T Nation

New to this, Looking for Advice!

Hey everyone, new to the site and looking for advice of people that have been into this for awhile.

First off I’m in the army. When I left for basic training I was 6’8, 260 lbs and 24 years old. When I left basic I was 225 lbs, and I mantained this for a good 6 months (i ranged between 225-235). I injured my back and knees and now 4 months laterfind myself in physical therapy (it took them that long to figure the problem. During the four months I was out of my mind and ate like a idiot, pushing myself back up to 255 lbs.

Now I’m trying to lose all the fat that I gained back (and maybe more, wouldn’t mind being in better shape). when I was measured I was around 20% bf i believe (18 1/2 in neck and 40 in around the abdominals). I can do a bunch of push ups, but besides that I kept away from the freeweights, prefering more the machines. I want to work more so I’ve taken up the freeweights but my upper body is horribly weak (I can barely do 3 sets of 150 lbs on the bench press).

Right now I do Cardio 5-7 days a week (I need this for the requirements put on me by the army) for about 30 mins a day. And I normally work out every other day, mostly 3x a week. RIght now I have to eat at the military dining facility, which is not as healthy as you may think.

So I’ve droped all fried foods from the menu more or less Trying to eat more lean meats (when the have it avaliable), and sticks to the fruits and veggies (usually ransack the salad bar). I will eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there normally, with small meals in between to help heighten my metabolism.

I need to know what I could do to make this plan better. I saw the V-Diet but I could not afford that kind of thing to save my life. Could any supplements help speed the fat loss, cause when that is done I can actualy try and bulk up a bit. Any kind of advice you guys can give would be appreciated!

you definitely have some challenges with limited dietary choices and recovering from injury.

but, sounds like you are making the best of the cafeteria. for your “small meals between” i hope you are trying to get protein (you are a big guy so at least 20g, which is like 3oz of lean meat - the size of a deck of cards - or 3/4 cup of cottage cheese) and veggies/fruit.

sitting around doing nothing, while eating “like an idiot” is what got you slothful, so activity + eating well is likely to transform you back into what you consider ideal. in other words, you don’t have to do any crazy dieting.

as for resistance training – not that machines are evil (i am doing some cable work in my current program) but i am glad you are again focusing on free weights.

there are various techniques and programs. you could find a good routine here on T-Nation for example. just pick one and do it hard for 4 weeks, take a week with lighter movements and then pick another for a hardcore 4 weeks.

monday and friday do
eg

  1. chinup
  2. dip
  3. squat
  4. plank to a hand walkout

perform a heavy load so that you max out to 4-6 reps. rest 60 seconds and repeat for a total of 20 reps (as many sets as it takes to get to that rep total)

wednesday do

  1. bent-over row
  2. shoulder press
  3. deadlift
  4. reverse crunch

the next week reverse these: wednesday’s routine is now monday and friday.

if you can lift before you do cardio, you will get more out of it.

well, i am sure others will have helpful ideas. these are just a couple off the top of my head. good luck!

That’s a pretty good beginner’s workout. Can’t really say too much more other than you may want to add in some bench press. But, that’s your personal preference, and it doesn’t matter (for now) if you want to use dumbells or barbells or both. You can switch it up every other week if you want.

One other suggestion is to make sure you keep a workout jounal if you’re not already. Never go backwards on your lifts. Try to either lift more weight or do more reps every week.

Other than that, have fun!