T Nation

Need help getting started.

Hi All,

I need help getting started on weight-training and proper dieting.

Let me tell you where I am coming from. A little over year ago, I tipped the scale at 200 (I am 5’10") and was FAT; probably ~ 40% BF. I decided to do something about it. Despite being skeptical of the Atkins diet by training (my undergrad degree was in Biochem and is currently doing a PhD in Biophysics), I decided to try it. I also bought Bill Philips “Body for Life” (hey, I never lifted in my life) and used it for my training guide. So basically, I was on Atkins and used BFL for its rudimentary dumbbell training program. By March, I was down to 155lb and roughly 15%BF. My waist went from 36 to 31. That’s when I told myself that I would run a marathon; something that would have been insane just 6 months ago. I also realized what a joke the food pyramid was. So I started marathon training but had to ditch Atkins. Salami, pepperoni, and wings, just wasn’t compatible with the high carb low fat diet that is the establishment of the running community. However, I noticed that I stopped losing weight. Also, the amount of running I was doing took away from the lifting.

So fast forward to this past October. I finished my marathon; yes 26.2 stinking miles in the rain. WHen I ran the marathon, I was at 160lb at ~18%BF (due to the poor high carb diet). The bad part is that once I finished my marathon, and stopped actively training for it, my weight is creeping back up. I am not at ~166 at ~20% BF. SO basically, I went from fat to now skinny-fat. So now, I need to get serious about losing fat and lifting again.

I don’t think my home dumbbells and weight bench set-up is going to be adequate anymore. I need to find a gym and perhaps a lifting coach/trainer (I am in Baltimore). I’ve never worked out in a gym before, and the one at my school is always jam-packed. How do I go about in finding a good gym so I don’t end up in a fitness club with skinny-fat personal trainers? Also, how do I go about finding a real coach or trainer that can teach me the proper forms of lifting? A cost estimate would also be very helpful since I am a poor grad student.

As for dieting, should I do the fat-fast diet or should I go straight to T-Dawg or the Don’t diet diet. If I am going on the fat-fast, I have a good reason to start. I am getting my wisdom teeth pulled out today and must be on a liquid diet for a while. Thanks in advance!

I am also putting together a shopping list of essentials of a good diet:

  • George Forman Grill
  • A good blender (I hate chucks of insoluble protein powder)
  • food scale and measuring cups
  • Flaxseed oil
  • anything else???

Thanks again!