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Need Help with Diet and Lifts


I have not lifted weights in almost 6 years and I was never a fan of it when I did.(football in high school)
Now that I am older and fatter I have had a real drive to lose weight and gain muscle. I am 24 years old 5'10" and I weigh 240 lbs. I have slipped far... I recently purchased a bench press and heavy bag. I have two children so I can not daily the gym.

I work second shift so my eating times and habits vary on the weekends from my day to day eating at work. I also have random dumbbells.

Diet:(if you could call it that)
meal:salad with light dressing
snack:carrots or apple
meal:weeight watchers microwave meal or rice and turkey
I just quit 2 weeks ago drinking caffeine and pop. So I usually will only drink water or gatorade while I lift. Occasional beers on the weekend.

I lift every other day. and hit the heavy bag and jump rope when I am not on a lifting day.
my so called work out consist of:
pushups 2x fail
situps 4x fail
bench 165lbs 4x10(no spot, so afraid to really stack more weight)
curl with bar 75lbs 4x10
lat pull downs 75lbs 4x10
hang clean 95lbs 4x10
reverse grip bench 95lbs 4x10
leg extensions 180lbs 4x10
and then random dumb bell lifts. butterfly, and others(I am unsure of the names)

I am looking for some guidance on what to eat,when to eat, and some other lifts I can do with out endangering myself. I work from 3 in the after noon until 2 in the morning 4 days a week. So My times to workout and eat are a little different from the norm.
Thanks in advance to anyone who can help point me in the right direction.


I'd drop the yogurt for breakfast, and replace it with something like eggs. Or keep the yogurt but still eat some sort of eggs/meat for protein.

For the rest of the snacks and meals, you need add a lot more protein-rich foods into them. For example:

snack: banana (add a whey protein drink)

meal: salad with light dressing (add almonds, extra virgin olive oil and 4 oz. chicken breast)

snack: carrots or apple (add 4-6 tbps. of natural peanut butter, or even have an entree with this snack, such as a club sandwich (roast beef, turkey, ham, tomato, pickle, mustard) on whole wheat bread

meal: weight watchers microwave meal or rice and turkey (the rice and turkey is a good meal so long as the portions are ample, but ditch the microwave meals--not only will they not help your workout goals, they are generally just bad for your health... full of refined and processed carbs and trans fats, not much protein.)

Anyway, a limited diet like you have chosen will burn you out quickly and increase the chances of you binge eating. Instead of adhering to a diet "set in stone," try just limiting your selections to whole foods (foods without processing and refinement). You still have plenty of options to play with... any kind of meat products and eggs will work for your protein source, add in fresh veggies and fruits for carbohydrates, and stuff like olive oil and peanut butter (plus a high quality fish oil supplement) will suffice for fats. This is by no means an all inclusive list... I just want to throw some ideas out for you to get the ball rolling.

Your workout plan is a little bit better, but I think you should give a little more attention to your legs than just leg extensions. Since you have a barbell, take that off the bench and put it on the floor and do deadlifts for one of your leg exercises. Depending on the bench you have, you may be able to do back squats as well. I would do deadlifts on one day, and then the next do squats. Keep the leg extensions if you wish.

You need a little more back work as well. Ditch the lat pulldown and start doing pullups. Use the barbell for heavy rows.

I'm sure others with more experience and muscle will chime in with even better advice than what I have provided.

Good luck


Alright, there is a lot of stuff going on here, lets take it piece by piece:

1 - The diet is terrible. I know you dont want to be a body builder and are looking mainly the lose weight, but you gotta get some protein in there for multiple reasons. You will lose weight on that diet for sure, but when all is said and done you could potentially end up "skinny fat" where you have no muscle to be seen, and just happen to weight 50 pounds less than you do right now.

As much as possible you want to be eating things like eggs, egg whites, chicken, protein powder, and lean beef for protein sources. A protein source should be at EVERY feeding. Carbs should be rice, veggies, potatoes, yams, fruits, yogurt. And dont forget fats: Olive oil, egg yolks, avocado, cheeses, nuts. I dont think you need to be killing yourself eating 6 times a day if you a beginner. I would focus more of getting 3-4 complete meals in. A banana or carrots is not a meal.

Example meals would be: 3 eggs, cheese, avocado, turkey, or 1/3 pound 96% lean beef, avocado, cheese, veggies. 1-2 scoops of protein with peanut butter in 1 cup milk, blend with ice.

I'm biased towards low carb diets because thats what works for me, so you'll have to play around and see if you can get away with Chicken and rice, or Small steak and yams.

2 - I guess given your minimal set up and current situation the workout isnt too bad. Although the key to getting better results is the progress, so make sure you are getting more reps or adding weight to the bar... Even while dieting if you have been out of the game for a while. If you are looking for more cardio style stuff, Burpees are good as is jump rope, and both only need a small space to perform and are VERY effective.

I work from 12-12:30 3 days a week, so I know what its like coming home at 1:00 and needing to work out still. Unfortunately all I can say is just get it done. If you really want it bad enough you will, and thats all there is to it.


thanks for the help guys. I will reevaluate my current ways and try to do some of the things you guys mentioned.


stick with lat pulldowns if you suck at pullups. when/if you can do 10 pullups you should ditch the lat pulldowns


so after adding a lot more protein to my diet I feel a lot weaker and "out of it". normal? or am I missing something else in my diet?right now my eating consist of
Breakfast: 3 eggs and a non fat yogurt
snack:apple,banana, or pear
Lunch:chicken with a salad
snack:wheat thins or turkey stick
supper:chicken with lots of veggies,yogurt,banana,and a fruit bar
I only drink water usually. sometimes I will have a serving of juicy juice


why? I can do 10+ pullups and lat pulldowns will always have a place in my heart.


what's your calories looking like, especially for your weight it may be the drop in calories that have you feeling sluggish. order some protien powder, throw it in with your snacks/breakfast. pre/peri/post workout nutrition? definitely look over this site for best times to supp. if you're not looking at supps, eating enough protien will be difficult but hard boiled eggs with "snacks" helps.

you have a barbell and said you can clean, your off to a good start if form is good, so work on clean and press to be able to get that bar up and over to throw in squats, or a simple clean to work front squats. this article, while written kind of cheesy, will give you some good barbell exercises http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/operation_barbell_10_money_exercises&cr=

sprint intervals also help with leg development, as does pushing a car (similar to prowler sprints, killer on quads/conditioning and a good eccentric-less exercise)

jump rope for conditioning/cardio...maybe throw in some tabatas if you like.

a lot of things to think about, play with, see what works best for you.


someone was telling him to replace lat pulldowns with pullups. i should've said "could ditch" instead of "should ditch"


thanks for the help guys. I am going to get some protein powder this weekend here and include that in my diet. what about pre work out drinks like jack3d? should I be looking at these or am I not that advanced yet. I am interested in supplements, but at the same time I dont want to be spending a lot of money on them.


prewo drinks aren't that important. if you don't want to spend the money then don't. your money would be better spent on good food