New Lifter with Back Problem

I have had a back problem all my life (I?m 44). Since birth I?ve had two surgeries to remove non-cancerous tumors. The first was a walnut size tumor on the lower portion of my spinal column and in 2000 I had a football-sized tumor removed from my spinal column. To date, I am almost perfect ? can walk, run, etc.

I decided to buy a Total Gym and begin a workout program on an every-other-day routine. I started about 3 weeks ago and so far, so good. I am 5?10? and weigh around 170 pounds. My BMI is around 24. I started taking NOX twice per day (6 capsules). I can begin to see a little change in my chest and stomach but still cannot conquer my love handles. Unfortunately I cannot do twists of any kind; I tried but doing so but it causes pain in my lower back so that routine is out.

My objective is to tone my body, not get big. I do a high rep/low weight routine. I want to maintain a lean shape but have some definition when I put on a t-shirt and clothes. I am looking for suggestions on exercises that can help me lose the handles as well as any nutritional products to help me as well?

I?ve read a lot about Low-Carb MRP’s and casein protein, ground flaxseed and Greens but don?t know much about any of these products.

Any help on these subjects would be greatly appreciated

Ok you are going to get flamed. Ignore the flames and accept the information. If you treat this site well, it will treat you well.

Start with Vroom’s beginner thread in beginners. Also look up Chad Waterbury’s set/rep bible.

Is NOX NO2? If so it’s useless.

Don’t you get a leaflet with the appatatus that shows all the moves you can do? Just spend more calories than you eat and row away to fitness. And yes, read Vroom’s beginner thread and look up Chad Waterbury’s set/rep bible.

Congrats on getting into a healthier lifestyle! IMO, it would be dangerous for any of us to give you a ton of specific advice. Your back surgeries contraindicate it. And your spine is not something to mess with, as you know.

I can say this: for your goals, diet is extremely important. Determine your coloric needs. Take, say, 2200 cal/day as a starting point and then add or subtract from there based on what happens to your body. You should get 170 grams of protein a day. You can use a protein drink like Low-Carb Grow! to help you meeet these requirements. (I don’t count protein drinks, fish oils and such as supplements. They are more like food.) The rest of your intake should come from healthy carbs like whole grains and oatmeal and healthy fats like flax and fish oil.

As far as training goes, stick with the basics. For you, that may be things like leg presses, bench presses, and pulldowns. I don’t know how stable your back is.

A lot of this is newbie advice, but I really respect anyone who has dealt with anything as scary as a football sized tumor. Good luck.

Like you, I had big-time back surgery, over 27 years ago. (1.5" of the T-5 vertabra and a rib were removed. I recommend this procedure to all my enemies…) Eventually, my homemade rehab program was extremely successful, but it took years and years to get back into competition powerlifting and pull my best deadlifts.

Start EXTREMELY light, with very high repetitions (15+) in all of your lower-body work. By now, you know the difference between “muscle/tendon stress pain” and “skeleton in danger pain.” At the VERY FIRST MINOR TWINGE of the latter, STOP! Then, experiment with other (extremely light) exercises that target the same muscle groups. Add more weight, VERY gradually, as you get stronger.

It’s a common misconception, that you can you can “spot reduce” the fat overlying a muscle, by exercising that muscle. If you burn 40 fat calories, and if, for instance, a quarter of your total bodyfat is in your love handles, you might have burned, roughly, 10 fat calories out of the love handles. You can make 'em much smaller, by reducing total bodyfat, but it’s a lifetime project. Learn all you can about nutrition. You may find that what works best for you is changing WHAT you eat, not HOW MUCH you eat.
Good luck!