T Nation

Need Help with Setting Goals

Hi guys,

I am 5’10"(180cm), close to 200lb and probably around 27-30 BMI :frowning:
Oh yeah and I am 25
My experience in the gym is close to 0 (around 8 months on and off)

I really want to start working seriously in the gym, obiously with serious results. The main ideea is to look good and feel good (don’t care about strenght or perfomance) Problem is, I don’t really know where to start. Looking at my high % of body fat and really under developed muscles, initially, I thought of just concentrating on losing fat, mostly through intervals and any other type of cardio (right now I enjoy it a bit more than lifting). Then I figured that since I am a beginner and also a fat bloke I can loose fat easily while my muscles are also proned to fast growth so why not do that (mainly looked at the Destroying fat article). Obviously if I set some propper goals for myself I also need to choose a fit program which is again weird since I bit unexperienced.

A thing that keeps me wondering is, since I am close to 30% boday fat should I go for programs like the one in the Destroying fat article which is probably for guys going from 15%to 10% ?

So guys, I need to know how and where to start, and what my initial goals should look like. Heeeeelp

For those of you that can give me some advice on what I should set as a goal I also have some more info:

  • I gain both muscle and fat easily
  • I don’t really want to grow lower muscle (I know some people say that they don’t need it and they are wrong but seriously I have freak feet, In the gym I have more strength in my feet than most serios bodybuilders there) - I know I still have to work those muscles to get full body stimulation (growth hormones and such)
  • I can only put in a maximum of 1.5h per day at the gym (mostly 5d/w) and except WE breakfast is 30 mins before the gym (feels like crap but can’t change it)
  • Due to financial and location issues I only have acces to creatine, Whey protein (I figure carb free for me) and fish oil
  • despite my current status, my muscle coordination is above averge (for beginners) and I always was a pretty sporty guy (played all kind of sports until 2-3 years ago)
  • I have been hitting the gym for 2 months now which probably allows me to skip the first weeks of getting to know the gym, weights, etc :smiley:
  • Oh yeah and I develop pects quite fast, triceps and biceps moderately, shoulder areas are medium to slow, upper back is by far my weakest area (probably the one I need to work the hardest :frowning: )


I, like many here, highly recommend Starting Strength (http://www.aasgaardco.com/store/store.php?crn=199&rn=312&action=show_detail). Get the book and read it. Sure, it costs some moneys but it’s an invaluable reference that you will return to continually. While you’re waiting for your book order to arrive, you can read about it here: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=998224

It’s difficult to suggest goals to you. You obviously want to loose some fat and put on some muscle. Personally my goals are to hit target weights in lifts. I’ve haven’t yet had to address the fat-loss problem, so I don’t know how to measure that well. I also don’t have the “gaining muscle easily” problem that you have, so…

Good luck, let us know what you decide on for your goals.

You should read this entire thread, and click the links and read those articles. There is TONS of information.

Pick one of the programs on this site and stick with it for 8-12 weeks. You will progress if you stick with it. You also have to eat clean - read the nutrition articles.

You say “The main ideea is to look good and feel good (don’t care about strenght or perfomance)” but you have to understand that without those 2 critical components of training, you will get nowhere.

“Look good and feel good” isnt a goal. I find that you have to set a specific short-term goal in order to get anywhere. For example, “I want to lose 5 pounds by October 1.” On October 2nd your goal might be, “I want to weigh 185 pounds by the end of October.”

The key is attainable short-term goals. If you say, I want to lose 20 pounds by the end of October, that may not be attainable and you’ll beat yourself up about it.

In response to the stuff you list at the end of your post:

  • You’ll definately hit your legs

  • 1.5 hours a day for 5 days is overkill… you have MORE than enough time. You should be in and out in under an hour, 3 days a week. Cardio on your off days.

  • creatine, Whey protein and fish oil is all you need!

Getting in shape is hard work, but so is researching how to do it. You can learn alot from the articles on this site. Sift through them and you’ll find a way to meet your goals.


Good response above.

You might want to get a personal trainer. Starting out is hard and whether you want to admit it or not, your form in almost every exercise will probably suck ass right away.

My suggestion is find someone who knows how to squat and learn the basics of the squat. You can throw so many exercises in with the squat, and since it involves almost all musculature in the body, you will burn mega calories and fat.

One thing you want to make sure you are doing is keeping your metabolism stoked all day long. The more you can work full body exercises the easier this is to achieve.

Use some of the articles above, but I think the best way is to find someone who you KNOW knows what they are doing, and learn the basic, full body exercises. Where I train, almost all of our clients are doing squat and lunge variations with upper body exercises thrown into them. Examples would include:

lunging with bicep curl at the end

lunging with dumbbells overhead (overhead squat style)

Weight training instead of direct cardio will benefit you in many ways!!!

1)You will increase testerone levels which will:
2)have anabolic (mass increasing) effects
3)This mass will be muscular in nature
4)You will increase your muscular strength so that when you are ready to hit the weights hard, you have a good strength base
5)your metabolism will increase, and you will burn more calories for hours after the workout.
6)You will increase coordination

Good luck with your goals, and remember, the information you need is everywhere!!

“gaining muscle easily” - yeap that sounded a bot cocky of me - what I meant was I am a endomorph :smiley:

About goals let me put it diferently - I want 10-12% bf and around 170 lbs (need to check the math) by June 09 - I just don’t know how to start (what my first short goal should be). Muscle gain or fat loss or both

By not looking at strength or performance I meant that the main purpose of hitting the gym for me is not being a performance athlete or kicking ass, but rather looks, health and stress release

What I have so far (not final) is to do the “destroying fat” program for 6-8 weeks then run a 12-16 weeks muscle gain program (minimising fat gain through controll days)
and then go for a new 6-8 weeks fat loss period until June -

During the “Destroying fat” period nutrition will probably be close to 50% protein, 10-20% carbs (veggies and fruits) and the rest of it fat with total number of calories 10-15% under normal consumption.

A first goal might be to loose 20lbs in the first 6-8 weeks (maybe to much - allthough 30% BF leaves a lot of room for easy progress in the beggining )

What do you guys think of the plan?

PS Thanks for the repplies

bhetz864: you are right, the form of my exercises will suck right away - I know this and that is why I decided for now not to take into account the recent article on why fast reps are good and do all my reps in a slow controlled tempo focusing on achieving correct form.