies)
20 minute HIIT (exercise bike, 2 min warm-up then 30sec splits)
Static Stretching

30 minute HIIT (exercise bike, 2 min warm-up then 30sec splits)
Static Stretching

Barbell Clean and Press - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Dumbbell Shoulder Presses - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Dumbbell Lateral Raises - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Shrugs (Barbell, Behind Back) - 15x4 (80% 1RM)
Standing Barbell Curls - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Seated Dumbbell Curls - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Standing Triceps Extension (Barbell) - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Triceps Cable Pull-down - 7x4 (80% 1RM)
Wrist Curls - 10x3
Reverse Wrist Curls - 10x3
Abs (varies)
20 minute HIIT (exercise bike, 2 min warm-up then 30sec splits)
Static Stretching

30 minute HIIT (exercise bike, 2 min warm-up then 30sec splits)
Static Stretching

Sunday - Rest

Any and all advice would be great. Thanks everyone!


Side Picture


Back Picture



I'm sure many of those who have been there and lost fat and transformed their physiques will have some good specific advice for you, esp. regarding diet etc.

As for training, my preference for now would be to swap over to a full body prog and mix the sets and reps up throughout the week. Lots of big compound movements to get that metabolism fired up :slight_smile:

But whatever prog you do, keep working and little by little you will feel and see the changes.

Long term goals are great to have but if you also set yourself some smaller ones, they will help to keep you motivated.

Well done on quitting smoking and taking the first steps to a better healthier you.


Given that you are a beginner, it looks like you have a A LOT of variables included in your overall fitness plan. First thing I noticed was all the supplements you are using. As a beginner, not only do I think it is no necessary, but I think it might stand in the way of effectively tracking your progress. One of the keys to any fitness plan is being able to stick to it (usually it needs to be simple but effective). Your routine looks really complicated.

If I were you I'd try for some full body workouts incorporating mostly compound lifts. (various bench presses, pullups, deadlifts, squats, rows, maybe some lunges). If you make sure to lift heavy, you will have a better shot at keeping what muscle mass you already have. Choose about 4-6 exercises per workout. If you are picking the right ones, you shouldn't need more than that.

Instead of the TRIBEX and REZ-V, how about some BCAAs to help retain muscle mass while you are losing weight.


I agree mostly on the workout routines suggested by my peers - full body workouts every other day, mostly compound exercises - but I would suggest a set/rep combo of 3x8. The reason is because you are a beginner. Your body is not used to any lifting, and it's gonna take a six to eight months for the body to first get used to lifting and then finally crave lifting. Once the lifestyle has changed, I'd go to a 5x5 and go heavier.

Your first tasks are to use your new found will power and apply it to your diet and your lifting. Be consistent in both. If you cheat or miss a workout, it is not the end of the world, but you've got to get back on track right away.

As far as supps, I wouldn't worry about TRIBEX, rez-v, creatine, or the animal pak. Unless you have already bought them. HOT-ROX will help you IF you maintain a diet that is worthwhile. Fish oils will help your heart to return to normal, which will take some time after the damage from smoking.

Good Luck and keep at it. Every day is one day closer to the new you.


Thank you all three for the advice!

So the changes/thoughts that I have put in place are as follows:
- Nix the TRIBEX & Rez-V
- Add BCAAs
- Lots of compound movements using a set/rep combo of 3x8 (various bench presses, pullups, deadlifts, squats, rows, maybe some lunges).
- Fewer Variables = Better Overall Results as a beginner. (Remember K.I.S.S.)
- Keep consistent

Further Questions:
- As far as my diet goes, is 1700-1800 cal/day with the above macros a good goal to shoot for?
- I have heard Lycopine is good to have (prostate/lung health, both are especially important for an ex-smoker). Your thoughts?
- Are the results from HIIT really that much better than just droning it out for an hour on a exercise bike/treadmill? It seems like I have read on here that 8-15 min of HIIT is more effective than an hour of constant intensity cardio. I may be wrong.


I think creatine can be useful, although not absolutely necessary. But I think it's effectiveness with regards to strength training has really withstood the test of time so far. And since it's not overly expensive, not a bad one to keep in there.

I do think your calorie consumption may be a little low. You don't want to starve yourself and end up binging at some point. I went down to a 1400-1600/day diet (weighed 170) at one point to lose some fat and I was STARVING. Also, since you are just starting, and probably don't have a significant amount of lean tissue for your body size, I'd really hate to see you lose what you do have. You might be alright with the proper combo of protein and BCAAs. Don't be afraid to experiment a little.

Ultimately, not everyone will get the exact same results from a diet or workout routine. If you aren't getting results, don't be afraid to change things up, same goes if you hit a plateau after a few weeks. It's not only useful to know what DOES work, but also what DOES NOT work.


Thanks again for all the help, especially you erinshesse. I have 1 more question:

Currently I am at 240 with 34% body fat. Am I thinking correctly that is 81.6lbs of fat and 158.4lbs of everything else (muscle, guts, bones, etc)? If so, given my 28 week goal to get down to ~10% body fat and not lose any muscle (impossible, I know), that would put my end weight at a little over 174lbs. I would literally look like a twig at that weight (I do like being a big guy).

My question is if it is possible to gain say 25-30lbs of lean body mass in my 28 week time frame on a reduced calorie diet, given the above macros? Or am I thinking about this completely incorrectly (ie. just being silly). Thanks again!


Yeah HIIT is great for burning those cals and also for revving up the after-burn, so you'll burn more at rest later in the day, but remember variety is the spice of life!

So some days go a little easier on the cardio intensity but make the session a bit longer, there's no harm in doing a long steady 30-60 mins every once in a while. It will give your joints a bit less resistance to push against and mentally can give you a break from psyching yourself up for anothr HIIT session.

I maybe do one 'light' session like this every 7 days or so and think of it like a recovery session. I make sure I do a really good stretch session after it, working on all my really tight and problematic areas and it feels great after.

It's a nice thing to put somewhere in your schedual after one of your really hard days or you might just want to throw it in when your body feels like it needs it, as you get more experienced you will learn to recognise how your body is feeling.


If your body fat% calculation is accurate, you are starting with about 158.4lbs of lean tissue. Unfortunately, I am GUESSING that figure could be a little low. The reason is that calipers don't accurately measure how much fat is stored underneath your abs(your visceral fat). There are a few articles on this site that discuss this a bit.

But can you retain all of your muscle mass while losing body fat? There is no straightforward answer. I think it's definitely possible to retain and even make some gains while effectively losing body fat, especially from where you are starting.

It comes down to your nutrient intake (protein and BCAAs becoming very crucial) and lifting with maximal weights. Using maximal weights will help to keep your lean tissue from breaking down as your body will NEED it to continue pushing those heavy weights. If you haven't already read this article "How To Stimulate Maximal Fat Loss," do so.

A 25-30 lb lean tissue increase is not going to happen during this period however. It wouldn't happen for anyone without the help of some steroids. Be realistic with your goals so that you don't get frustrated or disillusioned. Give yourself 3 years to really get in GREAT shape. Building lean tissue takes a lot of time for normal people. It's a hell of a lot harder than shedding the extra fat.

On a side note, your avatar makes me laugh. Up until 2 weeks ago, I was a vegetarian and everyday I would wake up, look in the mirror and say to myself "Nobody likes you." Of course, this is more because I'm a son of a bitch, but I think you still make a good point. Peace.