T Nation

Need To Pull Myself Together.

Hey everyone, I have been reading this forum for a week now, especially in the beginners section where they tell beginners to start, but I am still lost, on terms, how to get the things I need, and i’ve used the search engine! So as a last resort i’m posting.

I use to be an active kid, not in highschool but in college, I am a senior so its been 3 years plus. I am tired of working out and trying to eat right and not seeing ANY results! Goal: I’ve done this for years and guess I am ready to move on. I am 5’ 9" and 185 pounds, not fat not skinny, I just want to be tone, and by that I think losing body fat will get me there.

So to keep things short, I’ll try and list my lifestyle right now and the foods I eat. I eat 3 meals roughly a day, and snack inbetween on things I “think” is healthy. Mainly fruits and perhaps some turkey lunch meat haha. Breakfast usually consist of 2 eggs fried in a little olive oil, with some of that lunch meat, with a slice of whole wheat bread. Lunch a sandwich of some sort with lot of veggies and no condiment sauce…and yes on the cheese. Dinner I eat whatever roomies and I make, its hard living in college and trying to get the right food. Spaghetti, asian food from parents, rotisserie chicken.

But either way I watch the portions I eat now. I drink mostly water, don’t like sweet drinks.

I’ve been wanting to do a calorie counter, but hard to find one online that incorporates specific food and portioning, especially when i eat asian food i don’t know how to portion and classify.

But all this talk about nutrients is too much for me, I just want to know if I am getting enough carbs, fat, protein and calorie intake/outtake. I don’t care much about the vitamins, i’ll just assume i get enough from my daily food and my fruits, cause there is too much to juggle at the moment.

I workout 3-4 days a week, doing your regular 4 sets 8-10 reps of Chest/bicep, Back/tricep, shoulder on rotating days. I do abs everytime i go to the gym, usually just decline sit up with some side and front bridges, when it burns and I can’t do very much i stop. Let’s say 20 sit ups, and on my 3rd set ill be able to do 10 til my face squinches and it just cramps…i’ll stop. I do about 3 workouts for each body part, totalling about 6 per gym session.

Then I go upstairs and do fat burning cardio on a bike for about 30 minutes. It says I lose about 300 calories in that half hour, however you guys want to interpret that, if its good enough etc. I also started drinking regular costco protein, 2 scoops during my workouts, but no more i prefer real substances when i can get it.

I have a bad back from a car accident a year ago so i can’t play basketball,football, run and such. So im also stuck with workouts that wont’ strain too much on my back…squats, leg stuff, its complicated =.

I guess i’m lost in every single aspect of what i need to know. If someone can help me get on track, i’m tired of reading around and getting lost. i can provide more specifics but im’ not trying to overwhelm readers on a first post :slight_smile:

Much thanks,
Mike N.

Hi, some thoughts:

  • stop the cardio right after the weights.
  • have a good breakfast (research this)
  • keep a log of your weights and try to increase whenever possible

If you’re doing 8 - 10 reps, those last two should hurt with the weight. If not, increase the weight, it may be too light for you.

Just my $0.02

You are 5’9" 185 pounds. Not fat or skinny, probably what is called skinny-fat on this site.

You say you want to “tone” but that is really a bad term.

What you want to do is build muscle and lose fat.

Make sure you get protein in every meal. Eat your veggies. Try not to eat too much crap. Eat as much meat, cottage cheese etc as you like. Eat lots of veggies. They do not make you fat. Piles of pasta and cookies make you fat.

Put together a program that hits all your body parts. Start with compound lifts (squat, deadlift, bench, row, pullups etc.) early in your routine and finish with isolation exercises at the end if you feel the need or desire to do them.

You can do a split body part routine where you hit a body part every day or a full body routine where you do the whole body. Both work if you train hard.

Lift weights first. Do cardio after.

Your body will change and improve.

Keep reading. You will get the hang of it.

First I would say get your back fixed at all costs. Squats and deadlifts are integral parts of everyone’s workout and without them it’s hard to compensate.

[quote]supfrochild wrote:
First I would say get your back fixed at all costs. Squats and deadlifts are integral parts of everyone’s workout and without them it’s hard to compensate. [/quote]

Not to argue just to argue, but you can put together a pretty good looking physique without either. Given a medical condition, I would rather see someone avoid anything that puts them in a dangerous position. While these are king/queen exercises, if the cost/benfit analysis says no, then there are many ways around them.

Too many make excuses and worry about what they can’t do or what they don’t have access to instead of utilizing what they do have to the fullest.

Give me a break. Stop giving “at all costs” advice. You’re in high school and have .5 years of training under your belt.

To the OP, good post. You’ve taken the first steps, keep reading and learning.

[quote]supfrochild wrote:
First I would say get your back fixed at all costs. Squats and deadlifts are integral parts of everyone’s workout and without them it’s hard to compensate. [/quote]